Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Week One Blues

So all the happy stuff and photos I put here: http://gatorbotics-friends.blogspot.com/2006/01/day-4-highlights.html

There are definitely a few things I'm worried about, but I'm sure we'll be able to solve all these issues soon enough.

1. Building the field elements: This year's field elements are substantially harder to build and house. If OUR PRIORITY is to build an accurate and robus ball shooter, we NEED to have the center goal built with the lightbox on the top of it, and mount it somewhere such that we can have the robot try to track if from 10'-15' away and shoot. The center goal is 11' tall with the lightbox on it. FINDING A PLACE for this and building this component accurately is a MAJOR PRIORITY.

2. Vision System: The reason why delving into the vision system worries me (even though we'll need to do it if we want to be a shooter robot) is that the programming team doesn't have the basics down yet. Delving into the camera, which also presumes a lot already in the way it is set up, means we need to understand the code FIRST and then start modifying it for our own means, like removing the yaw motor and fixing the camera to the shooting device and having it move like a turret.

3. The increased complexity of multiple motors and multiple sensors. Last year, we had one motor and even with one motor, we had mounting problems. That's really scary. We will definitely need sensors this year and likely more than one motor. So we need to start learning how to mount motors, sprockets and chain well. Remember when the arm motor wore down last year and when the set screw kept shearing. Think about that pain, multipled by like four, if we have four motors that we don't take time to think through when mounting.

On the SUNNY SIDE, we have a GREAT BUILD TEAM this year and GREAT HARDWARE / SOFTWARE people. We just need to work together. I'm glad we went through the kit of parts together again today. Kudos to Julia and Chrissy for starting to assemble the camera, and to Jen and Chris for making the 'rough and ready' spinning launcher prototype!

Wednesday - build team is going to pick up materials for the building elements. Jen is going to bring the mini-van and Em is going to get together a condensed list of materials to build the center goal, the corner goal, and the lightbox.

Lovely ladies,

Em

1 comment:

Edward said...

Hi.

So, I stopped by HSC today... www.halted.com right off Central Expwy near Lawrence... and they have a bunch of books on robots. Including (and I'm paraphrasing here...) "Programming Robot Controllers", "Using Sensors on Robots" and some other stuff. Maybe if one of you are bored you could check it out? Flip through a couple of them, and if one applies, give it a whirl? Just a thought...

Considering how you gals took on the challenge of building a robot last year, from scratch, I think a few challenges are good for you. I know you can do it. Think about where you were this time last year. I think it was somewhere around... eating trail mix at an ideo brainstorm session, not knowing anything about robots, drivetrains, rules, the game, where to start, how long anything would take, or how to use power tools. This year, you're already working on the vision system. You know what I mean? Emily, do you have any ideas on someone who can help them with the coding?

You can do it!

I know you don't need this now, but I just thought about it... if in the future (perfect for off season) you want to move away from this blog, you can set up a forum on your own website. I or Lily can help you with that I'm sure. We could do it in like 2 or 3 nights.

I'll keep trying to come by as I can. I'm really trying!

Great initiative on building the field elements!

You are all awesome. So awesome. I wish I had a team like you when I was doing this.