The weekend was all about the lift. We got our KOP shipment of Gates belts & pulleys in Friday afternoon, so Saturday and Sunday were spent designing the drive portion of our lift.
First of all, a brief description of our lift design. It is in three stages, an inner, middle, and outer. The outer members are stationary; the middle stage is driven up by two belt-and-pulley systems off the same drive shaft; the inner stage is pulled up by a separate, non-driven pulley system on the front of our robot. The belts are driven by a Fisher-Price motor, and there is a “peg” in the middle of the inner members that can rotate along the robot’s latitudinal axis.
We learned that belts must be under quite a bit of tension or they’ll skip.
We learned that the pulleys must be rather big or they’ll skip.
We learned that we can make serviceable, if crude, brackets and braces in our shop.
We learned that design is iterative – we lost count of iterations after the first couple dozen.
We learned that a F-P can emit smoke but still work well.
Unfortunately, we had to miss the Muncie Pre-Ship Scrimmage to learn all these lessons across a 27-hour weekend. The good news is Monday will be spent with the controls in the hands of the driver and operator, and we can get in some much-needed practice.
The deployment is still a bit of a work-in-progress, but hopefully we can hammer that out by shiptime.
Missed out on seeing good friends at the Ball Gym, but it was a great weekend nonetheless.