How, when and what

Now I would like to tell you how everything works - from the beginning until the end. What have the people achieved in order to giving birth to me. It was an amazing and exciting work. 

If you are interested in getting more information take a look at the official document from Systemtechnikprojekt´18:

Milestone 1

Finding solutions and concept decision

Here is where everything has begun. The members of our team first got to know each other and the ideas came quickly. We gathered many of them, some were multifarious, others were simple and some of them were even really exotic.

This milestone is divided into three blocks:

Milestone 1a

Getting to know each other 

In diesem Meilenstein gibt es drei definierte Ziele:

In this milestone there are three defined goals:

  • Description of the system
  • List of requirements
  • Working plan

The team was very motivated and the first ideas were born already. 

  • Description of the system
  • List of requirements
  • Working plan
What is necessary to build a robot?

Internal and external factors that play an important role in the robot´s development were defined. The building site, the surface of the ground (external), the communication and the user interface (internal) are some examples of these factors.

Have a look at the document:

What will our customer require

In this part of the milestone not only all the factors were analysed but also the requirements of the customer. We had to join the perspective of the customer and developer. Any small fact can play an important role. 

In order to getting to a complete and thorough list of requirements all the teams have been working together here.

Last version of the list of requirements:

Every group needs an order

It is very important that every person of the team knows his role. It is also very important that every member of the team gets information about everything.

This is the first structure of a plan. Time is running out and it runs quickly.

These are the team structure and the working plan:

Milestone 1b

Brainstorming

Ideas, sketches, … How can we do that? … the goal was defined. We will build a super robot! But how? Different ideas came together but quickly we noticed that the process was also very important. The next questions came up: Will both robots have the same functions or will they play different roles?... What will be best?... Questions over questions.

  • Sketches
  • Morphologic box
  • Strategies
Ideas on paper

At this point some examples of the first sketches can be seen. Everything was sketched; the drive system, different ideas to lift the Lego blocks up, how the delivery of the blocks has to be done and also how the robots have to work on the playground. Not all the participants have experience in technical drawing, but anyway, all of them drew something.

Putting the ideas together (finding solutions)

Before we met the first time it was the responsibility of all the participants to think about various concepts. The ideas were collected in a mind map and divided into three subgroups. In a later meeting we organized groups that – out of the found ideas – were working out useful concepts for later found subgroups. One group was analyzing the robot that gets the blocks and helps to build the lighthouse. The other two groups had to analyze robots with subtasks. They were divided into a robot that only gets the blocks and delivers them to the second robot and another one that is engaged in building the lighthouse.

In the next step we gathered concepts in a morphologic box. Each group presented their favourits and then they were discussed in a final meeting. With the help of the morphologic box each subgroup came to the master plan that unites the best ideas.

Concept description
Concept 1: building and loading robot

In this concept both robots have to complete the same sub-functions. That means that both robots go for the blocks and build the lighthouse together. The robot can stock various blocks on a circular belt conveyor that turn 90° during the rotation over an arrester. The stocked blocks can be grabbed with a claw system. This system can rotate 180° and is moveable in the vertical centerline. This way the blocks get the correct position for building the lighthouse.

Concept 2: loading robot

This concept is built to get and to hand over blocks. For a high efficiency we decided to take a solution that is similar to the solution we took for stocking the blocks as in concept one. The blocks can be stocked on a turntable with various mechanical claws. Because of the rotation of the slice the blocks are brought into the right position automatically. After all the blocks have been loaded this robot can hand over the blocks to the building robot one by one.

Concept 3: building robot

This concept is oriented toward taking over the blocks and building the lighthouse. First, the robot goes for the lighthouse module and moves to the building lot. This is where the loading robot – while handing over the blocks – places every block on the building platform under the lighthouse module. With an elevating movement through the claw system the lighthouse module is getting pressed onto the block. Then the claw grabs the lowest block of the lighthouse and lifts it up. These steps are being repeated as long as the desired height is reached. When the lighthouse is built entirely the robot can pivot the building platform and put the lighthouse on the floor.

Milenstone 1c

Taking a decision

A lot of different ideas were suggested and I among them. Now the best idea had to be chosen. The group thought that I will be a good candidate for this project and also the teachers had the same opinion. I´m going to be a lighthouse builder robot! 

As a loading robot I will go for the blocks and hand them over to the robot of the partner team (team 8).

I was the chosen one! 

  • My body
  • My nervous system
  • My brain
Short description of my structure

So am I. The red part is my traction system which enables me to move. The motors (for the traction and the cablecar) are shown in orange. You can see the cablecar in yellow. With the cablecar all the blocks are taken along with the help of magnets and stocked. The slide that is taken for handing over the blocks to the robot of team 8 is displayed in blue.

The traction system

The traction system moves towards direction X and Y. The toothed wheels are getting grip on the lego floor. This makes it easy to know my exact position.

The cablecar

The cablecar is the main component of my structure. Here the magnets (parts in turquoise) are being placed. With them the blocks are getting taken and transported. Each block has a metallic ball for magnetic attraction.

The slide

As soon as I have collected all the blocks and I am in the right position for the robot of team 8, the slide is going to be released with the help of an electro magnet. The slide is going to be fixed at the robot of team 8 and the blocks can be handed over.

This way everything gets connected

All the parts of my structure need energy. These parts have to be connected to each other in order to work properly – this is the challenge for the electronics team. Only if the connection between software and hardware works properly I will be able to work. Here you can see a part of my nervous system, the print boards, which were developed by the electronics.

"Cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am")

This sentence from the philosopher René Descartes explains that it is not possible to be developed without intelligence. In my case the intelligence is the software.

The job of the informatics team is to help the robot to take decisions. With the program the informatics team develops the robot knows its exact position, knows, where to take over the blocks and how many of them it has to load. To provide a perfect hand over of the blocks it is very important to know where the robot of the partner team is situated.

It is important to structure the robot’s work. The job is not only to write a program but also test programs are necessary in order to check other sub-functions. 

Milestone 2

Design Review

At this point of the process of the project all the designs got checked by the tutors. They checked how to improve the traction system, how to simplify the programs, etc.

Each department had its own revision which allowed to improve the designs. 

Now the next steps could follow: building a robot.

Milestone 3

Presenting the sub-functions

In this milestone the sub-functions were launched. Almost all my structures were built, the print boards got finished and the electronics team was able to solder almost all the electronic components. Time came to test all the functions with the test program in order to find all the potential errors.

Tested sub-functions

  • Mechanics
  • Sensors
Traction system, cablecar and slide

Various parts arrived from our suppliers and almost all my body got built. Now it was time to check in reality if all the parts were doing their functions properly. Concerning the traction system the surface quality of the waves and the ball race play an important roll.The functionality of the motors was tested with a test program. There appeared some new problems. The team members have to hurry up  - creative and effective solutions have to be found.

Functionality of the sensors

Where am I? Do I have enough blocks? Am I able to know how long I was moving? I can collect all these informations with my sensors. These informations are also being processed with the help of the test program in order to fulfill my duty. The tests were positive, but anyway, there is still a lot to do.

Milestone 4

Final report

This is one of the last steps of the project. The final report has to be written. Now it is time to document everything and to finalize the website. The last trials were done. The nervousness is increasing. We have almost come to an end. I am incredibly looking forward to proving everybody what I am able to do!!! 

Milestone 5

Inhouse presentation

from 26.06.2018

Milestone 6

Public presentation

from 26.06.2018

Links

Team 4
Team 4
Presentation video
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