It was decided that a power take-off (PTO) mechanism will be implemented into our drivebase gearbox design. A power take off simply allows all the power from the drivebase gearbox to be applied somewhere else. This is achieved by adding an extra output shaft to the gearbox with a another shifter, giving the gearbox 3 "speeds". There is the high speed, low speed, and "neutral" speed. Neutral will inhibit the wheels from receiving power and allow our hanging mechanism to be fully powered by six CIM motors (the most powerful motors in the Kit of Parts).
Implementing the PTO will give the hanging mechanism the maximum amount of power (since the motors allowed are limited) thus allowing the robot to hang as quickly as possible.
Today's progress included adding a third CIM motor to the gearbox and changing the configuration of the motors to allow for a second shifter and second output shaft.
This gearbox will be the biggest, heaviest, and most powerful gearbox Team 254 has ever built! It will be called "Big Daddy!" to compliment 2011's enormous intake gearbox, which was crowned "Big Momma"
Intermediate conveyor prototype
Students worked on prototyping an intermediate conveyor system which will be used to transfer the frisbees from the intake to a second mechanism which will transfer the frisbees to the shooter. The second mechanism has not been prototyped as of now. This prototype currently uses timing belts that are connected to two horizontal rollers. These rollers are currently running at 1400 rotations per minute. As of now the prototype works as long as it is tilted less than thirty degrees from the ground. When the prototype is angled more than thirty degrees from the ground, a pressure must be exerted perpendicular to the rollers for it to work.
The shooter prototype was repeatedly tested, and it fires consistently when the frisbees are right side up. However the consistency is lost when the frisbees are placed upside down. As of now, we would like to add something that would prevent the frisbee from angling upwards before it exits the shooter.
Students added bearings to the rollers in the prototype to prevent the loud clacking noise that occurs when it is operated.
Students finished the CAD for the LED Power Box and components. This will be assembled later and used for the pit area trussing.
Students built a mock-up human player station. They also determined best way to feed frisbees through the human player station and throw them across the field during the last thirty seconds of a match
With a new to-do list to keep track of action items, a multitude of programming-related tasks were completed or started. Students worked on getting constant variables to read from a file for the robot code. This updating would happen in robotInit(), right as the robot turns on. They also worked on reading autonomous scripts from a file for the robot in such a manner that these scripts deployable without re-compiling. Since they don't have the actual autonomous functions yet, programmers have created an initial structure to parse in names of the commands and their parameter(s) from a text file. The Smart Dashboard was installed on the driver station. Tomorrow, programmers will work on creating custom widgets to place on the dashboard. Lastly, programmers imported math functions from the 2012 robot code into the 2013 robot code.
Action Items For Tomorrow:
Upgrade Intermediate Conveyor Prototype
Upgrade Shooter Prototype
Continue Programming (See Richard's Action Item List)
Finish Drivebase CAD
Time Left the Lab: 12:00 AM