Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gearing up for the Final Lap

As the final week for our project approaches, we’ve been making significant strides toward the finish line. We’re working round the clock and like a well-oiled machine…or in our case, like robots.

We have finalized the designs for the enclosures, which have yet to arrive, and in their place machined plexiglass for testing. Eric spent many hours in the machine shop and using the CAD lab to layout the electronics within the enclosure…or as Eric would say, “I just spent five hours making rectilinear stuff with holes.” Kevin also kept him company helping to machine all of the spacers and angle brackets for supporting the enclosures and the electronics boards inside. Overall, the enclosures are coming together quickly and should be completely mounted on the backboards in a day or two. See the sweet picture below...

Last week, with the help of Professor Ray, we also finished up a thermodynamic model of the enclosures. At first we were a bit skeptical, but the model has proven very useful in deciding which insulation to use for our enclosures. The picture below is a prediction of the temperature inside the box in the worst case scenario: an outside temperature of -40 degrees Celsius and winds blowing at 20 mph.

The GPS is now working as well and we’ve got communication between the computer and the receiver. Unfortunately, we’re still having trouble locating satellites and so while the board has a nice blinking green LED that makes you smile…it still can’t steer the robot. We’ll give Novatel a call on Monday and hopefully they can impart their wisdom upon us.

Gus has also made some major strides in the past few days. She finished up the PCB last night after Thayer’s glorious Friday Beers and it’s now ready to ship off to a manufacturer. Next up is the copper power board, which will be machined in the shop and used for the remainder of the testing. In the spring, a PCB version of the power board will be made and used instead.

That’s it for now…But there will be plenty of updates in the days to come. Stay tuned.


At June 9, 2009 at 5:13 AM , Anonymous Allen said...

Which kind of enclosures are you using?I mean which design.


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