It is now day 26 of build season, and we have a little less than 3 weeks left. Today was mostly spent assembling the drive train of the robot. The gearboxes, wheels, and most of the electronics are now on the practice robot. At this point, our drivetrain is about 50 pounds. In addition, the new flatter nuts for the elevator arrived and were switched out on the elevator. The other bearings for the elevator will hopefully arrive soon so assembly of the elevator can be finished and it can be mounted on the drive train.
Mentors hard at work
We also had the team meeting discussing the current plan for the climber and possible forklift. We have decided to think about the different possibilities and come back tomorrow for another discussion after dinner. The screenshots of the CAD model shown during the meeting will be included below for further analyzing. Please review them before tomorrow. Note that the CAD model below does not include the intake, which will actuate up and down on the side with the box tubes sticking out of the elevator. Also note the position of the center of gravity (weird floaty thing), although that is calculated without the weight of the intake. Please feel free to throw out any ideas for the climber you may have.
Top of Elevator and Climbing Bar
Top View of Robot Side Orientation
Isometric View of Robot Side Orientation
The laser-cut sheet metal gusset plates from Harvey Vogel were finished and Walter picked them up today. This allows us to begin the construction of our drivetrain and elevator. We mostly worked on assembling the drivetrain today. The belly pans were bent and put on the drivetrain, along with the other gussets.
We also machined the mounting box tube for the motors actuating the elevator. The rest of the parts for the elevator have been ordered and should arrive soon. In addition, the awards team continued their work on filming interviews for Chairman’s and have now started editing the video.
We will be having a team meeting tomorrow at the shop at 6:45 pm, after dinner, to discuss our current plan for climbing and how we should proceed with that plan.
Our order of laser cut aluminum from Harvey Vogel was delayed, so we spent most of today planning. Trevor and Sharon did some calculations to figure out the ideal gear reduction for the elevator as well as the climber, and assembled gearboxes for them. Samuel made some modifications to the intake design, so we should be able to begin manufacturing parts in the coming days. With some unforeseen concerns about intake actuation, Anna made a quick sketch of the dimensions in CAD. As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Ben Haland began manufacturing final climbing hooks, as well as planning out the arm for them to mount to. The Harvey Vogel parts are predicted to be cut tomorrow. Once those are done, we can assemble both drive trains and elevator for the practice robot. Things are looking promising.
We were able to begin assembling the elevator today after all the necessary spacers were made and adjusted/sanded down for the correct clearance. Due to the annoying process of making so many spacers that all needed to be precise, we have started 3D printing the next set of spacers, which will be easier and more precise. The stages on the elevator roll very nicely and the clearance designed for the bearings is almost perfect. In addition, the joint blocks made for the elevator corners are very sturdy. From now on, we will be working on a method to actuate the elevator using chains and pulleys, along with finding ways to improve the design for the second elevator
The awards team also began filming interviews today for the Chairman’s video. Thanks to everyone who was interviewed and to the great awards team working hard to write essays and film.
Day 20 was spent mostly working on machining parts for the elevator and prototyping for the forklift. All the box tube pieces for the first elevator are now finished, and we are making good progress on the 40 standoffs/spacers necessary for the design. Assembly of the corner joints / bearing blocks will begin tomorrow after the spacers needed to correct the bearing placement arrive.
Polycarbonate gusset plates for prototyping were added to the forklift design and tested. There is a link below showing Walter standing on the forklift. We’ll be working more on making the design stronger and reducing stress points, along with getting the geometry and measurements of the design correct.
Fork Lift Testing
The “bridge tube” design for the drive base will be machined by Phillips Medisize tomorrow. In addition, the sheet metal parts for the drive base and elevator supports were sent out to Harvey Vogel yesterday and should be machined soon.
Good work everybody, keep it up! We’re making good progress on the robot.
Tonight was spent working on more machining of the aluminum stock pieces for the elevator. CAD worked hard on making more drawings, and sending off the gusset plate designs to Harvey Vogel. There was also work on the forklift prototypes and ideas and work on putting together wheels.
The shop was closed yesterday due to a snow day, so we had a lot of work to be done in the shop tonight. Our aluminum stock arrived, and we have started to machine the elevator parts (props to Walter and Jack)! The CAD team has been hard at work modeling the belly pan and working with the electronics team to figure out layout ideas. The CAD team also spent most of the night putting together drawings for the builders. Prototyping is still going on to design a ramp for climbing with other bots. Some work is also being done on our new tool chest and tonight we finished another foam cutout for our tools.
The robot layout is mostly decided upon. The distance from the front frame rail to the front of the elevator is seventeen inches. We have decided on combining the two intakes, the 2015 style intake and the roller bar intake. We are hoping the intake will be around ten pounds, and we’re still deciding over what the roller bar will be made out of. The prototype for the intake actuator was successful and it uses dual pistons so we can have two positions for the intake and surgical tubing to assist actuation. We also discussed our climbing priorities list which is:
- Climb from front of bar
- Climb from side of bar
- Multiple hooks for different climbing orientations
- Lowest priority = picking someone else up / forklift
As week two comes to an end, our prototyping is getting closer and closer to being finished. It’s been busy in the shop working on the intake and climbers, and CAD has been working hard designing the elevator. We have a working intake that has been tested many times throughout the past two weeks and twice at the field house. We also have many prototypes for climbers in progress including claw styles and hooks. Yesterday, we started work on an actuator for the intake and it will be worked on over this weekend along with work on prototyping the elevator. CAD is making finalizations for robot layout, and designing gusset plates while code is working hard preparing for later this build season. Awards is also going strong planning and filming Chairman’s and writing essays for Dean’s List and Woodie Flowers. Thank you to all the students and mentors who have been dedicating their time to the robot, and to the parents who bring the food!
The team’s safety training sessions just wrapped up today, successfully. As a reminder, in addition to attending a safety training, all students on the team are required to take and pass the safety quiz (please do so promptly). If you have scored less than a 7 out of 8 on the quiz, Sharon or I will email you to retake it. Now that safety training is finished, we will move on to tool and machine training in the shop. Look out for more emails about dates soon.
Patty has also organized a parent/mentor meeting on Tuesday, November 14th, at 7:00 pm in Building A. Topics such as project management, communication, safety, organization, encouraging prototyping, and budget will be discussed. All parents are welcome to come!
The team is still working hard to finish and test the off-season robot before our next offseason competition, the Minne Mini Regional, on November 18th. The Minne Mini Regional will be hosted by Team 2169, King Tec, at Prior Lake High School. A more detailed schedule of the event will be emailed out later this week. The new and improved climbing system has since been finished, and team members are fine-tuning the shooter’s aim, along with making minor adjustments to the intake. We will soon be moving into the practice field to test the robot further.
Code and CAD training are still ongoing. The coders have made a lot of progress in learning how to program and will be using the off-season robot after the event to gain more hands-on coding experience.
CAD training has moved on to hands-on projects. The CAD rookies will be learning how to 3D print models, and, later, how to use the laser cutter with CAD sketches. Email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.