Update 2/8/14: Circular Logic

Posted by daviddalegearhead On February 9, 2014 Comments Off on Update 2/8/14: Circular Logic

We spent this week working on the code and some finishing touches for the robot.

Programmers decided to switch from some fancier techniques we were trying to learn to some simpler ones from last year-the more complicated techniques made it a very stressful week for some of us code monkeys.  The more simple code was easily deployed and tested. 

Programmers & Mentors from King Solutions (see below!) debug the robot together.

Build was happy to finally have a robot they could drive. But they quickly discovered a flaw with the drive system that prevented them from manuvering very well-the front wheels were getting almost zero traction because all the weight was in the back. They decided to move the battery to the very front of the robot in order to redistribute weight-those batteries are heavy!

The claw mechanism also proved a little jerky. Just today, with the the help of a mentor from one of our sponsors, King Solutions, we got that working-a slight logical error in our code was sending conflicting signals that caused the clumsy movements.

Drive team & programmers test the robot late into the night. We discover the problem with the claw.

Build used some of the time we were coding to develop a way to get the "wings" that help catch the ball to fall at the start of the match-they are actually held in place by the claw mechanism in our starting posistion. They also designed our defender, a telescoping arm that will extend our robot height to over eight feet, making this one of the tallest robots we've had in a few years!

An early prototype of the telescoping blocker.

Meanwhile, noting that the mechanums weren't handling properly, the programmers sat down and wrote some code that will hopefully handle them better-as soon as we figure out which motors to invert!  We also wrote some autonomous code, and were forced to do some non-standard work-arounds for timing because the typical methods weren't working right. When we finally got around to putting it down on the carpet, instead of going forward, the robot spun in circles! Again, an issue with inverting motors. Once we've got that ironed out, our robot can stop thinking with circular logic.

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