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.
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!! 😀
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!