Author: <span class="vcard">Gabby Fite</span>

Robotics Team Agenda

JPL Projects

 

For the past several weeks, the team has been working on a project for the JPL foundation. The task is seemingly simple, to lift a pipe so that it stands upright. Although it appears simple, our students have to carefully program and design their devices, so that they may be effective. Students from both the MESA and robotics clubs have organized themselves into three teams of nine people. The students were able to plan out their designs using the available CAD software, and managed to create a multitude of functional and creative designs.Some relied on physics, others on pure mechanisms, making the various devices a site to behold. The JPL project provides students with a way to exercise their skills, and work together on a project with others, to get a sense of what it would be like to practice their skills at a professional level. Requiring the skills of members of each sub-teams such as mechanics, programming, CAD, and drive team, these devices embody what it means to be a team player, and are a great way for students to get to know their teammates and to polish their skills. This competition ended recently and we are very proud of the hard work of both the MESA and our robotics students.

For more info about the project check out the official website :  Here

If you are interested in learning more about the MESA program click : Here

Pre-Season Projects

Aside from the JPL projects, other members of the team have also been working on some side preseason projects. Through these projects, both the new and returning members are given a chance to interact with one another and get to know their teammates. In addition, the new members have the opportunity to become exposed to work tools that the team will be working with throughout the season, brainstorm design ideas, familiarize themselves with the workload that will be upon them during build season, and the most important part, have fun!

 

Here are some of the current projects the team has been working on:

 

Phone Charging Stations

Shown above is the progress of the phone charging station.

The members have first researched and brainstormed ideas and then finally began the design process through CAD. Afterwards, they slowly began the construction, which as you can see has been coming along nicely. The team is hoping to use to charger station to hold the charging phones when we are staying late nights and so that they will be able to communicate with their parents.

CAD Designs a New Computer Table

Currently the robotics team has access to 3 computers, all of which are place on 3 separate desk tables. Since these desk were not built to accommodate 4 computers, with their routers, keyboards, and the multiple bodies of students, it was obvious that the setup needed to be changed. So the CAD team decided to take charge, and designed a new table more suited for the task. The sub team divided into groups, filled with both new and returning members, and each designed a new table to replace the old one.  Additionally, the students were given a strict deadline, similar to one in the real world in that it simply could not be pushed back. Thus, the team members had to practice time management and teamwork skills in order to complete their table designs on time, and be ready to present. Presentations were given from each of the teams, and they were expected to list the aspects of their design that made it unique, as well as functional. They were also asked to share the faults in their design as well as the amount of material it would take to built it. Then, they were all given feedback from an experience returning member, and sent to adjust their design in hopes of lessening the faults. Once again, they presented their designs, and a winner was chosen! The chosen table design included means of support, allowed for suitable amounts of leg room, and most importantly provided room for all the computers. Although the team was announced as the winners, their design was not perfect, as most things never are. Consequently the winning team was sent back again to tweak their design. Once finished, all the students involved in the project began to gather the materials for the table, which is currently being built.

An example of one of the table designs, made with the Fusion 360 software

Battery Cart

Another project the team is working on is the creation of a new cart to place the batteries of the robot. The previous cart was too wide and hardly able to move through a doorway. Hence, the team is seeking to create a new one, so that the transportation of the batteries is more efficient. New students were tasked with creating the new design, carefully measuring the old cart and adjusting it to be more mobile. Since the batteries are rather large and heavy, the cart needs to have a great deal of support, and the students need to keep the weight of all the tools which are also going to be place on the cart as well.  With the help of returning members, they have already come up with a complete design and putting the final touches on the measurements.

                                      

An example of one of the batteries this                                              The team’s rough draft

cart will be holding [expected to hold 2]  

                                                                                             

Team Merch:

This year, the robotics team is looking to purchase new team shirts and hoodies in anticipation of the two competition we will be attending. Looking to buy mechanics shirts, and possibly hoodies, these items will make the team look more professional when going to competitions, as well as make the team distinguishable in the sea of other teams. However, these mechanics shirts are anything but cheap, and with so many new members the price to buy them is sure to be high. Although the mechanics shirts are rather expensive, they are going to be customized, with the team name and logo on the front and back. Aside from the mechanics shirts, the team is planning to also buy several hoodies for the team, so when it gets colder the team will still appear unified. Since in previous years, students had to cover their team shirts due to the freezing cold competition spaces,making the team look less professional. In order to prevent this from occurring this year, students will be asked to wear their team gear on the outside layer of their clothing, either as a shirt or hoodie.

 

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