The most interesting thing about the day was how busy things seemed. There were a lot of people on hand. Seven coaches. Three alumni - who mostly drop in to visit but occasionally offer the team advice. And of our roster of 21 students we had 20 on hand. This is pretty amazing. Essentially the entire team shows up to do three hours of extra work directly after a full school day. And do so three school nights a week plus a long session on Saturday. Time for a team photo.
A good looking and hard working crew.
We have a "beta version" of our robot coming together. It is the drive base, super structure, climber and most of the intake and conveyor mechanisms. That last one is still in development. Impressive, no?
Ah but it is too heavy. So we have to make the final version out of thiner metal and find ways to lighten up everything. More Swiss Cheesing ahead. Perhaps the robot name will be some variation on "Swiss Cheezit". None of the kids read my posts so far as I know, so I'll toss the name question out for discussion in a week or so and see what they come up with.
Tuesday was one of those frustrating days when not enough happened. Unexpected parts were required. Decision making was slow and distracted. It is the first time we have ever had software so far out ahead of the build team, and they can only do so much with the current drive base. They need something with a ball shooter on it. Well, this is rather a pattern. After a fun and productive day comes the let down day. We regroup and come back to work another day.
I notice the small things. The team has changed. This year, next to the safety glasses, there is this pack of pony tail holders.
There is perfection in small things. Here's a sensor bracket. Designed by one of our new recruits. Yes, it is a small part, but the sensor unit clicks in perfectly. Just needs a drop of glue.
Quite a bit of progress tonight. Here's the robot with frame and drive systems done. At least in prototype form. In the foreground....The Enemy. Otherwise known as the scale. Reducing down to weight will be a most excellent engineering challenge.
There was not quite enough time to transfer the electronics and power up. That should happen Saturday. Along with many, many other things. Here's the robot waiting for the next session, parked next to the software development frame. Transferring the smart parts over should happen soon.
Oh, we have to ditch ten pounds, work the bugs out of the ball transfer system, redo the entire frame in lighter gauge steel, learn to drive it and a few other little details. But at the end of the day four of the students hopped on the robot and propelled themselves around the room as if it were a giant armor plated skateboard. A good test of frame strength, and one it passed. Kids having fun.