Due to personal reasons, the head coach was unable to participate in Wednesday’s festivities. About a dozen team members convened at a student’s house and threw around some ideas.
Today those ideas were presented to the team as a whole. We’ve got two directions to go – one is a very VERY simple (yet elegant) telescoping lift with a simple (possibly not even articulated) angled bar to serve as an arm. Engineer Emily came up with a really cool lift system where the middle section is stationary, and the outer bar lifts as the inner bar is raised by a motor. If we can get the spacing right and get it repeatable, it will be very smooth and take up minimal space.
The second is a floor-loading, telescoping arm, with either a roller claw or simple grabber. There’s still some work to be done on this design, but prototyping in earnest will begin tomorrow and flow through Saturday. Saturday of Week 2 is the deadline for decision – if we haven’t reached a conclusion by then, we’ll go with the stronger and more complete choice.
The chassis should be pretty cool. We ordered some AndyMark Toughbox Nano Tube 31 2-shaft sets; we’ll direct-drive mecanum wheels off that. We’ll use the kit C-Base material around the outside to protect the wheels and serve as a bumper mounting point. We’re keeping an eye to creating everything modular so no matter what the manipulator, we can mount either one on the chassis. Perhaps if we keep a system under 25 lbs, we can bring one as spare parts and switch out as needed – ?
We received our FIRST Choice materials today. Once we get some traction on the manipulator prototyping, we’ll switch some members off to minibot design. Right now, that’s on the back burner. Our team has had pretty good experience and success with VEX this year; hopefully that will translate to the TETRIX kit.
We’ve had a TON (relatively speaking) of adult help this year; it’s incredible. Between the adults around and the later time, our build sessions have been extremely productive. If we can keep up this energy level and focus, we’ll be a happpy 1529.
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