Posts Tagged ‘ prototyping

Minibot Ramp

Over the past week or so, we have been experimenting with a ramp-style minibot deployment.

After taking inspiration from some other teams including our friends on The Pink Team, we have determined that this is a potentially much faster method of minibot deployment.  Over the next few days, we will work to come up with a final design and begin manufacturing.

Day 27: Prototyping, Manufacturing & Design

Prototyping

Today, the prototyping group worked on their minibot design.  The minibot is coming together.  However, we have hit a setback in that one of our motors has burned out and we need a replacement.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing team was hard at work today machining a number of plates and lathes for the robot.

The robot frames were dropped off at the powder coat sponsor early this morning and should be completed tomorrow.

A team of students marked out the locations for the embroidered team numbers on the bumpers.  They will be embroidered beginning tomorrow.

Design

Today the design team worked on the design for the bumpers and the control board.  We are hoping to get the control boards cut on a CNC router but are looking for potential sponsors.

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 25: Manufacturing, Prototyping, Whole-Team Meeting

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is really in full swing in N246.  We are churning out new parts every hour and the horizontal bandsaw hardly stopped cutting stock today.  We should have a productive week ahead.

Bobby on the lathe.

Prototyping

The minibot prototyping group continued to prototype their minibot design using several custom-built parts.  The prototype is not yet complete.

Soldering leads onto a motor.

Whole-Team Meeting

Today was a whole-team meeting and parent meeting at the lab.  We met to get status updates from each subgroup captain.  The meeting went awesome.

The programming team speaks to some of the parents during the parents meeting.

Day 24: Manufacturing, Prototyping & Programming

Manufacturing

The manufacturing team was hard at work today on the mill, lathe and CNC mill.  We made countless shafts and spacers, several major CNC’d parts that need to be powdercoated and worked on endcaps and the elevator second stage side rails on the manual mill.

Team members prepare shaft blanks for turning.

Design & Prototyping

The design and prototyping groups were busy today working on their iteration of the minibot design.  With this design, they are trying to make the robot as lightweight and fast as possible utilizing several minibot-legal custom parts including a sheet metal frame.  The prototype was not yet completed.

Several team members work to refine the minibot conceptual design.

Team members making drawings for parts.

Programming & Controls

The programming & controls team was working on a number of tasks today including preparing our new Custom Controls Interface for interfacing with the software.  Furthermore, they are working on the simulator and working to setup the new 2011 wireless bridge.

Programming team hard at work.

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 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.