Benedict cut away a small rectangle of the Lexan on top of the chassis so that we could fit the arm onto the robot and still be able to rotate it using a motor. It's strong enough that when someone holds it up off the ground and turns that motor on, the chassis will rotate itself to meet the arm--which means that it's strong enough to lift itself up during a match. Now all we have left to do is design, build, and attach our hook/scoop and write the programs we need, and we'll be good to go for the competitions. Well, plus fundraising and preparing for the judges' presentation.
It hasn't even been a month since the season kickoff, and already the robot isn't far from being finished. ( :D )
The weather was great outside today, making an excellent opportunity to take team pictures. Our team marker has also been made, complete with the Lego R2-D2 and blue marker signatures from all four team members.
Our chassis that we designed in the summer of 2017 and used last year for the 2017-2018 season is re-usable, which means that we don't have to build one from scratch this year. ( yay :D )
Our phones for programming are on low battery, but Jane is still able to wrote pseudo-code while they charge. There have been some problems with getting programs that have been uploaded to the phone that communicates with the robot to run for more than a split-second, but hopefully we'll be able to solve that soon.
Benedict has gotten started on designing the arm of the robot with CAD software and figuring out how to fit everything within the 18-inch cube sizing limit. We're going for a hook/scoop design to lower us down from/lift us up to the lander and retrieve minerals from within the crater walls. He's also begun attaching the support system for the arm onto the chassis.
Last Saturday was the kickoff for the 2018-2019 FTC challenge! We just watched the release video in JD's basement instead of driving out to a building and watching it with the other teams in the area, but it was still exciting.
This year is called Rover Ruckus, and it's set on a planet in outer space that's rich in gold and silver minerals. The center of the playing field has a lander that you can start out hanging on and lower yourself down from. In opposite corners of the field there are craters filled with yellow blocks (gold minerals) and white wiffle balls (silver minerals). Our job is to collect minerals from the craters and deposit them in either taped-off squares in alliance specific corners of the field or way up in the lander during Tele-Op and Endgame. While dropping the minerals into the taped-off squares on the floor is certainly easier than somehow launching them up into the lander on the correct side, if both you and your alliance partner have not set down their team marker for 15 points each into your deposit zone (the taped-off squares), the robots in the other alliance can steal your minerals! Plus, dropping them into the deposit zone is 2 points each, while launching them into the lander is 5 points each--but we've decided it isn't worth the effort for only 3 points more each. After all, the robot can only control two minerals at any given point.
There's also two silver and one gold minerals arranged in random order in front of the crater. During the Autonomous period, when the robot can only follow pre-programmed instructions, if you knock away the gold mineral you get 25 points, but if you knock away a silver one too then you don't get those points. :/ If you were hanging from the lander and lowered yourself down for 30 points during Autonomous, then re-hung yourself up on it during Endgame, you get 50 more points for a total of 80 points!
Link to the kickoff video :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR4gR4l2XA8
A couple new changes to the team:
About halfway through last year's season, we got a new member named Aonghus, and he helped out with things like planning and scouting at competitions. Unfortunately, he became too old to be on the team this year, so we're back to just Benedict, Juan Diego, Veronica, and Jane. We're hoping to have JD's younger sister join the team, along with one of the other boys from Hyattsville.
Also, Jane has turned over the team's blog and Twitter account to Veronica so she can focus more on programming and making a team Instagram account. < Hello :) >
We are the Droids, and we'll be keeping you updated on our progress.