Virtual DPRG Meeting 12/17Tags: journal and connect
Task: Present TauBot to the Dallas Personal Robotics Group
Today, we virtually presented our robot to the Dallas Personal Robotics Group(DPRG) to showcase our progress for this season and hopefully get advice on our robot's design, code, and presentation. DPRG is a group of engineers and robot enthusiasts who meet multiple times a month to discuss robotics and share their personal projects in the field of robotics. These meetings allowed us to practice our presentation skills and receive valuable advice from mentors and professionals.
The meeting started with us briefly explaining Power Play to the members who tuned in and then transitioned into our initial Ri2D efforts and how that influenced our current design. We shared our initial idea of creating a "tall bot" that could drive over the poles and how that quickly shifted into the current robot focused on minimizing movement across the field.
We went over the critical subsystems of our robot, which included the bulb gripper, arm, turret, and chassis, and explained how all of these worked together to accomplish our game strategy. Then we transitioned into the code aspects of things and shared how we managed to automate much of the gameplay with our memory functions, inverse kinematics, and anti-tipping code while also stating how we planned to integrate OpenCV and grid drive in the future.
After that, we discussed our plans for the future iteration of TauBot and some of the significant changes we planned to make to the chassis to improve its efficiency and ability to score points. Finally, we presented a show demonstration of the robot driving around, scoring cones, and running the auton code. A lengthy question and answer session ensued, and we got lots of valuable feedback from the DPRG members that we will use to improve both TauBot 2.0 and our presentation.
Regarding the feedback we received on the robot, DPRG suggested that we consider the distribution of mass and a potential counterweight to prevent tipping(which happened a decent amount during the demo), as well as possible code changes to help better control the autonomous path of the arm during movements. They also pointed out the oscillation of our gripper and suggested we add a degree of freedom to prevent that. Finally, one of the biggest pieces of advice they gave was to consider utilizing a movement system that allowed us to “fly the gripper.”
On the presentation side of things, the main advice given was to consolidate our information, focus on the most impressive parts of our robot, talk slower, and create a correlation between our strategy and the implementation of our robot.
We are incredibly grateful to DPRG for letting us present and connect with professionals to improve our robot. We hope to meet with them in the future, possibly in January, as we develop our robot. Our next steps are considering their advice when designing and assembling TauBot 2.0, further automating our robot, and preparing our presentation and portfolio for the tournament in January.