Intermediate Enhancements

Intermediate Enhancements

Improve Joystick Control

With Thanks to Chris Le Bas and the girls of St Helen’s School Northwood.

As soon as the remote control for the chariot was given to the girls at St Helen’s School, Northwood, they commented that, while one stick was set up for forwards-backwards drive and the other for right-left turning, they both looked and felt the same. Because of familiarity with other controllers that used a single joystick, the unnecessary freedom of movement gave the impression that one could move left or right with the forwards-backwards stick and vice versa. Something to block the superfluous movement would be very helpful. Some pieces of tape were suggested and some trials were made with pieces of cardboard, but it became clear that something more rigid was required.

Noticing that the joysticks were sunk in a round depression in the controller, a disc-shaped restrainer would fit in nicely. Victoria and Lavana, who are familiar with the Design and Technology department, pointed out that this would be an easy task for the laser-cutter.

The final design was made in two colours out of 3mm acrylic sheeting. With exact dimensions (shown below), it fits over the joystick with the top end unscrewed and can be held in place by some blutak or hot glue, being careful not to get any sticky stuff on the stick itself.

Using different bright colours also helped to emphasize the distinct roles of each part of the controller.

Modify the shape of the chassis to allow it to be better suited to the competitions

What are important attributes that a robot must have to win a competition at the Scottish Robotic games?
Look at various different shapes. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each, i.e. box, wedge, circles, triangles etc?
Once a design is chosen should you make a neat scaled drawing and then make the new chassis out of cardboard to test if the components will fit? Or jump straight in with new materials?
Analyse the new design, is it suitable for the Scottish robotic games? Will it stand up to the rough and tumble of the competitions?
What will you do if the new design has a flaw?
How will you manufacture the design?

Estimated cost: £20 for new materials

Create a removable scoop to allow other robots to be lifted up

Can a scoop be added to the front of the chassis without drastically modifying the chassis design?
Look at the football guides, could these be used to anchor the scoop?
What materials should the scoop be made from?
Should the scoop be flat, curved or two or more large forks?
What are the advantages of each design?
How best to implement the design?
Remember the maximum protrusion in front of the main chassis is normally 50mm, but for Sumo a 100mm scoop is allowed.

Estimated cost: Materials - £15

Make an LED display on your robot

What makes LEDs special when wiring them up? Hint – positive and negative terminals and safety resistors.
Would you be able to spell out your School initials, ATC unit or club name in LEDs on your robot?
How many LEDs would you require for your design? Remember you don’t have to think huge, a small display can be just as effective.
How would you wire the display into your robot so that the display lights up when you connect your removable link?
Please be aware that any LED displays must not flash or use exceptionally bright LEDs for health and safety reasons.

Estimated cost: LEDs and resistors - £5, Breadboard - £2