The Aftermath of the Design Review

The team participated in a county-wide design review as part of BWARA.  BWARA, Blue Water Area Robotics Alliance, is a 9-member alliance of teams mostly in St. Clair County that will cooperate with helping each other out throughout the year.

Each team gave a 20 minute presentation on their analysis of the game and what they thought their match strategy(ies) might be.  The teams bounced questions off each other regarding their understanding of the rules as well as asked critical questions regarding design concepts presented.

At the team meeting on Tuesday, we re-thought our match strategy and made a few changes.  We are going to target a two-hatch sandstorm period meaning we plan to place two hatches on the cargo ship.  We’re also second-guessing the wisdom of starting from the level 2 habitat platform.  The shock of the 6″ drop on the robot, and particularly the accumulation of potential damage over time, was concerning.

The team created some rough prototypes to simulate picking up hatch covers using Velcro.  The team had three different types of adhesive-backed hook and loop fasteners and tested using a pair of scrap 1″ x 2″ aluminum tubing.  The loop side is on the game piece.  We wanted to see if there was a difference in retention and the leaving of residue (hooks breaking off the hook side and staying on the hatch cover).  We discovered that when a small surface area was pressed into the game piece Velcro, it had a tendency of leaving a few hooks behind.  However, if longer strips were applied, very few if any hooks were left behind.  And, there definitely was a difference with the 3 types we had regarding retention of the game piece.

We did select the robot concept on time, but are now starting to run behind on getting parts designed and fabricated.  The goal is to start assembling the robot a week from Saturday to allow for programming and debugging.