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Sunday, January 8, 2012

YouTube is Our Friend

We went to the GO FIRST post kick-off event yesterday. During the presentation, they told us that the best way to design is five steps:
  1. Make a requirement/objective list. We did this at the post kick-off. This is a list of what we need our robot to do and then what we want it to do. 
  2. Do historical research. This is what we focused on today. 
  3. Conceptualizing. This is what we will focus on tomorrow. Each team member will use the information we learned today and then create a design.
  4. Critical Design Review. We take all the designs we created and then pick one or two that will like based on the R/O list we created at post kick-off.
  5. Prototype. We build pieces of the final design(s) and make sure they work. 
Programming Team in Robot Room
This seems like a long process and it is. However, this part of the build season is probably more important than any other part. If we start building and some part of the robot just CANNOT work, then we are out a lot of time and effort. It is much better to focus on getting it right first, then building it.

So, like the title says, today was spent looking up previous games and robots that worked really well at those games on YouTube.
  • 2001 had a speed bump sort of thing and a bridge so we looked at robots that could go over the bump and how robots got the bridge to come down. 
  • 2006 had a shooting game but the hole was vertical and 30" as opposed to our 18" wide horizontal basketball hoops. Still some good shooter designs.
  • 2009 had ball collection from the ground, storing of balls and then dispensing them. The big difference here is that we can only 3 balls, in 2009 there was no limit. 
While the electrical and mechanical teams were working on YouTube, the programming team started setting up the programming. Apparently, if we actually had a robot to drive, the programming is all done for driving. That's awesome.They also started setting up the Kinect to be our eyes on the field.

Colin says "Hi"
Last but not least, the PR team focused on the Kit of Parts. They got it all out, inventoried it and then organized it back in the robot room. They also did more research on getting a video camera for the team to use. That way we can also post more videos on YouTube and create a video blog as well.

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