As of tonight, Jan 18th, all our brainstorming and prototyping has led us to this current state of robot affairs:
1. Drive train - Holonomic is good. We like it. We're going with it. The protobot we built is fun to drive! Here's a drive train summary:
a. Four 4" "dualie" Omniwheels (ordered last week).
b. One pair of wheels (Forward-Reverse) driven by dual-CIM motors through the new CIMple Box transmissions, using stock KOP sprockets
c. The other pair of wheels (Strafing) driven by single BaneBots 775 motors through yet-to-be-determined transmissions and sprockets (note: the BaneBots site still does not have ordering info available for their CIMulator gearboxes, which was one idea...)
2. Lift mechanism - general consensus resulting from our CADing & prototyping is that we now believe we can build a vertical elevator quickly & easily that will work very well. We have two competing designs being prototyped as we speak. At this point it would take an epic failure of both designs to bring back a fixed-shoulder, long-arm design into consideration.
Our current robot design:
3. Frame Design - Octagon shape, ~26.5" across. Dual-layered to provide real estate for mounting things. We have tentatively set up a Design Review meeting with sponsor Loftech on Friday afternoon. Still waiting for confirmation on the time. Loftech has offered to weld our frame again this year (yay!) and we're hoping they will even supply the raw materials (aluminum) as well (they will give us an answer on this after they see our design at the meeting).
4. Gripper Plans - we will begin prototyping (possibly starting tomorrow) at least two designs - one mechanical claw with thin flat-plate bottom, and one with an active roller mechanism that will suck in the tubes, and spit 'em out on the pegs.
5. Minibot - prototype 1A nearing completion - based on Kara's dad's initial concept of two-wheels contacting the pole, with off-axis minibot mass providing traction force. Also, Doug purchased a regulation-sized 10-foot, 1.75" steel pipe, and installed it in the shop for testing minibots.
So, the current immediate action items are:
1. Continue the prototyping of both elevators.
2. Finalize gearing on strafing wheels, and order needed parts.
3. Complete the remaining frame details in CAD.
4. Hold Design Review of frame model with Loftech, and release design to them for construction.
5. Start building prototype gripper assemblies.
6. Continue work on minibot prototype design, construction, and
Back to work!