Week 2:  13th - 19th 

prev   next

Sunday the 13th Today's Pics 
Hmmmm..... you know, the days are starting to run into each other.  If my memory serves me right, first we hit up Jiu Jitsu from 3-5pm.  Afterwards, I believe we reconvened at base, and worked some more on the wheel unit and strategy. Everything was constantly evolving as we introduced new concepts and counter strategies to our strategy.  Anyway, we had decided on going with Patrick's wheel unit design since it was more compact (though a little heavier).  Building upon it, we had already created clone of the wheel unit and were now modifying the design for motor mounting in prime locations.  THAT was a PAIN!!!  Evolving Wheel Unit.   Also, Derek built a concept base for the vehicle.  We mounted the wheel units to this concept base and created version one of....   da Beast!

Mishap:  Derek "dropped" it....

Monday the 14th Today's Pics 
12 hundred, exercises begin.  Today's drills included photosensor contruction, as well as shaft encoding and servo instruction.  Get all that?  The photosensors are used to detect color, ie balls, table top, black and whaitelines, etc.  The shaft encoder is a breakbeam sensor which can be used to calculate how far the chicken has gone.  Finally, a servo is basically geared down "engine" that can turn between 0 and 180 degrees and move objects requiring a lot of torque. Useful little electronic, buhlee dat.  Meanwhile, the more we thought about our four wheel drive beast, the more we realized how difficult it would be to code such a monster.  So, after bouncing from exercises, we happened to bump into one of my boys.  He expressed the same concern.  Hence, we went back to the drawing board.  Fortunately, we already had some ideas, no doubt.  We still wanted to be able to turn on a dime as well as maintain our speed factor (you know, that need for speed... yeah). Solution: one wheel unit instead of two could still pull this off, maybe even better.  Check it, with one wheel unit, we gained the ability to power each wheel with two engines... maybe even three. Next, a third wheel would act as the stability wheel, as well as steering.  BAAAAAAM!  That is MONEY!  You like? yeaaahhh.  And yes, we had to modify our strategy, but only slightly.  The new design fit like a glove.  But I am kind of telling you things done tomorrow, today. Thus.... (oh yeah, I almost forgot, we hit up Jiu Jitsu again from 9-10:30pm).

Tuesday the 15th Today's Pics 
12 hundred... yup, you guessed it.  However this would be the last one.  We would be on our own from now on.  PT this time consisted of advanced coding techniques.  Again, our time could have been better spent (sleeping, that would have been niiiiice, heh heh).  However, the blurb about threads was good.  The reminder hit the spot.  Bounce, bounce, bounce (yeah, that means after the workshop, we left).  Heading to base, we continued to modify the third and final wheel unit design as well as the one wheel steering unit. By the end of that night, we had our chicken legs.  The arm design was progressing nicely as well.  As a reward, we ate ourselves some pizza and watched Goodfellas.   yup yup.   We also decided to take tomorrow off since plans for the weekend for all three of us had changed (we were each going to take the weekend off).

Wednesday the 16th Today's Pics 
Ever wonder how to keep a dummy busy for hours?  See below.

Ever wonder how to keep a dummy busy for hours?  See above.

Thursday the 17th Today's Pics 
How long did you spend on Wednesday the 16th?  Heh heh heh.  We took that day off remember.  But today, we had to bust our butts big time.  Assignment three was due tomorrow.  To pass that mission required a functional robot that could react to its surroundings as well as demonstrate basic functionality.  That meant we needed to get our sensors figured out, what orientation we wanted them to be in, which sensors we wanted to get, how we were gonna build the photosensors (basically putting an LED and a CDS cell together with a 330 ohm resistor), and code the beast.  Plus we had to hit up Jiu Jitsu at 9pm.  So, we met at 5 (well, we said 4, but for some odd reason we keep actually getting together an hour later than we plan... odd...) and became a machine.  From control we got our necessary supplies and headed back to base.  I (Patrick), began the coding, Alberto and Derek worked on the sensors.   As time progressed, the machine began to deteriorate.  You know, that little bugger called sleep was attacking us.  We stuck it out and got as far as possible before the point of no return (you know, that point where any forward production was actually 5 steps backwards? yeah, that state).  We agreed to meet at 11 hundred to finish the op (it was about 0500).   Bounce, bounce, bounce.

Friday the 18th Today's Pics 
Yeah..... 11 hundred.... riiiight.  We actually met at 12 hundred.  To headquarters we ventured and the machine was in full swing again.  Here the final touches were being put on the sensors and the motors were being legoized as well as laced with connectors.  Alberto and Derek took on that task.  I, Patrick, continued with the coding, generating several calibration programs to download to the onboard computer.  First we calibrated the turning radius of the servo which controlled our steering wheel.   Second, we utilized another calibration program to calibrate the photosensors.  This means we aimed to discover threshold values for each photosensor.  Each photosensor returns a different value for varying degrees of light reflection (which allows us to determine color) while taking into account the scenario of different lighting arrangements (yeah... that's noise from the surrounding environment).  Finally, we calibrated the motors with yet another calibration program.  In this endeavor, we aimed to ensure forward, reverse, 90 degree turn right, and 90 degree turn left worked to satisfaction.  All that was left to complete was the actual "test" program to prove our capabilities of designing a beast that can react to its environment.  I had to take a quick break and head to my boot camp PE class (tight class man).  Alberto and Derek continued to work, then went to eat.  I got back to the lab from class and then they got back about 10 minutes later. It was about 1730 (5:30pm).  Away we went, debugging, programming, re-calibrating, and testing.  Finally we had our beast, demonstrated that bad boy, and we were gone.  Da Beast ver 2.0

Saturday the 19th Today's Pics 
....ahem.... yeah today we did nothing, it was too full of Jiu Jitsu.   See we had Jiu Jitsu practice from 1500 to 1700.  Then there was a 4th degree Black Belt test we went to see at 1730.  ...we'll bust our backs tomorrow.  PEACE!

okay okay, yeah, we did work on the webpage a little.  That's something isn't it? heh heh.

prev   next
This page was last updated on 7/04/03
© 2002 pm