Deep into summer, our robot progress was lethargic. With members travelling and our lifeline of parts locked away in the shop, we moved most of our focus into the administrative side of work. The team is working on educational papers, spirit equipment, and fundraisers.
As for the robot, we're focusing on improving the manipulator. The plan is to limit our mechanical work for the first competition to summer. From the start of school to our first competition, electronics, programming, driver practice, and judging will be tackled hard.
We noticed issues with the large ball claw. With this addition, it's difficult for the rollers to grab balls against the wall. However, we found footage from the vex competition hosted by REX. We found a robot which used one of our old ideas of the large ball grabber, a tower side roller. We originally thought this idea was impossible because the rollers couldn't stretch to the width of a large ball. However, we forgot to account for space within axles. because of this space, the roller would have "slop", giving us the space needed to expand to the width of a large ball. Thanks to this alternative, we replaced the large ball claw with the tower rollers.
To fit in dimensions, the tower rollers have joints in the center. This will allow the tower to fold in. Accompanying these joints, we have locks which will prevent overextending. Once we finished the system, we mounted it to the intake and we tested it out.
We wanted to do a full system check, however nearly everything is responding with lag. We believe the motor controllers are giving. Nevertheless, we rewired the robot so the intake and lift would work appropriately.
We struggled to prepare for the library demo. It would seem that the prospect of talking to children would prompt us to quake in our boots. We took this huddled shell of a demo robot and restored it to erudition. We examined the vex robot and determined that it was dead. The nearly all the motor controllers are broken.
Today we focused on the intake. Using summer to our advantage, we want a robot which can hold 2 large balls in the intake. However, the old rollers will not suffice. Due to the joints, the roller does not have the stability needed to support a second large ball in the intake. Because of this, we needed a more stable roller. We developed a telescopic roller which is much more stable
this telescopic roller is slightly expanded for dimension. Elastic will constantly push the rollers to the expanded position. However, at the start of the match, a barrier will be installed to keep the system small. Once the rollers are released, force stored in the system will cause the roller to expand.
In addition to the roller, we applied a fold out storage. This storage is pulled closed by elastic, however when a second large ball is grabbed, the storage will be forced open. This motion is required for us to stay underneath the barrier
The robot inspected and we noticed a mountain of issues.
1. We can't go under the barrier with 3 bucky balls: The top of the intake is at 12 inches exactly. Because the intake does not encapsulate the balls, when the 3rd ball is stored, the robot cannot go under the barrier.
2. the rollers extend too far: When the rollers extend too far, the funnels become useless. currently, the funnel only 6 inches longer than the roller. Because of this, it would be easier to just push all the bucky balls down the ramp and grab them individually because it takes the same amount of driver precision and less movements.
3. the towers aren't reinforced on the sides: It's possible to shake the lift to the left and to the right. If a robot plays defense from the sides or if we turn, we constantly place strain on the axle and tower.
4. The large ball has close to no support from the left or right: Less than half an inch of the large ball is supported by the intake. If the rollers spin for too long, the ball my even fall to the sides.
5.Everything is loose: we're losing parts and there's no way we can program an accurate autonomous in this condition. we're missing a few parts. For example, the drivetrain is missing a tank tread sprocket and pillowblocks are missing from the lift
6. Parts aren't mirrored: one side of the intake is higher than the other. For some reason a standoff is just protruding from the right side of the drivertrain (cant be a flag holder cause it's filled with couplers). Random bearings/pillow blocks are placed throughout the robot. One side of the drivetrain has the alignment standoffs while the other side doesn't
7. The electronics are completely butchered: 2 wire cables flowing into a 3 wire cable without a converter. A 393 is missing a pwm head. cables are dangling and are lightly twisted.
8. General poor fabrication: the intake rollers are still in it's prototype form. Non slip pad are bulging in random places. Sprockets are randomly placed on the intake. An attempt to power the counterweight was sloppy. screws are missing from structural components.
Before any additions can be made, we must solve these problems first.
Today, we tried our best to tackle our first problem. We lowered the lift as much as possible, but the bucky ball still needs to be lowered by an inch.
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sometimes you just need to prototype ideas to really know. This was one of the videos where we saw the tower roller in action
This is what we call "Hulk Drive". It uses doubled up, 4 inch diameter wheels for maximum contact, deadweight (not shown), and a killer 324 inch pounds of torque to push anything in it's path
This is the waffle ball shooter. Inspired by the past game "hot shot", this robot was first developed in 3 hours
Telescopic Roller: Red mimics the bucky ball roller. pink is the stationary stage of the roller, yellow is the moving. green is a lock
Combination Gear tower: with this, We get more torque with less motors. what's special about this type of combination gear tower is that the second stage uses circular holes. This reduces torsion. However, because this tower is slower, more timing is needed on raising the lift. Otherwise, we would waste valuable time in matches. Since this will need more driver practice, adding this later will compliment the season