Team Nine/Final Paper
From Maslab 2011
Originally intending to build as simple a robot as possible, long nights of nothing but throwing ideas back and forth left us with quite the complicated design. From our chain linked, vertically mounted drive train, to our lidar system of mapping (aka two ir sensors mounted on servos), our design quickly became more of a task then we were probably able to handle. Still in the end we ended up with a pretty freaking cool robot.
Our robot was constructed entirely of acrylic and sheet metal, along with any other parts we had ordered, including sprockets, chains, steel axels, and angle stock. You can probably guess that we had a very heavy robot.
Outside of the typical uorcboard, camera, ir senors, bump sensors, servos, and 2 or 3 motors, our design required, an optical mouse for odometry, 3 additional motors, and with that an arduino. Each of these components had to be mounted, of course, and we did so by creating seperate sheet metal cases for the arduino, eepc, and orcboard, and mounting the servos and ir sensors, as well as the camera, on a senors board located underneath the dock where we collected balls. The 4 drive motors were all located above there respective omni wheel, and connected via chains.
We decided to use omniwheels for our robot, simply for increase maneuverability. Our motors were mounted above these wheels in a support chamber made of acrylic and connected with 3 inch screws and nuts. These motors were connected to the wheel shaft via chains and sprockets. Our robot, despite its weight, drove reasonably well.
The final point I would like to make about our robot is its modularity. I would definitely recommend this to future maslab teams when designing. Our robot consisted of three main components that could be separated with ease to, for quick access fixes and changes. The three components were our left and right wings, and then our center console. This helped us dramatically when working on our robot, and it ended up being one of our proud points in the design.
Unfortunately our robot did not seem to come together like we had intended. On the day of the final competition we simply did not have a robot ready for the task at hand. For the preliminary round, we lost in both 3 minute sub rounds, scoring zero points. Come the second round we stepped our game up a bit collecting one ball and displacing another. after dropping the one ball we collected, however, we still ended up with zero points. We ultimately tied for last place. Despite our limited success both my team and I can certainly agree that experience was one filled unmatched learning opportunities. It is an entirely hands on project that will force those who are not experienced in the field to learn new skills they will undoubtedly be able to apply in the future. I recommend this to anyone interested. Voltron force, out!