Summary of Week 3: Lots done, lots to go. The main focuses this week were CAD and manufacturing. Our robot CAD is nearly complete, and we have manufactured our robot’s drive rails and brackets for the chassis. Meanwhile, programmers created our state-space library and wrote the code to control our elevator and wrist mechanisms.

With the confirmation of design came the beginning of fabrication, with students working diligently in the metal shop to make drive rails for the drivetrain. We were able to begin working on the drivetrain fairly quickly, as we used a parametrically CAD-ed chassis made during the offseason to save valuable work time. Although the final robot CAD is not done, we have made progress in fully designing the individual mechanisms and planning how they fit together. We are especially emphasizing discussion and design reviews in order to ultimately have a better product.

The CAD team worked vigorously this week to transform our CAD from a mock elevator on a semi-complete drive base into a full robot design complete with a drivetrain and mechanisms. All that remains is a few refinements: brackets, size adjustments, and mounting holes.

Our robot design–now that it is more fully fleshed out–has an elevator with an arm attached to lift balls and hatch panels to the various scoring heights as well as an integrated intake mechanism for balls and hatch panels. The robot will pull balls into the elevator carriage with a mecanum “rolly-grabber” arm, and there will be a set of v-blocks that actuate outwards to hold the hatch panels.

The manufacturing is slightly behind this season–at least compared to last year–but our machinists are working swiftly to catch up. We have manufactured our drive rails and brackets, so we are just about ready to begin assembling our drive chassis. Once our electrical board CAD and assembly are complete, we can add that on and begin driving around our 2019 robot!

This week, programmers made a state-space library so we can better control our mechanisms and ensure that they consistently reach the necessary positions. They also wrote code to rotate the arm on our elevator and control the movement of the elevator itself.

As Week 4 begins, we are shifting our focus to the assembly of our drive chassis and finalizing our robot’s CAD so we can manufacture our mechanisms. Next week, we’re headed for DESTINATION: DRIVING ROBOT.

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