Wednesday, January 14, 2009

wednesday [at least for build]

hellooooooooooooooo :)

today was quite a productive day for build!

first, we went over our current overall design for the robot. for the input, we will have a "windmill" design that will push moon balls into the "U" of our u-shaped chassis. the moon balls will go up a little ramp, over this bump, and into this little "storage area" where we want to have space at least 2-3 moon balls. for the transition phase (or as divya likes to say, t-phase), we are planning to have a conveyor belt to carry the moon balls up to the output. for the output, we will have a tube that will lead to the front of the robot, where moon balls will be dropped into our opposing alliance's trailer! this tube will have a stopper to prevent moon balls from falling too early. we also wanted to make the chassis a bit shorter than 38" long so the tube could hang a little over the chassis, making it easier to drop moon balls into trailers.

we threw around some more ideas (such as using a spiral instead of a conveyor belt, and picking balls up with a gripper like a mini jack-the-gripper instead of using the windmill), but we decided that our current design is the best way to go (as of now).

then we ran into the slight (or not so slight) problem of dimensions. with both a windmill AND a conveyor belt, it seems hard to fit everything into our 38" x 28" footprint. anna had a cool idea of tilting the conveyor belt a little bit forward and having it turn in the opposite direction that we planned earlier. with anna's idea, the moon balls will be carried up the conveyor belt in the back of the robot (in other words, if you looked at the robot from his/her/its left side, the conveyor belt would be turning counterclockwise)... this is quite difficult to describe in words...i hope it makes sense.

so annie, divya, tobi, anna, nandini, allie, and i did some math and number crunching to figure out possible dimensions for the different parts of the robot. so far, we've come up with possible dimensions for the windmill, and allie made a uber awesome sketch on solidworks of the windmill with the right dimensions! (except...apparently something's funny with the angles...but that's fix-able).

it's hard to describe the dimensions, but i'll try:
(the windmill has 2...uh...wings...for lack of a better term...
ok yes i know that's not the right term but i honestly can't think of anything right now)
the angle of the wing is 120 degrees (we just assumed this for some reason...we could change this if necessary)
the length across the wing is 14" (which will fit in the "U" of our chassis)
the depth of the wing is 4"
the wing "halves" are 8" x 8" squares
the wings will be mounted 10" from the floor (this should give us enough ground clearance without being too far away from the floor...if i did my math correctly)

annie, divya, tobi, and anna also made a prototype/model of the windmill out of foamcore, pvc, and lots of duct tape with the right dimensions and angles! it's quite pretty. :)

we also have to think about how to mount the windmill (i think it'll be something like free willy on scotty) and possible motors (i need to find those motor specs)...

hooray for productivity! (^.^)
see you all tomorrow :)


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