Nick Solonko, Matthew Ruth
The robot needs to pick up a golf ball, move back, turn, drive under a ramp, turn, drive forward to the box, stop, and drop the ball inside. This has to be done as fast as possible because we are getting points if we are in the top 3 of the class. Our robot needs to have at most 3 motors and be able to fit under the ramp at some points.
We need to make the robot as short as possible because driving along the ramp to reach a higher point will take a lot of time. If it is short, we will save a few seconds. We also need to make a claw that can pick up and hold a golf ball. We will use our last allowed motors(3rd) for this purpose. We will try to put the NXT as low to the ground as possible.
The 2 back motors are for wheel rotations. The front motor is attached to our claw and will make it move down and up. The NXT is placed just above the 2 back motors. We could work more to minimize the height. So far, the robot fits under the ramp in the middle of it.
Since the robot is very long, we had to use multiple wheels to keep it standing. When turning, those wheels created friction, therefore not letting the robot turn very fast. We took off the tires and the friction was decreased.
This was our claw when we were building it
The robot body
We ran into a problem when the robot's claw moved. The motor that moved it was in contact with the ground, therefore it also moved the robot. We have to make the robot a little bit taller in order to lift up the 3rd motors. It seems like we are almost done with the hardware and will soon start experimenting with the software to figure out the best solution.
We added bigger tireless wheels to our robot to increase its height. Now the claw's motor is just above the ground. We wrote the code and did numerous test runs. We succeeded in delivering the ball 3 times, but unfortunately, our system is not very consistent. Next class, we will experiment with different speeds. We might also make the claw shorter, make the robot smaller, and make it more consistent.
Our robot on the ramp of the course
Today, we focused on programming the robot. We got it to work 2 times in a row with the time of just under 8 seconds. Unfortunately, when we did the official trial, we messed up. See the footage below.
Unfortunately, we realized that our design is extremely inconsistent and that we will not be able to use this design to complete the challenge. We decided to redesign the robot to make it more consistent. The claw is much shorter and the length of the robot was also decreased. We ran 2 more trials and got 30/40 each time. We will work more on improving our score.
This is our new design. Notice the decrease in length.
We continued working on the code today and we attempted to increase our score from 30/40. The robot became more consistent after we rebuilt it, but it was not enough. It kep on changing and our success rate would never go beyond 75%. Fortunately, during our last trial, it worked and we got 40/40 on the assignment.
If we were to do this again, we would make the robot a lot lower. Our best time was 12 seconds and the robot was too tall for the closest part of the ramp. We would also utilize gears to improve our speed. We would make another front wheel that is more consistent and does not cause the robot to stop going straight.
Below you can see our program with comments: