On Saturday, January 20th, the two week mark for the building period, the robot became mobile. The team took it out for its first test spin at 2:30 p.m. that day in the new Brehm gymnasium. After having worked on the project for five straight hours, the team was thrilled to see the project zooming around the open floor with only the help of a wireless controller. When a student member, Grant G., was asked how it felt to see the robot move for the first time, he answered, “I felt more motivated to build the robot and go into the competition.” That is quite a positive answer from a team that only one day before was struggling to find the right connections and code to program the electronics system. Although they had set a goal for bot-mobility by January 19th, they achieved their objective only one day later.
Upon seeing the robot move, I was very impressed with how fast this little machine can go. The controller the team has chosen looks like the consoles video-game lovers use to drive cars in computer games. All the device needs is a slight tilt of the lever and it is off and running. According to Joe Viscomi, the team director, this robot can run at full speed 12.1 feet per second (8.25 mph). This is the calculation with two
forty pound weights replacing what will soon be the arm. Other developments of this week have been a new program to control the turning range of the robot, and a new design for the arm (a required part of the robot to allow it to pick up the game pieces needed for the competition
As for the arm, the team has decided on a final design. The former blueprint for this specific piece of equipment included a three part, complicated contraption, which when tested, was ineffective. Still, there is hope for this new idea. Instead of the previous plan, this design resembles the human arm. It will be made of aluminum, and has two different “bones” connected by a steel joint, and a metal claw at the tip. This will run on two motors instead of three, making it easier to operate. Hopefully both of these new designs will be exactly what the team is looking for, and bring us to week three in a good position to face the challenges to come.
By: Sara F., Student, Brehm Preparatory SchoolJanuary 21st, 2007
Topic: Rack N Roll News, Robotics News, Team Produced News Tags: None