We present “SpitFire”
Thank you everyone who made build season possible.
FIRST Robotics Team 1501, Huntington Indiana
Week 5 has came and went. Earlier we mentioned that we are behind schedule this season a few days. This has caused us to work extra hard and many long hours, including all weekend…ugh…we’ve been plagued with sickness from some our student leaders that play a key role on the team, but after this final week, the schedule looks like we are about one day behind now.
In the picture above is our electrical power and pneumatic system. We control our robot with a National Instruments CRIO controller.
We integrated some key features on the robot this weekend and found some problems. We are looking at some of those and making changes early this week. We also released for manufacturing some components of our lifting mechanism. Hopefully that will be finished up by Wednesday along with some final purchase parts we are waiting on.
On Sunday, we are planning on attending the Muncie Scrimmage, but that is unclear at the beginning of week 6 if we are going to catch-up all the way to be able to make it.
Definitely, we are planning on an Open House and robot unveil on Monday, Feb 18th, 2013 at the Community Building, please mark your calendars. Hope to see you guys there.
One of the things that is neat about robotics, is watching students proto-type their ideas in the shop generally without limitations to prove a concept or idea. Proto-types are refined in this process and then generally based on “performance” or “specification” criteria set forth by our Strat-X leadership committee. Proto-type ideas are then selected and become team property. This idea is to make sure that no one person has any fault or feels pressure to move an idea or mechanism forward. We adopt all ideas as the team’s best forth ideas. The whole robot is a team project at that point to play the game with the strategy that was selected.
The picture above is the final mechanism of a lead screw device that will move part of our robot with an encoder feedback device. The DC motor is controlled by a Talon Speed controller which is controlled by a National Instruments CRIO controller. The US Digital encoder is wired to the CRIO as an input feedback device to measure lead screw position which allows the software team to get “real” world experience programming LabView with PID controlled software algorithms. Exposure to this type of technology is what makes robotics a good program for the students when guided by professional engineers from our community and sponsors.
Thank you sponsors for providing the engineers to mentor our students.
It’s Week3 for Team THRUST 1501, the half way point of our six week build season. Above is a video of our shooter proto-type version 5 to play this years FIRST robotic’s game “Ultimate Ascent”. After reviewing several videos on youtube, it seems easier to shoot frisbees than we first expected. This has allowed us to concentrate more with other strategies that we discussed as a team in Week1. More to come later…
Progress currently with the robot side of the team is that we have started CAD designs with Autodesk Inventor, a free sponsored software package given to all the teams. We are always thankful for the tools given to us by our sponsors to teach and design robots to the students. They are using tools that professional engineers use right now in high school to develop the skills they need later in college should they decide to pursue engineering.
On the business side of Team THRUST 1501, we have an outline rough draft of our Chairman’s award, and developing a new scouting software that we hope to have up and running this season. Students will soon be calling new sponsors pretty soon, so if you are new to our team, you might be getting some calls from our fundraising sub-teams. Of course, we are also preparing and implementing our safety plan as usual.
As far as the team goes, we have 30 students on the team this year, that’s a large number for our team. We’ve decided to build two robots this year because we have many students who are very dedicated to the program and very eager to learn. We are proud of them all.
Thanks for reading and (watching) our Week3 update.
This year’s robot-shop motto is to never stop improving ideas by continuing to inspiring our own team mates, “never stop proto-typing” is the R&D focus this 2013 season. Team THRUST 1501 has created 13 mechanical proto-types ranging from drives, shooters, harvesters, climbers, hoppers, and magazines. Each iteration is improved upon from one phase of the design to the next by feeding off of each others creative ideas. What’s neat about this process is how a proto-type evolves from the simplest functionally to a full blown working mechanism that achieves a special function in this years game.
We would like to also give a special shout out to our sponsors this year in this week’s update. PHD, Inc. (www.phdinc.com) and UTEC (www.utc.com) for being there with us now 9 years. BAE Systems (www.baesystems.com), thanks so much for the band saw! We have used it every day for 2 weeks straight. We would also like to thank the Pentair Foundation (www.pentair.com) for sponsoring Team THRUST 1501 this year. Thank-you. Dirigs Sheet Metal (www.dirigsheetmetal.com), just wait until you see what we are going to do with that sheet metal you donated to us, and Builders Mart (www.morschesbuildersmart.com/huntington.html) for the wood, we built our frisbee targets and feeder stations from the 2×4 and plywood you donated us. We’ve already applied the 3M reflective tape and will soon be vision tracking with the wooden mock-ups.
Thank you all sponsors for a great start to a great season so far.