Engineering Log Entries
The Techno Guards team has decided to open up their engineering notebook for viewing by anyone that is interested. Please feel free to browse the entries as much as you would like to! Almost all of them have a significant number of photos to show the process that they went through to get Alice (the robot) ready for competition.
Today is our last meeting before we leave for competition. We spent several days during the week with extra meetings, getting everything we need done. Today we are almost done, with just some autonomous to finish up, pieces and tools to pack up, and BOM to be finalized. Once we finished that, we went on to practice driving, with our two teams. Gavin worked on the autonomous to get the robot across the bridge and grab the doubler baton, and also the autonomous to empty the low rack and shoot all the batons into the one point goal, across the cliff. We spent some Read more »
Today was primarily spent working on programs and fixing some of the older ones. When placing the robot in starting position we saw some smoke coming from the robot. Upon closer inspection and the removal of batteries we found a servo wire had heated up and melted. Replacing it we found we had shorted it.
This morning, Gavin, Karl and myself met at the house early and got to work. Mostly we worked on figuring out the spitter paddles. The original plastic ones we had built didn't have enough force to successfully 'spit' the batons up over the cliff. Since we realize the new intake, we don't have to eject them as fast and so we cut it down to one paddle - which gave us more flexibilty on the placement of the paddle. It ended up longer, but shoots the batons further- which is what we wanted. Read more »
Today is one week and counting until we go to World in St. Louis. We have a lot of different jobs to do, and after discussing what was needed (and writing it on the whiteboard) - we each started to work on the tasks at hand.
One of the things we are most excited about is putting some sound into our robot box. This has been a dream we've had for awhile. Ever since we first went to Worlds, 3 years ago as FLL Lego Guards-Power Puzzle - and saw this awesome FRC team's robot cart with an incredible sound system. Read more »
Today was the first of the many extra meeting to come in the week before the World Festival. Primary goals were to get the hand done and ready for mounting and use. With that in mind Chris and I started early in the morning to begin the detail oriented work on the hand. Taking a break half way though to work on the chassis a little bit, deciding some of the wiring would best be handled by Al, who would come over the next day. Read more »
Today we worked on build the hand and testing all of the variations that can be used for the high scoring auto program or the quicker dump during the driver controlled period. Al placed all of the parts on the hand on CAD and I put the parts on the hand. The new hand is going to be able to dump batons with more precision and more quickly than before. Chris worked on replacing shafts on the robot and placing new chain on the chassis. Karl and Chris also rewired the motors to allow for increased movement. Al and I then tested the new launcher and it worked w Read more »
Today the team had a breif PR meeting, opened up the package from the laser printing company, bent the hand, bent components for the hand, fixed the gear boxes, and built a stand for Alice so that it could stance in and out without Chris having to hold it. A full day with a lot acomplished!
The to-do list for upcoming meetings
Today we worked on the script, the hand, and some easy demo bots. Overall it was a very productive meeting and all tasks were completed early. Unfortunately the detail cuts of the hand didn't come out as good as we wanted, so we have to spend the $50 to get two pieces laser cut. We'll order them and they should be here by next meeting.
After the presentation at the Lions Club in Meadow Vista, we briefly met and decided that Alejandro would be our speaker since he was the only one that was able to take the time to work on practicing it this week. We're confident that he'll do a good job!
Today the team spent the entire meeting building the STEMposium presentation. We were hoping that we'd be able to select the presenter by the end of the meeting, but that didn't happen. Al and Gavin did get a rough draft of the speech done, and Chris and Karl found graphics for use in the multimedia presentation.
We all (except Karl, who doesn't want to) tried reading the script to see who sounds best so far, and after the first run, it was between Chris and Gavin. Read more »
This meeting we did several things.
- We built the driving challenge field and tested the White Rabbit on it - it worked OK, nut we need to make it more stable.
- We decided to put a baton bulldozer blade on the front of Alice so she can push batons into our one point goal. Of course we only need to do that when we're stanced down.
- We added the gyro sensor for turns, so we started programming that into the autonomous. Read more »
Today we worked mainly on the Driving Challenge bot, and the new hand design in CAD. On the hand we are adding two new options for aligning, and putting a new part on the top which is a wheel that will shoot the batons out of the hand as fast as we get them in the front. This will allow us to empty the dispensers in autonomous mode quickly, and so we can cycle through until we find a magnetic baton.
Today we first created a list of things that have to be done in the near future - some of which we know we have to finish today because they are due tomorrow (STEMposium video editing).
We also have decided to put an article onto the Stanceworks forum (along with create a video of Alice stancing) - to show off what our robot can do and get some of their sponsors and engineers aware of FTC. Read more »
Today our entire team had to get up very early to make it to the morning show on CW31 in Sacramento. We were in the studio for 3 hours - the first segment, we talked about FIRST and FIRST Tech Challenge - talked about our challenge for the year and upcoming World Championship. We gave a robot demonstration - and also talked about some of our team missions - like getting legislators involved in FIRST.
The second 2 hours - we were involved in a MacGyver challenge. The studio locked us into a room with an assortment of everyday items and we had to make something useful out of them. Read more »
Our quad balance! After driving and practicing all day we were able to get faster at getting batons, dispensing batons, and grabbing the rolling goals. While practicing getting at least both rolling goals we played with the idea of another robot being able to go on the end to hold down the bridge. Then using auto balance we were able to just sit back and watch.
Today I came over by myself to work on programming the robot for state competition. I had to finish programing the doubler baton grab, for autonomus mode and the score and balance during autonomous - and a defensive program that would sit us in front of the doubler baton dispenser.
I also worked on finishing the tele-operated program for the drive team which looks like it will be Chris driving and Karl doing arms. The next step will be for them to get some good driving practice in.
Today Gavin came over early to work more on finishing some of the autonomous programs. Primarily, to work on the 'get over the mountain' program that will allow us to score and then push the rolling goal over the mountain to the other side. I worked on finishing some of the plastic armor - upper pieces - that I had already designed in CAD and had printed out. Read more »
Today, I came over for pretty much the entire day to work on programming the robot.
I concentrated on creating several autonmous programs. I got the following:
1. Got 5 starting batons scoring
2. Got the balance on the bridge to work! Woo Hoo!
- To do the balancing, we use both the accelerometer and the gyrosensor at the same time. The gyro is mounted sideways- which then tells us when the bridge is moving. So, when it is moving - we stop - and when it is moving we try and balance. Read more »
This is our last big meeting - with everyone here - before the Nor Cal Tournament next Sunday.
We started out the meeting going over the tasks to do (see photo below) and got to work. During the week, Gavin will come over on his own a couple of days to work on programming. Chris and I have to spend time together to practice driving the robot, and Al is spending time to finish up PR stuff and CAD drawings. Read more »
This was our first big meeting of winter break. We have a bunch of stuff that we have to get done and we made a list of things to accomplish on the white board (see last photo for 'before' and 'after')
We probably won't get to the plastic today, but hope to have the robot moving by the end of the meeting. Everyone will be here today, and Al and I will be spending the night - so we should be able to accomplish a lot today. Read more »
Our biggest goal this meeting is to get all the prototype board sensors mounted and wired to the prototype board. This includes soldering and connecting. AL is also going to focus on making the wiring harness for the servors on the hand, and feeding those all the way back to the servo controller. It would be really cool if we could get the robot 'legs' on by the end of the meeting too - as Alice looks a bit odd without her legs attached. Read more »
Today was just the 3 of us at the meeting and we are going to take Karl's idea that he did in CAD and rebuild the legs of the robot. His idea will lower the chassis by an inch and a 1/2 which will then give us a lower center of gravity and should make it easier to get over the mountain. It will also shrink the width of the Alice at widest stance from 26 to 23 inches. That way, we can still go across the bridge when we are stanced.
We have a bunch of soldering to do to finish the prototype board, and hope to get the hand attached. Read more »
Today we have a bunch of little projects to achieve, but all of them are important. Coach started us out with figuring out what our priorities were, and we wrote them onto the white board and designated which team member should work on which project. Then, we commensed to get to work. We have a good team that each can work on their own or together and I am confidant we will achieve much today. Read more »
Yes, the new hand looks like it should work, but the way we tried to mount it onto the arm didn't seem to adjust easy enough. It is time for some new ideas. Instead of making it spin on plastic pieces, I had the idea that we make it move left and right and front and back on shafts.
I started to design it in CAD, but found it was faster to build it in real life first to make sure the concept works. Chris and I put the ideas together and think it will do what we want it to do. Read more »
This was a long and big meeting - and both Gavin and Alejandro wrote part of today's engineering log.
Today we have GOT to get the new hand design finalized, and the hand built. Plus, we're going to try to figure out the prototype board's digital stuff so we can use limit switches from there.
We still do not have a hand finalized, and are still coming up with ideas for it. One of the big ideas is to use the idea of a locomotive oval rotary to linear action. We are focusing on that concept today, and know that we have to complete the hand pronto.
Using Lego gears to get our servos to have more speed for a new concept for a grabber.
Our entire team worked very hard to organize, set up and run the first ever Granite Bay FLL Tournament. We worked hard and had a great time -and all of the FLL teams and family/friends had a great time too.
We introduced a lot of young FLL members to FTC today - which was a blast too. Read more »
Today we competed at the Intel FTC Qualifier. Although our new hand and autonomous programs were not ready for competition, we were not worried as we have already qualifed for Nor Cal State - and our goal for this event instead was to practice driving, help set up/take down competition fields, help out as needed at the event and help mentor as many other teams as we could.
We had a great time and accomplished all of our goals. Read more »
In order to make the arms move to the right spots and stay there, we had to come up with a way to control them. Since the motors want to drift after telling them to stop (even if the right command is given in software), we figured that we'd have to come up with a method of controlling them based on the position (from the prototype board). Read more »
Today was the first meeting with all of us back together - and after the Qualifier. We discussed things we needed to do - and our mentor taught us what a Gantt Chart is and how to use it.
At the qualifier, we decided that your current hand works- but is too slow. We really want to come up with an idea that works accurately and fast.
We had a big list of things to accomplish - but ran out of time to complete everything. We got the gear assemblies locked, we replaced set screw on axle collars and did work on some concepts (and had a lot of discussion) on a new hand. Read more »
To Do List:
Team number on robot - done
Engineering blog print
Samantha Module - done
Motor Lead Holders - done
Community Binder - done
Bill Of Materials
Cover for controllers - done
Battery Holder - done
Wrist Attachment - done
Bridge Lower Rollers - done
Attach Hand - done
Hand and Wrist wiring - done
Flag Holder - done
Main Motor wiring/check - done Read more »
Today Gavin worked on programming the wrist, the arm, and the stance as well as working on limits for the each on of the joints on the robot. Karl worked on rebuilding the wrist with a new smaller arm that could support the hand with all the tubes being held.
Karl cutting the piece for the new wrist.
Today we worked on rebuilding the robot's wheel base, and installing the first version of the arm. We changed the wheel from all four on each side being fixed, to it being two sets on each side with suspension so the wheels had a freer range of movement, which will be helpful in going over the mountain. We continued working on the arm, and installed two motors do drive both directions of movement. We needed a working robot for the Auburn Community Festival the next day, so we built a quick "pincher" to put on the end of the arm. Read more »
Today we worked on making the battery pack holder in PTC so that we can eventually make a newer version that looks cleaner. Also we duplicated the chassis so that we have both sides now. We also worked on finishing up the 19 inch variable geometry chassis, along with the new stance gear ratio, being an 18:1, so we feel our robot will have no problem lifting itself. On the PR aspect of things we typed out and sent 20 letters to local engineering companies to promote FIRST, and ask if we could come in and do a presentation of our robot.
Today we worked on cutting, painting and assembling the field. We then worked on designing the basic parts of our robot and each on of the module piece that we are going to use. The team talked about the controling of the arm and stanceworks and its importance on navigating over and around the terrain.
Todays meeting introduced me to the new robot that karl and gavin made while I was away. Its got tons of cool concepts im super excited to get started using! The next thing we began disscussing was team events, The yardsale, the kick off, the fair, and regional competion. Later the team discussed our new concept of E-logs, something were going to introduce at the challenge unvailing. It is a free online Engineering notbook for all teams to use! Lastly we discussed stratigies were going introduce to the new teams that will attend our stratigy siminar.
Karl and Chris tore apart the proof-of-concept robot to try and reverse the stance.
Our first stanced robot, ready to get torn apart.
Drew out some idea's for a stance robot. The idea behind stance being that the robot can spin on a dime and dig into the tiles better when pushed from side to side.