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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Allllive!!

Another great day of work for Team 3313 Mechatronics. The team worked on a bunch of different projects including: brainstorming the connection of the gatherer and shooter, making the vertical electrical board, putting together the bridge, making the robot drive, and writing the business plan.

The biggest excitement of the day was that we FINALLY got our KitBot to drive. Hard to explain how exciting this development is. As our team tweeted, "I wonder if this is how Dr. Frankenstein felt." Getting the robot to drive was a big undertaking by the programming team (kudos to Colin and Megan) along with the electrical team (among them, Bryce, Spencer, and Jordan). Getting the robot to drive allows the programming team to test out how their code works and also leads the electrical team to fix problems like gear boxes not working or chains being too loose. One funny moment while trying to accomplish this was that we lost a key for a gear box (a very small piece of metal that allows the motor to connect to the sprocket which turns the wheel). The team walked around and dragged their feet like zombies to find it.

Vertical electrical board almost done
Once we got the robot to drive, we were able to take some of it apart. This may seem strange but some of the pieces from the KitBot need to go on our new vertical electrical board so we had to take those off once we knew they worked. Bryce and Bydlon ran power cables to all of the components on the board and all that is left for tomorrow is putting on the walls and running data cables. The layout is very compact and the team did a nice job of wire management (not a strong suit of Mechatronics in the past).

The other big project for today was putting together the bridge that we can practice on. Brandon and Tyler did an awesome job of getting started. All of the wood was cut last night but they still had to organize it and figure out where each piece fits. It should be finished tomorrow which will be a great asset to use once we have our actual robot together in a week or so.

Tyler and Brandon working on bridge
We started to think about how the shooter and gatherer will connect. We facilitated the brainstorming by shortening the shooter and gatherer so they actually fit together. We had to bring a couple parts over to Alex Tech to get shortened. Not much progress on this other than putting them on top of each other and staring at it. Still good to get started.

Lastly, Jenna kept up her work on the team Business Plan for the Entrepreneurship Award. Her perseverance on such an arduous and tedious piece is amazing.

More excitement tomorrow when we have a vertical electrical board and a bridge to stand on. Thank for reading!

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