Mid-challenge Build Update 2020 Season
We're just about halfway into this challenge, and we've made a lot of progress on our bot, if not on our sleep. Our chassis is already complete, its initial test run christened with a serenade of bagpipes by a member of our Visual Media team.
Our bot will be low (able to pass under the Trench) and fast, picking up Power Cells from the ground and scoring them in the Bottom Port. We'll also be equipped to manipulate the Control Panel, allowing us to move through the Stages. During Endgame, we will be able to quickly climb the Shield Generator and (hopefully!) balance.
All mechanisms (Power Cell manipulator, Control Panel manipulator, Shield Generator climber) have been prototyped, in fact our Power Cell intake is already finished and being mounted on the robot! To pick up the Power Cells, we're using a rotating PVC pipe wrapped with grippy tape. This will be able to roll over the top of the Power Cells and push them into the body of the robot. Both our Control Panel manipulator and our climber use a telescoping system to extend vertically above the robot; these end with a motorized wheel and a Lexan hook respectively.
Our Field Elements team has also been hard at work, and we already have a fully functioning Control Panel, with just the colors left to add. The Shield Generator Structure is up, and the Shield Generator itself is in progress, hopefully only a few hours from being completed. At the midpoint of the challenge we find ourselves, unsurprisingly, a little behind where we hoped, but this is perhaps the most faithful immitation of the real-world engineering process possible (all we need to complete the picture is to run 50% over budget). However, we have completed a functioning chassis and are well underway into perfecting our mechanisms, as well as the field to test them on. With most of the design and prototype work complete, the tasks ahead should go even faster. We're excited to see what we can accomplish in the next 36 hours.
Text Media Team Member