Blog - September 2010

Revolver Mounted

A ton of progress was made today on the robot.  The valve block was tapped for the 1″ NPT hose.  Furthermore, we were able to get the pivot shaft for the revolver completed so that we could mount the revolver on the base.

In the next few days, we hope to complete the indexing and tilting actions of the revolver.

Programming, Machining & More

Today, at the lab, we started programming the VEX controller on the robot.  We finished the drive code and wrote simple code to open the main valve for a certain number of milliseconds when a button is pressed.  Furthermore, the VEX controller was wired to the main robot power source after we confirmed with VEX that the controller will run off of 12V.

The main valve block is almost done with machining.  All of the operations on the CNC Mill are complete and all that remains is tapping the pipe threads into the hole for the main hose, which will happen in the next few days.

Today, we got the main hoses in the mail as well as our scuba regulator.  We hooked up the scuba regulator to the high pressure tank and found a 3/8″ UNC fitting that would connect to the regulator.  We then connected it to the low pressure tank with the hose.

Wiring Complete

Today, we completed the wiring on the T-Shirt cannon.  The large gauge wire and the signal wire was run successfully.

Furthermore, we tested the valve,shooting T-shirts and small balls on a test bed outside the lab to test the range of the robot.

Take Flight for Kids Demo

Team 254 and its robot, Devastator, had a great day at the 2010 Take Flight for Kids Festival.  We had hundereds of visitors who all loved the robot.  Some of the younger kids especially liked rolling the balls into the robot’s intake and letting the robot suck the balls up.  We also had a large group of team members at the event, allowing us to manage the crowds and run the robot safely.

Powder Coated and Wiring Started

The robot returned from the powder coat shop today.  The scuba tank also returned from hydrostatic certification after passing its tests.  We hooked it up to a test bed and successfully tested the valve.

The machining on the valve block has begun and is coming along great.  The block will be finished on Sunday.

Wiring on the robot began today.  All of the electronics were mounted on the drivebase and many of the power wires were run.  The large gauge power wires and the signal wires still need to be run.


Frame Welded

The T-Shirt Cannon’s frame has returned from welding.  The frame was prepped for powder coating today and will be brought to the powder coat shop tomorrow.

The high-pressure scuba tank will be brought to Ace Fire Equipment & Services in East Palo Alto tomorrow to get its hydrostatic certification renewed so that it can be safely filled with high-pressure air.

Frame Ready for Welding

After several days of hard work, the frame of the T-Shirt Cannon is ready to be welded. The framerails have been machined and riveted onto the baseplate.  The superstructure frame has been pinned to the drivebase.  Finally, the mounting blocks for the sideshields have been cut and a welding jig to hold them in place has been made.

The revolver plates have been machined and the tubes inserted between the plates.  Once standoffs to go between the plates are machined, the assembly will be ready to weld.

We will hopefully get welding done early next week.


Frame Assembly

Today, we received our parts from BAE Systems, one of our sponsors who generously provided machining for this project.  After bringing the parts to the lab, we started assembly.  Furthermore, we cut the stock for the round barrels and began to assemble the revolver assembly, which will be welded next week.

Metal Arrives

The metal arrived at school today and we delivered the aluminum plate to BAE Systems, one of our sponsors.  BAE has generously offered to provide waterjet cutting for our project.  The parts are expected to get cut on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the lab, machining has started on the chassis rails.  They are expected to be complete by next Thursday.

Ordering Material

Today, we compiled the master list of the material that we need to purchase for the robot.  We already have some of the metal at the lab but most needs to be purchased.

After the list was completed, we ordered material which is expected to arrive on Friday.