Week Two Review:
It is astonishing to see how much the team has accomplished in just two weeks. On Wednesday of this past week, the design team was beginning to integrate multiple mechanical parts together, ultimately creating a detailed draft of what the robot would look like and how its mechanical parts would function and interacting with the field and game pieces.
As of right now, an elevator shaft, through the use a pulley system, will raise and lower a dual-use appendage to deliver cargo and hatch panels to the cargo ship and rockets. The dual use appendage will rest on a hinge connected to a realignment system. This hinge allows the appendage to move from a horizontal position to a vertical position.
The appendage itself is composed of two sets of feed wheels connected to two bars that are slightly angled, forming a rough “V.” The feed wheels themselves are distanced vertically at such a width that the cargo (ball) will be stuck when the feed wheels engage. On the underside of the appendage is two suction cups. Two pegs placed on the front of the robot will align the disk with the underside of the appendage. When one side of the disk touches one peg, all the robot has to do is drive forward and the disk will line up. The appendage will be lowered downwards onto the hatch panel and a pneumatic pump will suck the remaining air in the cups so that the disk is firmly attached to the underside of the appendage. Using the hinge, the appendage will then flip up vertically, allowing the hatch panel to be placed on hook and loop tape on either the cargo ship or the rocket(s).
On the back of the robot is a frame that can flip over onto the third level platform. Two large suction cups attached to both corners of the frame will be placed down and connect with the flat surface of the platform. After the cups are fully attached to the platform, the robot, using a winch system, will flip itself over onto the third platform.
Programming team is still testing PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) control to be able to tell the RoboRio precise position controls for the elevator. This system only takes a few milliseconds for the control system to correct the placement of the appendage height.
In addition to the testing of code for the elevator system, programming team has gotten to work on the camera system that will serve as the basis for the lateral realignment system mention earlier. The camera, placed on the robot at the same level of the reflective tape, will detect certain colors, specifically the green light from a green LED on the robot. It will then base measurements on how far left or right the robot is from the center of the hatch openings. Once it has taken these measurements, it will send them to the RoboRio which will tell the lateral realignment system how far to the left or right that the appendage needs to be moved. The programming team had just gotten the camera to detect green at the time of this writing and properly communicate with the RoboRio.
The build team has gotten to work on T and L brackets that will hold the skeleton of the robot together. They started work on the drive base, first by cutting pieces for the drive base and then riveting them together with the T and L brackets. With the help of some parents, they have almost finished constructing field pieces that we can test with once the robot is fully constructed.
At this rate, the team is right on track of our “Three Week Build, Three Week Test” schedule plan that we had decided on after kickoff.