Saturday Build Update – 1/11/20 – Banana and Box Shooters

Today we asked ourselves: What would shoot better? A banana, or a box?

Miriam’s sketch of the Box Shooter’s shooting mechanism

Our team continued work on our two prototype shooters. The first takes in power cells (balls) at the top, down a curved check-mark path to the bottom where they are shoot upwards. The balls are propelled by motorized wheels that touch the top of the ball as it rounds the bottom curve. The whole structure is contained within a tall rectangular case, thus we call it the box shooter.

Sam’s sketch of the Banana Shooter’s shooting mechanism.

The second model is more compact. It has one motor on each side powering one wheel each. Power cells enter straight behind the wheels and are shot straight forward. The whole contraption is angled on the robot for accuracy. The intake, to get power cells to the spot behind the wheels is curved like a banana, so we call it our banana shooter.

Just before lunch, we met up and watched as the contraptions were tested. Check out some of that footage below:

Box Shooter Pros and Cons:

  • More Powerful
  • Locked in place, so cannot be shifted by a defending robot
  • Shoots upwards and can shoot higher
  • Bigger (can’t fit under the trench run)
  • Locked in place – cannot angle so must be in a specific spot on the field
  • Testing showed it broke easily and was inaccurate

Banana Shooter Pros and Cons:

  • Can be angled vertically for different places on the field
  • Light
  • Compact (can fit under the trench run)
  • Not as powerful
  • Must have a way to angle on command and a locking mechanism for accuracy
  • Currently lacks a good intake

Both prototypes are still being developed and will continue to be tested in the next few meetings. The banana team is currently developing a better intake and the box team is working on their prototype’s durability. Check back soon for further updates!

New scissor lift model
Working on a metal scissor lift model

Other groups in the FAB lab continued taking last year’s prototype robot, Proto apart, and worked on the scissor lift. The teams added a contraption to the bottom of the scissor lift to attach it to the bot, with a motor and a smooth surface for one side to slide on while the other stays anchored. Construction also began on a metal model of the lift.

The fabrication team, the group that builds elements from this year’s field, has gotten an absolutely amazing amount of work done so far. Featured in the pictures below are the Power port (the 122.19′ tall structure that power cells are shot into) and the Loading Station (where power cells are fed back into the field).

Working on the Loading Station
Power port and Loading Station side by side

Our CAD team drafted a housing for our variable speed tester, and our new drafters were taught to use the Solidworks program.

One of the “Basics of Motors” lessons

A couple of our mentors measured and taped out the playing field on our mats while our code room was run classroom style. With so many new coders, mentors decided to go over everything. They taught the basics and explained what they would be doing all season. During a vital point, after the prototype testing, they explained the code team’s importance to the shooters:

“It decelerates when it the ball runs through, right? It is our job as coders to make sure we accelerate the wheels when the ball enters, so it stays consistent, and these guys can focus on aiming and accuracy, not waiting on us.”

“Consistency is the key to victory!”

Thank you so much for tuning in, see you back here tomorrow!

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