As I watched my fellow teammates demolish our prototype today, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t gone forever. In fact, it’ll be back, by tomorrow night, better than ever!

Today we finally discovered an effective and efficient design for a blocking mechanism (hint: PVC pipes and elastic) that fits right into our current prototype. With this addition, our robot will effectively be able to attack all aspects of the game, making us invaluable in any game strategy (yes, really). But it was still hard to say goodbye to prototype Mark 1, although Cody did lighten the mood by posing with our base :).

COdy

The newly welded base and revised cannon are almost ready to go- but we’re still waiting on the swerve wheels. As soon as those come in, we can have a fully functioning robot!

We’ve also started making some progress in machining our custom base plates. The CNC was running smoothly until (not really sure what happened here) the drill bit split right down the middle. Amy immediately panicked, and while Sneha and I sarcastically teased her for thinking it was our only metal bit of that size we discovered a troubling fact: it was our only one. 🙁 So machining is temporarily on hold until we can find some bits.

We also had a lovely guest today, Ms. Khushboo Brahmbhatt, a regional FIRST volunteer through Americorp. She was fantastic company, and we’d like to sincerely thank her for her support and interest: it’s always great to hear from the other side of the broadcast!

Finally, programming continues to make progress with vision sighting. They seem to have hit a temporary roadblock with detetcting different hues, but they’re working on it. Also, hardcore swerve research is ongoing and they’ve come up with a plan to initially control the robot without encoders, providing all x-y motion as well as a turn (with a joystick twist!). They do plan to incorporate the sensors after the initial run, but they’re still feeling in the dark without the drive train to test with. (I know, can they get here already?!)

And I hope that’s it… 😛 It’s starting to get rather chilly again and my belly is quite full with Chicken Kitchen’s “Wrapito” (not very -ito at all). The goal is to have 2 functioning robots by the end of the week! Ambitious? Yes. But also possible.

Also (I haven’t told Brian yet :P) but I’ll be blogging this week. I owe him one and besides, you’ve missed me, right?

-Mayuri

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