Read how Teams 997, 3131 & 1425 are using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) as they build this year’s robots:
Team 997 has faced a few mechanical challenges so far this build season. Space constraints were an issue for the team. They fixed this problem with Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and mathematics. Trigonometry played a significant part in this process; it was used to find angles in the pyramid and to see what their center of balance was. They also used CAD to virtually explore design options. They also were having a problem with the reach of pneumatic tubes. Team 997 solved this concern with simple mathematics. The drive train was also a worry; it would add a significant amount of weight to the robot. This concern was solved by calculating the maximum force the pneumatic tubes could take. Although Team 997 had these issues occur, they did not give up on themselves and fixing these issues.
This week, Gladstone Robotics has made some nice improvements on the assembly of our 2013 FRC competition robot. The Gladiators have decided to use a new set of Heavy-duty mecanum wheels to drive our Frisbee launching robot. With the frame assembled we coated the aluminum in black spray paint to make it pop. Soon we will be adding in our trademark orange to accent the black.
The largest challenge we have experienced is how we deal with the tiny requirements of our robot. The difficult thing about having a small robot is fitting all of our huge ideas onto the small surface area of the robot.
Though we have many challenges, the mighty gladiators are excited for the season. We can’t wait for more challenges to come during competition!
As we mark the halfway point in our 2013 build season, we are forced to narrow in on our final designs and strategies. In our design process we have conjured innovative robot designs that later were found to be problematic. This design, test, and redesign process is key to fine tuning our robot to be most efficient. In the first stage of build season, the mechanical team has made great progress in comparison to previous build seasons. The first major difficulty we faced was creating a robot frame that will allow us to climb the pyramid and house our round shooter, all while staying in the perimeter limit.
The ideal shape we discovered would create a three wheeled drive system; challenges arise with this design concerning stability and space for electrical components. In addition to designing the robot, our mechanical mentors and students have been working on assembling our steel practice pyramid. We are excited to test our prototypes on the pyramid and see if they truly measure up to our expectations.
The process of developing our prototypes is a great simulation for what we will face daily in our careers as mechanical engineers.