Abigail Amu's Blog (14)

AER201: A Retrospective Look

The final runs and presentation are over. Though the results were not what I had hoped for, I can't help but feel proud of what our team has accomplished this term. 

What I Learned in AER201

1. Never give up. Perseverance is key to success in this course - a lot of challenges and adversity will occur through failed ideas or damaged machines, but sometimes the best solutions are born from the most desperate situations.  

2. Advanced Planning and Organization is…


Added by Abigail Amu on April 10, 2012 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Coming Down to the Wire - Second team eval next week!

Next week is the second team eval! I can't believe it is this close.

Today was focussed on working together to get the machine ready for a full run. Wiring was secured in place with electrical tape in order to ensure that it was neat and out of the way of actuating motors, a plexiglass mount was made for the PIC board, the arm was reattached and the right gear was re-epoxyed onto the motor. Also, the problem we were having with the rear-right wheel not touching the ground…


Added by Abigail Amu on March 20, 2012 at 7:21pm — No Comments

Integration 4: Driving through the Pic and Detecting Bins

Today was the EngSci open house day, and as we were volunteering to talk about AER201 in the common room we were also able to get a lot accomplished.

Though the wiring had been finished before hand, each wire needed to be tinned and then soldered into its respective spot. Once everything was connected and soldered in place by Mason, and each sensor's connectivity was tested and deemed successful, we loaded Tom's program onto the pic and connected his development board to the sensor…


Added by Abigail Amu on March 10, 2012 at 9:44pm — No Comments

Integration 3: Wiring, Sensor Mounting, Circuit Mounting

Yesterday the main goal of the lab session was to finish mounting all of the sensors, wire them up, and get ready to connect everything together. Mason and Tom were finishing up the sensor circuit board and the pic board respectively, and I took the time to mount the IR range sensors to the base and break beam sensors to the upper section of the arm. I also ran wire through the base from the sensor to the approximate spot where the sensor board will be mounted on our robot. I'll have to get…


Added by Abigail Amu on March 7, 2012 at 11:34pm — No Comments

Integration 2: Mounting the Drive Circuit, Battery and initial Sensors

Today was Individual Evaluation 2! Because I was fortunate enough to be evaluated closer to the end, the day in the shop was pretty productive.


After remounting the encoder system with a smaller crossbar and battery mount, it was time to begin integrating the circuits and electromechanical subsystems. Mason set up the fuse and emergency switch on the…


Added by Abigail Amu on February 28, 2012 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Reading Week! Milestones achieved, and planning ahead

Many milestones were hit this week for our team. On Tuesday, we started the beginning of the long integration process, testing out how Tom's coded pulse width modulation would work through Mason's driver board when connected to the fully mounted (and functional) motors. The results were very promising.


On the electromechanical side specifically, The final structure of the robot is complete. The motors were remounted using steel strapping instead of plumbing fittings, which…


Added by Abigail Amu on February 18, 2012 at 12:11am — No Comments

Arm Prototyping Today

Today was pretty standard - went to the soldering seminar, and then hit the shop around 3:00. The day was spent prototyping our arm design.



Our arm is passive - we have no motors or actuators attached to it. The concept is pretty basic - small, light balsa wood strips are mounted to a rotational bearing that is centred in the robot, mounted 45cm up. On the end of the arm, elastic bands are used to both stabilize it (preventing unwanted bouncing etc.) and as the…


Added by Abigail Amu on February 10, 2012 at 7:50pm — No Comments

Shop Day Three! A great end to the first week of fabrication

Man, Wednesday section is packed. I don't think I'll go back to Wednesday sessions unless I REALLY need the time... lots of people who didn't have labs must have come also, and the tools were in high demand, along with the workspace.


Today, both motors were successfully mounted to the base. The transmission system is complete! I am very proud of my handiwork, as it took me around 2-3 hours to get the alignment of the gears perfect. The result is worth it though - I'll post a…


Added by Abigail Amu on February 1, 2012 at 7:15pm — No Comments

Second Day in the Shop!

Today focussed mostly on the fabrication of the drive base module. I was able to complete the entire base, including the mounting of the motors, however my team decided that a full length chassis bar would be more structurally sound than the current half length, and since this is easy to change and mount to the existing base, we decided to do this. The picture below shows the base sans one motor and the cross support for the arm I started during the last hour - I have to remember to take…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 31, 2012 at 10:16pm — No Comments

Proposal Reflections and the first day in the shop

And so the weekend of typing, calculating, planning, shopping, and unfortunately not sleeping comes to a close. The infamous report covers have been found, the proposals printed, and are now no longer our problem.

Though it was possible for me to complete my sections of the proposal in 3 long spurts (Friday from 10-2:30 am, Saturday from 11 - 1pm, 5pm-12:30am, and Sunday 11am-8pm) I would not want to do that again. A good target week to start the final report is probably week…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 30, 2012 at 7:55pm — No Comments

The War Room

This is where I will be for most likely the next 6 hours. Got my hot chocolate, laptop for media entertainment and information, and the writing instruments. Its figure drawing time, then hitting the electromech specifications last.

At least the conceptualization section is finished!…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 28, 2012 at 9:11pm — No Comments

First Adventure to Solway Metal Factory

This morning, Jenny, Cassie, Kristine and myself missioned down to Solway to go check out the kind of scrap metal we would be able to work with (in time for our practical sessions on monday and tuesday). 

Though I was expecting the building to look like it did (it is a scrap metal place) it was not Home Depot like (by any means :P) and so the…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 21, 2012 at 8:00pm — 3 Comments

Day 2: Team Selection Problem Acquisition and the First Brainstorm

Post 1 – January 10th, 2012

It’s official! Our team has been chosen. Mason, Tom and myself will be working on the problem assigned to the Tuesday Lab Section, the Sticker Inspector Machine. If you are in the Tuesday section also, feel free to leave a comment. It…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 10, 2012 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Day 2: Team Selection and the First Brainstorm

blog post 1 – January 10th, 2012

Team Selection, Problem Acquisition and First Brainstorm

It’s official! Our team has been chosen. Mason, Tom and myself will be working on the problem assigned to the Tuesday Lab Section, the Sticker Inspector Machine.…


Added by Abigail Amu on January 10, 2012 at 3:27pm — No Comments

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