Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day 35: Active Collector, Powder Coat, & Electronics

After we posted some videos and our CAD part of the feedback we got was people asking us about our collector choice. We liked the passive collector for it's simplicity but we understood why an active collector would help. The last two days we prototyped an active collector for our robot. We got it working tonight.

We also received our powder coated parts back today.

Mechanical assembly will be begin in earnest very soon.

We started electrical assembly of the competition robot today. The belly pan is baltic birch plywood with a 1/32" piece of acetal on top of it. 

Here are a few other photos from robot construction.

- Spectrum

"The most fundamental winning formula is to bet on human decency and be patient." - Robert Brault

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day 34: A good day of tests

The last few days had been uneventful. We had some failed tests and we have been working through some potential solutions. Tonight we tested one of the solutions which was to add reduction to our arm to make it harder to back drive. We also increased the amount of counter balance using two 30lb gas springs. We tested it tonight and we're very pleased with the results.

Several of the features still have limited testing but overall we're very pleased

The arm tilt mechanism allows us to tip back a tall stack of totes to prevent them from falling and allow for easier stacking.

The recycling container righting is one of the mechanisms we have been a bit unsure of. We have prototyped it but we weren't sure how well it would work, tonight's were 100% successful. We'll try to break it and improve over the next couple weeks. The traction materiel used on the bottom of the mechanism is cut surgical tubing.

- Spectrum

"Once an innovation is implemented it is no longer innovative." - Jack Anderson, Chevron

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 31: A Little Bit Closer

We finally got our cylinders in place for most functions today. We ran out of time to be able to drive test but that should be going quickly tomorrow.

Here's the full robot as it currently stands. It reaches the full 78"

Here is a close up picture of our H-Drive module, we're getting code ready for triangle drive soon. (Triangle Drive is the new name we are giving to our drive train just because other people like to name drive trains and we find that funny.)

Here is a close up of the collector as it currently sits on the robot. The wedges expand to grab a tote from the wide or narrow sides. After putting it together and just pushing the robot around we identified several areas of improvement. A couple simple ones that just need a few bolts and some Lexan and other's that potentially involve adding an active wheeled intake to it. We have a couple weeks to iterate before our first event, lots of ideas and hopefully enough time to find the one that works the best.

Here's the back side of the collector, it's amazing that everything fits. We had to shave down some bolt heads to get the clearances we needed.

We dropped off the competition robot parts at SABS a rim repair shop here in Houston that will be powder coating for us this year. Always nice to get a new sponsor.

- Spectrum

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times." - Niccolo Machiavelli

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day 30: Assembling the practice robot

We received our sheet metal parts on Friday afternoon. Everything looked great on the parts.

Saturday and Sunday were spent putting together the practice robot. We have the arms on and the end effector. We are still waiting on a few pneumatic cylinders before we can test most of the systems. We balanced the arm today with surgical tubing and it worked well but we may be moving to gas springs.

We prepped all the competition robot parts for the powder coater tomorrow.

We should have more video to share in the next couple days.

- Spectrum

"Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." - Henry J. Kaiser