Starting from Behind
Work on the robot has finally become steady now that parts are available. The goal for this week is to have a working, rugged drivetrain. We have finally decided on a language for our coding and have initialized the base level of code for our robot. We have encountered some (err, many) bumps along the road, but considering this is our first year, our robot is coming along very well. Certainly, our team couldn’t be putting in any more hours or working any harder.
Gaining Traction, Losing Sleep
This week, we were able to order an intake system, and were able to finally get treads for our robot. We have also discovered that we are missing a crucial gear for our Vex gearbox. We will have to either order a new gear, or use our older, single gear ToughBox gearbox, but first we must find out which gear we are missing. The complexity of the items is daunting as every mistake means we have to go back through the ordering process and wait for new parts.
Adding the Treads
This week we have finally been able to take off the regular wheels of our base and attempt to attach treads to larger wills that will allow the robot to move over some of the more complicated obstacles in the challenge. Unfortunately, mounting the new wheel to support the tread hasn’t been easy. Lining up the wheels has made us rethink the frame of the robot.
However, as we overcome these early barriers, the design work for the robot is becoming more concrete.
Deciding on Java
We have officially decided to use Java for our robot, and were able to run a Hello World program off of our National Instruments controller! Our robot can move and stop on command (although the frame has now been taken apart to get its wheels upgraded). We have also started working on coding some of the programs that will allow our robot to perform the tasks in the competition. Our software is easily the most underdeveloped portion of our project. But we’ve got Strongback, an incredibly exciting library of resources. This will allows us to develop our robot’s brain faster and with unit tests that will make it more robust. Can’t wait!