Progress to Date

We’ve successfully completed our prototyping of the mechanisms we will use to score points in this competition. Here is the layout of our progress in a few areas:

Drive: We have a working mecanum drive train that allows motion in any direction on a 2-D plane. We can drive forward, backward, strafe, and turn effectively at high speeds optimal for quick reactions in competition.

Intake system: After juggling ideas ranging from a forklift-type design to spinning wheels to rotating chopsticks, we ended up choosing the rotating chopsticks. Essentially, this design uses two long “chopsticks” that rotate to thrust the ball inward to our catapult. It grips the entire side of the ball, allowing friction to let our robot quickly contain it.

Ball launcher: It was no difficult decision creating a catapult launching mechanism. The entire team was on board. After many attempts getting the right positions of the fulcrum, force, and load, we successfully shot the ball from twelve feet to the high goal. It uses two pneumatic pistons to power the catapult and propel the ball forward.

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Programming: So far, the code conquers control of the catapult, intake system, and the mecanum drive. After we complete the final robot, we’ll be able to test more code to create functions and other capabilities helpful in competition. Currently, we’re doing our research and writing code for image-recognition and response. Hopefully, our robot will be able to autonomously track the goal and balls during the competition.

Electrical: We have two electronics boards made from previous robot research, and we are currently developing another one. This new board will dynamically fit around our pneumatic catapult and intake system, efficiently storing our electrical components. This board will also be made from fancy new polycarb!! 😀

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Field: We have our scoring goal made, however it’s in pieces due to spacing. At the moment, we await an approval to house our goal in the school gym for storage and practice. Hopefully, our robot will get a good workout there, too!

Progress to Date

Since our first meeting, we have worked on designing and prototyping. We have settled on a design and believe that it is going to be ‘a winner’. We kept it very simple and tried to focus on the main points of the game. The meeting on Saturday was very successful. We prototyped our pickup/manipulator and will be testing it more extensively this next week. We also built and tested our launching mechanism, but have some changes to make. Over all, I believe that this year, we will be able to get a robot built on time and I know it will be VERY competitive.