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Dylan Vargas

POE Moon B8

2/4/14

VEX Project Reflection

For this project, I joined forces with Annie Trojacek, Don Rutledge, and Dakotah Van Huss. For this project, our challenge consisted of building a robot that could wind a cable up to a specified length. The robot must also feature an emergency shut off switch. Our challenge consisted of building a robot that could wind a cable up to a specified length. The robot must also feature a emergency shut off switch. We started off by separately brainstorming and sketching design in our journal. Then, after we were finished, we came together and compared the designs. Two were immediately eliminated, and only Annies and Dons remained. We brought those two designs into a decision matrix where they were set to different criteria; simplest to build, proves most efficient, most flexible to desired changes, quality of coding, and least amount of required parts. To make the decision matrix, we designed a 5x2 grid and put the criteria across the top row. Then the two designs left were placed into columns. We ranked the designs with the criteria using numbers, 1 being the worst, 2 being the best. We also took the most important criteria and multiplied it by two on each design. Annies design proved the victor in the decision matrix, so we began to sketch a final design for her robot. After the sketches, the materials were gathered, and the building began. As two of us were building, the other two were writing the programming for our device. The program is set up to rotate the spool a certain number of times until the cable is wound up all the way. We also have an emergency shutoff button that when pressed, all tasks will end immediately, and a LED will turn on, signaling the stop of all tasks. Afterwards, we thought of a cable car as a perfect design for a backdrop. In this project, I learned so much about programming and design. The robot, while not my original design, but a teammates, was very fun to build and required some clever thinking. The spool we would use to wind the string was made up of two gears, 5 shafts, and 11 shaft collars that made up our rudimentary spool. Such things are what made our robot unique. We held the spool and the motor that powered it up with a few beams that brought it up off the original test bed. A metal beam was placed in front of the spool in order to keep the string from straying from its path to the spool. A little extra that we added was the LED in the cortex that lit up every time the button was pressed. Small things in this challenge like the previously stated made the challenge fun. My overall favored moment of this project were the other presentations. The other group really impressed me with the things they had created. Nick Dalquests robot seemed pretty complicated to me with the programming of the line followers to do what they needed

Dylan Vargas

POE Moon B8

2/4/14

to do. Chris Klincks robot really stood out to me with how the complicated motions of it worked. Seeing some other the project from the other classes was superb as well. The biggest issue we had was entrapped in the coding. We were trying to figure how to program the shaft encoder into our robot. We couldnt quite figure out what wasnt working on it. Then, as we were working, Nick Dalquest came in and helped us figure it out. Basically what we ended up doing was setting the robot to turn the motor when the shaft encoder was reading under 10 revolutions. We also had to add in the full 360 degrees rotation so that the shaft encoder would count every revolution. The programming then depicts that when the button is pressed, the motor will stop, and the LED would turn on for five seconds, and then stop. If we had some extra time, I wouldve loved to have put in a line follower to read when the string had ended. Wyatt Hawkins group did this in the last class, and I found it was a pretty cool thing to add to the robot. Other endeavors would be to add a light for also when the button is pressed. The contract was a fairly simple task. It consisted of promises made to other teammates that would keep us honest to our work. We listed weaknesses and strengths of all of the team members and how to solve each of them. Dons weakness is his inability to ignore others cry for helps. Not really, but its just that he responded to everyone they called him when they had simple problems that could have been solved by Darrell instead of Don. People asking him for help would distract him from our work specifically when he would respond. Don is our strongest coder in the group, and we need him to help us with fixing our problems. When we can get him to focus. Our solution is to help him focus on just the group works but constantly reminding to work. The rest of us had an unfamiliarity with coding, so our goal was to program as much as possible in the project. Our weakness was that we get too distracted from our work. Our solution was to keep technology and other distractions to a minimum while working. Overall, this project taught me much about problem-solving and building and designing machines. I hope that I was as helpful as my teammates were to me. This project has been my favorite of all of the ones we have already done, and I hoop we get to do something else with VEX in the future. I look back and I still cant believe that I built and programmed a worki ng robot with my friends. Although the project provided us with many struggles in the coding, we made it through alive, even if it was only by a hair.

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