Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And We Skip to Wednesday (Holly's Birthday)!

After singing Holly a happy birthday; eating lasagna, salad, and overly processed foods (Cheetos and the like-- my bad, Global Week); and greeting our mentors (Jimmy, Jessa, Holly, and Santhi), we began a group discussion. As we went over the pro and con chart for the gripper design that Tobi, Nina, Aneesha, Victoria, and Devanshi prepared yesterday, the team was conflicted about the gripper design on several points. Jimmy raised the concern that it would be important to pick deflated tubes off of the ground; some team members followed up on this concern by citing that some of our current designs do not allow for the release of the tube onto a peg in the case that the tube deflates while in our robot's grip. Meanwhile, other team members pointed out that with 18 tubes per team, it would be most practical to avoid deflated tubes-- designing the gripper around the off-chance of ourselves deflating a tube would be unnecessary and complicated. Another point of uncertainty was whether or not the gripper would be a claw.

What did all this confusion mean? More prototyping, of course! A group led by Annie "made a V-shaped gripper that is an inanimate spring-loaded thing with two large wheels with the sticky stuff and foam that fits to the shape of the various tubes." Tobi also made a mechanism that would allow the gripper to rotate.

Meanwhile, Sarah, Anna, Shifrah, and mentors Holly and Santhi worked on the minibot. After opening the Tetrix box, they talked about new designs based off of the previous Lego design. They also tested the Tetrix motors and put the wheels together.

All the while, the programming team sat down and listened to mentor Jessa explain threads and synchronization (notes will be uploaded to the website shortly!). Afterward, they downloaded Netbeans and the FRC plug-ins; they then looked at the WPI Robotics Library, "the set of Java classes that interfaces to the hardware in the FRC control system and the robot" and the Calgames code.

And just for reference, here is the time line for the next few weeks:

1/16-1/22: Design Week
1/23-1/29: Design Week
1/30-2/5: Build Week
2/6-2/12: Programming Week
2/13-2/19: Test Week
2/20-2/22: Ship Week

Let's hope that we can follow it!

Also, if anyone has the pro and con chart typed up, post it so that we can document our thought process, yeah?

No comments: