Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Day 5: prototyping everything

The mad race to get working prototypes continued for day 5. We made some new discoveries that we have to deal with in our designs but nothing seems to be setting us back too far.

Our climbing prototype is a VEX robot. It's not yet functional but we're getting much closer.
It's a two stage lift design and hopefully it will be climbing our mock pyramid before Friday. We are now planning to climb from the front of our robot. It makes a lot of the packaging problems a little bit easier. We are still going to be cramped for space and weight, but at least we think the robot will be sturdy even during the climb. We also think this can get us to the 30 point level.

The disc portion of our robot is coming along as well. We're hoping to have another quality video over the weekend. 

A lot of our work has been playing with the numbers. Luckily we have some people who are good with geometry. Here's an idea of some of things we have been working on. If a robot is at the autonomous discs in front of the pyramid (78" from the driver station) and fires the discs at the top goal from a height of 30" they can only error about +-2 degrees in their launch angle to be able to make the shot.

Teams are going to need to be very accurate to make these discs. Trying to find ways to decrease our need for accuracy is one of our main goals.

On the non-robot portion of the team, we have a full draft of our Chairman's essay complete and from here on out it's just a lot of revisions. We have to get the executive summary, essay, presentation, and video all together by the end of build season so we have time to practice everything before we go in front of the judges. We finished our business plan during the fall so that is ready to go besides for some few additions from this build season. You can read it here, This year we are also putting together an engineering inspiration packet for the judges at both of the regionals we are attending. One of our team goals was to get better at documenting our efforts and presenting them to the judges.

- Spectrum

"Success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right the first time." ~ Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

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