On December 3, team 9960 met at the home of Mr. Gerald Nelson for the regular meet. Those attending were Mr. Nelson, Dick Ross, Caden Peck, Colton Swalley, Evan Nothstine, Nathan Meyer, Michael Burke, and Kevin Henggeler.
The meet began with the collecting of member home information, such as addresses and phone numbers. This was to prepare for the exciting new trip coming up to a Missouri FTC qualifier. The team would be going to see how other groups are attacking the challenges, and if we could take a lesson from them.The robot is still easily open to inspiration. After this was done, the team went to work as usual, testing, tuning, and working on ideas for the robot and the robot itself. It had been decided that the current point ball launcher in place was too problematic. It was a spring loaded catapult system. Yet, the force needed to decently propel a ball was too great, it did not fit well by the robot’s special scissor lift, the angle needed would be very hard to get, and it kept malfunctioning. After some thought, Mr. Nelson proposed an interesting idea. We could launch the ball like a baseball pitching robot. The ball launcher would be designed akin to this, like a tube with two spinning wheels inside of it to catch and throw at the ball at a good speed. Much less force and angle would be required, which was very good. Another plus would be that if placed correctly, it could easily fit by the scissor lift. As the meeting came to a close, Mr. Nelson finally showed the team the finally completed scissor lift. It functioned just as well as an early model should. Its only problems were how much force it took to push it up at the start, and the fact that it could be wobbly and unstable when too high. However, it was just a prototype, to be modified and fixed as problems were detected.
One can be certain that the fruits of the N.E.R.D.S. team, the ball shooter and scissor lift, will soon be ready to take on the FTC challenge of the year.
To members joining us for the qualifier, please meet us at Mr. Nelson’s house at 8:00 for the qualifier, held in Smithville. We will be back at 2:00.