Monday, January 9, 2012

Build Update Day 3: First School Day

Turnout was a bit small today as well. But that's probably due to all the flooding in Houston. We still managed to salvage a pretty productive day.

The mechanical teams continued work on a basic shooter prototype. We should be shooting balls tomorrow.

Much of the discussion was focused on collecting balls. With the three ball possession limit this year a hopper isn't needed. However you still have to have a collector and feeder system that is effective and efficient. This means getting the balls off the carpet quickly and never jamming. Several ideas were created for how to optimally collect the balls and move them to our shooter assembly, we should be able to begin building a prototype tomorrow.

We were able to test last year's robot climbing a simulated barrier. The heights and widths weren't correct but it was to get an idea for the dynamics of a robot climbing a curb. It was a very violent operation. I think it sounded and looked worse than it actually was, but it is definitely going to be something to put a lot of thought into.

We also discussed the bridge. One of our biggest problems is going to be not having an actual bridge to test on, we may have to build one and store it somewhere else but it still won't be as convenient as having it in our lab.

The controls team was able to get last year's robot up and running, and has started looking into all the new features that were added to the code libraries this year.

We are off to a good start but we need to push to get as many working prototypes this week as possible. That will let us see what aspects we need to consider in our design before we build the real thing.

- Allen Gregory

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.” - John Gall

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