Our weekly photo round-up will not be happening this week due to exams and the fact that we have not had many team members showing up. We apologize for this inconvenience but will hopefully resume the photo round-up next week.
With our third week coming to an end we have had no time to sit down and write you guys a proper blog. We are sorry about this, but we will summarize this week in the start of week four blog what will be going up on Saturday.
Hope you understand. Build season has it's own set of havoc!
The Manufacturing Team working on a tote storage container to keep the pit nice and tidy.
Starting the night off right with some pre-work planning.
The legendary Jorren using three computers at once.
As we move into week three we will be near to completing our final electrical board as well as starting to manufacture robot parts. We have big plans to build a mock playing field so that we can practice and make sure that our robot is capable of completing the objectives. There are plans to look into programming omniwheels and getting the camera working on the robot. Shirts are done and we expect them to be ordered within the week. Finally we have gone around to find sponsors and we have some in line we are just waiting on responses.
We will keep you posted throughout the week!
With our second week coming to a close, we start to see a final plan come to light. Everyone is in high gear working hard to get our planning stage done as soon as we can. We hope to start getting the robot itself together within the next couple weeks. We have enlisted a few of our hard working members to take a minute out of their busy schedules to get us a taste of what they have been up to.
The control/electrical team had to set up a base with all the components needed for the robots. The control base has to hold the motors, battery, the power distribution panel, motor controllers, amongst numerous other vital parts. Our first task was to make a prototype of the control base, so that we can see how the final product would look. The biggest problem we encountered was making all the pieces fit, as well as managing the cables. Once everything was fitted, we had to make sure all the components worked.
The CAD (Computer Aided Design) group is an important part of this team; our main goals are to take the design teams’ input and turning it into 3D models that the manufacturers can use to create the robot. In other words, our job is to effectively turn designs into robots.
The design team all had different concepts but they all shared one similarity, the capability to lift one tote or one recycling container with a lift. After some discussion, we concluded that the best way to be successful at the game ‘Recycling Rush’ was to be able to stack multiple totes at once and one recycling container on top of the stack. The next Tuesday, we spent the whole time discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed design. For example, we discussed the possibility of the stack becoming unstable and toppling over. In order to reduce the chance of this occurring, we decided to have the lift system installed within the robot so that the center of mass of the stacked totes will be inside the robot’s perimeter. In addition, we have decided to tackle the robot’s design in three main section: the base, the lifting mechanism and finally, the gripping system. So far, the base is the most definite part of the robot’s design, while the others are still in the development process. We hope to continue having such good progress with the help of our mentors, donors and sponsors!
Manufacturing created the parts for the tote chute were cut and pierced together. We mostly used plywood and various construction tools for this. While we continued building the tote chutes, we also started working on the pool noodles. After a few days, the manufacturing crew had finished building all the tote chutes. Now, we’re building the scoring platform, although the structure is more stiff and larger compared to the previous items, we think we’re off to a great start!
This week the marketing team got the button compressor functional and started production on our team buttons. We also updated the website a bit - added sponsors, fixed our team photos and posted the game video for you all. We got our shirt designs sent back for approval with our new and improved Wildebots logo, how exciting! Next we’ll be going and talking with some more companies for sponsorships, we hope to be able to show off how great our team is. In addition, we had an elementary school book a tour with us to learn more about FIRST Robotics and how a team works.
As for programming, we knew we had a lot of work to do even before the robot was built. We wanted to add omniwheels to this robot for more fluid side-to-side movement, and we also needed to learn how to program the RoboRio, which is the new cortex for the robot. Even before programming the RoboRio, we needed to decide what programming language we were going to use to program the robot. For programming, we had two options - C++ and Java. After much deliberation, we decided on Java. The next thing was setting up the computers to program in Java. FIRST did not make this easy - it took us 17 tries to get it onto just one computer. Finally, we got all the computers set up so we could start programming. While two of us began programming, two other members started getting the RoboRio. The RoboRio needed to have Java installed on it so it would recognize the programs. Another group of members was building a test program to make sure we had set up the RoboRio probably. Our test program made the motor that was plugged in to port 1 spin for 2 seconds. After a while, we finally got it to work and the test program to run. We also got camera input from a USB camera connected to the RoboRio. Next week, we plan to work on getting input and output through wireless, setting up networking and adding omniwheels to the program.
With just a little over a month until bag and tag we have lots of work to do and little time to do it in. We will keep you updated every week as our schedules get busier and busier, wish us luck!
Kick-off came and went. Where are we now? Too... busy... to... post. Control team is wiring away and exploring all our option on steering. Manufacturing is building us a mock-up of the field and using AutoDesk Inventor plans to plot out their next steps. The programmers are setting up our laptop cart, programming the Omniwheel drive functions and looking into our options on vision on the robot. Design is finalizing our plans and figuring out how we plan on approaching the game this year...
...Can't forget about our PR team. We are updating the website constantly, keeping you up to date with blogs and scouting out our allies and competitors.
We now know the game. As stated by FRC:
RECYCLE RUSH is a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping
with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.
Now our team is cracking down for the next 6 weeks to get our robot done. We have broken off into 7 smaller teams. Each is in charge of a specific objective whether is be:
Build - Assembles the robot.
Controls/Electrical - Wires the robot.
Design - Drafts up plans of the robot.
Drive - Controls the robot during the game.
Manufacturing - Builds the parts for the robot.
Public Relations - Does the small details that holds the team together.
Programming - Codes the robot.
We hope that we have more for you next week!