Day #41 – 2/14/14

[Lab Opening Time: 3:00 PM]

Today marks yet another Friday, which means that members have more time to complete the robot and its sidekick counterpart.

On the pickup mechanism, we were able to drill holes in for grommets, which assisted us in the wiring process.

A grommet. (the black ring)
A grommet. (the black ring)

Members finished the practice bot after doing the last finishing touch: remounting the pistons on the outside. At the moment, they’re working on the actual robot.

Over in the wiring department, members finished crimping and routing PWM’s, and began crimping solenoid wires [edit: he finished wiring all the solenoid-esque stuff.]

In order to properly manufacture our gearbox output shaft, we had to take it over to a team sponsor to get it milled. The product was made swiftly and without flaws.




[Lab Closing Time: 1:41 AM]




Day #40 – 2/13/14

[Lab Opening Time: 1:45 PM]

Today, we unpacked the parts we got back from anodizing and began assembly.  We completed one full launcher, as shown below.  Plenty more assembly still ahead. Glorious.


Our team’s vice president decided to create a spreadsheet that logged all progress made by the team. It’s only editable by a select few (mainly mentors and division leaders), but it serves as an excellent method of logging what needs to be done while promoting efficiency.

The Spreadsheet.
The Spreadsheet.

Members of the mechanical team cut some shafts, and made a few standoffs on the lathe.

Making standoffs on the lathe.
Making standoffs on the lathe.

In addition, they mounted pistons and remade parts for the practice bot. Members also decided to grease and construct some of the VEX planetary gearboxes.

In terms of wiring, members…

  • Routed PWM’s   (Half-way done with on main bot, done with on practice bot)
  • Routed encoders (Half-way done on practice bot, done on the actual bot)
  • The ribbon cable for CRIO to sidecar done on both bots.
Ribbon cable to the CRIO
Ribbon cable to the CRIO

[Closing Time: 1 AM, the following day]

Day #39 – 2/12/14

Lab opening time: 1:30 PM

Although today was not a scheduled student meeting day, work still progressed during class and into the evening.  We assembled bearings and standoffs to the Choo-Choo gearbox plates, machined the Choo-Choo output shafts, and cut stock for the launcher shafts (enough for 4 complete launchers).






Over at our sponsor shop Daveco Industries, work proceeded until 11:00 PM where we finished facing off, turning down, and drilling and tapping all 12 launcher shafts.  Polishing is now in process, as shown below, and will be finished tomorrow afternoon.

IMG_20140212_230505We also checked on the status of the gearbox output shafts at another sponsor shop.  They’re coming along quite nicely, and we hope they’ll be done before Friday afternoon.  A current picture of the gearbox output shaft in-progress is shown below.

IMG_20140212_185753Lab closing time 6:00 PM

Extended hours at Daveco – 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM.



Day #38 – 2/11/14

Lab opening – 1:30 PM

Today we took parts to anodize and took a look at all shafts on the robot.  We modified the intake shaft to properly interface with the bearing blocks.  We produced print drawings and cut stock for all shafts except for the catapult.  We machined the full quantities of the first and second choo-choo gearbox shafts.  Tomorrow, we’ll try to machine the remainder of the shafts.

Here’s the Choo Choo second-stage shafts:



Lab closing – 7:00 PM  (Oh so nice).



Day #37 – 2/10/2014

Lab opening time 10:00 AM

We welded the front funnel assemblies and took all the welded parts including 4 H frames, 3 intakes, 2 front funnels, and 4 side funnels to powder coat.  Powder coat will be done on Wednesday.  On the way back from the Powder Coat shop, we stopped and picked up the launcher plates from our waterjet sponsor.  We drilled, deburred, and scuffed them to prep for anodizing.  Also, we machined the choo-choo link bars, and cut the big launcher tubes in preparation for anodizing.  The launcher solid rods didn’t make it in time for anodizing, so those will have to get polished.

We put in a McMaster order totaling about $1,000 that should include the majority of the remaining fasteners and pneumatic cylinders for both robots.

Here’s some pictures from today:

IMG_20140210_175526IMG_20140210_140216 IMG_20140210_124433 IMG_20140209_195412 IMG_20140209_005530  IMG_20140211_005844IMG_20140211_005949

Lab closing time: 1:30 AM on 2/11/14

Day #36 – 2/9/2014

Lab opening 1:20 PM

A good part of the day was spent welding the intake frames and side funnel H frames, to be ready for powder coat on Monday.

We ran the pivot clamping mount pieces on the CNC, and finished all 32 of those, including the 4 with the 696 logo.

Other details from Sunday 2/9/14?

Here’s a couple pictures of the clamping pivot mounts:

IMG_20140209_184015 IMG_20140209_170523

Lab closing: 1:30 AM on 2/10/2014

Day #35 – 2/08/2014

[Lab Opening Time: 9:00 AM]



Work has been proceeding in order to bring perfection to the crudely-conceived prototype of the robot.

According to the members of the mech team, the prototype is now 60 percent less shadier. They obtained CNC-routered side pannels, and a routered’ funnel. All that has to be done is assembly.

In the electrical department, they finished wiring power to the talons. Members got the power mostly routed for the CRIO modules and sidecar.They also started wiring in-between the solenoids and the relay-out on the CRIO. This task wasn’t finished, but will be continued tomorrow.

Far more experienced members and Mr. Black almost finished welding h-frames.

Machining of some “intake actuator clamping mounts” (pictured below) began.

2014-02-08 18.28.30

In the CAD department, members looked through pneumatic cylinder cad models for intake. They determined that we need a 3-inch stroke back-to-back with a 2-inch stroke for a total of 5 inches of stroke. This lets us stop either 3 inches or 5 inches in.


Day #33 – 2/06/2014

[Lab Opening Time: 1:30 PM]

This morning, our team sent off the two chassis(es) off to get powder coated. Surprisingly enough, we got it back at 6:00 PM– less than an one-day turnaround.

With this unexpected time advantage in hand, we prepared electronics, and mounted our talons and motors onto the chassis.

In the seldom-covered media team, Chairman’s Award scripts were carefully gone through.

[Lab Opening Time: 7:40 PM]

Day #34 – 2/7/2014

Today, students who are part of the mech team assembled our aluminum chassis. (pictured above)

In the CAD team, members began designing the CHOO linkage, and came to a final decision regarding the geometry of the intake piston mounts.

Programmers set up the net code for vision processing. They hope to finish the project in the following days.




Day #32 – 2/05/2014

[Lab Opening Time: 2:30 PM]

Shortly before lab opening time, our mentor, as well as three students, sent our bearing blocks, wheels, and other hardware off to anodizing; we hope to receive these parts on Friday.

Students spent the day redesigning a new intake position, as well as cutting stock for welding. Parts were prepped for the powder coating process, which we will send our first batch of on Thursday.

[Lab Closing Time: 1 AM, THE FOLLOWING DAY]