As we have gotten some comments about our bridge design, we have uploaded some more photos. We used a double hinge system as the manual says, but we used different hinges. While building the bridge, we noticed that it was somewhat of a pain to screw the double hinge system together as you need very small screws. We used 1.5″ wood screws and used an angle grinder to take off the ends of the screws to fit. We also attached some handles to either side (unfortunately they did not fit very well). Check out the photos below! We also have some videos of the bridge in action in some previous posts (check out yesterday). If you have any other question feel free to leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the programming world today, we resolved some issues that we were having regarding the Microsoft Kinect. Previously, we were considering using the Kinect (as we were prototyping with it), but we ran into some issues. First, it utilizes C# which is less common and thus less known than C++. While we do have programmers who are fluent in C#, we figured that using C++ will help us get help if needed and provide a common ground for ease of use. While the Kinect has two 3D depth sensors and a RGB camera, we decided to use two simple USB webcams. We considered mounting the Kinect vertically to save space, but this would limit our spacial view. From a hardware and software perspective, we chose to run with the two webcam system instead of the Microsoft Kinect.
As the camera system will require large processing power, we decided to have an on-board computer. We designed a sleeve for this netbook to fit into securely. We also talked about bumper design options and finalized the gearbox and sub frame. In addition, we continued our previous discussion about potential shooters and rollers.
We attached the backboards of the basketball hoops to the frame using industrial grade velcro. We chose to use velcro as we wanted to be able to remove the backboards each night and bring them inside so they do not become weathered (the retro-reflective tape and spray paint). Because we do not have a large enough indoor space, we are keeping the main frame outside. We noticed that even industrial grade velcro will not be able to hold up the entire backboard, especially since we have not added the hoops yet. We began stapling the velcro into the wood, however, while this somewhat works, it is prone to coming loose. Therefore, tomorrow we will superglue the velcro onto the frame and backboard. We also finished the bridge seesaw system (please view the photos and videos below). It is made out of plywood and 2X4s. We followed FIRST’s instructions with slight modifications. Seems to work well with the double hinged system. It can easily support well over three robots, and is fairly easy to balance, with humans at least. It may be a whole different game with robots, though we tried our best to simulate robots (sarcasm intended). We still need to buy High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE plastic) to cover the top of the bridge to simulate game-like conditions.