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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Wheels on the Robot Go Round and Round

Today was not the best day ever. After working really hard the past three days and having a ton of success picking up balls and shooting them, we finally started to tackle our other issues. Those being: bringing down the bridge (so we can drive over it) and changing the wheels (so we can drive over the bump). The problem is that these issues are not as easily fixed. We also fixed some programming issues, worked on the mascot some more, and finished up getting ready for the Ice Fishing Tournament fundraiser.

Before we started working on the robot again, the team got together and had a meeting. During the meeting, we discussed some important upcoming dates. The dates included the ice fishing tournament, a team movie showing (Real Steel), the last day of build season, the Duluth regional visit, and the U of M Regional. We also discussed a media release form and, in general, how the team is doing. Good times and lots of laughs also occurred.

After that, we moved down to the robot room to start working. Our first task was the completely take apart the bot. This was necessary to fix our wheel situation. Initially, we just threw the kit wheels on but they have a 3" radius. The bump in the middle of the field is 4". This will not work. Our plan is to put 4" radius wheels on stilts and then have two of the 3" radius wheels at the very front of the robot. The small wheels will help the big wheels get a little bit off the ground and then the big wheels will push the rest of the way (that's the plan anyway.........). The mental fatigue of build season definitely showed. Bydlon and Bryce took off and put on the big wheels about 6 times because they kept forgetting to do something or how something would change. For example, the wheels got put on but then they had to make a new hole for the smaller wheels. Then they put the frame pieces on backwards. Then the frame was too low so that had to fixed. We think we finally have a plan that will work which will get done tomorrow.

Ryan and Brandon worked hard on getting an arm mechanism working for pushing down the bridge. We have called them "tusks" in the past but the new mechanism looks remarkably like the minibot arm deployer from last year. It's an arm that swings down with an angle on the front to slide the bridge down. We will test it tomorrow.

Colin and Megan worked their tails off fixing programming issues. We are learning as we go and the new thing we learned today was how to program in a spike relay so we can make a motor got forward and backward. Awesome work by them. 

Jesse and Gabe worked on the mascot some more. They finally an upper body piece that seems to work. Jenna worked on sending out emails to the PMMC and arranging the Ice Fishing Tournament. She also started editing the video for student profiles on the website. Sertoma Club in Alexandria puts on an Ice Fishing Tournament every winter. This year, they asked us to sell pizzas during the tournament. We are working with Dominos on this fundraiser. We get some of the profit for selling the pizzas. It is a really good opportunity for us to make some money and to get some more community exposure.

Tomorrow will be better after a good nights sleep.

1 comment:

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