Friday, February 3, 2012

Build Day 28: Making Free Throws

We had the robot out at the gym making free throws tonight, we'll post video this weekend. The automation isn't there yet. We were allowing everyone to attempt shoots in a very open loop control mode but we made about 4 of the 40 free throws. The shooter was actually pretty consistent with it's in line accuracy we just weren't controlling speed and angle consistently. We need to make a manual control scheme that is able to set wheel speed more accurately and see how precise it is. The shooter angle adjuster was working very well for such a simple device. We also think we hit the thermal cutoff on the Fisher Price motors once during our testing. We're going to need to deal with the heat that these guys generate running at a constant high speed.

We did notice a few minor collector bugs but nothing that isn't fixable in the next few weeks. The variation in the balls is even a challenge on our collector some of them compress far easier than others and that was causing a bit of jamming. We also had one of our polycord bands hop out of it's groove but it's only when we reverse the collector. One of our treads is made a bit off center so it allows it to climb out. This should be easily resolved as well.

The drive base is having a few issues because our weight is distributed to far back in our robot. It's extremely low so we won't tip even going over the barrier but turning is a bit bumpy even with the six wheel drive configuration. We should have enough left over weight that we can play with our CG to will get the feel that we are looking for.

We made more progress on our bridge device but because the Van Door Motor uses metric bolts we weren't able to mount it tonight.

Today was also our chairman's review day. We have 13 days till the award submissions are due and this being our second year it's the first year we get to do an actual chairman's submission. The chairman's submission is interesting because you have to  decide which parts of your team to highlight.

Everything is looking good for 16 days of practice, programming and iteration with our competition robot. "Perfect practice make perfect", so we are going to need to get access to field somewhere in the Houston area so we can try this thing out on an actual court.

- Allen Gregory

"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes." - John Wooden

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