Our designs are completed and practice bot is mechanically complete and basically all wired up. The final robot is now in assembly. Now the struggle most teams including us have is the dreaded weight limit. We are currently 124 lbs and we are swiss-cheesing everything. I think we will be fine, just a couple more holes… and a couple more after that.. and then some more… I hope we are charging the drill batteries. Tomorrow we will hopefully practice and get stacking.

In other news, Awards has been working hard on getting everything completed, Spirit is making sure that the Ninjineers return as the most spirited team.

Besides that, we are overall pretty prepared for the season.

Damian

This build season is already getting away from us… who can believe there’s only one full week left??

Luckily for me (and Damian) who have really been running out of random banter to post, our robot is basically done (besides encoders), so we can start telling you about the actual mechanisms!

First of all, mecanum, but if you’ve been keeping up, you already know that ;).

Secondly, we created a stacking mechanism not too unlike a tennis ball retriever in concept. It has a flap on a hinge that opens towards the top but doesn’t give towards the bottom, acting as a support over the lip of the totes/garbage cans. In the image below, the stacker is all the way down next to the wheels. And before you ask… yes, our “hinge” is made from shreds of a Home Depot bucket.

Isn’t she a beauty?

We also have a bunch of bonus appendages and a sick autonomous to share with you, but I’ll leave that to Damian XD.

Also, Andrey, Prajesh, and I went up to the Boca/Delray campus today to check out their progress and help out however we could. I must say, I was very impressed with the level of dedication and creativity they have. They’ve made great progress, especially considering they’re a rookie team, and Andrey helped with programming autonomous, I bombarded them with imagery, entrepreneurship, and organizational tasks, and Prajesh and Massimo helped them mount the stacker onto their base. Things are looking great up there too, and I’m super excited for the amazing seasons ahead of both of our teams. Also, mushroom pizza courtesy of Tai. Yum.

Finally, we’ve been working on a pretty exciting video project that *will* be released soon, so stay tuned!

-Mayuri

(P.S. Left shark was the real MVP.)

Testing, testing, testing. Today Gooby tested his code on the practically finished practice bot and man, everything is going a bit better than I had expected. There are few things we need to fix, but they are minor things that should be a quick fix tomorrow. Our game plan after auto is to take the yellow totes straight to the step and leave them there for Co-Op opportunities. Hopefully the opposing alliance can add one more tote to the step. One of our debates so far have been between Human Feeding vs Landfill feeding. The more we practice, the more practical landfill feeding seems. Breaking up the landfill wasn’t as difficult as we previously thought, a couple of “strategic” rams into the totes makes the slide out in different directions which makes feeding easier for us. We need to do timed practice to see how many stacks of 6 we can make in the teleop time. As of now, I think we could do about two stacks per game which might be serious points in the long run. Practice will be key to this game, and also necessary so drivers are comfortable and know limits of the stacks the robot. I am mentally ready for South Florida, now we need a robot ready.

 

And a quick update on the spreadsheet.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.17.14 PM

Here is the a preview of the setup page! As you can see, we are trying to keep it user friendly. Once you type in the 4-letter event code, select scouting position, and press the “Update Match Schedule” button, the scout is set up. Scouts also have the option of editing dialog box messages on another sheet from here. This makes it customizable for every scout. Hope you are excited!

 

Damian

Hey everyone, we’re back from the dead.

Senioritis is so real, all I want to do nowadays is sleep.

Anyway, we’ve made some solid progress over the past two days. A lot of our vex stuff came in and Andrey hooked up our pneumatics to test all of the robot appendages. We tested out our autonomous strategy several times with different layouts, and the current design seems to have really consistent execution.

Also, the mecanum debate keeps coming up- balance vs. maneuverability, etc. but we basically decided to put them on and see how the robot moves. Hopefully it will remain balanced enough to strafe properly.

Finally, Damian made a beautiful spreadsheet for scouting this game that we’ll share on Chief Delphi soon. We’ve been working on adding some macros to create a simpler and more user friendly experience. It’s compatible with all versions of excel and totally gorgeous, if I may say so myself. Stay tuned!!

Sorry for the short post, I’m kind of limited on what I’m allowed to show and stay but you’ll get some proper updates and photos as soon as we start practicing- I promise :P.

-Mayuri

So today being a long day, we were able to get a lot of the time-consuming things done that we don’t always have time for in our weekday schedule.

Since the main framework of our robot is done, Gooby too the liberty of creating a very light-wieght electrical board.

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It was cut out to fit the frame, and the octagons maintained the rigidity while keeping weight low (they also look pretty freaking cool).

Today we almost finished mounting all the gear boxes for mecanum. Due to size constraints, we need to run belts to two of the wheels which make life a tad more difficult but still completely doable.

Today Asad (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) and I worked on the scouting spreadsheet and got a lot done on it. There are plenty of logistical things that need to be worked out so scouts can work more efficiently, but as soon as we work out every problem, we will post it here and on CD.

Lastly Fedex. According to many members on our team, the challenge this week was extremely complicated. But they think they got it. They said something about multivariable calculus, but that is above my head, so have fun!

Damian

 

(Hope everything goes good with your mecanum William!)

TOTES! Today some of the totes we ordered from AndyMark came in, and that will make practice more realistic than using the old KOP totes that have seen some wear over the years. Tomorrow we have no school thanks to conference day, so that means a nice long work day! And best of all, our pneumatics will most likely come in tomorrow! This will make out weekend extremely productive since we have two long work days back to back.

Today the Scouts started the spreadsheet today, and we are now looking for all possible ways to make this our most optimized scouting system yet. Thinking that most of the game will be every robot doing their job to score, a lot of the scouting will be measuring points and seeing efficiency (which generates more points).

And to wrap up the night, we did the FedEx innovation challenge which was for describing hydraulic principals (Pascal!)

Mayuri is gone for a Model UN trip, so talk to you guys tomorrow!

Damian

Wow, what a busy day.

I walked in after school today to a packed lab– people were everywhere working on everything, and we really got a lot done.

On the mechanical end, our gearboxes are assembled and ready to mount as soon as we finalize the base. Our stacking mechanism is in its final stages- a few tweaks here and there and it’ll be fully functional and effective. One of the biggest issues we noticed today involved a slight underestimation of the height of the scoring platform… oops…. But no harm done, we have an easy fix that shouldn’t take long to implement.

The electrical/programming team has started laying out the board for the year and planning how to fit it onto the unorthodox base. They’ve also made significant progress on the LabView code for the season and our young’uns are working hard on learning Java for upcoming seasons and programming flexibility. Their steady progress and dedication gives me optimism to dare to hope that this time the Java team will pull through. 🙂 Kudos to the sophomores and freshmen showing a lot of motivation to keep this going!

Finally, PR and team management had waaay too much fun with our second FedEx challenge today. We worked on the Woodie Flowers essay until dinner, then realized we had just over 2 hours to complete the video challenge. This led to a lot of frantic printing, GoPro antics, taping signs to Damian’s “one-pack”, fake angry Vish, and over-acting Amy- all of which led to a pretty entertaining 15 seconds. We hit publish just minutes before the 8:30 deadline.

You can watch the video below, and I promise that as soon as I have a few free minutes, I’ll make a GIF (pronounced like the peanut butter brand) of Damian’s Happy Dance. Enjoy!

-Mayuri

And there goes 1/6th of our build season! Sounds pretty scary when you say it like that….

However, I might go so far as to say this past week has been our most productive first week since I joined (ever?), with tons of idea generation, prototyping, testing, and a design that will make it onto the final robot!

We’ve had awesome turnouts from all departments and a full and bustling lab, which is always fantastic to see. I am personally so glad to see the underclassmen diving in and getting their hands dirty (literally and figuratively), and we definitely have some budding new talent and leadership already beginning to reveal itself.

Now on to what we’ve actually done :).

Yesterday, we finally made a decision as to which direction we’d feed from and built a working stacker that will probably be the final one. We also made a preliminary base for testing and have begun perfecting the design based on initial problems during testing. We also blew the dust off of our mecanum wheels as the lack of defense and versatility of movement required make it an ideal drive train for Recycle Rush. We do not anticipate big problems with balance, but in case the mecanum cannot support the totes, we do have some back up plans. 🙂

mecanum

Outreach and Management are finalizing sponsor information, t-shirt designs, and imagery plans, and are beginning work on awards essays. So begins a long season of revisions…. D:

labor

Also, we had a bit too much fun with our entry for the FedEx weekly challenge, and enlisted quite a bit of labor to make dozens of paper airplanes… how many of them actually demonstrate Bernoulli’s Principle (read: fly) is a bit questionable. 😀

fedex

I’m not sure if it’s brainstorming, build, or just general high spirits but Recycle Rush is slowly starting to grow on me… 🙂

-Mayuri

I think we are getting there.

 

we are prepared to finalize prototyping and get onto CADing the final robot. Our lifter requires a bit more tweaking before we say it is perfect but, it has come along way from earlier this week. Our chassis is nearly set, today we remembered that we needed a battery… So a quick re-design was needed to accommodate the battery. We have all the gearboxes and wheels needed for mecanum drive do hopefully we can wrap that up tomorrow. Gene has been CNCing the chassis components and even managed to set off the fire alarm (A Brian in the making). While we were waiting for parts to be finished, Goob made a frisbees (not like we have some from 2013 or anything…) using the bottom of a home depot bucket and managed to make it fly surprisingly well.

 

Today was productive and tomorrow will be a big day.

Damian

Today Mayuri and Jeni were out sick, which stinks, but we are all getting a bit sick and that is bad during build season.

We are slowly trying to find the optimal ways to play the game and hopefully the prime strategy will come together as we continue to rack our brains and think of more inventive ways to play the game.

In terms of the robot, we are still modifying what we think is our almost final design. We think that we are 90 Percent there, soon we will have everything done in CAD which will be useful in assembly. A lot of the current prototypes are pretty solid.

The non robot side of the team is doing a pretty nice job, they are currently summarizing the rule book for those that have not been able to read the manual. The manual must be read and understood by next week. This is a must. Also Sherlyn and her team are still strategizing and looking for key points to scout without making an insane amount of information for scouts to scout (When scouts have a lot to do in a 2.5 minute game, they tend to have inaccurate information).

Still excited and the build season tiredness has not set in yet.

Big thanks to Pedro’s parents for the awesome dinner tonight. Thank you!

I should probably start my homework now,

Damian