Thank you to all at NYC FIRST this weekend. Thank’s sneb84. Hopefully we’ll see you and team down in FLA.
While I’m at it I’ll make the following release of what our robot can actually do now, a mini press release if you will,
I know it’s long but it is very interesting and it won us NYC FIRST and also the Leadership in Controls award there for our “I.D.A.N. system”!
The 2002 Robot
The Watertown High School Sie-H2O-Bots have created the 2002 PAL (Professionally Automated Landrover) to be a combination of simplicity and robustness. The machine uses a total of eight motors to function. These motors include three Bosch drill motors with planetary gear transmissions, one Fischer-Price motor with a custom built planetary gear transmission, two power window drive motors, one air compressor with 120 psi capacity, and one small servo motor. The final product is a durable, fast robot with good maneuverability.
The robot consists of two operating systems controlled via remote control through a computer-generated program. The two systems control the locomotion of the robot as well as a grasping system to capture and release goals. These two systems will allow the team to score points on the field by maneuvering the goals into different positions of the field.
PAL 2002 utilizes a 4-wheel drive system. The primary drive system consists of two wheels located on the east and west sides of the robot. These propel it forward and backward with tank style steering via two flight sticks in the driver’s hands. Speed is achieved with the click of a button, which activates two small air cylinders, shifting the drill motor drives from low to high range and vice versa.
The secondary drive system wheels are located on the north and south side of the robot. They are engaged when the primary drive wheels are raised off the floor and the secondary drive system is lowered. In this position, the robot moves from side to side. The tank-style steering drives are toggled by the student driver who, at his or her discretion, regulates the speed, power, and direction they deem necessary. During driver training, the ability of the robot to rotate around the goals proved to be a valuable asset. It enabled the robot under strong power to slip out of normally pinned positions with other ambitious robots.
A pneumatic system consisting of an air pump, storage tanks, regulators, valves, flow controls, and actuator cylinders is used to give the driver the luxury of switching drives instantly at the squeeze of a trigger.
The grasping systems consists of two “fork plates” that are located on the north and south side of the robot. They are ¼” aluminum plate shaped like a fork. The controls are designed to deport the fork arms by raising them vertical to horizontal from the profile of the robot, like short wings. When driven into the goal structures, the arms will automatically grab and hook the goal. The second driver controls each fork arm independently with a small control box at the driver station. Lowering the arms and driving the robot away releases the goal.
The team’s very ambitious electrical team has developed sophisticated controls, wiring, and programming to navigate the machine. The navigational system compliments the robot design very well. Important symbiotic relationships continue to develop between the electrical and mechanical systems as well as between the drivers and driver feedback systems.
The electrical team of students and engineers has created a system that would enable independent control of the machine by a visually impaired driver. Code named I.D.A.N. (Intelligent Detection, Analysis and Navigation), the system allows the robot to provide audio feedback to a laptop computer.
The cornerstone of this system is a tiny magnetic sensor that will read the earth’s magnetic field. The signal it sends out will identify the direction the robot is facing. This information also establishes the robot’s location within the five zones of the playing field. An optical switch receives a signal every time the robot moves over a line of white tape bordering each zone.
The robot has been installed with optical switches on servomotors, which allow it to “scan” for the goals and correct its path automatically. The optical switches respond to the retro-reflective properties of the tape on each goal. A pressure sensor inside the robot arms will determine that the goal is secure. The Sie-H2O-Bot team looks forward to gaining extremely valuable experience with this very sophisticated system as the season progresses.
“See” you all in UTC New England and also now at The Nationals, oops, I mean The Championship Event, in FLA.
Power to the odd Teams!!! (odd numbered that is!)