Thursday, January 4, 2018

Driver Station Upgrade

Before

After

Our old driverstation was unsatisfactory for a wide variety of reasons but we decided to hold over a few features that we liked a lot such as the handle style and size.

Problems with old:
  • Velcro controller straps are easily lost, ugly, and worked poorly
  • Shelf mounting velcro was a strip of adhesive backed velcro that ran across the entire bottom and attached to the sides of the driver station
  • Driverstation never had a consistent location at competitions
  • Laptop charger cable had to be routed out of a hole on top of the driver station instead off to the side


Fixes/Improvements:
  • Velcro controller straps are now nylon and have a plastic buckle
  • 2 Wooden blocks underneath have velcro pads for driverstation shelf mounting
  • Slots are cut on the sides so it can be attached to the robot cart handle
  • Power cable hole on the side of the driverstation so the entire laptop charger cable route can be hidden underneath
  • There are now 10 programmable LED pushbuttons on the driver station controlled by a TI launchpad
  • Driverstation corners are now welded and seamless
  • USB hub is now a triangular pyramid
  • Front and back of the driverstation has a purple acrylic backing to highlight decorative cutouts
  • Underglow
  • The side cutouts are highlighted by a carbon fiber backing
  • Laptop power cable can be stowed away by being attached to the USB hub


Critiques
  • Pushbutton maintenance is doable but should have been a higher priority when being designed
  • Should use a teensy board instead of a launchpad next time for space and easier wiring
  • 3D printed wiring enclosures are a little too weak for the velcro
  • Handles hang the driverstation low so putting it on the cart handle and field shelf is a little annoying for shorter people
  • Retrofitting a camera pole to the driverstation would be difficult
  • No solution for controller wires tending to twist and crimp
  • Controllers still slip out of buckles
Click here for more details and documentation.
Click here for grabcad files.

- Spectrum

"Few ideas work on the first try. Iteration is key to innovation." - Sebastian Thrun

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