October 22 Meeting

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On October 22, the N.E.R.D.S team gathered at Mr. Nelson’s house for the regular Saturday meeting. The attending members were Michael Burke, Evan Nothstine, Kevin Henggeler, Nathan Meyer, Colton Swalley, Mr. Cotter, and Mr. Nelson. There were two main topics, ball toss ideas and the building of a prototype Mecanum drive robot.

Ball Toss Ideas

Last week, we tried several variations of a spring-loaded ball cannon, just about all of which lacked enough push to send the balls into the central vortex. Rather than make this meeting note too long, here is a link to a longer post about the subject. Progress is being made, but very slowly.

Mecanum Drive Robot Prototype

Next, we turned our attention to building a simple prototype to test out a Mecanum drive. We became interested in this technology after reading some FTC Forum posts and discovering that this type of drive should allow the robot to move sideways without turning, potentially allowing better access to the beacons. Mr. Nelson worked out the design details after our discussion about the principles last week. Then everyone who attended this meeting got to take turns bolting parts together and connecting wires. We finished the assembly by the end of the meeting and hopefully will have software to test on it next week. Here is a link to step-by-step photos of the asssembly process.