NASA TETRIX Projects

Day 7: Wednesday, 7/13

by on Jul.13, 2011, under Week 2

Today was the last day before demos; we finalized and practiced our powerpoints, created a survey for the students to fill in, came up with questions to ask the kids, and finished construction.  Some of the programming was shody, but worked.  For example, the iPad program was just simple left, right, forward, and back buttons.  However, when we switched from Morgan’s personal iPad to a CEEO iPad, the server connection required to run the program became buggy and only the left and forward buttons worked.  Eventually, we made a Labview program that had an interactive front panel, to show the movement of the tank (forward, back, left, right) and the movement of the turret (left/right and up/down).


The Axel Rover had issues with wheels, as the provided gears in the kits did not have a diameter large enough to spin the robot without the battery pack hitting the ground.  The current solution is to attach flat bars to the end of the wheels.

The crater detecting robot works, however the DC motors are so fast that sometimes by the time the crater (the edge of the table) has been detected and the robot has braked, the robot has already fallen off the table.  When the speed is reduced (the motors are running at constant power, so reducing the speed means reducing the power), the motors became too weak to move the robot.

Daily Thoughts:

Dean: Tank: finished product: YEAH! Worked on powerpoint

Lawrence: This day started off with making the PowerPoint presentation which actually didn’t take that long but then we reviewed it so that we would look well when we presented it to the middle school students. Also we presented to Morgan today so we could have his thoughts on our presentation.

Jess: Writing the powerpoint up was pretty simple. Making some reasonable probing questions were somewhat difficult to come up with, since it was slightly hard to remember what the comprehension/vocabulary level of middle schoolers is, and we weren’t really sure how good their English speaking skills (we’re going to an ESL school tomorrow) were.

Briyana: Worked more on the powerpoint and questions.  Robot would fall off table if power was too high and wouldn’t drive if too low.

Sarah: I was extremely happy when the crater-detecting robot worked; although when the power was turned down we had to give it a nudge to get it started.

Writing the powerpoint up was pretty simple. Making some reasonable probing questions were somewhat difficult to come up with, since it was slightly hard to remember what the comprehension/vocabulary level of middle schoolers is, and we weren’t really sure how good their English speaking skills (we’re going to an ESL school tomorrow) were.

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