Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Hey folks, this is an important announcement:

This blog will no longer be used by our team. Our team will be joining forces with Team Gets for the final VEX robot challenge, and all future blog posts will be on their blog:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 11 (5/6 - 5/10) Goals

We're raising the flag, throwing in the towel, however you wanna say it. 60/100. Good news is: we've done the SolidWorks finally. Behold!

(I'm sorry the SolidWorks picture can't be larger, but the next size up would send it off the page).

We will now disassemble our racquetball robot and proceed with the new challenge. It's chassis (basic skeleton) is already in production. Oh, and that's not an optical illusion. It's really that big.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week 10 (4/29 - 5/3) Outcomes

This week, we lowered the position of the gears on the tower, so the end effector would end up lower relative to the hoop.

We've also been trying to attach an effective counterweight to the back, so that the robot doesn't topple forward or swerve unpredictably with any sudden movement.

The black gears on the end effector were free to move back and forth along the axle, and that was inferring with the continuum. This little wheel is a quick-fix, makeshift addition to prevent further difficulty.

On Friday, we finally tested our functional, albeit flawed, robot. We scored a lackluster 75/120, which was then sadly reduced to 55/120 because we were supposed to have this challenge completed a few days ago. We will improve the design on Monday, test it again, and hopefully score far higher. Dylan will complete the SolidWorks over the weekend.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week 10 (4/29 - 5/3) Goals

Mr. Martin (our teacher) will be taking 10% off the final grade per day late for the robot's preformance, starting this week. I'm writing this on Tuesday, so we're already 10% off if we complete it today. Unfortunately, our robot is remains in the same inoperative condition as last week, so we're doing A LOT of fine-tuning and tweaking. We must find that combination of metal shape, motor position, etc. that served us well before.

Our robot will be preforming on Wednesday (tomorow), hopefully. Then, we will do the SolidWorks for this version of the bot while simulaneously moving on to the next challenge.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 9 (4/22 - 4/26) Outcome

We've since added these picer-like things to the end affector. Now, picking up the ball is significantly faster - we don't even have to ram the ball against a wall anymore. Still pretty hard though.

Unfortunately, throughout this week, we've been encountering many technical problems, and the effectiveness of our end affector has declined. Near the end of the week, to fix these problems, we've started by redoing our gear tower. But, we still have a long way to go, and only so much time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 9 (4/22 - 4/26) Goals

Last week, our primary difficulty with the racquetball challenge was that we couldn't get the ball inside the continuum initially. We would drive the ball into a wall then try to force the ball inside. The reason it was near-impossible to get in was the top bar of the end effector, which I suggested we bend back:

Voila! Not sure why, but the end effector reminds us of a serpent or dragon of some sort...

Anyway, with that problem out of the picture, our second-biggest problem was the friction of the wall when we would move the ball up. Twice now, we've dislocated our gears trying to force the ball, and it is quite time-consuming to realign them.

As you can see, the bottom gear has been dislocated...  =(

We will continue to come up with solutions to these obstacles, and, no doubt, encounter new ones throughout the week.

Week 8 (4/15 - 4/19) Outcome

We've bent the corners of the end effector so that the ball doesn't roll off the edges when it exits the continuum. I took a picture of this adjustment... in WIIIIIIIIIDESCREEEEEEEEN (just kidding, I cropped it).

Here's some teamwork for the books. Someone from another team is helping us program our Autonomous, and in exchange, we're letting his team use some of our supplies and some of our design ideas for his robot.

So now it's Friday, and we're going to test our robot. Let's do this.

And now... for what is, I believe, to be the very first video on this blog...

As you saw in the video, the continuum itself, for the most part, works like magic. But what you didn't see was our problems with actually picking up the ball for the first time. So, we must come up with a solution for that next week.