2015 FIRST Build Log: Week 3


Day 15:

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Today there was no school in honor of Martin Luther King day. Regardless, a few of our members decided to meet and get some work done. Today the design team worked on annotated drawings of our chassis so we can submit it for machining to have the frame welded together. Our prototype team has mounted the pneumatic pistons and added the arms to the claw. The basic shape of it was finished. We then had our programmers wire and test their program to close the claw. Unfortunately, the pistons were not strong enough to hold the totes for very long, and they were not long enough to grab the totes the long way.


Day 16:

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

In order to address the issues from the day before, the prototype team made some changes to the claw, adjusting spacing, and drilling larger holes for some stronger pistons. Meanwhile, our design team examined some of the more intricate parts of the CAD. Some adjustments had to be made to the claw and the base of the lift. Meanwhile our programming team continued to research and adjust the program on the kit robot.

Today we also got a few generous donations of quick foods from our club member’s parents. These included hot pockets, chimichanga, chicken patties, instant mac and cheese, and lots of soda. Evidently, lots of the frozen foods were consumed by the end of the day.


Day 17:

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Unfortunately, Most of the hot pockets and chimichangas mysteriously disappeared, most likely due to some general students who use the shop classroom. This became a huge issue for the primary consumers, and resulted in a fierce discussion on how to address the problem.

Today the design team started to CAD the electronics board and sensors. CADing the electronics board is very important to ensure that different parts of the electronic control system can be connected and accessed efficiently when needed. The prototype team continued to adjust the claw prototype as necessary, adjusting the orientation of the gussets and general structure of the mechanism. The programming team took inventory and researched sensors and encoders that we will use on our final robot.

Although we lost our hot pockets and chimichangas, we had the chicken patties and plenty of rice, so we cooked up some of the chicken patties and ate it with rice.


Day 18:

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Today our design team continued to outline the electronics board. Because the way we designed our chassis and lift frame limits the amount of room available for electronics, we have designed multiple layers of our electronics board to make the most use of the space we have. The prototype team continued to make adjustments to the prototype claw, successfully installing larger stronger pistons and adding rubber treads to the claw arms to grip the totes more effectively. This new version was wide enough to grab the totes the long way. The programming team worked on programming buttons to control pneumatics, and did more research on WPI library. Meanwhile, a few of our members have been editing awards documents to make them as best as possible.


Day 19:

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Today the design team continued to model the electronics board and sensors. because this game involves many heavy objects moving around, we must make sure the electronics board is completely covered and protected from any objects that might fall onto the robot. The prototype team continued to refine the claw and ran a few tests with it. Although it successfully grabbed the tote, lifting would make the tote lean forward. The team continued to brainstorm ways to improve the design. Meanwhile the programming team  fixed the wiring on the kit robot to be as efficient as possible. The awards team was also hard at work writing more documents and editing finished essays.

Tonight our generous parents again brought in some home cooked chicken and fried rice, which we ate with some rice that we cooked.


Day 20:

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Today, HVR members awoke early in the morning to set up for Onizuka Day! Onizuka day is a STEM exploration day held annually at UH Hilo in honor of astronaut Ellison Onizuka. At the event we had a booth where we displayed our robots and talked to community members about robotics. We also volunteered to help out at the 2015 TMT Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day Vex IQ tournament.

As soon as the event was over, we went straight back to school to continue with our own robotics work session. Today the programming team set up wireless connection to the kit robot and started programming encoders. Meanwhile our prototype team worked on more adjustments to the claw and lift mechanism. Today we also got our chassis frame welded together and brought in, so we started working on building the chassis, mounting our bearing blocks and axles, and assembling our chassis gearboxes.

Today was a very productive day for both our robot and community outreach. Although there is a lot more work to be done, we are making steady progress, and should be able to quickly assemble our robot as soon as our parts come in. Three weeks have past, and we only have three weeks left. We celebrate the end of our third week with lots of pizza.