Sunday, three mere days before the Ventura competition. Team 696 is down to a skeleton crew, as there’s mostly driving practice and robot improving happening.
Daniel of Programming continues to drive the Practice Robot in preparation of driving Banshee. He takes any chance he can to improve his capabilities, even though he’s already really good at it.
Business member Nicole printed out some materials and bound them together. She also started putting together the team’s standard or flag.
Dustin from the CNC Mill team cut out some stock and Pivot Plates. He then patiently waited for the next operation to come, but it never did. He was done machining for the day.
Karin patched up the red bumpers as they had been ripped up from Snapdragon who had been playing the part of a defensive bot during practice runs. She then joined Mr. Black, Dr. Clause, and Dr. Stone on improving the shooter mechanism. They also changed around the wheel configuration to try and find a better configuration so it wouldn’t get stuck or tip on the defenses.
Programming team member Bhavin worked on getting output from the axis camera so the Team could visually see off of the Robot. Other member Daniel worked on getting the Shooter to work both on intake and outtake.
Business member Nicole finished the Brand Guide design.
Mr. Black submitted a DonorsChoose project for the scouting tablets. He also modified the AutoMeter BusPro 660 chargers in order for them to fit the new battery cart. Mr. Black additionally finished welding the battery cart for the pit area.
The last official meet day before Build End or Bag Day, members were on edge to complete their tasks. Business member Anna continued her vinyl work. She was able to finish one side of the Suburban with help from Arvin, another Business member. Other Business member Nicole was too sick to come today, but she worked on the Business Plan Design from home.
Jacob of Simulation team worked with his mentor Dr. Stone for the day. They worked mainly in the Cinema room. Jacob was able to finish some formatting and proofreading of his documentation.
There were some snacks brought for the members later into the meeting. Delicious cold pastries, donuts, and brownies were given out. Slightly chilled, these products contained a sweet filling.
Lousaper, member of Lathe team, continued to make miscellaneous spacers that could be used in generic places on the Robot. She also assisted in the clean-up in the gym.
CAM member James helped CAD member Mikia, Welder Roupen, and Mr. Najarian. Together the trio assembled the Prototype Bumper. James then began to CAM possible the last part he’ll create this year.
Mr. Black machined pulleys for the Winch Cable.
He then installed chains to the Arm and Winch mechanisms and also CAM programmed the Gearbox Brace.
This morning’s meeting was a little different than usual. Besides assigning daily tasks like usual, Mika and Alexander unveiled two gearboxes designed and created solely by students. This is a first for the team, so obviously it will stand as a milestone as to the evolution of Team 696.
Simulation team member Jacob talked with Dr. Stone, his mentor, on some inconsistent work values. They decided to try solving some of the work with calculus using time and power as derivatives. They also troubleshot and continued working on the flywheel code.
Devon and Lauren of Prototyping team helped CAD member Anthony assemble the Robot’s Hanging Arms. These would allow the Robot to lift itself off the ground at the end of the match. Being concerned with how the metal glided over the button head stops, the group tested various methods of stopping the arms. They decided to grind down socket head screws and counter sinking for flat heads when finding that buttons are superior.
CNC Mill member Nanor machined holes into long pieces of box-tube for the Robot’s Skid Plate Rails numbering five in total. During this, other CNC Mill member Dustin cut stock out for the small arm plate supports using the Horizontal Band-saw. Then Dustin ran the first of four operations on the fresh cut stock using the Super Mini Mill 2.
Business team member Nicole updated the Brand Guide and worked on t-shirts. Andrea worked on the Alumni Design and finally began laser-cutting dog tags after redoing the template on Adobe.
James of CAM helped define the stock size for the winch cable spool. All left to do is run the mill.
Programming team member Jake continued to test batteries. Other member Bhavin worked on Vision Processing while John worked on programming SnapDragon to drive autonomously.
Daniel and Dr. Clouse worked together to decide the future OI device on the control board as well as getting the Robot to drive wireless. Daniel then took the Robot out for a little test driving.
Lousaper, the Lathe team member, started on the Shooter-Gearbox Spacers.
Mr. Black introduced Business members Arvin and Andrea to the art of laser engraving. He also launched new DonorsChoose projects for 2D printing filament and machined the Winch Spool on the Haas CNC Lathe. Mr. Black additionally sourced switches and parts for the Control Board.
Nicole, the lone Business member for the day, put together the Sponsor Booklets. She also started the new Alumni Book.
Welding team members Eden and Roupen scotch-brited the robot. They also finished welding the base. As a little side note, Eden, the Rookie Welder, burned his finger this day. But not from welding or hot metal, he spilled some hot soup on it. He’s fine now.
The solo member of CNC Lathe team, Lousaper, modified the Drive Gearbox Output Shaft. She did so by using the Lathe.
Dustin of CNC Mill team manufactured a gearbox plate by reusing some of the left over 1/4″ plate from the shooter plate. The pieces were taking too long to cut, so the CAM program had to be changed a few times. Nanor used the Super Mini Mill 2 to finish the A-frame. Dustin also cut some cylindrical stock for new sets of pieces.
Simulation looked into the batteries for the robot, and the conversion factors between RPM and the used energy. After messing around with numbers that they’d received to see if they would fit into the system, but the model didn’t work as it had troubles from the very beginning. So Jacob and Dr. Stone of Simulation debugged their functions, then compiled them into one automated function. They also compared the data.
Mika, our Watchful President, worked with Alexander and Mr. Black to create a McMaster-Carr order. Mika also accidentally broke the horizontal band-saw by tightening the vice too much – breaking off two bolts. After Mr. Black took out the broke bolts, Mika put back together the band-saw.
Mr. Black finished installing LED lights to Haas Mini Mill. Now the work area and machining operation will be lit up very nicely. He then placed parts orders and began working on the Dean’s List essay.
Many other accomplishments were accomplished this day, including the superstructure rails being finished on the Super Mini Mill 2.
The Winch Gearbox was beginning to be worked on, and the Competition Robot Base was fully scotch-brited and cleaned.
The beginnings of the mounting of transmissions for the Practice Robot also occurred.
The day was overcast, with sheets of rain pummeling down from above. There was also a wind, cutting through any jacket in its way. But this weather won’t stop Team 696 from progressing onward with their plans. No weather can, for Robotics is what all the members live and breathe.
After a brief meeting, the team began to work around 1:15. Much had to completed, for a complete Robot Frame was expected to be completed soon for the practice robot. Welding member Roupen was assisted by Vice-President Alexander, President Mika, and mentor Mr. Hoard in this task.
Together, they were able to rivet the practice robot frame together. After the rivets were in place, the members also drilled through parts to later add screws.
Roupen took the frame to begin welding. He was helped in welding by his assistant Welder, Eden. The whole process went smoothly, leaving very nice looking welds and a sturdy Robot Frame.
In the Cinema room, Jacob of Simulation team and his mentor Dr. Stone began computing the calculations they’ve been calculating for the past few months. They made some improvements on frictions and motors, and how many amps the motors will use given as amount of torque, which they can derive from the friction present. They also conducted more research and MATLAB implementation.
Business team had multiple tasks for the day. Nicole vectored the logo for Glendale Education Foundation and worked on making a duplicate copy of the team’s pages at the end of the Design Book. Arvin and Anna finished and finally submitted the Google Grant.
Andrea, also of Business, worked on converting files to svg for the team’s dog tags. These files will allow her to make a template on Adobe Illustrator so she can add the names of members and sub-groups to the dog tags.
Nanor of CNC Mill team worked on gearbox plates on the Mini Mill with her mentor, Mr. Widholm. Jonna of CAM would write the program needed to manufacture the gearbox plates, and then Nanor would operate the Mill. On the first of ten plates, the part broke the 1/4″ endmill and flew off its clamp and into the HAAS window. What exactly happened isn’t clear, but it was probably not gripped tight enough in the vice.
Other CNC Mill member Dustin finished drilling the remaining holes on the front and back robot rails, which he then gave to Welding team. Then, with help from Mr. Widholm, Dustin set up the necessary tools to Mill out step on some vice jaws. They plan to use the setup to hold a large aluminum plate to create part of the Shooting Arm of the robot later.
CAD team has been finalizing the design for the telescoping arms and mounting bracket. Their bumper design had been finishes as well, but they might have to redesign it depending on later testing. Polycarbonate has also been ordered to create the control board, whose design has been finished.
Karin of Prototype team worked with Jake from Programming team on wiring. Together, they attached the wires which they had already stripped and crimped to the new batteries with nuts bolts. They also had to use a big heat shrink as well. Karin was later pulled aside by Sipan of CAD to finalize spacing of the control board buttons relative to her finger positions.
James of CAM spent the day creating shooter side plates and bumper support reinforcements on his computer.
Mika, our Shining President made a purchasing list for Mr. Black to look to when purchasing orders for the team. She also helped Alexander, Roupen, and Mr. Hoard in constructing the Robot Frame. Prior to welding, it weighed 9.1 lbs.
Alexander, our Sparkling Vice-President watched over the activities of the day, knowing that an order was placed to McMaster, West Coast Products, B&B Manufacturing, and Sailrite for parts. Thanks in part to him, the practice drive base was also assembled and began to be welded.
Among numerous other accomplishments, the batteries were reorganized on their shelf. One of the new charges also got SB50 connectors crimped on.
Mr. Black conducted all the orderings of the day. Parts were ordered from McMaster and West Coast Products. All KOP voucher products were also ordered. Greyhill encoders were ordered from Digikey for the transmissions, and the network switch was ordered from Amazon. Mr. Black also installed a hook near the welding station in the garage for C-clamps to hang off of. He also assisted Jake and Karin in installing battery cables and Jake with installing Anderson Powerpole SB50 connectors to the new DualPro RS3 battery charger.
Members shuffled into the lab Sunday afternoon at around 1:00. They stood still, listening tentatively to their leaders as members were given their daily objectives.
Jonna of CAM designed the side bars for the robot. She also used the Plasma Cutter to cut out the Drive Base. However, the metal for the Drive Base was not supported properly and the Base warped as it was heated up. The team was able to straighten up the metal later using clamps.
James, the other CAM member completed a simulation of the wheel hub in the Inventor HSM program.
CNC members Nanor and Dustin drilled and tapped blocks of plastic that Mr. Widholm cut out from the Mill. They then ran James’ CAM project through the Mill – creating the wheel spokes. Nanor and Dustin took Lousaper’s Lathed wheel hubs and placed them into the Mill. Each run takes approximately 12 minutes. The pair completed 10 parts.
The amazingly handsome Blogger and Photographer Samuel spent much of the time taking pictures of the milled and lathed wheel hubs.
Prototype members Lauren and Devon helped Programmer Daniel in getting the prototype shooting mechanism to accurately shoot into the High Goal. They were assisted by Photographer Samuel and his graceful mentor Mariam.
Mika, our brilliant President spent her time cutting up the base frame. She also helped VP Alexander with the parts purchasing list.
By the end of the day, the robot frame pieces were cut, driver axles were set up on the CNC Lathe, and final edits were made to the robot base on CAD. It was around 11:00 when almost all members finally headed home, but Mr. Black remained at the lab.
Prior to after everyone went home, Mr. Black verified the operations and setup for the wheel hub milling. This was very important because this meant members could now Mill the wheel hubs after the Lathe had its way with them.
All the milling actually ended up jamming the Super Mini Mill 2’s chip auger. This was the reason Mr. Black stayed behind after everyone else had left, he had to clean out the machine. Taking a whopping two hours to finish, the lab technically closed at 1:15 AM, with one tired Mr. Black and one unjammed Super Mini Mill 2.
Members began working in the lab at 1:00 PM. If people craved some food, there were some delicious muffins and pastries.
CAD members Sipan, Mikia, Claire, and Anthony K. finished dimensions for the electronics board and started to calculate the angle of the shooter for the best trajectory. They also helped Prototype team in making a fly-wheel shooter.
Daniel of Programming got the potentiometer to work on Reptar and so he began working on a PID control system for the arm. Other Programming member Jake assisted Daniel on the arm and Mr. Widholm with various tasks. John spent his time learning how to use encoders and he also developed Snapdragon’s code.
Nicole of Business team worked on the new local brochure. She also planned out the revisions for the sponsor brochure. Arvin and Anna completed the Google grant proposal.
James of CAM helped Dustin of CNC Mill and Welding member Eden in completing the Portcullis – or Lift Gate. It is now a fully functional Obstacle we can test on.
Luke of Web team finished some errands that needed to be completed. He then began the second revision of the scouting system.
Dustin of CNC Mill helped Eden of Welding and James of CAM cut out parts of large wood that used to be part of a 696 shipping crate. They assembled the parts to construct the Portcullis but didn’t have enough for the bottom of the structure.
Dustin then helped Devon of Prototype with making the Draw Bridge. The pair remounted some wood pieces to the hinging door to try and get the springs to pull the door back up but that failed.
Roupen of Welding adapted two CIM motors to the robot prototype which was previously using two drill motors. Now the shooting mechanism can throw out a projectile from around 9′ away.
Prototype members Karin and Lauren worked with Lousaper of Lathe, Jonna of CAM, and Nanor of CNC Mill on the four additional platforms needed to optimize the drive practice time. They started out by scavenging for wood, then they began to cut, drill, and screw them together. They finished two platforms without ramps before running out of plywood and asking Mr. Black to order some more.
Mr. Black worked on general lab cleanup, organization, and improvements. He installed a hook for brooms on the lab wall, installed a 10-key number pad for logins and logouts, and he cleaned up scrap metal from the 4×8 router table in the garage.
Mr. Black also swept debris from underneath the plasma cutter because a safe work-enviroment is a clean one. After all this, he moved obsolete toolboxes from the lab and garage to downstairs storage. Mr. Black also performed accounting and entering of receipts for expenditures and assisted Anna of Business with transferring the CNC router accessories to the new toolbox.
Mika, our prosperous President finished up the list of electronics that were needed, then she went over to the Business room to show them some errors in the Brochure and Sponsor Book.
Alexander, our divine Vice-President finished the base frame – which needs final review before manufacturing. He also started creating the bumper in CAD and pocket the electronics plate in CAD as well. Alexander also taught Claire how to layout the electronics plate.
While most members of 696 arrived to the lab at 1 to begin work, Mr. Black had the lab open at approximately 11:35. So while I was still waking up, Mr. Black was participating in a conference call with team 3476 Code Orange. What was gained from this call seems to be that both teams (696 and 3476) share a similar understanding of what the FRC 2016 game requires for a team to be successful.
Then, a little after 1, all team members gathered in the Cinema room located next door to the lab. It was there that Mr. Black reviewed safety and standard operating protocols for the end of the work day. He also gave an update about important dates for the upcoming week. Besides this, Mr. Black also outlined the team’s three main objectives: to build a highly competitive robot that would excel in the competition; to educate students while they gain insight, knowledge, and a variety of skills in multiple areas of expertise; and to have fun while still completing the other two objectives.
It was around 1:45 when Mr. Black started the “idea share” portion of the meeting. This consisted of all members giving input on what they believe would make a good robot for the competition or on what they thought the team should really focus on. A random member would be chosen and they’d each get 1 minute each. Claire of CAD stood by the whiteboard and listed what was mentioned. This way of discussion allowed a more discrete and broad input than prior years experienced. The team worked together to find convergence between various ideas.
Some ideas that deserve to be mentioned would be Mariam’s and Anna’s. Mariam wished for the robot to have a large Canon, perhaps she meant it as a camera, for she is the photographer’s mentor after all. Anna of Business voiced the idea of a robot with a single mechanism that could perform multiple tasks that the game called for. This was the first “omni-tool” idea presented during the meeting. Mr. Hoard simply stated that we should “build a robot that wins,” which certainly seems like something to strive for.
One thing everyone desires is to consolidate the mechanisms as much as possible – a big step forward from yesterday’s proposals. What was also discussed was how shooting for the high goal seems very achievable and may not be much slower than shooting into the low goals. The idea sharing drew to a conclusion at 2:50 where the members split off into groups to perform the necessary tasks asked of each of them.
Members whom shifted through the kit of parts found some interesting mysteries, including a small board from Analog devices bearing resemblance to a micro-controller. Its utility is yet unknown. The team is in agreement that we need to get the drive base done very soon, using COTS parts – consumer off the shelf.
Prototype members Devon, Lauren, and Karin met with Leaders Mika and Alexander, Roupen of Welding, Sipan, Anthony, Mikia, and Claire of CAD, Jonna and James of CAM, and Lathe member Lousaper in the Cinema room to discuss what needed to be prototyped for the robot. Once coming to a conclusion, they split off into two groups.
Lauren, Karin, and Devon of Prototype paired with Jonna of CAM and Lousaper of Lathe to worked together. They began prototyping merged arms and a climbing mechanism for the robot.
Meetkumar of Programming worked with James of CAM. Together the pair constructed a prototype of the magic triangle that measured 15 inches in length. After this James got involved with the robot design some more.
CNC Mill members Dustin and Nanor were tasked to make some obstacles to practice with. Eden of Welding assisted them. The team started with constructing the Sally Port Door. First they printed out the blueprints and deciphered them. Then they cut out a piece of wood to about 2 by 3.5 feet for the door. For a ramp, they used a hollow door after adding side supports. They wanted the base to stand about 3 inches tall, so they added wood to the underside as Eden started on the ramps leading to the base.
Using the large band-saw, Eden cut out 3/4 inch wood board wedges to form the ramp. The two CNC Mill members also started making a CAM program that will be used to cut out an upper goal area for the castle to be used in later practice runs.
Jake and John of the Programming team continued learning how to program robots. Jake worked on limiting the speed of robots with coding so it won’t move too fast during future presentations and public events. Bhavin and Daniel of Programming kept working on the vision processing. They were able to get a feed from a Playstation EYE but will continue working to send the feed through the robot to a computer.
Christopher of Animation spent time learning how to use CAT in 3ds Max. He also started to work on a character model after creating and revising a schedule. Even though the other member Anthony C. was sick at home, this didn’t stop him from doing his part. Anthony C. developed an ideal sequence for animation so they’d have something to work with once he makes it back to Robotics.
Sipan of CAD created a list of priorities for the proposed robot. He also Expo CADed a design for a robot he named Short Stack. The design would allow it to fit under a 14 inch bar if needed to.
Business member Arvin created a small outline of necessary components of the business plan. He also reviewed the Entrepreneurship Award submission.
Luke of Web spent the day developing and prototyping a scouting system that will be used during the competition after some additional adjustments and updates.
Mika, our Cherished President took it upon herself to be the ever-calming presence in these chaotic times as well as the voice of reason. She dished out the various tasks for the day, then helped discuss ideas with Prototyping and CAD teams. She also checked up on other sub-teams’ goals and their statuses. Mika planned out the robot design and team’s strategy for the game as well.
Alexander, our serene Vice-President started working for today last night. Indeed, he spent much time the night before doing an in-depth game timing analysis and strategy analysis. He compiled and looked at the possible tasks our robot would be faced with, and calculated how long each would take. This data would be very important for the team to reach a well informed strategic design. Alexander also served as a scribe throughout the morning design discussion, typing up the voiced opinions as a reference for later use. He later helped out the CAD team design agreed-upon mechanisms that’d serve multiple tasks. This was all done while keeping in mind the dimension restrictions set for this competition. All of which couldn’t be done with out the useful whiteboard, allowing members to visually share their ideas and thoughts.
The lab closed around 8:40, but will be reopened the very next day. For one does not simply go a day without working in the lab during Build Season. And so i shall say in conclusion, until next time.
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