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 fully was solved by removing a small piece from the center crossbar - it was too long and was therefore warping our base. 

After all of this maintenance, it was important to leave the robot idle for the epoxy to set properly. During this time, a to-do list was compiled by the team and roles were assigned to each member to either purchase last minute supplies or report design changes.

The only change structurally from the last blog post was the swapping of the rear wheels to omni wheels in order to facilitate returning to the start. This change produced a new problem however - potentially knocking us off course when we hit the pole. This problem was minimized when the battery was in place, however we will be experimenting with smaller, less powerful elastics or even a rotational hinge in order to combat this problem. 

Also, a fourth support was added to the crossbar apparatus - adding more stability and preventing the structure from being warped when the weight of the battery is applied to it. This will keep the coupling of the gears more reliable and reduce pressure (preventing jamming). 

On Friday, the plan is to switch out elastics, complete the final mounting of circuit boards, locktite the arm knut and other pivotal screws, and calibrate for a complete run. By then, the epoxy should have set nicely. 

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