Marie Jose Uwayezu
To design and build an RC robot that can descend a post, pick up a passenger, and deposit them safely on the top shelf while using the least amount of energy. The robot must also fit within a 30cm x 30cm x30cm cube and complete the course in under 3 minutes.
During our early ideation phase, we took on a "fail early, fail often" mentality and brainstormed numerous ideas to test for different mechanisms to accomplish our goal. Early ideas included a mouse trap to grab the passenger and an arm that extends down the post.
IDEATION & PROTOTYPING
We tested our initial ideas using foam core and some metal parts. For example, we used foam core models to determine the appropriate size of the bracket opening so that the chassis would remain upright.
In order to determine if the scoop was a feasible design, we performed manual tests. We learned through our experiments that the passengers had a high center of mass, so we could position our robot to strike at their feet and cause them to fall backwards into the scoop instead of getting pushed forward off of the course.
Our final design featured a scoop attached to an aluminum rod that was bent to have 2 90 degree angles. The L-shape serves several purposes:
1. It allows the robot to reach and scoop up the passenger.
2. It allows the robot to rotate around the top shelf to deposit them.
3. It allows the robot to collapse together so it fits within the size constraints.
The scoop was controlled by a pan and tilt mechanism composed of 2 servo motors and was placed on a platform that was raised and lowered by a winch system. For our chassis that housed the gearbox and motor, we fabricated an aluminum bracket to hold onto the post.
Our robot successfully completed the course without dropping the passengers.
Our scoop bot was the fastest among the competition, completing the course in just 49 seconds.
Low energy use
Our robot used only 177J to complete the course. The class average was 403J.
Most unique grabber functionality
While all other teams utilized claw or elevator mechanisms to pick up and deposit the passengers, our unique scoop design allowed us to complete the challenge while achieving low energy use and the fastest time.