NASA TETRIX Projects

Archive for July 26th, 2011

Day 16: Tuesday, 7/26

by on Jul.26, 2011, under Week 4

Tomorrow is our final demo to Morgan Hynes (my boss), Ethan Danahy, Merredith Portsmore, and Magee Giarrosso.  From 12:30-1:30 tomorrow we will be doing demonstrations of our completed product, as well as talking about our sources for inspiration, our reasons for doing what we’ve done, what we’ve done, how what we’ve done can be related to middle schoolers, what we plan to do in the future, and what we have learned during this internship.  We wrote down the answers to these questions in anticipation for tomorrow’s lecture as well as finalizing the robots.  The Carrier Robot was having door opening issues and those were worked on.  Dean’s iPad Controller, since it works very well, was left untouched, however, the iPad demo robot was reworked to include a handle for easier transport.  The Axel Rover got a cardboard shell around it (with access points for the NXT and the power switch), but, after assuming a motor was broken, the shell was removed so as to expose the wiring.  After troubleshooting, Lawrence and I eventually managed to pinpoint the cause: we had accidentally switched the spool’s NXT and the rover’s NXT, so the code we were running actually only was turning one motor on at any given time.  After that hiccup, we reattached the shell, this time with convenient flaps for easy access to the wiring.  During this time, Jess wrote a code for examining terrain; the robot travels out from a certain point, then spirals back to the starting location.  However, due to the aforementioned mistake, we had only ten minutes to test the code outside; the Axel Rover runs well on wet grass and mulch, both up and down a shallow hill.  The rover still needs to be tested on concrete, dirt, and up a steeper hill.

Also, at around noon, a prospective student, Alex, from New York came by and we gave another quick demo to him and his mother.  During Lunch, I showed him around the CEEO.  At around 4:30, after all the high school students had already left, I gave a short demo to a summer class teacher who decided she’d like to use a working version of the carrier robot for a two day activity with middle schoolers.  Therefore, I’ll spend next week finishing up and perfecting the carrier bot so we can actually use it in a true class setting.

Daily Thoughts:

Dean: Prepeared for demo on Wednesday.  Fine tuned the iPad robot controller program.

Jess: This morning I wrote a really awesome roomba-esque code for the rover. I’m rather proud of it, and it reminds me of my robotics origins working on iRobot Creates for Botball. It isn’t necessarily an independent program, since it is totally static and doesn’t change at all based on environmental stimuli, but it is significantly more sophisticated than a boring old drive straight program. This one drives to the center of a crater and then spirals back to its mothership. It is my first program utilizing sub-VIs, which allow me to simplify my main code and make it look less cluttered and make more sense at first glance. All day the robot itself has been out of comission due to electrical failure and further improvements. A protective casing had to be removed several times because the robot was being fickle. Only by the end of the day was it anywhere near successfully repaired and able to be tested, leaving no time to actually test my nice code.

Briyana: Today we reattached our ultrasonic sensor for our robot to be a crater robot again but the only difference was now it has a sometimes-working door/ramp.

Sarah: Today I worked on making a mini-robot follow a line.  It didn’t work because the mini-robot’s wheels kept getting stuck at various places on the ramp/Carrier Bot.

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