Blog Archive

Day 23: Manufacturing, Ordering, Goal Construction, Lab stuff, CAD

By Clay Rosenthal


Lots of parts were manufactured today. The gussets for the superstructure were machined on the CNC and scotch brited by hand. Axle plugs were turned on the lathe. Pieces to be CNC milled later for the intake and the hood were cut on the horizontal band saw. Axles for the rollers were cut on the horizontal band saw as well. We also began programming the CNC to make the plugs that hold the superstructure subassemblies together.

Student scotch britingStudent scotch BritingStudent cutting the axles for rollersGussets to be scotch brightedTurning pieces on the Jet Lathe

Lab Maintenence

The manual mill’s starting motor is burnt out so it won’t work for now. Repairs were made throughout the day but it still doesn’t work. New parts need to be ordered for it. The CNC mill was leaking coolant today for an unknown reason. It will be looked into later in the week and fixed. The projector upstairs was mounted above the screen so it is no longer on the table.

Working on the millCoolant leak. EwwProjector's new mount


Today we ordered many parts. Specifically we ordered the wiring supplies and the electronics to **finish the robot drive by Friday.**

Competition drivePractice drive

Field Construction

The wood covering the driver station finally broke after the repeated impact of balls landing in the goal. Modeled after the official field, PVC pipes were laid across other pipes to provide the same protection with less material. The PVC was attached to the goal and the I\-beam on the front wall of the lab. The zip ties may be replaced by something more sturdy.

New PVC high goal cover

Action Items

  • Check trello
  • When the electronics arrive, wire robot. Ask Mani or Torrance.
  • CAD needs to be worked on and finalized, ask Mani or EJ.
  • Manufacture more parts for robot.
  • Make gearboxes to have the robot base drive by Friday.

Day 3: Prototyping continued, Autonomous strategies, and more

Autonomous Strategy

Today, we discussed scoring all three balls in autonomous. In autonomous, only the area directly in front of the low goal is guaranteed to be undefended. The strategy would involve starting with one ball in the robot, one in front and one behind. The robot would immediately drop an intake on each side of the robot and drive to the hot goal to score, dragging the balls with it. We also discovered that a banner sensor was able to pick up the reflective tape, meaning that the robot wouldn’t need to a camera to detect the hot zones.

We discussed whether it was more beneficial to shoot from afar or really close to the goal. Several team members proposed that shooting 2-4 feet away would be best since it would more than likely increase the robot’s accuracy. The fly wheel shooter was set up about 3-4 feet away from the goal and was able to successfully score

Catapult Prototype

Catapult Prototype

A group today worked on a catapult prototype. A good amount of progress was made and it seems to be coming along well. The only things left to add are the rope, springs and hard stops.

Ball Catcher

Some of the students worked on a basic catcher prototype, making it from PVC pipe. They added a funnel to the top to increase the likelihood of the ball going in. It worked out well with some minor strengthening.


The programming team worked on a basic autonomous runner that uses threading. In essence, it allows for commands to be run while still allowing evaluation to occur. Also, in the event that a command should fail or timeout, the robot will skip the rest of the commands. One of the ideas that was brought up was separate compilation for the main code and autonomous routine to allow for quick changes to the autonomous without having to recompile the whole codebase.