SW Build Blog: Week One

Here’s the first week of the Steamworks build blog! If you missed kickoff, you can find that here. In this post, updates will be added daily as we go throughout Week One (1/9 through 1/14).

Day 01 (1/9/17)

Today we had a discussion on setting reasonable deadlines for each sub-team and checked inventory from the new Kit of Parts. We had another discussion about the robot and decided to us a west coast drive. We also had to choose robot dimensions, and after much deliberation, we picked the wider volume, 36 in. by 40 in. by 24 in. tall rather than the 30 in. by 32 in. by 36 in. tall to allow easier access to the gear feeder station as well as placing the gear onto the peg. This would also have better ground fuel pickup and more room for the electronics. Once finished, builders Kenny and Corbin made a cardboard prototype to collect gears. It was a pouch with a partially open front and back so the peg could easily go through the holes within the gears. Dustin started to prototype the hanging mechanism using an old kit bot. The programming sub-team installed Lab View onto the club laptops while the electronics team organized wires onto a newly-made shelf.

Day 02 (1/10/17)

We began the day with the fabrication team making a metal prototype to collect gears going off of the cardboard pouch and performing a rough test with the gear. As Ara held up a sheet of metal at a 20 degree angle, she slid the gear into the gear system. This was repeated multiple times, then revised because the gear was not consistently falling inside (i.e. aligned correctly). We made the sides of gear system a little loose to open and close around the gear and plan to use piston actuators to open and close around the gear as well as angle it to be more consistent. Dustin got the hanging mechanism to work with the old kit bot. The robot had three little pegs in a triangular shape around a cylindrical object that was connected to a battery. The three pegs would catch the rope which would have a loop at the end of it and the robot would reel itself up. Although it was a rough test, this prototype worked with the kit bot. Within the programming team, Dennis taught Sonja Lab View. Within the CAD team, Steve and Ina began Solidworks files of the chassis and bumpers. Overall, the entire team felt productive this work session.

Day 03 (1/11/17)

The fabrication team finished the revised version of the gear collector as well as getting the old kit bot to hang higher than 4' 10"! The gear collector was in the shape of a trapezoid. Silas and Kenny designed it to open and close with a piston. The hanging mechanism was the same design but with a ratchet mechanism to the axle would only spin one way but that turned into a problem when taking the robot down. Another big accomplishment was made within the team today! Within the field elements team, the Loading Station was completed. Within the programming team Dennis, the head of programming taught Sonja, Brandon, and Kimo more about programming. Sonja said she learned a basic drive programming using Begin.vi and Finish.vi sections of the program. The electronics team taught some of the members from other sub teams how to solder and crimp.

Day 04 (1/12/17)

Much was started and learned today. The one thing completed today was the gear collector prototype. Pistons and PVC was added, pistons to open and close the it and PVC to keep the gear from slipping out. We also started mounting the gear collector and hanging mechanism on Galahad. The CAD team finished the bumpers. The programming team downloaded Java Eclipse IDE and experimented with it.

Day 05 (1/13/17)

The CADing team gathered the measurements for the chassis and bumpers and coordinated them. Almost the whole entire chassis was completed today. There are still a few touches to add, but plans are to finish it tomorrow. The field elements team created a hook on a peg with touch sensor simulators and began construction of the hopper. The team plans on completing the construction of the hopper. The fabrication team mounted the gear manipulator onto Galahad. With it mounted, accurate experiments can be conducted to test its reliability and consistency. The wiring team rewired Galahad to test Dennis' LabVIEW program as well as the gear pocket prototype. As soon as Galahad is driving tomorrow then an official test can be done onto Galahad. 

Day 06 (1/14/17)

Now that we have Galahad (prototype drive) driving and the gear collector working, Caleb started to make a new gear collector so that we could pick them up from off the floor. The collector is a pneumatic claw that opens and closes with a linear slider. When the claw is mounted, we plan to hinge it. The problem was that there was a lack of pressure when the plexiglass closed around the gear so small sheets must be added to the top and bottom to keep the gear from slipping out. Our president, Ara, mentor, Matt, and senior member, Josh had a small discussion on the hopper (fuel collector). They concluded 10 in. by 25 in. would be the minimum size hopper 50 wiggle balls (fuel). We plan to have the group discussion on Monday. The programming team got the programming up and running and set up the drive as well as three double acting solenoids to run the drive dear shift, gear collector, and one to possibly for fuel collection.

Weekly Conclusion

This week, we have gotten Galahad (prototype drive) to work, make two prototype gear collectors, and two field elements! 

You can find Week Two, here!