Countdown to Mt. Olive

by Ashley S.

The team has had a very busy week. We had our final build last Tuesday and worked all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before that. We spent most of the time doing some last minute tasks and cleaning up some of the sharp corners on our robot. The bumper team has been working very steadily to build the frame, glue on the pool noodles, and cover our bumpers. Our button team has also been very hard at work. With the numerous designs and the number that they have made, I am sure there is no way we will run out.

Saturday we spent figuring out the final tasks that the mechanical and electrical team need to complete in order to get the robot running. The catapult system was on the robot and running rather smoothly. We did a lot of pneumatics work for the pick-up system, making sure everything was wired correctly. The programming team worked to get our catapult working off of code and began programming for the solenoids on the pick-up system.

On Sunday, some of us met at a team member’s house to continue running the robot and checking to make sure everything was running smoothly. After we had unloaded the robot and the tool boxes,  we realized how underpacked we were. We ended up sending two people back to Central for some more equipment. After they had returned from that long adventure we had most of the tools and parts we needed. By then end of the day the catapult was working smoothly and the Mecanum drive was being worked on.

Monday morning started at Ethicon where Team 56 had allowed us to use their practice field for some testing. We added a few new parts and began our testing. We were very happy with the results and found our robot could shoot from a wide range of distances. After Ethicon we headed back to the school, where we spent some time talking about what exactly needed to get done. We also started working on our pit design and what parts and tools we are going to need to bring.

Tuesday was our last build day. We finalized our list of things to do and got immediately to work. We added sensors and attached bumper mounts. We also added a spacer to the gear box for the winch system. We began work on a battery holder and rods that would be placed on either side of the robot to help with ball control. By the end of the day we headed down to the 700s where there is a carpeted classroom to test our driving. When we got there, we realized there was something not working properly. We ended up putting a brand new Spike on the robot and re-cut some pneumatic tubing that was leaking air. We had fixed our problem and was able to drive. We spent the last hour in the cafeteria testing the catapult arm. After we had got it running we started having better results. We were able to pick up the ball off the floor, load it into the catapult and fire the catapult. All in all we finished our last build day very excited.

We have high hopes for our robot, which is currently bagged and will be opened soon so we can have our 6 hour period to work on it.  Our drive team will be Eric W. as head driver, Ryan S. as co-driver, and myself as human player.  Our first competition is this weekend (March 1-2) at Mt. Olive. We hope to see you there!