Our robot features an all wheel driving system powered by twin motors on the standard kit transmissions. We decided to stick with the kit chassis to give us more time to focus on auxiliary. Our robot has an extra low shelf to maximize space inside the robot. We chose a low shelf because it houses the winch we are using to lift the robot. The hook that will be used to hang the bot will be deployed by a telescoping arm powered by a single piston. The winch will engage once our robot is hooked to the cross bar and drive away. This is when the twin motors come in handy; their power allows for enough torque to lift our bot. We have strategically mounted a kicker on the front of our robot powered by two pistons. Our guard rails protect our robot from any balls trying to go in on the sides. The top our robot is protected by two polycarbonate sheets.
Our Buddy (haha) has LabVIEW running through its brains. Along with the grippy/low-friction wheel combination, it has encoder wheels that will regulate the winch, to make sure that both sides of the winch are spinning at the same speed, to climb the tower at an even rate. This Midnight Mobile is driven tank style, meaning one joystick controls one side, the other control the other side.
Our electronic system and software utilizes traction control. Our robot has free wheels. The software matches the speed of the driving wheels with those of the free rolling wheels. If our driving wheels are spinning faster than the free wheels, the encoders for our software turns on traction control and slows us down by slowing the drive motors down until we achieved a controlled speed.
Our robot can make its way across the fields under the tunnels. It also has a kicker to get balls over the bumps that divide the field into quadrants.
Our robot has 2 things running on pneumatics, the ball kicker and raising the telescoping arm. The kicker has a window motor attached to it to run a ball “magnet,” giving any ball that gets caught in our ball “magnet,” which is on the kicker, a backward spin, which allows us to control one ball, as the rules only allow us one ball. The telescoping arm is how we plan to score some bonus points. After in it’s up position, the telescoping arm extends using the power of a motor and string. The arm brings a hook to the top of the tower, where it will hook on and stay in place. Our robot then drives away, which activates the winch. The winch is in a down position, which prevents the spur gears attached, from meshing, until the hook is at the top of the tower. Once at the top, the rope attached to the hook will pull the winch, which will allow the gears to mesh and activate the winch. The winch will pull the rope as the 'Midnight Mobile' drives away, and pulls the robot up, up, and away…or at least to the top of the tower, where it will hang for some points. A side note is that our shelf is low, to maximize our storage of electronics, the battery, and other things that make our Buddy do its job.
"Joining robotics has given me the opportunity to be in a supporting community of others with my same enthusiasm towards engineering."
ESTEBAN SOTO, Midnight Mechanic
Esteban Soto (far left), pictured here with team advisor Dan Rupert (middle), and Kyle Norquist (far right) has been a Midnight Mechanic for four years. His involvement on the team includes being a member of the drive tran group, building the chasis for the robot, and a driver. Now, in his senior year, Esteban aspires to pursue a major in mechanical engineering (ME). His experience in FIRST and in Team San Diego has not only equipped him with the engineering skills to do so, but the teamwork and collaborative skills to be successful as an engineer.
A PROUD MEMBER OF