Monday, January 12, 2009


we're baaaaack! and i think i speak for all the juniors when i say how impressed i am with the amount of stuff we've/you've gotten done in the past week. wow. the number of prototypes is incredible, the driving-benji-with-the-kit-wheels... it was quite a day.

where to start?

driving benji on the slippery surface was better than expected. he drives/turns roughly as well as last year. the only major problems are that it's really really staticky and does not have a great stopping time. we're trying to think of coding things we can do to counteract it. also, it's super easy to push him around when he's stopped.

we've broken the challenge into three parts - input, transition, and output. input is how we scoop up the cells, transition is moving them, and output is depositing them in the trailers of other robots.

-divya presented her windmill/funnel concept for the input. i think we'll end up using something like this. allie took pictures, so we'll hopefully have those on picasa soon.
-annie c showed the conveyer belt for transition, as well as a corkscrew-type thing for moving the balls up. we'll probably end up using a conveyer belt, if possible.
-sallie showed another conveyer belt concept, this one horizontal
-tobi and anna showed a sort of movie-reel idea for output. basically, the cell comes down a tube, and there's a platform with cutouts that spins. on the other side is corresponding hole, and the cell drops into the other robots trailer. i know that made little sense, but hopefully we'll have pictures to share soon.
-anna and shreya showed another windmill design for scooping/input.
-divya showed her tube/ramp output concept. it has a blocker so there'd be a button on the joystick for release.

we also went over a feasible calendar for season that we'll try very very hard to stick to.

week of 1/12 - design week
1/18 - design chosen
week of 1/18 - build chassis
1/25 - chassis built
1/30 - breathing day aka no robotics
2/5 - drive code finished [this is the big programming deadline]
2/6 - breathing day #2 [fomf]
2/8 - tower built
2/10 - name chosen :)
2/12 - rough tower code
2/15 - real tower code
2/17 - SHIP

some decisions we made
-we're going down to size 25 chain. we currenly use 35
-probably using same general chassis idea, although make it U-shaped so we can better load balls. we'll be going long, rather than fat.
-currently planning a windmill --> conveyer belt --> output design. we'll be further prototyping and drawing to scale in the next week. allie and tanya are working on solidworks designs.
-anne will be the picasa girl again
-for mentors: karlin made sure that the gmail calendar is all set up, so if we can use that to know when mentors will be available that would be great!

a big thank you to karlin and tanya for their time today, and to annie's mom for chaperoning and food.

this week we'll be meeting roughly 5:15 - 8. hope to see you then!

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