Cougar v5 Chassis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 10:54

 

Here's the Cougar v5, that's version 5 (we're now on v6), chassis.    It did pretty well both at maneuvering on the LEGO pip surface of the moon, and climbing the ridge and crater walls.

The arm was shorter than our current arm but it did use the internal differential allowing us to raise and lower the arm and to open and close the grabber on the end with a single motor .  We had intended to go into each crater to pick up the two rings, but we couldn't stay far enough away from the first ring to pick it up without knocking it down.   So we switched out this arm for a longer arm and started grabbing the first ring from outside the crater and the 2nd ring from inside the crater. Much better!

We still had a chain drive and then gave us 2 problems.  One, their was quite a bit of slop in the chain, especially when changing from forward to reverse.  And two, it would skip some under heavy loads and occasionally the chain would break.  If that happens, mission over! 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 09:55
 
My Last Cougar LEGO Robotics Team Practice PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 August 2010 12:50
My last Cougar Lego practice was on last Thursday.  We continued to program the robot and we are now able to get 4 of the rings and stay on the white platform for 5 seconds.  That means we can go over the wall.  I would like to say good bye and good luck to my fellow Cougar team mates and friends and to all the other 20 teams I would like to wish you good luck.  I hope you learn more about yourself and others and what you're capable of.  I hope you learn more about teamwork and robotics.  I hope you all have as much fun as I had when you finish the Moonbots Challenge and are proud of all the hard work you put into the challenge.  Bye everyone!!!!!! Smile
Last Updated on Monday, 16 August 2010 16:04
 
Cougar's MoonBot Arm with Internal Differential PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Saturday, 14 August 2010 21:22

Here's a picture of our new arm.  It sorta has a built in differential.  The Motor will spin the gears to close the arm.  Once the arm closes so the gears can't spin any more then the motor will lift the arm.  When the motor runs the other direction it will open the arm as far as the arm-stops and then lower the arm.  The jaws of the arm act as the locking mechanism for the gears to raise the arm. This idea was from the E-Bots Loudmouths in the FIRST LEGO League Smart Move Challenge. They had an arm similar to this design.

For the LEGO Digital Designer CAD we had to substitute a double conical 12 for a double conical 20 gear on the inside of the arm on the axle next to but not through the motor.  We just couldn't make the 20 fit even tho it fits in real life. 

 

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Arm with Differential.lxf)Cougar Arm with Differential.lxf[ ]19 Kb14/08/10 21:30
Last Updated on Saturday, 14 August 2010 21:51
 
8/12/10 Fine Tunning PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 August 2010 20:49

ok, so today we got a LOT done.  Working with our new epicly(which is not a real word) improved chassis, we made great progress.  The new robot, which in our programs is referred to as "x" no longer has any chain.  It has gears directly connected to each other to provide direct power, preventing chain slop, and slipping.  In addition, the arm has been modified, and we added an Ultrasonic sensor to the back of the robot for back up to proximity.  Lastly, this new Robot we built is lighter than the others.  This is due to it having a smaller frame, and needing less braces to counteract chain tension.  Overall, this new robot is miles better at getting over walls!  PLUS, its long arm can grab rings VERY VERY effectively.

So enough about the robot, here is what WE DID:  We tweaked our program that we had before.  Our Cougar Rover can now grab the 2 north helium-3 rings, the two water rings on the right side of the field, stay on the pad of light, and cross the walls!  "HIP-HIP, HOORAY!"  and, we can grab the rings pretty reliably.  Now we are moving onto the other side of the ridge that we started on, and attempting to get the Left side Yellow rings.  After that, we will go for the last Blue water, head for Base, and be home free!  Here we come moon!  The Cougars are in business!

-philip

 
Thanks Cougars PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 23:34

Thanks to the help of The Cougars, 3rd in FLL for the Smart Move World Festival, we are getting sensors, loops, switches under our belt.  If this old coot can figure it out with a lot of books and external wisdom, I figure anyone can figure it out if you put your mind to it.  It was two nights of work.

Tips:  Although the rule of thumb is to have the light sensor just 1 or 2 pennies above the mat, my old mat has some high spots which cause the sensor to see low reflection value when it may still be white.  I lifted mine up 4mm and all is good.  The baffles are more for "teaching" purposes.  The bot runs fine without them given the extreme contrast.

Do it in chunks.  Use sound and the wait block. (using an NXT button) to move to the next chunk of code.  Don't let your batteries get low....like I did and waste an hour plus.  Be sure you know how to read your battery voltage.  If you want to see the NXT=G 1.1/1.05 program just ask.

Come by Thursday to have a look.  I am going to start taking Smart Move elements apart.  If anyone wants to borrow the half table for the weekend....it is available.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzUSWEQfbhE

Coach Jud
Yappin' Yoda's 

Last Updated on Friday, 13 August 2010 23:38
 
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  • Invisible Inequities Training: Toward a Bias-Free FIRST Front-Line?
    As many of you were preparing for the holiday season in 2016 and feeling one way or another just after the U.S. Presidential election, FIRST®launched Invisible Inequities—a free, online training module to grapple with bias and help create more diverse, inclusive and equitable teams.

    FIRST Diversity and Inclusion has been collaborating with NAPE to design a training series for Coaches, Mentors, Volunteers, Partners and other key stakeholders who work directly with students. Invisible Inequities is the first of three online modules offered and help participants:
    ·         Identify examples of cultural stereotypes and bias and how they affect equitable participant engagement on FIRSTteams,
    ·         Reflect on differences between their team demographics and their community demographics, and
    ·         Apply strategies to recruit participants from underrepresented and underserved groups.

    So, is it possible to be totally bias-free as you are recruiting team members and interacting with them in FIRST Tech Challenge or our other three programs? No. We know that culture shapes your biases and beliefs about people based on their age, gender, race, language, (dis)ability, or income level—usually without your realization. “The mind is a difference-seeking machine,” is the best way to think about it. Globally recognized for her work on Implicit Bias, Mahzarin Banaji says your hidden biases cause you to create order of the innumerable details you’re processing at any given moment and make reasonable assumptions. However, that “firewall” in your mind sometimes governs your thoughts and behaviors, shapes your preferences, and can create a Blindspot—the mind’s quick, incomplete sorting judgments about someone’s “character, abilities, and potential” to thrive.

    FIRST is committed to bringing its programs to students who would benefit most and to address inequities in STEM. FIRST has set a strategic priority of making its programs more inclusive and better representing the communities where teams are located. We are not currently as diverse as we would like to be and certain underrepresented and underserved students feel marginalized. A 35 minute to 1-hour length training could never attain bias-eradication. That’s not feasible. Acknowledging your bias allows you to laser-like focus on strategies that deny your biases the chance to influence student recruitment, roles and retention on teams. Through engaging and reflective activities on the power of culture on your interactions with students, these modules will equip you with specific strategies to support community outreach, student participation, persistence, engagement and success.


    When asked, “How likely is it that you will change the way you creating an inclusive environment for your team as a result of participating in the Invisible Inequities training module?”, nearly 87% of training survey completers to date say they are very likely to change or somewhat likely to change.  “So now, knowing my bias, I will try to compensate in recruiting all different groups. I was going to say recruit them equally but now after following the module, I will say that I need to approach this with equity in mind--not equality,” reflects Jared Hasen-Klein, a high school junior and Director of Team Operations at Team 1836: The MilkenKnights who’s not only taken the training, but also participated in the training design youth focus group.

    That’s the kind of consciousness competence shifting and triggered action-planning we are hoping for! We know the training has potential for impact, but we need to engage a critical mass of Coaches and Mentors. Kudos to the FIRST VISTA Members and management team for incentivizing training participation in the underserved communities where they have a presence! I DID IT is the simple message members email along with the certificate of completion to be entered in a drawing to win some pretty fabulous prizes.




    Have you completed the module? What will you do to spread the word and encourage engagement within your sphere of influence? The training module is free and accessible to anyone through Schoology Learning Management System. To start, fill out the module access form, and you will receive instructions on how join the course.

    Post By: Shelley Henderson, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, FIRST