Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Changes Made to the Robot During Summer 2016

Coming back to STEM means continuing my build on my robot that will be competing with a couple others from our club this November 5th at a competition at Embry-Riddle. Until the start of the new STEM semester there was a fellow intern working on my robot that had joined the robotics club recently his name is Brian. He made some very nice changes to the robot one of the major ones by changing out the wheels to some very larger ones making the robot able to strafe (the ability to make the robot move side to side without moving up or down). This new addition to the robot will help us very much in the competition by saving us time. Instead of having to adjust the robot to knock over the stars on the wall in the center of the field, we can simply move the robot horizontally to be in the same distance away every time making the robot knock down these stars faster than our opponent giving us the upper hand in the beginning of the competition. I was working with the robot this past week and it seems the front two wheels are powered by a stronger motor/ high speed motor making the strafing uneven. This was a simple fix by making all the motors high speed making it a nice straight horizontal move. Brian is working on the second part of the competition which is being able to pick up and launch the stars over the bar which is a very difficult task but he will make it work. Below is how our wheels are set up to make the robot able to strafe. We make each wheel on both sides go opposite directions.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Semester at S-STEM Fall 2016 VEX STARSTRUCK

This is the first week back at STEM Fall 2016 and I've heard there's a lot of new people in the internship. I was unfortunately unable to attend the first mandatory meeting due to some car issues but hopefully I'm able to meet everyone or at least chat with them through our blogs and discussion boards.This internship is a great place to connect with students and faculty that are in similar fields as you are and really grow your circle that will aid you further in your career. This is going to be my third semester here at the STEM program and I'm thrilled to still be in this program. I've been working with Josh in robotics building robots and competing them in competitions throughout the year. I started working with robotics last semester and I'm hooked on them. I've heard there's a lot of new people in robotics as well, which is a whole separate club on its own, and I'm hoping to meet them soon. I was also here during the summer working on a new robot for a new VEX competition called STARSTRUCK if anyone is interested you should definitely look it up, it's like a giant game of jacks but with robots. The robot I'm working on will have to pick up giant stars and throw them over a wall to the opponents side which is pretty much the concept of the game. This all sounds very easy in words but having to plan and actually build a robot from scratch can be very tedious. Building robots takes a lot of patience because you have to keep adjusting the robot until it does its function every time flawlessly. Not only that but you the builder have to be confident in controlling the robot and knowing everything that it will do. This semester is going to be great I hope to meet all the STEM interns in the near future I wish you all the best of luck. Below is a picture of the playing field for VEX Starstruck.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tearing a Robot Down to Start Designing a New One

This week in the STEM program as the semester comes to an end so does my robot that I built this whole semester. I had to tear the robot apart that I worked so hard on this semester today and it was sad it hurt. It's funny how I worked hard building this robot this whole semester but I managed to pull it all apart in an hour. The reason for me having to start from scratch with a new design for a robot is because the next VEX robotics competition has totally changed. It's no longer shooting balls into goals but its picking up huge jacks and throwing them over a wall. My robot with the current design was not going to be able to perform the task and it was way too small. Now I will start brainstorming a design for this next competition to work on the next semester. The competition looks like a lot of fun and it's going to be a challenge to build this robot but I'll keep you guys updated. Here are some pictures of before and after of the robot tear down. You can see that yellow jack and the size of it in the picture. This next game will also have an orange square beanbag that you can toss over the wall which you can see a part of it next to Josh.

Friday, April 29, 2016

EMCC Student Conference Experience

This week at SSTEM most of the interns were at the Estrella Mountain Community College Student Conference Thursday the 28th. We had four posters including mine and two interns did oral presentation. The poster session went well I was nervous at first since presenting isn't my favorite but after a few minutes I wasn't nervous at all and the words just flowed out. It was great sharing my project with the judges and other students there at EMCC. The majority of them thought it was so cool doing a project of robots and I had a video of me driving my robot and actually scoring a goal. Although I didn't win this was a great experience and I took a lot away from it. Everybody did great with their posters and oral presentation. There were many student from all over with great projects as well that were very interesting. Congratulations to Oliver and Bethany who were able to win 3rd and 2nd place in the poster session great job. I also want to thank the mentors for being there for support Josh and Corri sorry if I spelled your name wrong. Awesome experience. Here's some pics of our posters.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Friendly Robotics Competition so Far

     This week we managed to do some of the test towards the competition of this semester with my robot against Lily's. The speed round we did by doing a 50 ft forward and back drag race down the hallway outside of the STEM room in E-224 I believe. We each had 3 runs to calculate an average run time for each of us. My average ended up being around 58 seconds and Lily's was over a minute I believe but I was able to beat her in the speed round. The next competition we did was the manual or driver control shooting round which is only one minute long. We each had 3 trials again to score as many balls as possible in the goals, but unfortunately I lost in the manual competition with only 11 points while Lily was able to score 20 points. Her robot's launcher shot really farther than mine and she had good accuracy. Another test that I did was the autonomous portion which is programming the robot to score the points on its own and I was able to get 11 points in 3 trials. Lily still hasn't done this part of the competition so my results and data are still pending but I'm hoping she doesn't beat me! After this last test we just need to weigh each one of our robots and calculate the total cost of each to have our data complete. Overall this was a really fun project and I enjoyed working with these robots so much.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It finally drives straight! Who will I be up against in the end?

      This week in STEM I was able to fix a HUGE flaw that my robot had ever since it was able to move. That flaw was that whenever I drove my robot one of the motors was faster than the other so my robot would drive off to one side more than the other making it impossible to drive in a straight line. This made driving the robot a hassle and it took so much time away in trying to get to the balls and to get to the goals. Well this week after noticing that the program on the motors of the robot was not the issue I pulled off the two motors that move the back wheels and noticed that one of them was a high speed and the other was just a regular motor so after making it a high speed motor that fixed the problem. It was amazing seeing my robot drive straight and since I was used to driving it the other way I need to practice on the field to get the hang of it now, I'm sure this is going to help out a lot in terms of time and being able to score more points in that one minute period. Here's an image of exactly how I felt when I saw my robot drive in a straight line. I'm trying to upload a video of the robot driving not sure if it will upload though.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Need for Speed on Robotics

      This week in STEM I've been working on making my robot faster. I've made my motors high speed by switching out the gears inside them. I'm having trouble scoring enough points during my one minute period that will be against a fellow STEM intern Lily. I have not been able to score on the high goal consistently and I struggle driving the robot and picking up the balls. The robot drives more towards one side when driving straight which makes driving take more time than it should and with only a minute to score as many points I need all the time I can get. This can be due to having different type of motors on each side or it can be the programming that was already on it. This project will not use any programming since the robots have to be controlled manually for the test. I have changed the flappers that pick up the balls to smaller ones hoping they don't cause as much friction on the ball when I shoot them out. I'll be working more on my robot this week and the competition is next week. Also everyone who got accepted to the Estrella Community College Student Conference good job and good luck! Here's a picture of the high speed gears that go in the motors and a picture of the bottom of my robot where these motors are located.