Articles in the Blog category

  1. Lessons Learned

    Our videos are all submitted now. We managed to fit in filming all the challenges (thanks to my parents for their help). Time to look at the robot and the process and see what we've learned.

    1. Read the rules all the time

    I'd read through the rules initially but …

  2. Too Big!

    With only about 2 weeks to go until the deadline, I started to read the rules in a little more detail to check what we should be submitting. It was at this point I realised we were in breach of the size rules! I'd designed the robot to fill the …

  3. The Claw

    We realised we needed a way to pick-up toys for the "Tidy up the Toys" challenge. We already had the lift-arm as part of the chassis so a full stacked approach was possible. Initially I just went on Thingiverse and downloaded/printed this claw. I picked it because it looked …

  4. Fish Food Cannon

    We've been struggling with time to work on the robot over the last few weeks, rushing to get it finished so the blog posts are a little behind where we are. Here's some details of how we made our fish-food-cannon for the feed the fishes challenge.

    We decided to go …

  5. Catch up

    We've been rushing to get some hardware working in time for the deadline and neglecting the blog in the process. Due to one thing and another we've had less time to work on the robot than we'd hoped. Now with the delay of the official competition date we've got room …

  6. Motor Board Bring Up

    I've populated the critical parts of the motor driver board now. The connectors and pin headers can wait until I've verified the microcontroller is running.

    Motor driver PCB with the main components populated.
    Mostly just connectors to add, there are some missing ESD protection diodes which are on backorder

    The STM32G0 series microcontroller on our motor board is …

  7. Backwards LEDs Don't Work

    Good lesson today as I tested out the battery status LEDs on the side of our main controller board; the polarising mark on the WS2812B smart-LED isn't on pin 1, in fact it's opposite pin 1.

    I'd populated the board and had assumed the chamfered edge on the LEDs was …

  8. Power and Pi

    Having designed the motor controllers the last main chunk of electronics needed is the stuff that wraps around the RaspberryPi. We're planning on using a Pi4 for two reasons. One is that we hope to exploit its processing power with a camera to do some tasks autonomously (time will tell …

  9. Motor Control

    We've already discussed what motors we're using. These motors need some fairly hefty speed control, they have a stall current of 3.4A. They've also got magnetic encoders which means we need real-time encoder monitoring ability. Real-time stuff on the Pi is challenging, and monitoring 4 quadrature encoders with one …

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