Lab opening time: 1:30 PM.
The rendering farm is complete! With iTalc, we have full abilities to power on the 4200 lab, render jobs, and power down without ever setting foot in that lab. We have 6 servers there, 5 of which have 5 slaves (counting the server), and one with three slaves (again counting the server). The 28 workstations there, plus the 16 workstations in the 6302 lab makes for 44 machines or 176 cores of rendering power! We should be able to do more detailed renders much more quickly now. And also, if the 6302 lab is being used, we can just push the renders to the 4200 machines. Testing shall commence tomorrow.
Whilst planning of the rendering farm implementation was taking place, the students, Mr. Black, and the school principal Mr. Dall discussed names for the so-called “Choo Choo” mechanism. Mr. Black initially thought of the name RAIL, an acronym meaning Rotationally Actuated Impulse Launcher. While Mr. Black still likes the name, we realized that no part of the mechanism has anything related to a rail, so we went back to “Choo” looking for engineering related words to make it into an acronym. After an exhausting vocabulary search, we determined the following (with a final edit as of this blog post):
CHOO – Cycloidal High-Output Operation. We also decided that since we’ve been referring to it all along as the “Choo choo” mechanism, there needs to be two of them. If you take one choo, and then you add another choo, you get a choo choo. So, we plan to design the robot with one of these mehanisms on each side, instead of just one in the center.
Mr. Black and Mr. Widholm discussed the design of the Choo-Choo mechanism and began to calculate preliminary gear ratios. They speculate that 64:1 ratio on a Mini-CIM motor will be approximately optimal to pull down the launcher mechanism in under 1 second time. This is operating under the assumption that two choo mechanisms will be used, each powere by a MiniCIM, and both mechanically linked to be in sync by means of hex shaft between them. Tomorrow, we will attempt to design this gearbox.
Below is a fantastic explanatory graphic from user “Ether” on the Chief Delphi forums which storyboards the motion of the Choo Choo mechanism.
Lab closing time: 6:45 PM.