This week, we have whittled down the many possibilities we have to build mechanisms on the robot. This process included designing critical dimensions in CAD, and deciding as a team certain mechanisms we wanted to utilize to perform all tasks on the field. We've decided a linear lift and flywheels on arms is the way to go for cargo handling, as well as a passive grabber on a piston for the hatches. We've narrowed down our long list of possible climbing strategies, and have begun prototyping and testing these designs in the real world on the field components we built. Next week we hope to have functional prototypes of our finalized chosen designs.
The autonomous period may be dead this year but the programming team refuses to lose hope. In fact, we plan to automate as much of our robot's actions as possible, if only for the sake of feeling like we're useful.
We're working on accurately tracking the robot's location using a combination of sensors, including encoders on the swerve wheels, the NavX gyroscope, and the Limelight vision processor. We've spent much of the past few weeks testing and tuning this location tracking.
Our goal is for our robot to autonomously plan paths to navigate to important points on the field. This will all be managed with a new web-based dashboard that will allow an operator to assemble a sequence of actions and modify the robot's goals in real time. This will be especially useful during the sandstorm period, when driver visibility and reaction time is limited, but we also think it could improve the efficiency of repetitive actions in the teleop period.
This is all in progress and we hope to have it ready to test in the next week. We're doing math and algorithms and I feel alive.
The Elevator was put into the master assembly, so we may now begin to build around it. Electronics is modifying the electronics board again to fit with the new layout, and the intake is finished in CAD, but still needs to be assembled by our fabrication team to get a working prototype. The climbing designs are being constructed in SolidWorks, we have a few ideas to choose from. But we have managed to narrow it down to 2 or 3 with our current layout. Next week we hope to Have a final design roughly finished. So we may begin the fabrication
We have had an eventful week for our new media team. With our film crew working non-stop to document our team's build season, and our outreach events at our local WWU's computer science courses, we have a lot of footage for both chairmans and update videos. We are also proud to announce the reintroduction of our famous unboxing video series. Long awaited, you can find it on our Youtube, and should expect more! Chairmans has been a main focus for our group recently, our chairmans essay now has a finished draft, which we will begin to edit upon next week. Our video team has finished a script and with plethora of material at their hands, they can now begin with editing. In the next week we hope to see the essay finalized, the video voice over recorded, and at least some film in it.
The big achievement of the week was finishing the scouting Excel file. In previous years the scouting file had to be manually created each year for each competition but now, with a click of a button, the program will do everything for you. This has been about ten weeks of effort by Henry and I. I actually finished the program much sooner than expected so I went and helped programming make the dashboard look pretty with CSS. They are regretting asking for my help now. Finally, I started the process of unblocking Power BI on the school laptops. Power BI is a program by Microsoft that allows people to quickly analyze and share data. I hope to add this into the scouting programming because, currently, there isn’t a very good analysis system built into it.
It was an exciting week for the pit crew. Multiple new storage containers and other supplies were delivered. The new storage boxes will be a great improvement over past pit boxes since they will be easier to open. Past boxes would only be used in transit, with a peg board being used in the pit. These current boxes will be of use in both transit and during the competition, giving us more space in the pit for repairs. We bought two of these boxes, and the pit first aid kit also arrived. It included tons of items that can help with those little injuries that will happen time to time in the pit. A new fire extinguisher came by, and we received a battery spill kit. This has all the essentials in case our beloved 12.5 pound power sources start leaking. With these shipments, our safety resources are almost complete. Next, our new flyer table was delivered. It, along with a black cover, will have our stickers, pins, and flyers about our robot on it. Our old flyer table was beginning to break, so this came just in time. The battery charging cart is currently being fabricated. The older version was very heavy so it was hard to transit and had poor wheels. It is currently in the CAD phase, and will be ready to be fabricated soon. Overall it was an exciting week with many new deliveries!