Teaching Coding and Working on Autonomous

Jonah taught Jessica how to program Mecanum wheels and a Tank drive. He went over variables, if-else statements, naming motors, and setting them to certain powers so they could perform their functions. The code that they could program allowed their hypothetical robot to strafe, move forward or backward and rotate left or right. Chandra, a member from Kings and Queens, also joined us and we learned the general structure and functions that were already included in Op mode.

Not only that, but Jonah and Andrew continued to work on the amazing autonomous program for Randy Tallyup, our robot. Eddie also got some driver practice in, which might be beneficial in the near future in case we need a substitute driver.

Notes taken by Jessica on programming

Prototyping Depositor and Designing Robot

We did further prototyping with cardboard and metal such as the idea to sort the minerals into the lander, a design for the arm and the dumper to score, and the autonomous programming for the robot. For the harvester, we wanted it to be in the front of the robot.

Then, we wanted the dumper to be able to filter out the minerals between gold and silver utilizing gravity. We drew out the dimensions of the depositor and Chase began a CAD drawing to allow us to better visualize how it would work.

Depositer design specifications and how it will work.

Sorter Idea Design
Fusion 360 CAD model of our depositor
Building a test depositor

Sketching Subsystems

We sketched the ideas for the placements on our zip-tie harvester, hook lifter, and the dumper. We did more brainstorming in inclusion on the prototyping process to see where can we put all the mechanisms to make the measurements fit into an 18 x 18 box.

Designs for another harvester and hook

EDP: Later Prototyping Phase

For this part of the prototype face, we started designing on the harvester and the elevator lift. We first started developing on the harvester by communicating and sketching the ideas to plan out what and how it will be able to grab minerals and can sort them in order.  We started using cardboard as our building material to create the concept of our harvester. Here are the materials we used for this zip-tied harvester.

  • Cardboard from boxes
  • zip-ties
  • A cylinder metal rod
  • Duck tape

After developing the cardboard design of the harvester, we cut the plywood to build a better design project for the harvester. Here are the measurements for the plywood harvester:

  • height/length: 17.5 inches
  • width: 8.5 inches

For this meeting, we put together a wooden assembly that includes the scoring and harvesting mechanism. We used 1/4 plywood cut by a laser printer that we are generously allowed to use from one of our local middle schools. The assembly contains a hex bar that runs across the front side of the robot that contains zip ties. The bar rotates and pulls minerals into the robot using the zip ties. The minerals then get pushed up a linear slope and get pushed into the scoring mechanism. The scoring mechanism is simply an arm that rotates and places the minerals directly into the lander. We also put together a linear actuator kit in hopes of finding something that can pull us up and not backslide.

Prototype Assembly

Solder Fun

Today we had Suit Bots alumni, Brian Jr., come and teach us how to solder wires. We learned how to operate a soldering iron and what type of solder to use. We discovered that soldering was very easy and useful. After learning the basics of soldering and practicing, we addressed the problem of wiring the PixyCam to the REV module. Since no wires previously existed for said connection, we had to learn what ports corresponded to what connections. Bryan aided with the prepping then Jonah and Andrew performed the soldering. It was very informative and will allow us to use the PixyCam in our robot and program.

Our wire connecting the PixyCam to the REV module

EDT: Drive Train Prototype Phase


Today we gathered data on how the 4WD robot turned and moved with different sized spaces between the two wheels on each side. We tested this to see if this drive train was one that could easily accomplish the tasks in the game and also be able to be maneuvered easily. We also tested how fast and accurate the turning was using two different types of wheels. Lastly, we documented all our results and came to a conclusion.

    Black Wheels       Blue Wheels      
  Track (in)   t1 t2 t3   t1 t2 t3
  11.75 2.04 1.79 2.29 2.04 2.58 2.42 2.36 2.95
  11.25 1.67 1.84 1.51 1.65        
  10.75 1.45 1.46 1.45 1.45        
  10.25 1.43 1.51 1.39 1.38        
  9.75 1.50 1.53 1.57 1.39        

We found that the closer the wheels were, the faster the turning became. All of these different lengths were able to go over the rim and back. We also decided found that the black Andymark compliant wheels were the fastest all around.

After gathering all the data, we decided that the black Andymark suited our design best because it was the perfect combination of compliance, which helps go over the crater, and speed, which improves upon our overall control of the robot. 

Here are all of the distances between the wheels we tested: