Day #45 – 2-16-14 – Epic Pool Noodle War

Lab Opening Time: 10:00 AM

Just a day away from the build season coming to a close, the team is trying to quickly wrap up. In the morning, the L-Com RJ-45 jack was installed while the elevator forks were being slotted for stability. After yesterday where the elevator forks had been lengthened, the next step in making the forks as efficient as possible involved making these slots that would line up with the tabs along the side of the totes.

Before lunch, a few students started to assemble the field for practice in the school gym while the robot’s limit switches (which rest along the top and bottom of the elevator on the right side of the robot) where been tweaked to work properly. After this, and lunch, the team continued to work on trouble-shooting problems involving code + limit switches. While that was being worked on, the CAD team was designing the plates that would rest atop the Victors (which is pretty important when vital electronics are simply hanging out in the open like they are).

Upper Limit Switch
Upper Limit Switch

 

Lower Limit Switch
Lower Limit Switch

 

IMG_20150217_131307
1/16 thick grey tint polycarbonate protective panel

 

New longer forks.  These are out of the transport configuration, and a new set will need to be manufactured in the coming weeks for installation at the Long Beach regional.
New longer forks. These are out of the transport configuration, and a new set will need to be manufactured in the coming weeks for installation at the Long Beach regional.

 

Business is continuing to work on the sponsors plate now that their submission for the chairman’s essay is done.

At about 5, the robot was tucked into Mr. Black’s truck and carted down to the gym where the field was waiting. There, the programmers continued working on code, like the synchronization between the forks being lowered and the intakes being opened so that no constraint  failures  errors occurred.

Carting the robot down to the gym in the back of Mr. Black's truck.
Carting the robot down to the gym in the back of Mr. Black’s truck.

 

The team testing out the robot on the field setup in the gym.
The team testing out the robot on the field setup in the gym.

After working with the robot for a while, the programmers concluded with testing out the elevator successfully. During this time, both Jack (the driver from last year) and Aleksandr (the operator from last year) tested out the new driving system through the new obstacle course of a playing field.  We are very impressed with how well it drives in any direction, and the fancy teacup-ride-like maneuvers it can do.  Translating while spinning is completely awesome.  After 15 years, and saying we’d never do it, Team 696 has finally built a swerve drive, (and an awesome one too).

 

We also tested the elevator, which works much better now with the RS775-18 motors and the 14 lb constant force spring.  It is able to lift 6 totes and a can without a problem.

The main problem concerning the elevator chain is the fact that the chain is filing down the battery box because the two are so close.  When the elevator encounters a shock load, the tensioning spring extends, causing the other side of the chain to become slack, resulting in it jumping off the sprocket teeth and becoming jammed between the sprocket and the battery box.

We think the resolution to the issue may be a rigid turnbuckle type device for tensioning rather than a spring.

Tomorrow (or should I say today?) is going to be another long day of testing things out and seeing what fails first.  Only 23 hours until bag time.

Lab Closing Time: 1:00 AM on 2/17/15