Once again, prototyping was the main focus for the meeting today. Many prototypes were improved and a couple more have been started. At the team meeting tonight, we had brief overviews from each of our present leads. At the end of the meeting, we voted on which drive train we would like to use for this year. The style that we decided on was a six wheel, dropped center, tank drive. We will also be planning on using 4″ by 1.5″ colson wheels on our drive train. Many of the drive train specifics, such as gearbox (single or dual speed), tank drive style, and gearbox speed will be decided at the engineering team meeting tomorrow so the students can do additional research and bring a more educated opinion to the table.
The flywheel shooter got some upgrades, including a different wheel (pneumatic wheel), a feeding system, and side rails to help guide the balls. The improvements that were made increased the prototypes accuracy a lot, bumping it up to about 80%. The goals for Thursday will be to adjust the spacing on the pneumatic wheel so it can hit the ball straight on (yes, a huge issue that actually surprises me on how well it works in its current state), improving the feeder system by moving it and extending it and increasing its speed, and changing the sprockets/ratio for the mini-cim to flywheel. We hope to achieve a much higher accuracy by the end of Thursday, and possibly work on increasing the feed rate of the shooter. Based on these tests, weights may be added to the flywheel in order to keep the speed of the flywheel when shooting a stream of balls.
Pneumatic-tube Active Intake:
The students working on this prototype (Josie, Poorva, Maddy, and Rachel) finished their proof of concept for this design. They made a couple of improvements to the overall structure of the design, as well as adjusting spacing on the tubes. Their goals for tomorrow is to make a more finalized/nicer design that can bring balls up to the top of our hopper efficiently.
Bethany has started a climber prototype, which essentially consists of two wheels that will pull the robot up the string. Early tests have shown the design working moderately well, and the plan for Thursday is to finish testing on how well the wheels guide the rope. Another goal is to add guides to the ascender, which would make it easier to line the robot up with the rope.