A Beautiful Day for Bot Building

It’s a sunny sixty-eight degrees outside and therefore my teammates and I are in the BotCave.

Not that I’m complaining. The weather is uplifting if you’re inside or out. The nice weather has put everyone in a good mood today, so even with competition barely more than a month away we were able to have a stress free and productive day. Mr. Grasmeder is gone all this week so Mr. and Mrs. Newcastle get us all to themselves. I feel as though the BotCave is considerably quieter than normal. I can’t imagine that has anything to do with Mr. Gras’s absence.

Our bots are looking very close to complete. I’ve seen some test runs and occasionally the bots almost all the way work! I’m only kidding. On many simulations the bots do exactly what they’re supposed to do. However we can’t go to competition with the bots working correctly on “many” runs. We need them to be perfect every time. That’s one of the things hardware and software have been working on today. The hardware team has gotten to the point where most of the initial building is done, and now their job is tweaking those structures until they’re just right. As every week goes by, I am able to observe visible progress from both teams. Which, as you can tell from my previous blogs, is really saying something, because normally I can’t observe progress so much as I’m informed of it.

This is the duck grabber. You know what comes next. It grabs ducks.
This is the duck grabber. You know what comes next. It grabs ducks.

In an earlier post I spoke of the duck grabber. The one that grabs ducks you ask? The very same. (This is only funny if you’ve read my other blogs. So if you haven’t, get on that. Right now.) Well now the duck grabber has been completed. Today the software team worked on programming the robot to actually use said grabber of ducks. The first run of the program showed the duck grabber to be a little too… aggressive. By that I mean when they ran the program, instead of picking up the ducks in a slow, steady movement, the robot snapped the arm forward rather quickly. So quickly in fact, the software team was afraid to get in its way and waited until the grabber was completely done with its motions before they put their hands anywhere near it. They were eventually able to solve the problem. I know that’s a positive thing and all, but to be quite honest it was much more amusing when it was defective. Either way, the use of the duck grabber is an excellent example of the work of hardware and software coming together. Oh and I blogged about it. It really was a team effort.