Sunday, January 15, 2012

Design Reviews One and Two

This past Wednesday, we had our first design review! Parents of team members came in to see what we'd been working on and to offer feedback. Here are the notes courtesy of Alice:

Carly and Katie: Catapult
  • Using different release mechanisms [ex: pneumatics]

Devanshi and Katherine: Defensive Robot
  • With a kicker we have to be able to maneuver the robot and the ball so that we have a “clear” shot
  • Conveyor belt drops ball in a “hole” in the canon where it would later be launched (maybe using pneumatics)
  • Is it possible to store more balls? With a longer conveyor belt
  • Pros: this is a good design in terms of the guiding
  • Cons: lots of moving parts
  • How is the pushing mechanism going to be strong enough?
  • What will be the aiming mechanism? If this is a defensive robot, then it doesn’t matter. But we can potentially use it as an offensive robot and aim the canon by angling it
  • Pneumatics: FIRST sets maximum pressure teams can use…
  • Conveyor belt: smooth, rugged, etc?
  • How does it get it off the ground, how fast will it get into the canon, how can we make sure the ball doesn’t roll off the conveyor belt?
  • Combine rollers and canon to create shooting mechanism

Balancing Ideas: accelerometer, shifting weight
Aneesha, Caroline, Sarah, and Karina: Conveyor Belt
  • Straight-up-and-down conveyor belt that can pick up balls and that can shoot them straight down into the first and second hoops, or bring it up to a catapult on the top to aim for all the other hoops (including the higher one that couldn’t be reached with just the conveyor belt!)
  • Might get harder to bring it up to the top with the change in pressure (pressure?)
  • How does it enter the conveyor belt? If we get it at the right height, it can just enter from the ground [Popular design in 2008]  
  • We can use other types of material: if the two strings are widened then it can be more stable
  • Outer strings with more tension can match the shape of the ball
  • Think about the wall: would we create a piece of metal that would be V-shaped so that the ball would go in naturally and there would be no need to worry about direction/guiding it – also think about friction! If there is too much the ball will get jammed and stop moving…
  • Can be both offensive and defensive…but would probably be better for offensive
  • Two conveyor belts: one that picks up and loads (slower), one that shoots (faster)
  • Think about angling the wall

Chloe, Yael, and Karina: Sweeping the ball in with brushes
  • Change the brush (the current ones are flimsy!) and maybe use a pliable plastic (or rubber…)
  • Lazy Susan @ the bottom = more power
  • Think about curving the plastic
  • Need to consider being able to change the direction of the sweeper in case a ball becomes jammed and stuck
  • If the mechanism is simple, then we can have multiple ones on the robot
  • Old lawnmower’s (lolwhat are those!?!?) curved piece of plastic

A few more things…
  • Anna and Shifrah’s Tank Drive: might enable us to go over the ramp, stronger, more stable
    • Getting on the ramp/bridge…tilt it with something (lead (sp?) screw to push down on the ramp -- someone needs to prototype this!!!)
    • Not limited by wheel diameter with the tank design
    • Able to push other robots really well, and other robots won’t be able to push us
    • Lots of friction with the carpet surface
  • Anna’s (leads’?) Chassis:
  • Programming:
    • Considering other balls being shot

We are having another design review tomorrow, so stay tuned for more info!

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