Wednesday, January 16, 2008

t-34 days left!

today was a long, but definitely productive day.

first off, thank you to jessa, emily, doug, and david to devoting their evening and energy.
also, thanks to david for the masssssive box of cookies!

caroline and i first took an... entertaining run to ACE for pvc joints. we now have a rewards card, on the bulletin board in the project room. please do actually use them.
anyway, the joints. we wants to pvc the three-prong claw idea. we'll work on it more tomorrow, but currently, we're limited because the angles of the joints are not exact. also, we really dont know what we would want the angles to be. (or i don't.)
we did some math to figure out what some distances would have to be.

over dinner, emily showed up spiffy solidworks designs of potential arms. wow.
looked at some four-bar linkage stuff, which looks really cool. we still have so many ideas floating around, i think it's definitely time to just sit down and commit to one idea, while still tinkering with a simpler backup. thoughts? our general strategy is so up in the air right now

chassis stuff is getting there, though. i know david was helping anndini & allie with some of that after dinner. mecanum wheels HAVE been ordered. when they'll get here, who knows?
we apparently have some conflicting information about whether you can use skid steer on mecanum wheels. if we can, i think that's definitely something to explore.

in the meantime, doug and emily gave us some awesome programming information about window filtering, and arrays, and global variables, switch debounching, and other cool stuff for having a smoother drivetrain and also just general information. wow. we definitely took the simple way out last year. i don't even know how poor scotty drives.
if we can get the chain on scotty functional, or the prototype chassis up and running, it would definitely be good to start messing with code.
thank you to sallie and ginna for staying through the potentially intimidating programming lecture. definitely ask questions when you're confused.
there are pictures of the notes on picasa.

i feel like i'm missing something critical that we talked about... hmph.

basically the moral of the story is that today was really really productive. it would be more productive if we knew what we wanted our end result to either look like or do. either one. design or general strategy.

things to decide:
-basic direction of chassis. "Fat" vs. narrow
-are we even hurdling to begin with?
-mecanum wheels
--if yes, skid steer or actually sliding!?!
-if we are hurdling, what's the arm/elevator/lift/gripper/whatever? windmill? fourbar?
--how can we get a prototype of a fourbarlinkage going? the solidworks gave us a good idea of roughly how it'll work, but actual details would be good.
-basically everything.

hopefully over this weekend we'll be able to get a lot accomplished. we'll get there. we're getting there.

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