Considerations for this season. Put your ideas here for all to see. Who knows, it may spark a novel idea...


Friday, 31-Jul-2009

  • Need to improve / implement some sort of "QA" process. We have one in place for manufacture of mechanical parts, but nothing on the electrical and software sides of the house.
    • S/w: Preliminary Design Review would consist of flowcharts, and explanations for each
    • Electrical: Basic board layout, list of components needed on the robot

The intent of defining inputs to a Design Review would hopefully allow for a meaningful review at the 50,000 foot level, rather than a code review or detailed wiring diagram (500 foot level)

Mechanical already has defined inputs - drawings!

-Mark Oden, Mr. P


Friday, 26-Oct-2007

During last night's Mechanical/Machining Training, we discussed some interesting connectors, made by the same people that make the battery cable connector (Anderson Power). They have a line of customizable connector/plug assemblies that look quite promising, and fairly inexpensive as well.

Check out their site and see what we found... Anderson PowerPak Connectors

Will the Booster Club allow us to make a purchase???

Mr. P


From Bill C.

One of the things we thought would help in the ease of build and repair was the idea of making as many of the robots components as possible modular, as in, easily removed and replaced. We had talked a lot about a way to make a modular drive system, and Iím sure Dan will tell you all about it. But what I was more interested in and what I needed your help with was the electrical portion of it.

One of the first things I would like to do was to build the board with two layers, so more like a box with no sides rather than just a sheet. With this double-decker board, we could run signal wires such as PWMs or any digital or analogue inputs we might have. Not only would this clear up a large amount of clutter from the top of the board, but it would reduce noise that might interfere with the signals and keep them safe from being damaged by anything that might enter into the robot.

Another idea is to make the board itself completely modular from the robot. The first step with this would be to mount it with sliders that had there locks removed so that the whole board could slide on and off through the front or back of the robot. It could be held in with a simple latch at either side so that during a match it would not fall out, but then after the match you could easily slide it out for maintenance. The second step would be to create a easy, clean, and simple way to disconnect the board from the robot. To do this, I looked to one of the most well engineered electronics systems to date, the computer. Computers very often use ďmolexĒ connectors to connect power cables to their internal devices. I thought that we could use something similar to this in our robot. We could use two large connectors, each with many available pins, to connect the signal and the power from the robot to the electrical board. We could send all the outgoing wires from the board to meet at these connectors. Not only would this make it easy to remove, but it would clean up the usual mess of wires that seem to be spewing out of the electrical board in all directions. This would further help us to see where things are connected, and would definitely help us win the engineering awards, something I have always wanted to do.

Below is a link to some types of molex connectors that might work for us, but I was hoping that you might know of a better part / vendor to purchase these from. Iím not quite sure what kind of amperage that these connectors can handle, although in my personal computer, some of them can handle over 20amps. I was thinking that we could work on designing and purchasing some of the parts for this idea before the season started so that we can be ready when it does start. This could also be a big part of electrical training, seeing that the layout and overall design of the electrical board is one of the most important responsibilities of the electrical team.

Molex Connectors


It's really good to see some thought being given to maintenance. Seems that we have ignored maintenance and repair while designing the robot. If we keep these ideas in the forefront, we have a better chance of incorporating them.

The "Parade Bot" is a good vehicle for trying these ideas out.


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Page last modified on July 31, 2009, at 12:51 PM