Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Best of the nerds!

I just finished the big, year long class called Mechatronics (combining mechanisms with electronics). The end goal is to build a completely autonomous robot (turn it on and it does it's thing without any further involvement) to preform some task. This years task was to navigate the aisles of a course, pick up specific crates, and deliver them to one of the home bases. Two of the crates give off infrared light, one has a magnet inside, you get point deductions for messing with the other crates, and two teams run at once so you have to avoid the other robot (no robot wars allowed). I'll spare you all the other details.
Suffice it to say that this was REALLY hard. We used motors, servos, a bunch of sensors, built circuits, designed lots of different mechanisms with strength analysis, made lots of SolidWorks drawings (CAD), and wrote SO MUCH CODE to run the dang thing. And in the end, we got first place. I'm so stoked on this. It's an amazing feeling to have all that hard work come to fruition. It feels especially good because we actually engineered this thing. By that I mean we didn't just make a ton of prototypes trying out different ideas. We actually did our math and came to solid conclusions before we spent money. Only a few things had to be changed after an initial prototype. The code is a real high point for me too. I spent a long time writing different algorithms for navigation and seeing the robot travel down the different aisles making decisions on the fly of where to go next was an awesome feeling. It was socially awkward nerd joy I think.


Here's a pic of the course to give you a visual.

6 comments:

chelsmi said...

My boy has got skills! I am such a proud wife.

the farlanderz said...

K3-

What the blood! looks wild. Congrats.

Lauren said...

that is amazing!! Congrats!

The Tame Gang said...

Wow Kenny! Way to go! It's nice when all the hard work pays off.

aaron eskaran said...

good job top nerd

Sandra said...

Okay Chelsea you need to update! I figuared I can't complain since I never comment so you would never know that I really do keep up on your blog. Byt the way if you come to visit I will show you how to make freezer jam! Love Aunt Sandy