Friday, February 26, 2016

Day 46: Minutes to Midnight

Well, we worked on Loki throughout the Bag and Tag Party. While parents were watching the Robot Reveal video and Mr. Green and Gabby and Edesiri were thanking individuals for their hard work this season, a portion of the team cuddled around Loki, working on replacing the small chain with big #35 chain. We got it finished late, but Loki is done.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 45: Mission Control

Now, we have run across a bigger problem. This deals with our ability to scale. We are currently discussing if we should go ahead with scaling, considering the tiny, squeezed-up space of the robot as well as the amount of battery drained over one match and the weight limit. We also did drive practice yesterday. We worked on the consistency of shooting, crossing defenses, and, of course, shearing sprockets. We again modified the shooter skids, and now they pretty much work fine. They definitely have a longer life on the field.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 44: Behind Us

So, we were unable to finish Loki today, yet again. The programming and mechanical committees put quite a few hours to get Loki to full form as quickly as possible, but we have run into numerous problems. One big one is the chain issue. Since our first drive practice, we have sheared teeth on sprockets, causing us to lose chain on the right side, particularly. We still are discussing the situation.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day 43: Oh, No!

Well, we made a goal a couple days ago to get Loki done by today at noon. Unfortunately, that goal was not met. Even though we crossed off all five checkpoints that we wanted to hit by the end of the day, Loki is not yet completely finished. The mechanical and electrical committees were cuddled around Loki like penguins all day today in the electrical room. The programming committee stayed with Practicebot in the physics room, working on programming autonomous and teleop, as well as the sensors.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 42: Six Weeks

We did drive practice today. All of the driver applicants drove with different co-driver applicants to get a feel of the robot and communication strategy as well. After practicing for an hour or two, we started doing test runs. Each driver did one test run with a co-driver. There were 4 drivers applicants and 3 co-driver applicants, so each driver got 1 run with each co-driver. The object was to obtain a boulder, traverse a defense, and score a ball in the high goal as fast as possible. All of the drivers got through their runs, and now the decision-makers for drive team are pondering who will be Drive Team A and Drive Team B.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Day 41: Lookin' Shiny

Practicebot is complete and fully prepped for tomorrow's drive practice. Drive Team's A and B will be decided tomorrow. Also, Loki is making great progress. We still have Sunday as our deadline for getting it completed. The greatest news of the day is that we received Loki's shooter and intake from powdercoating. We first attached blue tape to necessary place for when we drill so that we don't mess the coat up. Loki is coming together pretty nicely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 40: Full Form

Today was a short day, so we didn't do a whole lot. We modified the design of the skid, making it thicker and improving the design to lengthen its life. We started mass 3D-printing them today. We plan to bolt them on when in use. Also, we finished repairing Practicebot. We switched out the chain and drive system on the side where the chain repeated kept coming off during practice. We also replaced the sheared sprocket.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day 39: Loki Tuesday

Today, we focused much of our attention on Loki. We worked on adding pneumatic components: Solenoid, tanks, compressor, etc. We added the electrical board farthest back on Loki's frame, hugging the battery slightly. We also got to work on Practicebot, and repairing its "injuries" sustained from yesterday's breach-filled practice.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Day 38: Train Wreck!

Today, we got drive going. While a few people stayed behind at the shop to work on Loki and weld, a group of us went over to Sierra Vista Elementary School to practice driving with Practicebot. This robot was flying today. We were in high gear much of the time, and as a result of going so fast over the defenses, Practicebot hit some nice airs. Even the intake arms were raising themselves up. And the robot stayed intact...mostly. On the not so bright side, we damaged almost all of our wooden defenses...LITERALLY. A couple had cracks on the seams and in other places. A sprocket tooth got sheared when driving over one of the defenses, and the 3D printed skids on the bottom of the shooter wore out easily. But we got some good drive time with the Practicebot, and shooting went pretty well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Day 37: Loki is Our Valentine

We attempted driving with Practicebot. Not fully functional, but we are getting somewhere. Meanwhile, Loki is coming along nicely. Valentine's Day is spent with our beautiful, half-finished robot and its twin, plain brother Practicebot.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Day 36: Sorry, Practicebot

Now that Loki's frame is finished, we are spending more time on Loki. The programmers are in two groups. One group is working on our autonomous and teleo-operated programs for the controls and robot. The other group is working on getting Practicebot fully functional. Practicebot was at one point driving and shooting, but now the group has run into errors that prohibit the robot from fully functioning. Meanwhile, a good portion of our team is working on attaching components to Loki: transmissions, the mini electrical boards, and more.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Day 35: BatteryKart

Yesterday, we finished the battery cart. It looks pretty sick. (Click the photos to enlarge.) There are 2 columns of 6 racks to hold the batteries in the front, while the 4 chargers are mounted vertically on the back. The batteries rest on pieces of pool noodles.  Though the cart weighs a ton when fully loaded, it is a big upgrade from our previous wooden battery cart that we pulled with a string.
Meanwhile, Loki's chassis is going nicely. We are continuing to carefully make measurements, drill holes, and all that jazz on its frame. We have blue tape all over the chassis for when we drill holes and make these measurements. We had driver practice today. All the field components are finished.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Day 34: Working on 3 Different Frames

Not a whole lot was done today. We started working on Loki's chassis, now powdercoated. We added transmissions and started drilling necessary holes. We CNCed out parts requested by a new local FRC team, 5430 Pirate Robolution. We adjusted the angle of the shooter on Practicebot as needed for how and where we shoot the boulders into the high goal. We also made great progress on the battery cart.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day 33: Goal!!!!

Well, today, after almost a full week of debugging, hair-pulling, breaking, and fixing, Practicebot is able to drive AND shoot. Programming was a success, and now, we can transition to making parts for Loki and practicing driving. Drive practice starts Friday. The potential drivers, co-drivers, human players, and coaches have not taken the drive portion of the drive test, only the written portion. The situational portion is still to follow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Day 32: Progressive Much?

Today, we continued fixing up Practicebot. We focused on testing the intake as well as the shooter. We also discussed possibly taking off the polycord which is on the intake. Meanwhile, Fish made good progress on the first tier of Loki's chassis.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Day 31: Syntax

Well, we have continued to debug Practicebot. We realized today that as we made changes to the material of the frame of the robot, we forgot to account for one of the tiers of Practicebot. Now Practicebot's frame is 0.25 inches short of what we want it to be, and considering how little volume we have, this is crucial. We discussed this problem and are going to implement slight changes that may alter the overall bumper design but should make up for the 0.25 inches lost.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Day 30: Break, Fix, Break, Fix

It has been grim working on Practicebot. When progress is made, something cancels it out. Break, fix, break, fix. We have been carefully testing components of the robot. Recently, we have been having problems with the programming of the intake talons as well as the compressor and pressure switch. Meanwhile, the welding of Loki's 2nd and 3rd tiers have been completed.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Day 29: The Son of Odin

We hovered around Practicebot all day today. We finished the intake and the arms for the intake. We then realized that, once the scaling mechanism is attached to Practicebot, the robot will be overweight. We started discussing many possible ideas to lessen the robot's weight. We have not decided what mechanical aspects of the robot we will modify, but the electrical committee started tightening electrical wires to lengths as small as possible. We dismantled Protobot. RIP Proto! All of its parts will be used for Practicebot as well as our final, competition robot, Loki. Speaking of Loki, we started creating its chassis.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Day 28: All But Transmissions

Today was one of our crunch days. We planned to have Practicebot entirely done by TODAY. Sadly, transmissions hindered us from completing our final goal. We got the intake arms done and attached. The students going for Drive Team took the written tests today, and some practiced for the drive tests, which take 50% of the overall test score. The electrical committee started finalizing changes to the electrical board. The mechanical committee spent all day by Practicebot.

Oh, and by the way, we voted on our robot's name. We are naming our 2016 FIRST Stronghold robot Loki, the son of Odin. A bit of history: In 2012, Rebound Rumble, we named our robot Odin. The design of Loki was based of and really just modifications of Odin's design. This corresponds well with the fact that Loki, in Norse mythology, is Odin's son.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Day 27: Goals

We have huge milestones today. We agreed at our "briefing" that we are a bit behind. Last year this time, we had Practicebot finished and were working on Heimdall. Right now, Practicebot is not finished, and Protobot's intake is still in the works. We accomplished driving with Practicebot today. The intake arms fit snugly on Practicebot, and it is loooking even better than Protobot.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Day 26: Transmissions 2: The Chairman

We continued working on transmissions today. We spent much time on the Chairman's and Woodie Flowers essay, as they are both due today. Our process was very heavy this year. We sent our Chairman's essay to numerous English teachers as well as giving them to many team students to read individually and comment. We made many edits after our original draft, and our final product is much more improved.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Day 25: Transmissions

Today, we focused on the transmissions of Protobot. We noticed some flaws in the transmissions that needed to be adjusted, and we got those done. We replaced the old transmissions with new ones. We also fixed the intake arm bolts, because they were catching when the intake ran. The intake for Practicebot is now welded; all we need for that is the FTC tread. The Chairman's essay is extremely close to being finished.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Day 24: Intake Track

Today, we worked heavily on the intake. While some of us tested Protobot's intake arms, Fish welded the intake arms for Practicebot. Wiring continued to take place for Practicebot, and the programming committee continued to work on programming auto. Slowly and steadily, Protobot and Practicebot are becoming a lot like each other.