January 7, 14, and 19 Meetings

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Most of the time in these three meetings has been spent training the driver, driver coach, and their backups to increase their skill in using the Mecanum drive and the cap ball scissor lifter.

Between regular meetings, these key tasks have continued:

  • The drive motors were switched to 40:1 gearboxes. The TeleOp software was modified to limit the motor speed value to 0.6 in order to stay in the linear region of the motor speed controller.
  • The scissor lift made originally from greenheart wood, was rebuilt to use composite beams made from aluminum u-channel with a greenheart core. (The all wood lift proved to be too fragile.)
  • The cap ball retrieval arms were fashioned from inexpensive tennis rackets. They have just the right curve to slide under the cap ball and lift it.
  • The lift arm deployment servo was implemented and a servo programmer was needed to adjust the range of motion to our needs.
  • The particle shooter development was shelved. We may revive it if we win a trip to State at the Blue Valley Qualifier.
  • Limit switch sensors were added to the scissor lift to prevent damage when the motor drives it to the ends of travel.
  • For autonomous mode, a decision was made to drop Vuforia as a position sensing technology for the time being. Our dead reckoning accuracy with the Mecanum drive is such that we can put the robot where it needs to be and rely on just two simple sensors, a floor detector to find the white stripe in front of a beacon, and a color sensor to distinguish red from blue.
  • Considerable work has been spent in documenting robot subsystems for the Engineering Notebook. These are written as blog posts for our website and then printed in hard copy for the book.