January 18, 2014
Week two for STEMpunk #4531 has been full of important decisions. Using Pugh Matrices, which is a decision grid that establishes a list of weighted criteria and evaluates each possible choice against those criteria, we were able to conclude which shooter mechanism and drive train to build. Using a Pugh Matrix instead of a voting system for choosing how to build our robot means that we rely on quantifiable data instead of student opinion.
NemoŐs Flipper was the most advantageous shooter design for our purpose. As you see in the Pugh Matrix above, a drive train with mecanum wheels in a sideways orientation scored highest. Therefore, it will be our drive platform as these wheels are able to move a vehicle in any direction.
Our mechanical team is working on the second iteration of NemoŐs Flipper to better the design and fix some errors that occurred in the first build, such as curving the guide rails for the ball so that it does not need to be held in place by a human element. Design ideas for the final element have moved onto what material we should use; mainly, the idea of using carbon fiber in addition to aluminum is being considered.
In addition to making crucial design decisions, the team also began CAD work for our robot frame. Students who have no CAD experience are learning SolidWorks, while the majority are expanding their basic knowledge by working with PTC Creo to model the robot.
One of our second year members created a string potentiometer. A string potentiometer monitors distance by increasing resistance based on the amount of string extended. This device will let us monitor how far our robotŐs arm has been raised or lowered.
Our rookie team members continued work on the Kit-of-Parts robot and have finished the building process. Our Programming Captain has begun teaching basic Java programming script in order to drive the Kit-of-Parts robot.
In week three, STEMpunk #4531 hopes build our robot frame, make gearboxes, and finish CAD for the entire robot. We plan to build our robot fairly quickly now that the team has a set design.
Thank you for supporting the Lakeshore FIRST Robotics Program!
FIRST Team STEMpunk #4531