NASA TETRIX Projects

Archive for July 21st, 2011

Day 13: Thursday, 7/21

by on Jul.21, 2011, under Week 3

More building and coding [and smoking {motors}] today.  Dean made all the icons for the iPad interface; each icon was an image made in Gimp that looked like a button and had corresponding text written on it (like 6″ or 45°).  Then, in order to calibrate the robot so the degree turns were accurate, we used a compass app on my iphone, for which Dean built an ingenious mount for.  Also, Dean did all the VI coding; forgot to add a bluetooth subvi to every .vi he wrote so he had to re-add that to each of his .vis at the end, of which there are a lot.  The Axel Rover also went from being able to move it’s arm to self-right itself to having a stationary arm.  Also, the spool went from being mounted on the Axel Rover to being mounted externally on a handheld controller, since there was no more on the Rover for it.  Briyana and Sarah finished up their line following code for the middle schooler’s activity.  Also, they managed to destroy two DC motors; they accidentally left the motors continuously spinning so when the door was closed the motors would keep trying to spin but were held in place and couldn’t; the motors started pouring out smoke; and are now broken.

Daily Thoughts:

Dean: Made the icons for the iPad interface. Built an iPhone holder on the robot to use its compass to calibrate the turns.  Tedious work, paid off though.  Did all the vi coding.

Lawrence: Today I made the double powered servo pivot an attached it to me and Jess’s rover. Once we attached it we made a program and tried to run it and we couldn’t get it to work so we decided to take the servos off and have a stationary crane. Also I started to make the controller where I attach the spool to and have it run to give the robot slack and to reel it in but I didn’t finish it and it didn’t work so well.

Jess: The wiring seemed less hideous and awful this morning when I looked at it. Yet, out servo problems persisted, despite trying everything we could think of. We got some a new servo controller, hoping that would work, but it didn’t. We got a new battery, and we replaced one of the servos, hoping that perhaps low power or offset servos were causing our problem. That only left two perfectly aligned servos connected to newly redone, flawless wiring that still wouldn’t work. At times they fidget within the upper range or lower range, but the arm is unable to swing completely up and down. I noticed that some of the arm’s fasteners are scraping against the inner servo, but I don’t think that is totally the problem, since I tested it with no scraping/resisitance. In the end, servos needed to be entirely scrapped, with only one more full work day left, on which I would not be present. DC motors, for which hubs are very hard to find, would have to replace the servos. Also, today was the last day of my week before my birthday, so there was cake and everybody sang Happy Birthday. That was fun. Being a July-born person, I was never one of those kids who had cupcakes on their birthday in elementary school or anything.

Briyana: Today we went through two, not one but two, DC motors trying to get the door/ramp to move. We worked on this pretty much the whole day. I also worked on planning out the sensors for the middle school students to follow along a dark line so I placed some white paper with different color electrical tape.

Sarah: First, one of the didn’t work, then two motors burned out because they wanted to keep moving but were being held in place.  It was quite frustrating.

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