Posts Tagged ‘ parts

Days 36 & 37: Driving Robots

After countless hours of gearbox building, wiring and troubleshooting, the practice robot is finally driving.  Furthermore, we have assembled one set of  bumpers.

Day 35: Gearboxes, Field Trips, Bumpers and More

Today at the lab, we got our parts back from the anodize shop which allowed us to finally start assembling gearboxes.  Everything looks great and this task should be finished in the next few days.

Pressing bearings into the gears and plates.

Gearbox parts awaiting assembly.

Unmounted gearbox.

A mounted gearbox with one motor.

Mounted gearbox.

On a separate note, we had several FIRST Lego League students who came to tour the lab today.

Nagy speaking to the FLL students.

Also today, the manufacturing and assembly teams were hard at work finishing the bumper frames. We will wrap fabric on the bumper frames tomorrow to hopefully finish the bumpers.

The minibot team has just about completed the CAD model of the final minibot. The design is now due for review and manufacturing in the next few days.

Minibot climbing the tower.

Days 29 & 30: Wiring Weekend

First of all, I apologize for not putting a post up last night.  I got home late and forgot to grab pictures off the camera before leaving and thought that a blog post without pictures might be a bit boring.

Anyway, today was our big weekend of wiring the robot.  After countless man-hours of work put in by many dedicated team members, the practice robot wiring is complete and the competition robot is half-way complete.  We are still waiting on some components to mount on the comp robot electronics board before we can finish wiring.

Laying down wires.

The practice robot's electronics board.

On Sunday, we were able to successfully test all of the speed controllers and relays on the practice robot.

Machining is coming along well too.  The gears for the gearboxes are almost done being lightened and we are sending out many parts to anodize in the morning.

The programming and controls team has been hard at work.  We have put together joysticks for the control board and have worked to put provisions into the code for the control board.

Day 28: We Have Robots!

Today, we got parts back from both the anodize and powder coat shops and began assembling and wiring the frames.  Our sponsors are the best, allowing us to get frames powder coated in 1.5 days so that we can catch up on our schedule.

Powder Coated Robot Frame=

Powder Coated Arms.

Mounting electronics.

Wiring

Completed speed controller wiring on the practice robot.

The Robot with Superstructure.

The robot with last year's bumpers.

Day 26: It’s Beginning to Look like Robots

Manufacturing

Today, we received all of our parts back from the welding sponsors.  All of the welds look great and beautiful and we were able to begin assembling parts.  The frames are being brought to the powder coating sponsor early in the morning and will be powdercoated soon.

Welded drivebase.

Battery Box

Bumper Support.

Welded arm.

Assembled frame.

Full frame shot.

In other news, manufacturing and prototyping continued and we got a shipment of parts in today.  We hope to finish machining in the next week.

Day 22: Programming, Prototyping, Manufacturing

Programming

Today, the programming team was hard at work on a number of projects.  Their PID control of the robot is starting to work aweseome and the robot is at the point where it can traverse the whole field while only turning 1° (this translates to a ~1″ left-right difference from perfectly straight)

The programming team hard at work.

Furthermore, Daniel was able to implement motion control as a new method of controlling the robot.  Using a PS3 controller, he has full control of the robot’s drivetrain, as demonstrated in the video below.

Prototyping

The prototyping group was hard at work today working on a completely new minibot prototype.  After a review of the engineering design process, they worked on a new design that should deploy onto the pole even easier than any of the other prototypes.  The design is slow and climbs the pole in about ten seconds, but is a step forward as far as deployment goes.

The current minibot design.

Manufacturing

Today, the manufacturing team was working on a number of parts.  They finished the carriage bearing blocks and grabber piston mount pieces.  Furthermore, the group was able to machine the short plugs for the arm pivot tube and the arm pivot tubes.  Finally, they turned the polycarbonate spool body for the elevator spool.

Finished Carriage Bearing Blocks.

Finished arm pivot tube with plug.

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 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 12: Prototyping, Manufacturing & Design Progress

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping group continued to work on prototypes for the Minibot.  Their prototype successfully latches onto the bar, but does not have the proper weight distribution and contact with the pole to climb.  With weight added to balance it, it can climb a few inches before popping off of the pole.  More tweaking will happen tomorrow to try to improve the design.

Minibot Prototype

The Minibot Climbing the Pole

Manufacturing

The machining for the frame side rails was completed today.

Completed Side Rails

Furthermore, a separate team worked hard to cut and mill the bumper mount pieces.  These should be completed tomorrow.

Half completed bumper mount pieces.

Design

The design team was working on the arm today.  Progress is being made on the design.

Current concept for the tube grabber.

The design team also finalized the mounting of the motor to pivot the arm within the carriage.  The whole motor is mounted to a plate that slides vertically to tension the chain.

Motor mount in the carriage.