After weeks of being confided to at-home learning and practices, the team is back in person for the first practice of the new year. During the beginning of practice, guest speaker Dr. Matthew Caputo, an assistant professor at Penn State Shenango, spoke to the team about a high school mentoring program that team members have the ability to participate in along with undergraduate students. 3D printing filament and the effects of the material structure on the durability of the product where the focus of this program along with how an electron microscope can be used to observe filaments at a closer level and can have various uses in the science field. After Dr. Caputo’s speech, the team made minor improvements on the robot such as adjusting the placement of the outtake in order to shoot the rings out more easily. The team is excited to be back to in-person practices and cannot wait to get to work next week. We really appreciate Dr. Caputo speaking to us about the engineering field and future career opportunities.
The team listened to guest speaker, Dr. Caputo, who discussed mentorship and career opportunities in the field of engineering.
Ever since Thanksgiving break, the school has been transitioned to virtual learning due to the increase in coronavirus cases in our area. This also means that the team is confined to at-home practices. While at home, the team communicated through Discord and worked on CADing the robot through the program, On Shape. The team designed the robot through CAD by placing where the plexiglass needed to be in order to guide the rings and where to mount the outtake in order to launch the rings at the correct angle. The team also made various improvements on the CAD such as mounting screws and nuts into where they were needed. Aside from CAD, the team also worked on the robot individually. Because we are not able to have in person practices, the team passed around the robot to individual robots in order to add the improvements made on the CAD onto the physical robot itself. Team members such as Ramsey Brown and Kyle Wareham made improvements at-home to the robot itself by mounting the outtake and placing cardboard (as a temporary replacement for the plexiglass) in order to guide the rings into the outtake. The school plans on returning to in person learning on January 4th and the team is very excited to return to in person practices again.
Over the past two weeks many changes and improvements have been made to the robot. The ring shooter outtake is working very well and has had the finishing improvements and tweaks put on it over the last two weeks. Improvements include moving the motor mounts to the far right, flipping the wheels so that they would sit lower on the feeding mechanism, and adjusting the height of the ring feeder mechanism. We also improved the robot itself by adding a third motorized wheel to the drive train of the robot, giving the robot more mobility. The conveyor belt, on the other hand, is a different story. We did improve the conveyor belt by replacing the 1 diameter gears with 3 diameter gears, linking Tertix 1.5 conveyor pieces to build the belt itself, and adding grips to the conveyor pieces in order to hold the rings in place. This came with many problems though as when we tested the tread system, we found that the treads were bouncing causing the robot to lose possession of the rings and that the tread system was too steep to move the rings up the robot effectively. This, however, is a blessing in disguise as now we know that we need a new system that will be faster and more effective. We can learn from are mistakes and see what went wrong with the conveyor belt system and how to avoid these issues in the future.
Eli and Kyle add a third motorized wheel to the drive train of the robot.
The new and improved ring shooter design.
A look at the conveyor belt system used to intake the rings (without the grips on the treads).
The team has been very busy over the past couple weeks. The team first met with Mr. Ackley, a local programmer and robotics enthusiast, to discuss strategies on how to approach building the robot. Mr. Ackley suggested that we split into groups to build individual sections of the robot and then connect them all. We split into three groups of two. Kyle and Ramsey worked on a conveyor belt system in order to pick up the rings on the field. Peter and Eli worked on the container to hold the rings and a pulley system to move the container in a vertical fashion. Alex and Ben worked on the outtake to shoot the rings into the goal. All of our individual projects were then prototyped for two weeks.
A highlight of one of these practices was finishing the outtake and seeing how the outtake shoots the rings into the target goal (tower slots and power shot targets). The difficult part was the figuring out how to put all of the pieces together in a working manner. We brainstormed for during our last meeting and finally deiced to have storage that would hold the rings at the start of the match and be pushed onto a platform that raises to the outtake. We are excited to start work on this idea and bring all of our work together next practice!
The team met with Mr. Ackley to discuss strategies on how to approach building the robot.
Lucas, Ben, and Jon test the outtake prototype and shoot rings into the goals.
The team discusses strategies and ideas on how to connect all of the separate parts onto the robot.
The team started the season with the season kickoff on September 12. Immediately after watching the Ultimate Goal video the team started drafting designs for a new robot with a plethora of different ideas from all of the team members. The team found common ground and everyone decided on a design to effectively accommodate for the Ultimate Goal challenges.
The team also purchased and built a new field for the Ultimate Goal season. This will help the team competition remotely this season. The team is now in the process of CADing the robot and building the chassis of the robot. The media team is also busy with updating the team website/social media. We are off to a great start and excited for the season ahead despite the pandemic!
The team met and discussed ideas for the Ultimate Goal season after watching the season kickoff (missing from photo, Emma Barborak).
The team is underway on building the new field for the Ultimate Goal season!
Peter and Kyle work on the chassis for the new robot.