Day 50 – Comp Bot Assembly 5: Loctite (02/22/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra

Practice Bot Drivetrain

During some robot testing today out in the commons, the practice bot drivetrain became busted. One of the bolts on the pneumatic wheels came loose and got caught in the chain. This broke the chain masterlink and bent a plate that was a part of the pneumatic wheel. 

From then on, testing time was over. We added loctite to everything on the practice bot drivetrain, including the 6 bolts on each drive wheel (total of 36 bolts using loctite), and the 5 bolts in the falcon holding the motor shaft to the spinning part (40 bolts total). 

Above: A picture of some students applying Loctite to a practice bot Falcon (all of the comp bot ones were done several days ago). 

Comp Bot Drivetrain

After the issue with the wheel bolt on the practice bot, we loctited all of the wheel bolts on the comp bot. We also installed chain between the wheels, and Anderson Powerpoles on the Falcons (somehow, this was overlooked). 

Comp Bot Hopper 

We installed most of the hopper onto the comp bot today. The only things that are left are to install the shafts (they are tapped + drilled), the belts (we are 3d printing big polycord pulleys for the bottom belt in the meantime), and the motors. 

Above: A picture of the hopper installed onto the robot. 


The plate part of the electronics plate was completed. All of the necessary holes were drilled, and all of the necessary electronic components were placed. We also started to work on the RSL mount.  


We also have a new NavX cover. It ia team branded!


Today, we made all of the intake rollers for the comp bot. For a short period of time, the practice bot intake was disassembled and the comp bot intake was assembled until it was realized that the drivers practice tomorrow would require the practice bot intaked. Then, this was reversed. 

Sadly, we did not get a picture of the intake rollers. The comp bot rollers were assembled with care, and came out good. Additionally, to ensure that the hub and the roller stay together even if the shaft moves around, we threaded two opposing #10-32 bolts through the roller and hub assembly – for each hub assembly (2 per roller, 6 rollers). We did NOT drill a hole through the shaft; rather, the socket head cap screw (small grub screws suck) is just long enough that it will clamp onto the shaft like a set screw. This makes it possible to slide out the shaft and remove the roller (we made sure the hubs were properly aligned, allowing the shaft to slide out easily) without completely disassembling the intake. 

Quote of the day: “Do a good job. Bad jobs are not allowed. Good jobs only” — Ritik Mishra, when he was encouraging team members working on comp bot intake rollers. 

Below: Robot pictures

Day 49 Comp Bot Assembly 4: The Lathe is Bad (2/21/2020)

Authors: Andrew Georgioff, Ritik Mishra

Comp Bot Spacers

Today, we decided that waiting for two mentors to be in the room at the same time would delay our schedule too much. So, we decided to close the room for a little bit so that a crew could go up to the shop and cut comp bot drivetrain spacers, among other necessary work. The Digital Readout (DRO) on the lathe (a display that tells you where your tool is relative to your workpiece) said that all of the spacers were within 0.005” of the intended dimension, which is good enough.

When we actually tried to assemble the comp bot drivetrain. We ran into a big issue: the spacers were not within 0.005” of the target dimension. They were off by way more than 0.005” — as much as 0.050” – on the order of 1/16 inches. Additionally, it seemed as if the cut list (i.e the list telling the lathe operator what size to cut spacers to) was wrong in the beginning.

To solve this problem, we ended up having to cut spacers with the horizontal bandsaw (which does not make edges that are exactly square, like the lathe is supposed to), and then finish them off on the belt sander. This worked well enough, and much better than the lathe spacers.

At the end of the day, the gearboxes were installed onto the robot and it was ready to have chain installed.

Above: A pic from before the end of the day, after non-lathe spacers were made, but before the second gearbox was installed. 

Demo Preparations 

Preparation was made for our demo at homes by ash tomorrow morning. We are planning on bringing our 2016 robot, midnight. Minor fixes were made such as cleaning dust off, swapping a bad joystick, and some small code fixes. 

Above: Our 2016 robot, Midnight, holding a boulder (10-inch diameter dodgeballs)


One of our members started working on an iOS version of our scout scanner app. This app takes QR codes generated by our scouting tablets after each match and uploads them to a central file with many different metrics being recorded. 

Electronics Plate

We started drilling holes (by hand, no CNC needed) in a piece of HDPE to act as our electronics plate. We ran out of time before the room closed. 

Quote of the day: 

Ritik: what is qotd for today

Andrew: i got no idea tbh

Day 48 – Comp Bot Assembly 3: Return of the Waterjet (2/20/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra

Waterjet Run + Hopper Assembly

Today, we got comp bot parts back from the waterjet. These include the climber hook, the climber winch plate, and the two hopper plates

Above: A short clip of the bottom hopper plate getting waterjet. You can see water bubbling out of the holes that allow it to attach to the hopper ribs.

Above: A picture of the waterjet software, showing where the nozzle is going to go

The climber was deburred and prepared for welding. The bottom hopper plate was installed onto the hopper ribs, but the drivetrain has to get installed before the hopper can go onto the robot. We can’t install the drivetrain until we get spacers, speaking of which . . . 


Today, a crew in the shop worked on cutting all of our drivetrain spacers, drilling + tapping all of our shafts, and other necessary shop work. 

Above:  A picture of drivetrain spacers in a yellow tray, next to drive axles and fresh steel sprockets. 

Now that we have all of the spacers, we are ready to assemble the drivetrain, if we can figure out which spacers go where. During the last 30 minutes of open room, once all of the spacers arrived, we started to try to assemble the drivetrain, but found that the spacers did not seem to match what was required based on the CAD. Hopefully, this can get figured out soon.

Code Stuffs ™

Today, now that the practice bot no longer needed mechanical/electrical work, the programmers were able to start working on autonomous routines. They empirically measured some aspects of the drivetrain (e.g width between wheels) through encoder readings and math.

Above: A pic of the crop circles created by measuring the track width of the robot

Quote of the day: 

Nicole: “How has the team changed in the past 2 years?”

Ritik: (among several other answers, like communication and mentor involvement)  “Grant graduating is a big change”

Day 47 – Comp Bot Assembly 2: SMH Vex (02/19/2020)

Authors: Andrew Georgioff,  Ritik Mishra

Applying Loctite to Falcons

We fixed a minor issue with our competition robot drivetrain Falcons. There is a small performance issue with Falcons where the internal screws that hold the shaft to the motor come loose, turn into screw dust, and permanently destroy the motor and lock the shaft from spinning.  Other teams on Chief Delphi have confirmed that this is a problem. Although this is only a minor problem that Vex could have plausibly overseen during Falcon testing, we strive for perfection on our team. To prevent this from happening to us, we secured the screws using Loctite. This took a while since it is a process to disassemble and reassemble a Falcon, even though some of the screws came in the mail pre-loosened. One concern that we have is that the loctite will come loose if the motors heat up too much, but at least they will stay good for a while longer.

Code Testing

We experimented with changing several motor speeds in code today to optimize mechanical performance. Some tests included

  • Running the bottom roller at 50% vs 100% speed without the top roller installed
    • 100% speed would throw the ball on top of the electronics, 50% worked pretty fine
    • The lack of a top roller meant that balls would occasionally get stuck between the third intake roller and the bottom squeezer roller
  • Running the hopper asymmetrically in the same direction (75% & 25%) vs opposite direction (75% & -25%)
    • We found that running one side of the hopper backwards prevented balls from easily getting out from between the the third intake roller and bottom squeeze roller. 

We also fixed the problem in the autonomous where the robot wouldn’t drive off of the initiation line. This problem was caused by the fact that the autonomous command was not cancelling out the teleop command, which was telling the robot to not do anything since the joysticks are untouched in autonomous.

Gearbox Covers

They exist for the comp bot now 🙂

Above: A picture of a spraypainted comp bot gearbox cover installed on the gearbox

Comp Bot Assembly

We did a few things today

  • One of the two airpods is on the robot. We are waiting to put the other one on until we get all the belts and rollers and everything else that would otherwise require disassembly of the airpods.
  • The shooter motors now have belt pulleys installed, and the spacer/wheel stack on the shooter axle is mostly complete
  • The hopper is ready to get installed onto the robot after we get the hopper plates manufactured and drivetrain completed (it is a large pain to install drive axles/gearboxes with the hopper in the way).

One of these days, we will need to remove the black shooter hood from the practice bot to put onto the comp bot

Quote of the Day: What is this size? It’s larger than everything and smaller than everything – Isaac AJ, senior engineering captain looking for an Allen wrench while fixing Falcons

Day 46 – Comp Bot Assembly 1 (2/18/2020)

Authors: Andrew Georgioff, Ritik Mishra, Ishan Shetty

Anodized Parts 

We received our parts back from anodization today. This was a nice surprise since we expected the parts to come back on Thursday.  Assembly on the drive chassis has been started, but bearings have yet to be installed. 

Above: Our competition robot chassis anodized black

Above: Various parts for the competition robot anodized black


Today, the programmers had a meeting to discuss future code changes. Other than minor problems, most of the code worked well. Because of this, they decided to start developing several autonomous routines. 

Practice Bot Wiring

Today, we started to rewire the electronics on the practice bot. The cleanliness and organization of the electronics used to be really bad, which made them unmaintainable and problematic. 

Above: A picture of the rewired electronics on the practice bot. It’s definitely better than it used to be before

Quote of the Day: “At Talon Robotics we don’t quit, we just kinda give up sometimes” — Aedin Yu, rookie

Day 45 – Post-Week 0 Repairs (2/17/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra, Andrew Georgioff

Drivetrain Falcon Shaft

Yesterday, we noticed that one of our Falcons had a loose shaft. We did not have enough time to remove it from the robot, so we just ran with it and hoped that it wouldn’t cause too much damage. The Falcon shafts are able to come loose because (after disassembling the motor), one can remove them completely by undoing 5 screws that don’t have any Loctite on them. 

Today, we began fixing the Falcon. Now that the robot is mostly assembled, we had to cut several zip-ties and remove one of the hopper bearing spoons in order to get the motor out. After a lot of work (the screw heads were difficult to access), we finally were able to get the motor out, until we hit another snag: the pinion needs to come off of the motor, but due to manufacturing errors on the pinions, it was difficult to do so. We eventually persuaded the gear puller (which is for 4 inch gears?) into pulling off our 11t pinion (which is slightly larger than .5 inches). Afterwards, we followed the instructions on the VexPro website (look under Docs and Downloads for the Falcon 500 replacement shafts, NOT the actual Falcon 500’s) and proceeded to disassemble the Falcon 500. At this point, we were finally able to tighten the 5 screws that hold the shaft to the motor. 

Above: A picture of the disassembled falcon, showing the 5 screws holding the shaft to the motor).

 Once we reassembled the motor (now with a firm shaft), we decided to apply the recommended fix for the press fit pinion (it is not supposed to be a press fit). (source for solution).

screenshot of the chief delphi post by that vex employee

We were able to reduce the amount of force required to push the pinion on, but because we were using ~600 grit ScotchBrite instead of 180 grit sandpaper, we gave up after 10 minutes of sanding, checking the fit, sanding again, realizing the pinion was misplaced, etc. 

Anyways, long story short, the drivetrain is fixed now.

Active intake 

At Week 0, we barbequed the magic smoke out of a few motors. During intake testing today (in which we tested the effectiveness of the intake without the top roller; it was quite effective), we saw the active intake motor release some more magic smoke. After looking on Chief Delphi, we found that another team had been having the same problem as us. The solution (as provided by REV employees) was to set the Smart Current Limit on the Spark MAX. The default current limit is 80 amps. Although this is only a tad high for the big NEO, it blows the socks off of the baby NEO, causing fatal damage. After setting the Smart Current Limit on the active intake Spark MAX to a much more reasonable value of 26 amps, we loaded the baby NEO for ~30 seconds and found that it was not that warm. 

Other Notes

  • Comp bot frame is done being anodized, and will be retrieved from EcoFinishing’s facility in Fridley tomorrow. 
  • We found a code issue where the hopper would only run forwards if the shooter was on. Ideally, one should be able to reverse it at any time, but only feed balls if the shooter is running.
  • The electronics should be given a once over to ensure that everything is connected in the way it is supposed to be. We had to cut zip ties and unplug things in our Falcon repair effort and our investigation into the smoking baby neos (smoking is only for adults smh)

Above: A picture showing off our robot with an egregious number of balls in its control.

Quote of the Day: It was disassembled because they disassembled it – Ritik Mishra, Design Lead

Day 44 – Week 0 Competition (02/16/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra, Andrew Georgioff


Today was a busy day today! For the third consecutive year, we held a week 0 competition (and for the first time, it was actually at the high school). The week 0 competition is an unofficial competition that gives teams in the area an opportunity to test their robot in a more realistic environment before the official competitions start. As one of the 22 teams that both registered to attend and made it to the event, we found many potential design improvements that could be made to our robot.

Above: A video containing several matches that we played at Week 0. The video more clearly demonstrates several design problems/successes that are described below.


As a recap, the parts for the climber hook were

  • cut on the waterjet on the 13th
  • welded together on the 14th
  • assembled on the 15th

Today (the 16th!), we were able to test it for the first time.

Above: A YouTube video showing the climber work for the first time ever.

Above: A photo highlighting the ample ground clearance between the hanging robot

As seen in both the video and the picture, the climber is able to lift the robot. We did, however, run into some issues and discover some potential improvements. One issue was that the winch rope used to get caught between the winch barrel and the winch-supporting bearing. This problem is much like one we encountered in 2019 with Major Tom’s climber winch. To fix this issue, we bolted a washer (#6-32 screws; it was a tight fit) to the end of the 1” hex tube. We also prefilled the gap with scrap rope in order to prevent more rope from going into the gap.

Once the climber was fixed, we were able to start using it in matches. In one match, we climbed (and balanced) with a partner.


We encountered an issue with our drivetrain today: the shaft on one of the Falcons came loose. We removed the Falcon from the drivetrain so that our robot can safely run tomorrow at a corporate demo, but we will have to inspect the Falcon in greater detail and fix the shaft at a later date.

Active Intake

On its own, the intake worked reasonably well. Although there are some occasional compression issues when the ball touches both the floor and the bumper, the ball is able to pass over the bumper and through up to the lemon squeezer. However, due to problems with the lemon squeezer, not all balls taken in by the intake make it to the hopper.

Lemon Squeezer

For the unacquainted, the Lemon Squeezer is the part of the robot that helps to guide balls from the active intake into the hopper. It helps to ensure that squeezed lemons (Power cells) stay inside the hopper and only go to Narnia (power port) when we want them to (see Flywheel). 

We ran into some issues with the lemon squeezer. 

  • Balls would sometimes jam between the bottom roller of the lemon squeezer and the spot in the bottom hopper plate where the bottom belt belongs (the bottom belt is not installed yet).  This would cause the motor driving the bottom roller to stall and burn out.

Above: A picture showing the ball stuck in the hopper plate

  • The top roller was driven by an “infinity loop” of round belt. This meant that it slipped a lot. As a result, instead of going into the hopper, balls would often exit the intake pipeline between the last intake roller and the top roller.  The solution to this is to use a more robust method of reversing the rotation from the bottom roller (e.g timing belt + gear). 

Above: A ball inappropriately exiting the intake pipeline as described above

  • The top roller tube is missing a hex hub. We had to move the hex shaft supporting the top roller tube in order to fix the infinity belt, but this ultimately caused the hex that was supporting the tube on the inside to slide out of its adapter tube. We will need to pin everything in place with a bolt. 

Flywheel Shooter

Today, we used the shooter. It works pretty well to send balls from the hopper to the outer port when the robot is at about the initiation line. It does not work as well to send balls to the inner port (improvements to automated vision alignment will be required for that). We confirmed that it is able to make shots from the end of the trench, as designed. We still need the shooter to be more precise.

Above: A video showing the robot shooting into the power port

Also, the second shooter hood was delivered today!

Above: The second shooter hood. It is the natural color of PEI (polyetherimide, the chemical name for Ultem), also referred to as “Robonauts Gold,” among other names 🙂 

Demo Preparations

We made some minor fixes to the robot so that it can run at a corporate demo tomorrow. Most importantly, we started the process of removing and fixing the Falcon with the wobbly shaft.

Day 43 – Week 0 Prep (2/15/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra, Andrew Georgioff


So much happened today! The robot is Working ™. It intakes balls, pulls them through the lemon squeezer, stores them in the hopper, and then shoots them. There are still many improvements that can be made, such as code changes for the mechanism that feeds balls into the shooter. We also set up the field for Week 0. 

Before we start off with the most important thing that happened in the room today, we would like to mention that ALL of our VersaPlanetaries turned out to be assembled incorrectly. For some reason, in all of them, the set screw holding the first stage of the gearbox to the motor shaft was not assembled quite right in any of our VersaPlanetaries. For some reason, this has not been a prominent problem in past years. Please teach rookies how to not be bad at assembling planetary gearboxes. 

Eye Wash Station

Today, one of our mentors brought in an eye wash station. This station is the kind that has sealed bottles that are unsealed before being emptied into the user’s eye. This is a safety measure for our 3D printed part washer, as the Stratasys Juice ™ that it is filled with would probably cause problems if it splashed into your eye. 

Above:  A picture of the eye was station, located near the entrance of the closet

Finalizing Pneumatics

Today, we finished all of the pneumatics that were unfinished yesterday. We also added a code change that ensures that the compressor will actually run. The code has been confirmed to shift the gearbox.


We received the second piece of our shooter hood from Stratasys today. Within the hour that it was delivered, it was assembled onto the robot. It is quite robust, but it was also quite sharp before we broke the edges.

Above: A picture of the shooter hood assembled onto the robot. Some rivets are sitting in a weight saving cavity. This cavity is very versatile and can hold cables, fluid containers, and FTA treats.

Above: A picture of the shooter hood on the robot. The seam between it and the lower hood is negligible.

Limelight Mount

Last night, we started printing a limelight mount. Today, it finished printing. One issue that we encountered was that the Limelight mount put the Limelight directly on top of the PDP ports, which is not good for the wires. We will likely need to move either the Limelight or the wires (i.e have better wire management) so that the Limelight will fit. In any case, it will not be ready for week 0 tomorrow. 

Above: A picture of the limelight in its mount.


Today, the climber was installed on the robot! It will likely be ready to test for the first time at week 0 tomorrow. One problem that was solved today was the problem of raising the hook when the climber was fully raised. This problem was solved by tying a string between the bottom of the hook (which is free to pivot up and down), and a scrap piece of hex shaft. The hex shaft was dropped down a the cavity in the middle of the 80/20 2×1, and is prevented from coming out by a plate that caps the top of the bar. This way, as the 2nd stage raises, the string pulls up the hex shaft. When the hex shaft hits the cap plate, the hook is forced to pivot up. 

We also installed the winch, winch gearbox, ratchet, and necessary electronics onto the robot. The code for the climber was also written and deployed.

Above: A picture of the climber on the robot. The winch, winch gearbox, and ratcheting wrench are visible in this picture.

Above: A video showing the climber hook deploy mechanism in action


The motor on the intake was wired up to the rest of the robot. It has been confirmed to intake balls over the bumper. However, the compression between the first roller and the bumper could be a little more. One reason this compression might be less than we wanted is because the pool noodles we bought turned out to actually be 2.25” instead of 2.5” like they were CADded to be. We also found that the ball will jam against the intake support plates (airpods.sldprt) if the ball is intaked near either side of the first roller.


Today, we attached polycord to the sides of our hopper. We had to do this because the belts still haven’t arrived yet (smh @ SDP/SI). This was mildly difficult since we did not have a great way to hold the ends of the polycord together while they are in tension. We ended up avoiding the problem altogether by welding the polycord off of the robot, when it is not in tension.


  • We did not put the bottom belt in
  • We put two motors on the hopper, one for each side. Ideally, we can drive both sides with one motor, and use the second motor for the bottom belt instead.

The Feeder Wheel

The exit of the hopper is too low for balls to get into the shooter. There is a single feeder wheel that, in conjunction with the lower hood (see yesterday’s blog post for details), moves balls upwards into the shooter subsystem. Today, we installed it. There are still some potential software improvements (such as only allowing it to feed balls in if the flywheel is spinning) that can be made, but for now, the current code works well enough. 

Code: Confirmed to Work

Once the finalizing of mechanical components were done, code was tested. Overall the code worked well, but there were a few minor changes that needed to be made. One of these was adding a reverse mode to the hopper for if two balls got stuck and would not advance. Other fixes were more minor, such as switching the direction of the motors which spinned the polycord on the hopper. 

Robot Testing

All additions are described above. The following video shows everything in action. As said in the intro, we had several issues with VersaPlanetary set screws and the like. 

Field Setup

The field for our week zero event tomorrow was set up today. This was accomplished with the help of other Southwest Hub teams. These teams not only helped by providing laborers to assemble the field, but also by providing some field elements, such as the other power port, both loading bays, and the other trench run. 

Can’t wait for Week Zero tomorrow!

Above: The fully assembled field.

Quote of the Day:Who took the – I mean it was me, but where did I put it.” – Justin Silewski, Engineering Captain looking for hex shaft. 

Day 42 – Little brain: COTS | Big brain: 3DP (2/14/2020)

Authors: Andrew Georgioff, Ritik Mishra

3D Printed Parts

We finished printing our first parts — drivetrain gearbox covers — using our 3D printer from Stratasys. They are made of ABS because it is the only type of plastic (besides soluble support material) that our printer will print. The gearbox covers will help to prevent unwanted debris from entering the gearbox and damaging the gears. 

We also printed hex spacers to center our flywheel (we were previously using duct tape). One problem that we encountered with the hex spacers was that the hex bore was modeled in CAD to be exactly 0.500” across the flats, when it should have been a tad larger (i.e 0.505” or 0.510”) in order to slide more easily onto the hex shaft.

Finally, at the end of the night, we started to print a limelight mount and NavX cover. These should be done tomorrow. 

Above: A set of gearbox covers after being 3d printed. Note that there is still some support material attached, which we removed before attaching them to the robot.

Above: A set of gearbox covers installed onto a gearbox.

Above: The limelight mount and NavX cover, starting to be printed.

Welded Parts

Today, we brought our competition robot chassis and climber hook to CEM so that they could get welded together. We got both back today. The climber hook was assembled onto the climber, and some minor changes (mostly cosmetic) were made to the competition robot frame before it went to get anodized. 

Above: The competition robot frame and climber hook sitting in someone’s trunk after they were welded.

Above: The climber with the climber hook attached

Ball Feeding Hood

There are two large 3D printed “hoods” on the robot. One of them is the shooter hood, which should arrive by tomorrow night. The other is the lower hood, which guides balls from the hopper into the shooter wheel. We received and installed this part today. The square hole in the side of the part is meant to have a 1×1 raptor bar pass through it for the purpose of support. However, since the angled shooter support bars were not assembled in the right position (relative to the CAD model), we had to make our own L bracket in order to attach the rear hood support bar to the robot. In the CAD model, the support bar was designed to be coplanar with the shooter’s support bars, allowing us to use COTS gussets instead.

Above: A picture of the lower hood on its own

Above: A picture of the hood on the robot


Today we added chain to our intake. Originally, we were going to use timing belts rather than chain, but we discovered that the belts we ordered were going to arrive late, so we decided to use chain instead to ensure that we would be ready for Week 0 this sunday. 

Above: The intake with the belts replaced with chain.

We also installed the rollers on the part that helps guide balls from the intake into the hopper. 

Mounting Pneumatics

We mounted most of our pneumatics, including the air tank, compressor and gearbox shifting solenoid, onto our practice robot today. We still have a few parts left such as the pressure gauge, and a second solenoid for raising/lowering the intake.

Above: A picture of the bottom of the robot showing the drivetrain gear boxes (clad in gearbox covers), the air tank, the compressor, and the regulator. Note that these are not on the “bottom of the robot” like the electronics were in the 2017 season. Rather, they are “facing” (i.e protruding) upwards, but just happen to be mounted low on the chassis. 

Quote of the day: 

Michael Proper: holding up a scrap piece of aluminum plate from the waterjet “What’s this good for?”

Ritik: “Well if you needed a triangle shape you could use the large triangley bit”

Day 41 – The Mail to Robot Pipeline Continues (02/13/2020)

Authors: Ritik Mishra

Competition Robot Frame

Two days ago, we received all of the parts from CEM that we needed to assemble for our comp bot frame. Today, we got a new shipment of gussets, bearings, and belt pulleys from VexPro. This allowed us to assemble most of our comp bot frame so that it can get welded tomorrow and subsequently anodized soon.

Above: A student has brought the comp bot frame home with them so they can bring it to CEM tomorrow morning/afternoon for welding (there is no school tomorrow). Their dog is observing the robot frame.


As a recap, we have chosen a single mast 80/20 elevator for our climber. It looks like this in CAD:

Above: A single mast, 2 stage elevator made out of  80/20 linear slides. The 0th and 1st stages are 2×1 bars, while the 2nd stage is a 1×1 bar. The hook at the top is stored horizontally, and is able to pivot upwards. The pivot allows the elevator to reach a few inches higher, giving us extra leeway when climbing.

The climber is designed to go upwards naturally, as it is preloaded with constant force springs. A winch will pull it back down, allowing us to climb.

The curved part of the hook is made from a half-pipe (like the skate park shape) whose inner diameter is larger than the outer diameter of the bar on the GENERATOR SWITCH. The inside of this pipe will be lined with grippy material (current candidate is the silicone foam from the offseason suction experiments) in order to prevent sliding sideways on the switch.

Today, we waterjet all of the plates that we need for the climber hook. They have been assembled with the few components that arrived from McMaster yesterday, and will be welded together tomorrow along with the rest of the robot.

Above: A picture of the climber hook, ready to get welded together. 


Yesterday, we made all of the hex hubs for the intake rollers on the practice bot. Today, we pressed them into the rollers and assembled the rollers onto the intake. We also put the belt pulleys (which came in the mail today) and the baby neo (which came in the mail a while ago) on the intake.

Above: A picture of the mostly assembled intake.


Today, we got 2 belts in the mail from VexPro. For reference, we have more than 2 timing belts on our robot. We ordered most of our belts from SDP/SI, a distributor that carries many more belt lengths than VexPro at equivalent or cheaper prices. Sadly, these are taking a while to arrive in the mail. This is mildly concerning. Anyways, these VexPro belts ended up on the flywheel shooter. As a result, we were able to test our flywheel on the robot for the first time ever.

Above: A video in which the flywheel spins. A student touches a power cell to the flywheel, which is then immediately launched about 10 feet forwards. 

Our shooter hood is currently being printed by Stratasys. Unfortunately, the printer that was printing the shooter hood had a pretty bad issue, forcing the operator to restart the print. This will cause us to receive the shooter hood on Saturday night instead of Friday night.

One thing that we tried to do is add rubber pads between the plates that support the flywheel shooter and the rest of the frame. We found that this helped to reduce the amount of vibration in the ground near the robot, but not necessarily in the shooter itself. 

Gearbox Covers

Today, we got all of the supplies necessary to use our 3D printer that was donated to us by Stratasys. This was delayed because a label on the printer said that it was a uPrint 100, but the firmware on the printer (which is what actually matters) said that it actually was a uPrint SE Plus. 

Anyways, we started printing gearbox covers for our robot. This will help to prevent metal shavings and other unwanted debris from entering the gearbox and damaging the gears. 

Quote of the Day: “Reading this makes me realize that if [they] ever just told me ‘you’ll die in 30 minutes’ my reaction would be to shrug and think ‘yeah you probably right’” – Anonymous, responding to the statement that they will die in 5-10 minutes (but the timer resets on every breath).