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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Check The PWM Cables!

Today was the last day of build season. For a lot of the team members it was bittersweet. It is kind of nice to have the time off again so we can all catch up on homework but at the same time, it is sad to say goodbye to our robot for a while. Of course, with Team 3313 Mechatronics, even boxing up a robot cannot be easy...

The day started with deciding to show off during lunch. Molly and Bydlon took the robot out for sophomore lunch and drove it around. The rest of the team showed up for junior and senior lunch. Both lunches went really well! There were a lot of students out in the commons checking out the team's work. It was a very proud moment. The architects for the new high school walked by and took pictures. Mr. D. and Mr. Nelson (administrators) along with a lot of teachers stopped by as well. It's nice to have that support throughout the school for STEM education and FIRST Robotics.

After school, the team met up to finish off the robot. Bryce worked on the electrical board and tried to clean up some of the wires. Jenna and Rachel worked on scouting forms. Basically, we all kind of hung out and enjoyed each others company and marveled at the robot. We ate Dilly Bars from DQ and played a little Rock Band to celebrate. At around 9pm, the remaining team members (all seniors) and Bydlon took the robot down to the gym for one last spin. Unfortunately, things did not go well.

We brought the robot out right after the game ended. The elementary and middle school students gathered around which was awesome and anticipated a cool robot. We turned on the robot like usual and ran the code. But... Nothing happened. We tried tons of different things. Turned it on and off, turned the computer on and off. Rebooted the cRio. Colin came and tried a bunch of different network and programming things. Nothing was working. Bydlon never lost faith but some of the members were a little worried.

We went back to the shop and figured out that during the re-wiring, some of the PWM cables may have gone bad. Luckily (because it's an easy fix), that was the problem. The funniest (or saddest) part was that the exact same thing happened last year! We did fix the problem and were able to drive the robot and test autonomous and few times before we left. Everyone was so tired (11pm) that the excitement level was kind of low. Pride was high though.

We boxed up the robot and everyone went on there way. Just like with all Team 3313 actions, box up day was not without excitement and worry but everyone came through in the clutch. There is kind of a long period between now and our competition but we have a laundry list of things we want to accomplish. We are competing at the 10,000 Lakes Regional at U of M - Williams Arena March 29-31.

Begin the assault!

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