Day 21: Design, Manufacturing, Programming

Design

Today, the minibot group worked to put their minibot design into the computer.  Furthermore, another group worked on finalizing the arm design.  It was decided that the arm would need to be longer in order to properly grab the tube.

Several team members work to put the minibot design into the computer.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing team was working hard today to finish some parts.  The parts are coming along great and we hope to finish all welded parts by tomorrow.

Elevator carriage bearing blocks after one operation on the mill.

Kirk loading parts into the CNC mill.

Programming

Today, the programming team was hard at work installing another encoder so that they can better drive in straight lines.

The programming team hard at work.

Day 20: Prototyping, Manufacturing, Programming

Prototyping

Today, the minibot prototyping group continued to work on their small prototype utilizing small, machined concave-style wheels.  They attached tread to the wheels and worked on weight distribution.

Several members of the prototyping team work on the minibot prototype.

Tread glued to the concave wheels.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team was working on all of our machines in the lab.  The lathe group worked on drive gearbox spacers.  The mill team was drilling holes and preparing the rear supports for the elevator.  Finally, the CNC group was milling several gusset plates for the elevator rear supports.

EJ, Abhi and Adam work on the lathe.

Aaron working on the mill.

At the end, we were able to assemble one of the drivetrain rear supports.

Elevator Rear Support Bar

Programming

Today, the programming team was here working on several crucial parts of the code.  Groups were working on the robot, simulator and dashboard.

Daniel installing the camera on Onslaught.

Eric working on the simulator.

Day 19: Prototyping, Manufacturing, Programming & Design

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping team was hard at work on another minibot prototype.  This prototype has had much of the weight removed in order to speed ascension times.

Nate drilling a hole in one of the wheels.

Galen explains the technical information regarding hole tapping to several members of the prototyping group.

The minibot prototype using custom concave wheels.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team worked to finish the drivetrain cams and start several superstructure gusset plates and gearbox spacers.

EJ demonstrates lathe technique.

Programming

The programming team worked today on their straight drive code.

Zahi and Bhargava programming.

Design

Today, the design team worked on finalizing a list of bearings for the robot and parts to be manufactured.  Furthermore, the team worked to detail the arm gearboxes, belts and rollers.

Day 18: Critical Design Review, Prototyping, Programming, Manufacturing

Critical Design Review

Today was our 2011 Critical Design Review (CDR).  The CDR follows the Preliminary Design Review and includes nearly completed detailed designs.  Many of the items presented may already be complete or in progress.  This review phase is considered critical because it is at a point in the schedule where the detailed design should be complete and manufacturing is partially in progress, costs and completion dates are better known, and the remaining details have been worked through to ensure on time and thorough completion of the project fulfilling the objectives outlined in the PDR.  It is critical in the sense that any unforeseen hurdles, oversights, delays in schedule, or design challenges may cause the project to be delayed or become unsuccessful.  This review gives the key players (mentors, sponsors, and involved students) the opportunity to address concerns and to give a critical analysis of the design decisions made and the path forward being taken to ensure their time, money, and resources are being spent in the best possible manner.

Critical Design Review

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping team was hard at work working on the minibot.  They developed a new concept for a clamping latch which has functioned well in the prototype tests.

New minibot latch concept.

Programming & Controls

Today, the programming team reached several major milestones.  The simulator team successfully modeled a basic dead-reckoning autonomous mode.  Furthermore, the robot team was able to successfully control Onslaught’s pneumatic system.

The controls team also came up with a preliminary list of sensors for the robot.

  • 2 Drivetrain Encoders
  • Drivetrain Gyro
  • Elevator Encoder
  • Arm Potentiometer
  • 2 Roller Encoders
  • Roller Limit Switch

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing and assembly team was very hard at work.  We received the water jetted base plates from our sponsor BAE systems and assembled the frames.  On the mill, the team was working on several parts for the elevator.

Tomorrow, we will bring our first batches of parts to the anodize and welding sponsors.

Team members assembling the frames.

Completed Frames Ready for Welding

Day 17: Design, Manufacturing, Prototyping & Programming Progress

Design

The design of the robot is coming along spectacularly.  Since Saturday, we have continued the detail work on the various robot gearboxes and have continued on into Subsystem #4: Minibot Deployment.  We have decided to build a secondary linear slider that will extend out the back of the robot, very similar to a horizontal version of our elevator.

We are building this instead of buying COTS linear sliders because off the shelf aluminum linear sliders cost upwards of $150 each and will struggle to get the kind of extension that is needed to get outside of the robot bumper zone.

The linear extension out the back of the robot for minibot deployment.

Furthermore, we have begun the long and painstaking process of going through the models and picking out each and every fastener that is needed.  We then must search the lab for the fasteners and if needed, add them to an order list.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing team was very busy today working on a myriad of parts.  From tube standoffs to spacers and plugs, a number of parts came off the production lines on the bandsaw, shear, mill, lathe and CNC mill.

His name is El Sides and he likes to boogie. You may see him at the lab in his zip-up hoodie, turning parts on the lathe and he's like "Oh Goody!"

Completed elevator bearing blocks.

Nagy can't believe how good the parts look...

Prototyping

The minibot prototyping group was hard at work today changing up the design of the minibot.  They are experimenting with different tread to see how it affects the climbing.  Unfortunately, they blew a fuse on the minibot battery, so they are testing with an underpowered VEX battery for now.

Working on the Prototype.

Updated minibot design.

Programming

The programming team has been hard at work!  The robot team is working to implement PID control of the robot to ensure perfectly straight driving during autonomous.  Furthermore, today they started looking at implementing control of the pneumatic systems of the robot.

Robot team testing code.

Furthermore, the simulator team has successfully added a 3D view to the robot simulator and modeled the entire playing field and a mock-up of our robot with an elevator and an arm.  The mock-up has the ability to hold on to tubes and score them on scoring pegs in all three dimensions of beautiful wireframe rendering.

Simulator team hard at work.

Day 16: First Day Off

Today, we’re taking our first day off of the season so that everybody can relax and get caught up on homework.  We will resume work tomorrow.

Programming Update

Robot Group:

Things we have accomplished so far:

Basic Tele-op drive.

Motors have been linearized.

Travel exact distance almost works.

Current things we are working on/To-Do:

Pneumatics control/Gear Shifting

PID/control driving

Turn Exact angle

Support for different sensors.

Dashboard for the driver station

Simulator Group:

Completed:

3D field is complete

Most of the physics

Current Things/To-Do:

Object Collision

Interacting with Robot

Autonomous Strategies

Autonomous Stragegy (This may change):

Goal 1: Score first ubertube as quickly as possible.

Goal 2: Make Goal 1 work robustly

Goal 3: Pick up another ubertube, and score again while avoiding collisions

Day 15: Prototyping, Manufacturing, Programming & Design Progress

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping group worked to improve the minibot’s ability to clamp onto the pole.  Last night’s prototype climbed fine but didn’t clamp too well.  Progress was made and the next prototype should be done soon.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team was hard at work on several crucial robot parts.  On the lathe, we were working on tapped plugs to be welded into the elevator.

Nagy working on the tapped plugs.

On the mill, we were working on the battery tabs.

Erik working on the battery tabs.

Nagy and Nathan tapping the battery tabs.

On the CNC, we manufactured several parts including the frame front and rear rails and plugs to be welded into the bottom of the elevator side rails.

Programming

Today, the programming team continued to work on getting the robot to drive straight.  Furthermore, they worked on how to create a dashboard for the driver station and use it to send data to the robot.

Zahi resetting the robot after a test.

Design

Today, the design team worked on detailing the various gearboxes on the robot.  The roller system is coming along great and we started working on the Minibot Deployment system and the elevator support structure.

Design progress in the carriage area.

Day 14: Prototyping, Manufacturing, Programming & Design Progress

Prototyping

Today, the prototype group worked very heavily on the minibot design.  Towards the beginning of the day, they successfully finished Minibot Prototype 1 and it climbed the pole.

Minibot Prototype 1. It has two driven wheels, one spring-loaded wheel and one stabilizing roller.

After building the first prototype, the group started to discuss how improvements could be made to lighten the whole robot while making it climb faster.  They decided that having a single concave wheel driven by both motors could potentially improve the design.

Minibot prototype 2 was built with one large wheel covered in tread and two stabilizers covered in slick teflon pads.  It was not a significant speed increase over prototype 1 but it was much more stable.

Minibot prototype 2.

In the next few days, we will work on ways to make it clip onto the pole more reliably and climb faster.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team was hard at work on several tasks.  We began by finishing the front and rear bumper supports.

Front and Rear Bumper Supports

Furthermore, the team was hard at work starting on the tapped inserts for the elevator tubes.

Aaron lathing tapped inserts.

Programming

Today, many programmers were hard at work both improving on the simulator and trying to refine their control of the robot.  Recently, the simulator team worked to add a 3D view to the simulator so that the field can be better visualized.  The robot team was working on using PID control to allow the robot to drive precise distances.

Most of the members of the programming team were present today, working hard on the simulator and the robot.

Design

Today, several members of the design team worked on the arm pivot gearbox.  The gearbox is mostly complete.


Day 13: Prototyping, Manufacturing & Design

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping group worked extensively on the minibot.  After the addition of a fourth stabilizing roller, the bot was able to climb the pole very quckly.  The prototype is improving.  The next step is to brainstorm alternative methods of pole climbing, test the alternative methods and compare the results.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team was working very hard on pieces for the drivetrain.  The CNC was running all day cutting the sprockets for the drivetrain.  After the drivetrain sprockets were done, they moved on to the front and back rails of the chassis.  The manual machining team continued milling parts for the bumper supports.

Design

Today, the Design team worked primarily on the arm design.  The team worked to design and begin detailing a symmetrical gearbox that will use two motors to independently drive both sets of rollers.  We are very happy with the progress made on this gearbox.  We also worked to finish detailing the drivebase and all of the remaining parts were sent to the manufacturing team.

The grabber with roller gearbox.