There was a good balance of work and play at this weekend’s meeting, thanks in large
part to a team member family’s donation of cheesecake to our snack collection. Fueled by the rich creamy dessert, team members made significant progress on finishing up their rebuild, but hit some snags again, which they hope to work out during a mid-week meeting.
One of the problems has been how to sufficiently agitate balls in the hopper to keep them from jamming en route to the shooter. Team members have consulted with mentors and looked at various examples of mixers and agitators in evaluating what might work in their case. They’ve considered everything from static mixer designs to paint mixer concepts, looked at how
balls move in things like tennis ball shooters, and mocked up prototypes in cardboard and aluminum.
A team member employing Google Sketch-up was able to model, fairly accurately, the behavior of balls moving through hoppers of various configurations and using different types of agitators, to help team members better visualize the physics at play.
Between puzzling over design problems and cheesecake breaks, team members also finished work on their new banner, a breath-taking work of duct tape art! Hopefully our mid-week meeting will bring some equally dazzling resolution on the robot build.