Archive for the ‘ 254 ’ Category

Manufacturing & Design Progress


The manufacturing team has been working hard to produce a myriad of parts.  The CNC has been running to finish the Dogs and start on parts for the Kicker.  The lathe has been working to produce all of the shafts and spacers needed in the kicker.


The design team has been working hard to design the roller system, the final major robot system to be designed.  The plates will be sent out for waterjet cutting at BAE systems tomorrow.  The CAD predicts the robot weight at about 110 lbs, but does not include certain items such as pneumatic tubing, fittings and all wiring.

Front Roller Design

Front Roller Design

We have robots.

After receiving our frames very late last night, we began wiring today.  We mounted all of the electronics and ran the 4 gauge primary power wires.

Primary Power Wires

We then proceeded to run wires for the Victor 884 speed controllers.  After several separate configurations, the most popular involves running each Victor power wire independently and not zip-tying them together at all.

Victor 884 Power Wires

Besides working on the frames, the manufacturing department continued to lathe a myriad of spacers and standoffs for the kicker and drive gearboxes.  The CNC was working hard all day to cut dog ridges into our two separate dog gears and the dog lock plate.

A large group of students also worked hard all day on 254’s crate, ending with painting it.

Painted Crate Side Panels

Closer to Completion

Design: The team has finalized CAD designs for our kicking device and has finalized all mechanisms.

Parts: A set of  manufactured parts has been sent to our sister team, 968.

Manufacturing: We are continuing manufacture of dogs for our kicker shaft.

Design: T-shirt designs finalized!

In short, 254 is well on its way to finishing the robot (name TBD)

Finished Parts

Here’s a picture of everything  completed so far (Minus gearbox plates and sprockets, which are out to anodize, and frames).



The manufacturing team has been working hard to complete parts for the drivebase.  After completing gears and sprockets, we have moved onto the construction of the shifting dogs for both the drivetrain and the kicker winch.


The design team has been working to finalize a myriad of parts so that manufacture can begin.  The plates for the kicker winch and arm have been finalized, and will begin being waterjet at BAE Systems tomorrow after the material is delivered.  Design on the rollers is continuing, implementing the Clutch that we have purchased from McMaster-Carr.

Robot Hanging

Roller Prototyping Progress

Today, we continued prototyping dual roller systems.  We worked hard to emulate the drawings we had, but still found minimal success with the belt-driven systems.  The faster the rollers were moving, the better the results.  However, if the rollers were moving too fast, the window motors would stall and be damaged.

At the end of the evening, we strapped a Dewalt 3 Speed Drill onto the robot.  With the shifter on middle or high speed and the clutch set very low, we were able to obtain and hold the ball extremely well.  Videos of this system at work are below.

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open source video, online video platform, video streaming, video solutions

General Update

We continued to revise the two horizontal-rollers prototype so that it would be ready for proper implementation on the final design. Some of the most recent changes made include a stop, so that the ball is physically limited from entering more than 3 inches into our robot. Unfortunately in the earlier tests the ball actually entered 4 inches into our robot and roughly 1/16 inch off the ground. We also shifted the upper roller as forward as possible while retaining space for the bearing and moved the lower roller forward. The roller speed was also increased from the window motors with a 4 to 1 pulley reduction Videos should follow tommorrow after the design is perfected further.

Down in the shop we continued to pocket gears on the CNC and several sets for both the drive-train gearbox and the shooter winch gearbox have been manufactured already. Hopefully by the end of tommorrow we will be for the most part done pocketing the gears (at least the ones finalized on the design). They will be ready for ship by Monday or Tuesday.

Prototyping Progress

Dual horizontal rollers with tennis racquet grip tape = money.

Team 254 finally finished the initial prototype for dual horizontal rollers this evening (Based on 148’s prototype) and after much tweaking we found that the rollers held the ball securely and within the limits of the rules. The mechanism uses two small window motors running continuously (at least in this prototype), and it has little difficulty with picking up a ball on the go. For a final design, the rollers should spin faster to ensure that the ball is picked up 100% of the time, and actual placement of the rollers will need to be tweaked to perfection.

Roller Setup with 2 rollers covered in tennis raquet grip tape.

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Zero to Robot Parts in 6 Hours (or so)

All of the robot chassis and super structure parts were completed today and are on their way to West Covina to be welded and then powercoated.  The front plugs will be machined tomorrow and will be mailed down to arrive on Tuesday at the same time that the base plates that Mike D from team 233 made for us.

Here is a picture of the 12 different sets of pieces that are on their way down.

Here is a picture of the pieces set next to each other to give you an idea of what it will look like completed.