The Final Countdown
So for the past five days we have been working constantly with our field, robot design, and robot contruction. School started last Wednesday for us, and I (Brynne), Kaitlin, Bethany, and Emma have been heading to Emma’s house after school everyday to continue our rapid work.
We had gotten all the Dual-Lock adhesive onto all the necessary ridge pieces to keep both craters, Crater Chanda and Crater Canvin, and the Long Ridge stable, finally completing our field, freeing us to put all our craniums together for the main robot build with alternative design ideas and contruction. Our first driving system idea was with a 3-tread system, but at first, we only had four tread pieces total, so we were going to have to convert to a quad-tread system. We even had our self-invented drive train with tank tread in the front and back of the robot but with two wheels to replace what tread would have normally connected the two ends. It worked, gave support and all, but just didn’t accomplish everything we’d hoped. Luckily, we found two more tread pieces though, so we were able to return to the 3-tread system, which is three treads connected on each side of the robot. To add to this system, we angled the front tread 45 degrees upwards, the middle treads flat to the ground, and the back treads are there for support to optimize terrain control. After gearing our drive train, we realized we had a bit too much torque for our drive motors to handle, so we simplified it a bit, and we still have enough power to get over the barriers & have a nice speed.
We moved on to the placement of the Helium-3 and Water Ice container. We had several prototypes of what the “container” was going to look like, but we ultimately needed one that would fit around the drive motors, but also be spacious enough to catch and carry all the game pieces and be weight effective. We have so far come up with a “cage”-like prototype, mainly composed of straight bars. We moved on to what we like to call the “Pooper-Scooper”, the Trident-like claw we made, to pick up those very game pieces we would love to carry around on our robot. :)
Next is the camera proposal, we first wrote about the full 360 degree rotation capability and the adjustable angle change. We had to modify this since we only had one motor left for the camera. Besides, we rotating the robot for this kind of view was more simple. We needed to reserve this 3rd motor, anyway, for our ”Pooper-Scooper” -to move it up and down to pick up and drop off game pieces into “The Cage”. This was a tricky task, but our idea was to have a drive shaft go through both sides of the motor, place one gear on either side of it, and have that move our rack and pinion system up and down. At the same, it’s rotating our claw via another rack on the opposite side. Our camera is also mounted on top of the system to achieve our goal of getting a controllable height (this is our simulation of “gaining a better view of the moon landscape” as we said in our design proposal).
Lastly I want to update you guys about our sensors plan. Two sensors will be mounted to our precious bot: ultrasonic and color. The ultrasonic sensor is to be used to sense incoming ridges and allow our robot to stop a certain distance before it hits them. More specifically, it’ll allow us to collect the first two Helium-3 nearby the Landing Base and prevent it from going out of bounds. The color sensor is probably the most important of the two sensors. We will be using it to sense the Helium-3 and Water Ice and release our claw just right in order to collect them. It will also ensure our robot is completely on the Peak of Eternal Light and lastly ending at the Landing Base.
So that’s just a little taste of our robot, and we know that you’re just drooling with anticipation to see it and how it ultimately works. But you’ll just have to wait, just like waiting for dessert. ;) Brynne signing off, have a nice evening! :)