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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Death of the Octagon

This post is long overdue, and concerns a fundamental aspect of our 2011 design. You probably saw the post with the octagonal frame, and may have fallen a bit in love with it as we did. However, we are sad to say that it has been abandoned in favor of a larger, rectangular frame. The rationale was that while the octagon provided some higher maneuverability and style points, it limited space for components and threatened instability due to a high CG and a small wheel base. The rectangular base allows us to put the wheels in the corners (adding a fifth one sideways in the center in a layout known as "Slide Drive") and keep control components much lower. Despite our (somewhat irrational) attachment to the octagon, we are happy with this decision. Here is the new design:
The decision was made a week or so ago, and this is the frame we have welded up with drive train nearly ready. We hope to have a video soon!

We've kept our basic strategy of maneuverability and quick tube scoring in front. This design is still just as maneuverable, but the CG is lower, the robot is more stable, and we have a lot more real estate (especially for the minibot :O ). Kind of a no-brainer.

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