Our final meeting of the year

Today is our final meeting of the year and despite missing some members due to choir rehearsals and an attitude of what I am going to define as it’s-the-day-before-we-break-up-I’m-not-coming, we have ploughed on with our work. The chassis is sorted, our nerf gun has been disassembled and reassembled, photos are being taken of everyone for the blog, and I have (most of) a shopping list for the parts we still need for our robot.

We began the session with Inigo fixing a wobbly wheel, which thankfully turned out to be merely a loose screw. The whole point of buying this chassis was to make everything easier, but between a incorrectly drilled hole, a wheel that kept falling off, and now a wobbly wheel, it is rather concerning to think of what worse things could have happened. The chassis now has compartments built of lego, and the arduino and pi are fixed in place, complete with lego grills to encourage air flow.

Work on our nerf gun has continued this meeting, with Lucas, Josh and Sabith taking apart the gun again. So far one safety feature has been removed, and they now have an undertstanding of the inner workings of the gun. The current question is how to create an automated firing system, as we cannot manually press the trigger each time we want to shoot a zombie. One option is to find a spring with a lower spring constant (I am ready to repeat my physics practical to test them out), or just an elastic band. The other option is to add a solenoid in one of two places. There has also been discussion on how we are going to mount and move the gun itself - mainly whether we can justify spending £60 of a two-inch-long servo.

Max has been testing which of our Pis actually work - we have four Pis in total, of which some belong to members of the team, some of which are the schools. We have at least one that works, and as we only need one (I say hopefully, hoping no-one is going to appear and tell me we need to somehow power and attach another pi), we should be fine.

The aim over Christmas is for people to continue work so in the New Year we can focus on mounting and beginning testing - Louis and I are very ready to make the robot do increasingly difficult tests for the obstacle course. I am also hoping to get some more concrete data on turning speeds and distances so I can begin working out the maths behind a few of the challenges.

That’s all for today, so I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year!

By Laura Hollister

Written on December 18, 2019