Friday, May 10, 2019

2019 - Woodie Flowers Award

As many of you know our mentor, Allen Gregory, won the 2019 Woodie Flowers Award. The support that both the team and Allen has gotten these past few weeks have been phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who has congratulated us and shown support. Many people have requested to see the Woodie Flowers Essay that the students of our team put together so we will share it here.

You can read the winning essay that our fellow Spectrum team members wrote here: Allen Gregory - 2019 Woodie Flowers Essay PDF

We have put together a gallery of some of the photos and video here: Woodie Flowers Award Photos

You can also view Allen's Thank you note on ChiefDelphi: Allen's Woodie Flowers Thank You Note

- Spectrum

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ready for El Paso District Event

We compete this Saturday and Sunday at the El Paso District.

You can watch the live stream here:
We have been driving with our practice robot for the past week and getting ready. On Sunday we were able to go practice with 118 at their practice field and actually play on a full field.

Sometimes it pays to be lucky.

- Spectrum

Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 Day 41: Hatches are scoring

We have been making progress. The practice bot is operational but all the mechanisms are still getting tweaked. The competition robot is getting wired and the competition cargo mechanism and hatch mechanism still need to be built. The climber is also undergoing some improvements for the competition version as well.

- Spectrum

Friday, February 8, 2019

2019 Day 34: CAD Update

We are progressing nicely though our design and build. The practice bot is just about ready to have its first test runs after we bring up all the electronics (assign CAN IDs, update firmware, etc). The wooden plates will become plastic as we finalize our geometry.

We also have updated our public CAD release to the current version of the robot. The hatch mechanism is still undergoing revisions but the majority of the rest of the robot is there. You can view and download the STEP file at the link below.

You can also see a lot of our newer photos and videos on our photo gallery.

- Spectrum

Monday, February 4, 2019

2019: Week 4 Recap

In  week 4 we received our first sheet metal parts of the season. Huge thank you to our sponsor Solarcraft Inc, for their continued support of our team with their generous donation of sheet metal parts each season.

We have more photos and video of the robot and prototypes on our photo album.

The practice bot is almost wired and it still needs the climber and scoring mechanisms attached to it.

- Spectrum

Sunday, January 27, 2019

2019 Day 19, 20, 21: Cargo stuff is Changing

The theme of our two Cargo manipulation groups for the past two weeks has been "EVERYTHING IS CHANGING!"

This has been said at least once every other day about both our intake and the mechanism that wills store it and spit it out in to the rocket and cargo ship.

We have posted it about some of these changes from the our original concept of an extending intake that stayed down on the frame.

To a lower pivoting intake that mounts on the side of the cargo mechanism that is on the elevator.

We have built complicated contraptions like this one to try to test out concepts and prove the functionality of certain designs.

We made some crude hacks to see exactly what really works to try to force this ball into the center of the robot.

Over the past few days we have gone back to reevaluate some of our assumptions. Phrases like "What if they were both bottom rollers?", "The only thing changing is gravity". "This is the same really complicated sketch we have been looking at for 2 weeks, I just remade it and added colors.", "Who's spring is this?", "Everything is Changing!", and "What if we just flipped it all upside down?" have all been said and have been pretty important to the design process.

This is the sketch in question

Most of the robot gets designed in 2D like this before moving to 3D for the prototyping. This morning that was all we had after a lot of discussion last night about the changes and yes "flipping everything upside down". After about 2 hours of really fast CAD this afternoon we had a plan to build this.

This lets us put the prototype on the floor at the height that it will actually be on the robot when in this tipped down position.

It took another 4-5 hours to get it built and fully functional. That included laser cutting the panels, getting the rubber on too the polycarbonate tubing, pressing in tube connector nuts, and more.

We powered it using out prototype electrical board and our test pneumatics system that now uses our portable 60v Dewalt Compressor. The electrical board runs each motor off of a 20A breaker which is very useful because we did stall them a few times but the breakers did their job and prevented the motors from overheating.

Here it is in action.
Animated GIF

The roller system we are using is new to us this year. We have been trying to avoid having hex shafts go through bearings as much as possible because those systems always seem hard to maintain when you need to remove or add something.

Our roller system this year uses a 7/8" dead axle shaft with a 1.25" OD polycarbonate tube around it. The polycarbonate tube is running on two needle bearings and it's driven by a 3d printed pulley that has an integrated clamp to grip the tube.  This setup lets us install and remove the roller with only two bolts going into the tube connector nuts pressed into the ends of the 7/8" shaft.

This version of the intake still has a lot of testing to do, and it's very possible that everything may change again but we made a lot of progress today.

Painting our practice field

The past few days we have also been working on finishing up our practice space and adding a dash of color to the elements.

- Spectrum