Friday, December 28, 2007

12/28 Power Lines and Wave Turbine Videos

Patrick made the corn mission more reliable and Joey finished the power lines this morning. The power lines mission plants 2 trees and connects 3 properties to the power plant. With the wind turbines and dam, it's worth 50 points alone.

video

We also shot a new video of Nate's house solar panel mission that now throws the wave turbine into the water. Paul designed and built the new wave turbine to work this way.

video

Thursday, December 27, 2007

12/27 Minutes

We had a very productive meeting. Alex worked on the Alien Chicken. Andrew, Danny and Sam also worked on project. The whole team spent quite some time hashing through the mission order and discussing ways of reducing our time. The order was mostly agreed upon until finally Joey and Paul volunteered to decide on the final order so the rest of the team could continue on other tasks. The order now combines more missions and requires fewer implement changes. The group decided to decline to do the coal mining. We discussed methods of organizing the programs so that it doesn't take so long to sequence through them. Andrew volunteered to bring an example "super program" that is faster. A new mission tracker has been published at the link on the right.

Mrs. Naughton brought in some tri-fold display boards for the project, technical and general presentation. Each boy is to bring a bio sheet to the next meeting to put on the general board - 3 to 5 sentences and a head shot (school photo?) if they have it.

Joey, Michael, Danny, Patrick and Alex all volunteered to introduce the group for the project, including writing up the introduction. We had a secret ballot and Michael was voted in.

Mr. Emge discussed some of the problems with move blocks with turns. This was an issue with corn harvesting. By changing to single wheel turns, Patrick was able to modify his program and get a pretty repeatable mission in a short time. He came in before the meeting to accomplish this and the video is below. He is returning tomorrow to make it less sensitive to alignment in base. He also found a way to send out an oil barrel at the same time, since we must get an oil barrel to the farm to make the harvest count. This means we still get points for the corn even if we didn't get the truck sent to the farm, which was the original order.

Nate also came in before the meeting and refined the solar panel program, using a light sensor. It's pretty reliable using different robots. Paul built a wave turbine that rides on the solar panel so that it gets thrown over the house when the solar panel is installed, combining these missions.

Joey and Paul worked on power lines Wednesday morning, including planting 2 more trees. They figured out how to use the light sensor and touch sensor to put it repeatably in a really good spot. There is a little work to do on it yet and when they finish, a video will go up. It uses the same "scoop" implement as many other missions, and gets 50 points, so this is a really good accomplishment.

Below is a video of Patrick's corn harvesting mission.

video

Monday, December 24, 2007

12/23, Meeting minutes

We're still at 10 minutes for all missions, but Nate spent some time before the meeting finishing the solar panel installation mission. It's a dead-reckoning program but works very well. Video below.

In addition, the team continued work on the project and Paul and Alex got the dam working.

Nice job, Nate!

video

Saturday, December 22, 2007

12/22 - Uranium Mission Video

Paul fine tuned the Uranium mission today using light and touch sensors.

video

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12/20 Meeting Update

It's been a while since the last post and Supernova has made tremendous progress. The project is going very well. The boys are finished with their research and are bulding the presentation book. They stayed after school today to get pictures taken for it.

T-shirts are in and will have the new logo on them - same as on the top of this page. Thanks to Nate and Patrick for the designs. The team had a secret vote to pick between them.

All robots are now built identically and the team has finished almost all the missions. Robot time during normal meetings is now spent practicing and getting the time down. Last week was the first attempt at all missions. Currently it takes about 10 minutes but they are learning the importance of proper alignement in base and quick attachment changes.

The team is going to build a notebook with the proper alignment for each mission. The implements are also going to be modified slightly to make them easier to attach - things like common peg location and making the pegs "captive" in the robot. The few missions that need program modifications are now being worked on when those team members can come over and work outside the normal meeting time.

Soon, we will be working on the design review presentation. That will be a good time for the boys to reflect on just how much they've learned and let that come through to the judges.

We will be posting a schedule for the Christmas break. There will be extra meeting times where they can come in and work in small groups to fine tune their missions and presentations.