Day 5: Design & Programming Progress


At the lab today, a number of students met to work on robot design.  We spent the entire day working on Subsystem 1: Arm/Elevator.  We began the day by reviewing our game objectives before proceeding to create a weighted objective table.

Elevator 1 Joint Arm Scissor Lift Conveyor 2 Joint Arm Telescoping Arm
Designability (x3) 3 4 3 1 2 2
Manufacturability (x3) 4 5 3 3 3 3
Speed (x4) 5 4 3 2 4 4
Accuracy (x5) 5 4 1 3 3 4
Weight (x3) 4 5 3 2 3 3
Weighted Total 85 78 44 41 55 60

Using the table, we were able to rate all of the different potential superstructure designs on factors such as designability, manufacturability, weight, speed and accuracy.  In the end, the Elevator and 1-Jointed arm came out way above all of the other designs so we decided to focus on those two designs.

Benefits of Elevator

  • Easier to Drive
  • Easier to Score
  • Faster
  • More Compact
  • Center of Mass Can’t Leave Robot Footprint
  • More room for Minibot
  • We are more familiar with Elevator Design & Construction
Benefits of Arm

  • Easier to Design
  • Easier to Manufacture
  • Potentially Lighter

While discussing some of the pros and cons of each design, we focused especially on the designability of each design.  We concluded that an arm would be much easier to design.  However, because our team has built elevators in the past, we are familiar with their design and will be able to modify some of our old CAD models to work in the 2011 competition.  Because of this, we decided that it would be feasable to design and build an elevator and that it was the best design for our team.

After deciding on an elevator, the team moved forward with design, looking at old robots and old CAD models.  After some analysis, we started to build the new elevator assemblies, using some of the concepts used on previous robots.  At the end of the day, we have completed drafts of the first and second stages of the elevator; only the carriage still needs to be completed.

The robot design as of today. Many parts are still missing including the rear supports for the elevator.

The bottom of the second stage of the elevator. The second stage requires no welding.


The programming team was working hard today to perfect both the simulator and robot code.