Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 2: Odin Returns...?

Our 2012 robot Odin (upper left), and the concept chassis on the floor.
Today, we got a huge amount of work done. At the beginning of the day, we picked off where we left off yesterday: strategy. Yesterday, many of us were opting for a tall robot. Now, we are thinking the opposite. We are pondering over making a small robot capable of driving underneath the low bar. Our reasoning is that we know where the low bar will be on the field and the orientation of the low bar indefinitely. We know exactly where it is every match. It's a constant. Also, Categories B and D defenses can be traversed by small robots. Along with that, we have built a robot for a game similar to this one: 2012's Rebound Rumble. Our robot that year was Odin. We made it to shoot the small basketballs using a flywheel as well as stack robots on top of ours. This morning, we decided that Odin was going to be a key influence in creating our robot this year. A flywheel is a good shooting mechanism for this boulders, and a small robot is good for getting under the low bar and traversing other defenses. Also, when/if we want to hang (depending on if we decide to make a hanging mechanism), we have a low centers of gravity and mass compared to those of a tall robot like our last year's Heimdall or our 2013's Beowulf. We decided on prototyping with 8-inch wheels because of the nature of the defenses. We slapped 8-inch wheels onto our robot and worked on the electrical board of our concept chassis. Meanwhile, a couple of our mentors and students together starting working on making wooden defenses. Today, we finished the moat and the rock wall. The electrical and programming work on the concept chassis went later into the day, so while the mechanical committee was either all over the robot or making more prototype parts, the electrical committee spent much of the day working on the batteries: checking heatshrink and tape on the battery clamps and replacing them if necessary. Later in the day, the mechanical committee had finished working and were testing the concept chassis when it didn't move. They called the electrical and programming committees into the woodshop for diagnostics, and for a good part of the afternoon, the two committees debugged and diagnosed the concept chassis. After a couple hours, the problem came to be a "miscrimped" connection between two of the Talons. We fixed that up. Tomorrow, we plan to continue making defenses as well as continue working on prototypes to attach to the concept chassis.

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