Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Current Progress and Thoughts


Currently, I have built a successful robot that can solve a mission. The mission it can solve is the "Nanotube Strength" mission. In addition, I plan to have a mission-to-mission combo, where the robot solves one mission, then solves another without returning to base. A positive effect is that it saves approximately half a minute because it would waste time to make the robot return to base, and have the pilot of the robot attach a different attachment to go solve another mission. Instead, I made my arm versitale so that it can solve many missions with just one attachment.
Furthermore, Mr.Wright mentioned that it would be strategic if every other group in the club built an exact replica of the robot I have now because it was most versatile, thus, we will have more success if we each have the same robot, and focus on different missions each. As a result, we will combine our solved missions in one, therefore, we have one big team. I think this will be a great success because 5 minds are better than 1.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Way a Car Works


On this Friday, Mr.Wright taught us a lot about cars! He taught us the ways of transmission, how brakes work, RPM, and much more.
For instance, the way of gearing up or down on a manual transmission is the action of the gears being disengaged, and engaged with another gear. The reason there are gears in the first place is to get both power and speed working your vehicle. Further, if you had a heavy SUV, you would need power to get it moving at first. After you have some speed down, you should switch gears while the vehicle has the velocity because 2nd gear is more of a speed gear than power. Once you switch to 2nd gear, you will have a boost of speed because of the gear ratio, and the velocity you already have. Similarly, a mountain bike uses almost the same concept. For example, have you ever tried starting out in 5th gear on your bike? What you should feel is a lack of power and acceleration the bike has. That's why you have to start out in first gear for power, and switch to 2nd gear for speed, and then to 3rd gear for even more speed and so on.
The way a manual transmission works is there is a clutch to the left of the brake that if pressed, it disengages the current gear, thus giving you a chance to switch gears using a stickshift. The stickshift moves the gear you desire in the gear already moving. However, you have to switch gears in the right RPM range because if you switch too early, you won't accelerate as quick. That is because the camshaft is making less revolutions per minute.
Another thing Mr.Wright has taught us is the way brakes work. Actually, the way they work is by having a special brake fluid traveling throught pipes and gettin to the brake pads. The way they work is there is a hydralic pump thta squeezes the brake pads against a metal disc attached to the axle. The brakes create friction, and therefore, the axle stops turning.
Finally, the way you would know ehn to switch your brakes is when your car starts creating a screeching noise once you press the brakes. Remember, always have your brakes working properly!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The New Geartrain


I have just made a painstaking recovery from a 3:1 geartrain. Every time I would attach the big wheels on the robot, it doesn't have the acceleration that I really need. Although it gains speed and has torque, that is not to my benefits on this competition. However, I tried attaching small wheels on the robot, but, even worse it popped a wheelie. What some think would be a smart idea is to create a wheelie bar. I disagree because that reduces the acceleration, and its not useful in crowded environments such as the competition. Once I did those experiments, I knew that I had to change my geartrain as soon as possible because the robot has no moral value with the current geartrain.
After one day, I made up my mind, and decided to switch to a 24:16 or 3:2 geartrain, since that will give me the right acceleration, power, and speed that I need in order to be successful in the competition. The reason I mentioned that I have made a "painstaking" recovery was because I had no idea how hard it could be to make a 24:16 geartrain. I had to use a bunch of half spacers. Finally, after I was done making the geartrain, I tested the wheels I had desired from the start; the big wheels(since that will create a better balance for the robot contributing to my swivels). It turned out great! Just the acceleration I needed! One negative of making this geartrain, however, was that plenty pieces were added to the robot, thus making it clumsy, and more vulnurable to fall apart. Although it might take some time to fix that problem, it should be no problem at at.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Polytech University


Mr.Wright has just recently told me about Polytech University. He navigated me to the Polytech University webpage just yesterday. One particular directory that standed out for me was the "YES" center. YES stands for "The Promise Fund's Center for Youth in Engineering and Science". The YES program promotes activities which exite high school students for jobs in engineering and science careers. This center is made to expand the minds of young scientists and engineers. Over the 18 year history of the Promise Fund, corporations and foundations have contributed more than 15 million, providing scholarships to more than 2000 students. Also, Polytech has a really strong basketball team. So, if you want to be an engineer in the field of sciences, this is one of the many good colleges to look forward to.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The SHSAT


The SHSAT, for many who don't know stands for Specialized High Schools Admission Test. This test is the sole criterion upon admission to the specialized high schools. Speaking of the SHSAT, I am taking KAPLAN courses myself to get me sharp with the skills I need to succeed. I am having a very rough schedule this summer studying 2 hours in the morning, 2 more hours in the evening, and finally 1 night hour, which equals to 5 total hours every day. Might sound alot of hours but they have paid off. Having one of the worst Diagnostic SHSAT test score, I ended up having one of the best Midterm SHSAT test scores. That doesn't mean I should just give up. I will still be studying according to my every day schedule.
Due to the schedule, I hardly have any time to finish my summer projects for the school. On August 9th, I got lucky and was actually able to finish my science summer homework. This weekend (August 7-8) I am going to try to finish my Language Arts homework, and so on. After I finish all of my required assignments, I will start building and programming Legos, so I can get back to my engineering life, lol :). But anyway, I'm excited about this year because I am going to be in a different class, with finally some new poeple and not the same old boring ones. Another good thing about going to a different class is that I moved to an even more advanced class than my old one. Kind of nervous, but I will get over it. :-)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Building the Claw


After building about three different claws, we have the best one so far. The best characteristic about it is that it is in a horizontal position, so it is really easy to attach it to the bot. When we changed the design of our claw, this is how it looks like.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

How the Chassis and Geartrain Fit the Robot I Have and the Attachments Needed

So far, I am still up to The Recycler challenge. I have already progressed through the couple of days regarding the construction of the chassis, and the geartrain. I have noticed that I have chosen the right chassis for my robot. It may be a couple of grams heavier than a basic chassis, but it does give me alot of availabilities. Using the chassis I already have, I think the process of designing a geartrain is alot easier. Due to the beams stuck to the chassis, it provides for me bunch of ways that I can space out/in gears, yet having a robust design. Moving on to the geartrain, I have experienced many geartrains all with different gear ratios. But due to the weight of the robot, which is so heavy because I have the grabber attached, you need to design a geartrain with power, and speed almost balanced. If you loose power, you gain speed, but for this robot you need power to gain speed due to its heavy weight. When I built a 5:1, 5:2, 3:1, and many other such geartrain, believe it or not, the robot will just not budge. After finally being filled with more experience regarding my robot and its characteristics, I decided to build a 1:1 geartrain using 40 tooth gears. In summation, the 1:1 has worked the best for me because it provides a good amount of speed and acceleration, and at the same time; power.