pic: Programmers Wiring the New Robot

After waiting for the electrical division two of our programmers took on the task of wiring our new summer project: a holonomic robot. After a couple hours JohnG on the right and Good Brian got it wired plus a couple things the shop forgot. They and a couple others are learning robot programming, ever since we realized the Other Brian really truly was graduating this year after many years being the programmer.

All the metalwork was done in our shop using a Prototrak to do the shapes and openings. Some of the more fancier work can be seen on the scoop inside our winning 2009 robot “The Can” in the background. I’ve heard that the design/drafting department will have some renderings to post before school lets out.

I’m pleased to say the robot worked the first time it started up – no magic smoke! It was a little confused as it had the cRIO code of our prototype robot off the side to the left, but no doubt the programming crew will have that fixed by the end of today.

We have a couple of projects for the summer, besides this little robot, meeting once a week until the fall.

I have to say, that robot looks nice and clean, any particular purpose for making this machine?

The holonomics part has been a project kicking around in the classroom for a several years as a robot. It finally got to the point to just do it and not wait for a game. I think the class did all the designs as part of the design-build lesson process, after we finished with the regionals, and once a week after school the shop would do a couple hours of work.

It’s a nice project to go thru the whole build process without the pressure of shipping in six weeks. I think everyone saw how beautiful “The Can” looked, and rather proud about their work and also the recognition the school is now giving them, so they have taken the care to repeat that.

Plus it’ll be small enough to take on the road for showing off!

I like the fact that you are using Dewalts and CIMs. You may never need to shift these things, but having the ability to is always nice. Besides, the Dewalts are really easy to work with and are very robust!

Ooo, I like, I like. I’ve been working on an omnidrive platform on my VEX robot for a while, and I’ll tell you, the programming is much more fun and bit more complicated than it seems at first. I recommend scaling the wheels to each other so you can get full power going forward or sideways, but not max out all the motors going diagonally. If you want a reference to what I mean, I’ve written a library and posted it to the VEX Forum code archive. It’s written in WPILib for the older IFI controllers/VEX controller, but the concepts and equations are the same. It can be found here.

Send videos, I love how these things move!

We’ve been using both for several years – plus the shifters. Our 2009 robot was too good and we took out 3rd gear: fast, faster, and out-of-control fast.

We’ll probably put shifters on later, and every sensor we can think of, on this robot; it’ll make a good test bed robot and something to refer to for many years.

If we need a “straight wheel” robot test bed, we still have Other Brian’s “chair-bot” – see way in the back in the middle of the photo. It was our robot from many years ago and was our LabVIEW testbed last fall.

daltore – thanks for the info and suggestions. We’re treading new territory here so it helps. My programmers are going to stagger in for a Saturday programming session, which shows how eager they are. Staggering, I’m sure, as some are going to the Prom tonight!

I read the thread title and had one thought: RUN!!!:ahh:

Didn’t you know programmers can’t handle more then the computer? Keep them off the floor at all risk.:stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously though, your lucky to have programmers that can wire a robot. I’m a draftsmen that should be left to his computer and tape measure. If I wire a robot, running is probably a fair response. Nobody likes to get zapped.


But when you think of it, you have to be very careful with both electrical and programming – one mistake with either and things don’t go right! And this robot did start right up, first try!

Actually, I think all our “new” group of programmers have been thru the shop, either in class or the after-school robotics. It probably should be a requirement that the programmers should suffer the shopwork, so that last week before ship day, when the shop crew thinks everything is finished and go home and leave that “minor programming stuff” to us programmers in the late night hours, and the robot breaks we won’t have to wait until “normal business hours” for the robot to be repaired.

You’re right, Molten, at this rate we will soon have just the programmers design, build, wire, program, and drive the robot!

As a programmer who IS able to wire and build I think it would be great if programmers were trained to repair the robot. But I also think that wrench monkeys should learn how to program and wire. Oh, and the ones who leave the “minor programming” to the programmers and leave need to be made to stick around. They spend 5 weeks building a machine and give us programmers no time at all to program it the LEAST they can do is keep us company. I get scared being in the big school all alone late at night :o

The robot is pretty slick driving around. We still have the plastic floor down so it slips and slides alot.

The code the programmers worked first time but needed the usual tweaking, mostly in the wheel direction and which way is forward, etc, but in 15 minutes we had it running. Then the gyro got put on and spent a couple hours figuring that out. Then an hour getting it to drive a circle in autonomous. Very productive Saturday afternoon.

Good Brian is going to post on our website a preliminary video of it driving around later today.

Forgot to add a reply about the “wrench monkeys”…

It shows the difference between going to school and taking a class in robotics and going to school takes you away from robotics.

There are some kids that enjoy the shopwork but don’t care much what happens after it’s built. That’s okay. They want to build and cut and whatever else they do in that room. There are other kids that want to follow thru and see what happens to “their baby” after it goes thru the door. We usually have one or two every year so I can’t complain too much.

And Andrew, we don’t wait for the shop’s five week lead time. For 2008 we had an autonomous working on an older robot by the Monday after kickoff!

Dont worry, I wont rag on wrench monkeys, I just like giving them a hard time now and again. Of course programmers should start working using an old robot ASAP.

Don’t want to be the jerk to post this, but where are their safety glasses? many times when I am wiring things, I will snip a wire, and the end will fly randomly anywhere.

Be safe even when its not build season!!


A not-so-clear video is posted on our website at WalpoleRobotics.org. The sun came out and washed out most of the room. Maybe we’ll get one of the video students to shoot a better demonstration video this week.

McGurky: You’re right, of course. I noticed that when I posted the photo. I’ll take away their Mt Dew* privileges for a day. :yikes:

Andrew: I always try to keep the shop crew in their place. Otherwise they keep coming into our programming room. Geesh, the mess they make!

  • Speaking of which, the Saturday programming session was only a two Mt Dew can problem. I guess it wasn’t difficult enough.