Monday, February 6, 2017

FIRST Robotics 2017 - Build Season Week Four

The count down on the daily work board grows more urgent.  We are now two thirds of the way through the build season.

The first half of the week was somewhat concerning.  Oh, we had all the major systems ready to put together, but integrating them, making the control systems plausible, mounting things securely....these are the things that should happen in a smooth and organized fashion.  And were not.  So I had to push things a bit.  It's best to have a build team that smoothly and efficiently goes about its work.  But when somebody needs to establish priorities,  and to put tasks in a logical order, that somebody tends to be me.  (Remember that we are still a very young team, in future seasons I am going to take several steps back).

The nice thing about massive projects is that when work stalls on Big Stuff you can always fall back on Small Stuff.  And having a competition and a practice machine to build means you can have crews working on both.  Best quality parts and work for the A Machine, OK to lean a bit on things with the B Machine.

As usual, pictures of the week.

This was end of the day Thursday.  Practice machine in the foreground.  We have the frame done and the floor in place. We need to finish and mount the winch/rope grabber, all parts of same on display here.  The temporary electronics will come off on Saturday and the competition version go on.  Then we practice drive and finish the competition robot which is alongside.  We have made a number of educational minor mistakes on this build...and will do the second robot with the benefit of this experience.  

 A cryptic note from the software team.  It is written on plywood.

I continue to be skeptical regards a high ball shooter.  But if they are going to play around with this they had at least better have a target.  Our shop trash can set on our robot cart and three plastic tubs is about right for the competition dimensions.

Moment of truth I guess.  We had drive system ready to go, had gear capture and release systems functional, had the winch and rope grabber installed.  Lots of hands mounting switches and lights, working on software tweaks, getting the camera to rotate..

Sigh.  Although it drives well and most things work we seem to have burned out the winch motor with our initial test.  Still time to adapt the coupling and get that working...or to go to plan B.  This would be a terrible problem to discover in week 6, and a bad one in week 5.  But as an end of week 4 learning opportunity its OK.

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