Sunday Build Update – 1/5/20 – Rolling Chairs and Brainstorming

Day number two! We started off our meeting by going right into the rolling chair game, and then we brainstormed ideas for our robot.

Breaking off into our six groups from kick-off day, each team selected one member to be the ‘robot’ and one member to be the driver. The ‘robots’ sat in the rolling chair while drivers pushed them around. The game included wiffle balls to mimic power-cells, and the set-up mimicked what the field for competitions will look like. We did three initial rounds to get an idea for how the game works. Teams improved their strategies as the game went on, using each round to determine what was working and what wasn’t. After some group discussion, we did a fourth round to try a new strategy. Each round gave us a new understanding of the game, and we learned a lot about the game and strategies to use. (For more information on how the game works, click here)

One of the groups discussing robot designs

After the game, we assembled back with our groups and started discussing robot designs. Keeping the game in mind, we came up with different possible ways the robot could accomplish its tasks. Then, we came back for a full group discussion and brainstormed a list of ideas for our robot. For example, discussions revolved around types of wheels to use and different mechanisms to throw and collect power-cells. This led into a demonstration of robots we already had to show us different types of wheels.

There are three types of wheels that we debated for our robot, as each has their own pros and cons. The three types are tank, Mecanum, and swivel. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of each:

Tank Pros and Cons:

  • Strong
  • Limited maneuverability

Mecanum Pros and Cons:

  • Can move in any direction
  • Can’t maneuver over the rendezvous point

Swivel Pros and Cons:

  • – Can maneuver over the rendezvous point
  • – Can move in any direction when stopped
  • – Has to stop to change direction

Tank wheels are straight wheels that only go forward and backwards, not sideways. They’re also strong. Mecanum wheels are straight wheels with smaller wheels to allow for the robot to go in any direction. However, these could not clear the rendezvous point. Last, swivel wheels are straight wheels that can’t turn while moving. Once they stop moving, though, swivel wheels can spin to go in a different direction. These wheels were also able to clear the rendezvous point.

As the discussion about the robot design continues, these are all things to we will keep in mind. Next week we start building, so see you then!

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