Team Sixteen/Final Paper
MASLAB 2014 Team 16 Paul Colella, Charlie Gordon, Mac Gager, Anant Kapoor
- Strategy In planning for this years competition our tea quickly realized that we were less mechanically strong and needed to focus on ensuring that our robot functioned as that would be the limiting factor. Our initial plan was made with the goal of having a mechanically simple robot that had the potential to perform every task set out for it. We would actively search the field as well as mine from the silo and deposit balls as our robot reached capacity
- How your robot worked, + CAD models, why you made your design Our robot consisted of a rubber band spinner which pulled in balls as they were driven over then they were internally directed towards a wooden screw which lifted the balls to the top platform where they could then be sorted. Do to some overlooked issues in the design as well as what was a poorly planned sorting and depositing strategy our robot never reached full functionality. It is clear now that had we thoroughly thought through the design and planned every aspect accordingly from the beginning we would have avoided many reworks and would have been able to create a better robot. We also lost a lot of time attempting to build a wire screw. we did eventually make a laser cut one which worked well, but the mount which held it was not great.
- Software architecture/Sample code As it took us a great deal of time to construct a working robot we had very little time to integrate software we did however create a probabilistic simulator which was able to take in simulated sensor data and very accurately navigate the map. In theory this should have allowed for us to implement a very strong localization program but we were unable to get to that point.
- Things you learned Many of our team members gained experience working with electronic components and sensors as well as microcontrollers which we had not had before. To further pursue this we plan on working on a quadcopter in the coming semester.
- Things you could have done better had we more clearly thought out the initial design as far as how every motor, servo, and sensor will be held in place, where the wiring will take place, how will we make it easy to adjust wires and how will we make it movement of balls less prone to accidents (getting stuck on tape) and then we had built the robots chassis quicker we would have given the coding team a longer time to work in a more stable environment.
- Advice for next year dont dive right in. learn what tools and components you have. Then plan a robot down to the smallest detail then build it. You will still have problems, but every problem you avoid in the first design will save you an hour or two later. DO NOT USE ULTRASONIC SENSORS