Day 21: Powdercoat, Programming, and Drive base Progress

by James “Mikey” Carroll ’15


Today, a group of students continued to work on and improve the indexer prototype. The indexer, the mechanism used to raise balls into the flywheel shooter, features a claw-like design that lifts the ball as the two arms segments of the claw come together. Furthermore, students improved upon the previous indexer design, which included one piston and two gears, by adding a second piston (one for each claw arm). The intentions of this design are to improve strength and allow each arm to move independently, thereby increasing ball stability and raising accuracy.


Abhi leading a group of students in drilling holes for the electronics

Students began to construct the drive base chassis for the finalized robot. First, students drilled and tapped holes in the chassis, then installed hardware and electronics into the base plate, in particular the main switch, the power distribution board, the digital sidecar, and the Talon motor controllers. Students are beginning wiring.

Electronics beginning to be attached to the powdercoated chassis


Work continued on designing and fine tuning the code for the robot data logger. This log includes information directly from the robot’s sensors, such as drive speed or intake speed. The log also provides easy visualization of all movements of the robot and quickly reveals issues with the robot, such as one motor running faster than another, in real time. Students will also use the information from this program to tune PID.

Tom and the programmers

Field Construction

Work continued on the construction of the truss for the field. Students completed a CAD design for the truss.

Chairman’s Award Submission

Students resumed work on Team 254’s Chairman’s Award submission, making lots of progress on the executive summary portion and the essay portion of the entry. Work continued toward a finalized thesis for the essay portion

Action Items

  • Add 4 gauge wire to both robots (Contact Mani Gnanavisam if interested)
  • Connect Talon motors to PDB and digital side car (Contact Mani Gnanavisam if interested)
  • Finish construction of the truss (Contact Mani Gnanavisam if interested)
  • Put a backing on the shelf (Contact Mani Gnanavisam if interested)
  • Check the Trello (Contact Abhi Kumar if interested)