Today was a huge improvement in student attendance over yesterday. With our first active weekday build, a majority of the time was spent designing and beginning initial prototyping of an intake mechanism.
Students worked in a group to brainstorm ideas for an intake mechanism that will allow the robot to take in discs from the ground. One of the several ideas brought up include horizontal rollers to roll the discs in. However, the orientation of the disc (facing upwards or downwards) and friction between the carpet and the disc are challenges. Currently, one new intake prototype has been constructed that can take in discs on the ground from either orientation.
Students brainstorming ideas for the intake
Additionally, some students are continuing work on manufacturing parts for shooter prototypes.
One new shooter prototype that is under construction is a linear shooter, powered by two wheels. One wheel will be powered such that it is faster than the other.
Manufacturing parts to build a shooter prototype
Some students are using the drivebase of the 2010 robot, Onslaught, in order to test shooting and future intake prototypes. Currently, there is a problem with power to the cRIO, which prevents controlling or deploying code to the robot. Once the 2010 robot is up and running, the team will attach prototypes to the robot to test out prototypes on the field, while driving.
Drivebase of the 2010 robot, Onslaught
The programmers discovered that original idea to use Java reflection will not work because the robot uses Java ME (mobile edition), which does not support this feature. They brainstormed some other possible solutions including using a hash map for storing variables read from a file, but it is likely unfeasible due to its heavy computational expense. Another idea is to use a flat text file with constant values that can be transferred to the robot without re-compiling and re-deploying code.
In addition, the programming team tested out a Logitech game controller as a way of driving the robot. The analog sticks on the controller were successfully used to control the drive. More comparisons and tests between joysticks and the game controller will occur later on in the season.
Action Items for Tomorrow
Fix the wiring to the cRIO on the 2010 robot; flash new image to cRIO
Work on and test prototype for intake
Work on and test linear shooter prototype
Lab closing time for the night was 12:30am