Last Tuesday marked the end of the 2019 Build Season! At midnight, the robot had been placed inside a plastic bag with a labeled zip tie. Now, we can only take the robot out of the bag for a total of 6 hours before our first competition. We can also take it out to demo for our sponsors and parents.
Team 4909 is very excited to show our new robot to sponsors, parents and our supportive community! Every year following build season the team hosts a Robot Reveal Night. During this event, invitees are encouraged to meet the team, our mentors, and also watch our robot in action. This event is an exciting night for all and is a time for everyone to reflect upon the time, effort, and support that it took to accomplish this feat. We also use Robot Reveal Night as a way of showing our humble thanks towards everyone for the essential resources that they provided. From financial support, to helping us build parts needed for the robot, and to nourishment, we would have not been able to build our robot without all of you. Team 4909 is truly grateful for all the support you have given us during the 2019 build season. Please see the attached flyer for more information about Robot Reveal night.
Name: Sreyas Yennampelli
Title: Team Ops Deputy
Years on Team: 4 Years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “Team operations with focuses on the team business plan and awards.”
Impact FIRST has had: “Allowed me to understand breadth of business and the understanding of technology in the 21st century.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “Qualifying for worlds in 2018”
Plans After High School: Major in Biology and Minor in Business Administration
Ideal Job: Doctor
This week the team worked on finalizing the robot. With only 4 days until we have to stop building, most of the time was spent putting the finishing touches on the robot and programming. On the mechanical side, we finished the elevator mechanism and worked out the kinks on our cargo intake and hatch panel intake. Programming spent their time finalizing the software to control all the subsystems of the robot. This included stabilizing the elevator arms to reduce bouncing, fine tuning the software to make the robot run more smoothly and accurately, and program the climbing software. The team has also started driving and testing the robot sub-systems to identify areas of strength and weakness.
The software team is currently working with the mechanical team on the placement of on-board sensors and cameras to ensure the drivers have the visibility and tools needed when driving and maneuvering the robot.
Name: Dylan Walker
Title: Team Member (Software)
Years on Team: 2nd year
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “Involved with software, and helps with general programming and coding/problem solving.”
Impact FIRST has had: “Learned how to complete tasks in a group and made new friends.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “Fixed the autonomous code during the last week of the build season.”
Plans After High School: Go to college for applied mathematics and aerospace engineering.
Ideal Job: NASA aerospace engineer or mathematician
This week, all build leads and their groups converged with the robot leads to work on the main robot. The battery box was first moved due to an issue we discovered, where another component of the robot would interfere with it. Then, we figured out how to string our elevator to generate the type of motion we wanted. We attached the cargo and hatch panel manipulators together and mounted them to the robot using linking arms. We assembled lots of gearboxes and attached motors, pulleys, belts, chains, and sprockets. We moved our electronics on our modular board to be more space efficient. We moved our motor controllers on a separate modular board to fit better and allow space for elevator motors. This was done after figuring out where to mount the elevator motors. We also made and mounted bumper brackets to allow the robot to be protected during game-play. Finally, we fabricated the designed “stilts”, or the back poles that lift up our robot to allow us to get onto a tall step, in addition to our elevator.
Over the past week, the software team has been relentlessly working on finishing up programming the remaining subsytems for the robot. This includes the elevator,
the elevator arm, and the climbing mechanism as well. Also, we have been testing various cameras and programs in order to get vision processing, real-time camera analysis, working as well. Finally, as previous subsystems have been completed by the mechanical team, we have been testing them.
Name: Timothy Wallace
Title: Team Member (Mechanical)
Years on Team: 1st Year
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “Actively involved in the build process of the robot.”
Impact FIRST has had: “I have found a group of kids that feels like a family and they share my passions.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “Making new connections with the other students on the team. It has only been a year and I have met so many new people.”
Plans After High School: To attend college and receive a major in mechanical engineering.
Ideal Job: Research and Development or Design and Development.
At the beginning of the week, we finished the fabrication of some
of the smaller parts of our elevator. Upon completing these smaller parts, we began to assemble the outer part of our elevator. First, we added rollers to the inside of the outer stage. Then, we added brackets, supports, and mounts where needed. We then proceeded to mount what we had of the elevator to the chassis. Our next step is to fabricate the remaining pieces and continue building the elevator.
This week the team put their hatch panel manipulator to the test. They found that the hinge they chose to use was not strong enough to handle the 40 pounds of force our piston was outputting. It would bend after a few articulations. So, we swapped the hinge out for a stainless steel one, and that works great. We combined this with full metal parts to build our final design. We also decided that we could modify our aluminum flipper to allow it to pick up hatch panels off the ground, a potentially valuable skill. After about 5 minutes on the grinder, we had a perfectly shaped, very hot aluminum flipper. After it cooled we put it on the final design, and are in the process of testing this. Once the other subsystems are complete, this can be attached to the final robot, and used in competition.
Over the past week we have completed the base parts for the bumper, which includes three main components for holding it in place. These parts are designed for minimal weight gain, and maximum support for the frame, allowing more crucial parts to be added onto the robot without putting us over the weight limit. Our bumpers are designed to withstand punishment, while giving us the support needed without compromising our mobility. Now that the bumpers are designed , and the parts have been fabricated, we are ready to begin assembly this week.