The purpose of this project was to create an autonomous robot to complete a series of specified tasks as quickly and accurately as possible. The robot was constrained to a 9"x9"x12" volume, and was to be built with a budget of $160. Throughout the design-build process, there were deadlines to meet, performance tests to complete, and technical inspections to pass. At the end of the semester, the robot was completed and tested in competition.
The chassis was constructed in two distinct layers: A lower layer for supporting the microcontroller, drive motors, and ball caster, and an upper layer for supporting the mechanisms needed to complete tasks. The robot was equipped with a servo for turning a crank, a dual-purpose arm for dragging items and pressing buttons, and a platform for a QR code to enable position-based tracking. Utilizing a single mechanism to complete several tasks was one key to the success of our robot, as many other robots with multiple mechanisms were heavier and more difficult to control. Aluminum guards were constructed to prevent interference with the sensors and drive motors under the robot.
At the end of the semester, a final competition was held for parents and corporate sponsors. While a chance error prevented us from winning the single elimination tournament, the robot received a "most consistent" award and produced the fastest perfect run of all 63 teams in the competition.