After going through the trouble of changing around the team members schedules to fit each other's, only half of the team remains. Unfortunately, Caleb was unable to make any room in his schedule to fit the program in. Scott, however, could only make 1st period work, something that was not compatible with my and Dylan's schedules. Thus Dylan and I are the only two left in the program. We are looking at the changes we need to make in team structure and are also considering returning to using Labview, a simpler robot programming software, for time purposes. We have made plans to recruit a few members next trimester to raise some awareness of the program throughout the academically oriented students in the school. Hopefully, several new student will be in the program next year, eager to take over the responsibilities of recruiting students to make the program last through generations.
Currently programming has hit a rough spot on with our robot, Jon Coffee. We need to move our programming form robotC 3 to RobotC 4 but every time our programmer Scott attempts to do so he gets several error messages. We talked with Mrs. Yaddof and she had a good idea in getting a programming expert to come in and assist us in programming. I believe i will look into getting Scott some help with programming while he try to hunt down our product key and get Jon Coffee up and running. I think other people should start getting involved in programming as well to make sure if Scott is absent we will still be able to work on the product. -Caleb M
After purchasing steel piping from a local company Tyler and Dylan have been making trips to the shop in an effort to turn a 20ft piece of pipe into a functioning scissor lift, They recently encountered a problem in drilling through the steel piping. The bit vibrates to much to effectively put a hole through the metal piping, While they have been working on trying to find a way to drill through the piping I have been working on the engineering notebook while Scott has encountered a problem in programming, He requires the product key but we have no idea where we put it. So while he looks for that and Dylan and Tyler continue finding a way to solve their problem I will continue working on the engineering notebook.
The trimester is coming to an end at the Charles City High School and though this trimester we have accomplished less than we wanted, we are looking forward to the next trimester with excitement. This trimester we have designed a scissor lift, attempted to receive sponsors from the community, assembled the arena for testing, designed an efficient workplace, and learned about our new programming. In the future we will continue to look for sponsors, to learn about the programming, and to build the scissor lift we have designed.
- Tyler B
Today Tyler and I have been working on a design concept for our bucket. We have started to create prototypes using or bucket from last year. The bucket from last year worked great for picking up and dumping the three inch plastic blocks, but because the goals in this years game are much smaller. Because of this we will have to change the design of the bucket to better funnel the balls into the goals. The difficult part of this design will be to create a hinge strong enough to tilt the bucket quickly and precisely. We are also restricted on how many motors we can use because we may need to use as many as 3 motors in order to power our scissor lift. We can use a maximum of 8 motors, but for smaller mechanics we can use servo motors if necessary.
So far, we have been unable to get in contact with any potential sponsors via email. We have messaged five local business explaining what we are doing in the first tech program and asking for their support. Because none of our emails have gotten any attention and only a few businesses have responded, we are going to send them printed letters.
We have been having problems with our license for our programing software. We have had to re-enter the key in order to get the program to work, however we have had problems because we have both the 4.0 and the 3.0 versions of the program on our computer. The newest version of the program is a little harder to use and has problems communicating with our robot.
For the past two weeks we have been exiting the prototyping stage and entering the production phase. Our main focus has been on our scissor lift, and we have ran into a few problems while working on it. While we were test drilling our holes for the axles, we noticed that the drill press has a little too much play in it that causes the top hole to be drilled our slightly bigger than the bottom hole. We have been exploring different ways of drilling these axle holes, because we need it to be as precise as possible to help eliminate play in the scissor lift. When we are operating a mechanical device in a game, having as little play as possible will help us be precise and controlled with our movements. Driver skill will play a large role in this years competition, and having a mechanically solid robot will help us immensely.
For the past couple of days we have been in the shop working on our scissor lift. So far we have cut all of the pieces of steal that we need and have started to drill the holes for the axels. This is going to be a very time consuming process because we need to be very precise. Each piece of steal has to have three holes drilled in it, and we have 16 pieces of steal to complete the scissor lift. We have also been working on a prototype for the mechanism that will allow our bucket to tip. Now that we have the field completed we can focus almost all of our attention on programing and working on the mechanics of our robot.
Working on all aspects of the First Tech Challenge program is extremely important right now as we continue to put the word out about our program to gain popularity and possible sponsors. Working on code is also very important at this point so that we may have some background information about coding and be able to learn from what other teams are doing with theirs. The engineering notebook is also important for us to be focusing some effort toward because it shows what we actually are doing to progress and it notes specific information about our goals and how we propose to reach them. We recently finished putting together the field so that we have it when needed for tests and practice.
Yesterday, Dylan and I went to the metals shop to test drill some holes to see what size would best fit the axle. We found that 3/16" fit perfectly, but one of the holes in the tubing was quite a bit larger than the other, because the drill bit shakes in the chuck before it enters the metal. We are now looking into ways to more precisely drill the holes. We may simply use a different drill press, if we find one that shakes less. We may also use a metal template to better control the bit prior to it entering the square tubing. This is all in an effort to make the holes the proper size to prevent the scissor lift from bending from side to side. We will be spending quite a bit of time on this, because we want our scissor lift to be very controllable.