Constructing the Front of the Fuel Cube Collector

Date: June 12, 2018

Members Attending: Alexis, Eylert, Kira, Lynn

Mechanism: Fuel Cube Collector

Todo: Attach pulley belt to chassis

First we built a poly-cord pulley belt, to transport the cubes.

Cube in a proof of concept for the fuel cube collector

We tested this out, by rotating the wheels by hand, thus moving the poly-cord. The result: It works quite alright as soon as the cubes are inside. However the mechanism is unable to pull the cubes in.

That is why we thought about having wheels in the front pulling the cubes in and the pulley belt behind to transport the cubes inside the robot.

Sketch of the general idea

Therefore the next step was to attach wheels in the front of the robot.

We first thought about a mechanism that uses surgical tubing to press the wheels together, and only make them move apart when there is a cube pressing in. This idea is supposed to guarantee that there is always contact between the wheels and the cubes.

We built this by attaching arms to the front. The arms were held back with medical tubing, but could expand outwards when there was cube pressing against them.

Fuel cube collector with wheels on arms pressing against a fuel cube
Close shot of the wheel and the arm. Instead of the medical tubing in the kit, we used a green theraband

However we soon noticed, that it might actually be overly complex. Since our goal is to build everything as simple as possible (it makes it more reliable), we decided to try the obvious and most simple thing. Just attaching the wheels stiffly.

Fuel cube collector with wheels attached stiffly to the frame

For testing purposes, we just drove the wheels directly with motors attached beneath them.

Close shot of the wheel and the motor

We tested this out and it worked marvellously. The cubes are pulled in by just nudging them slightly into the wheels. However once they are inside, they aren’t really aligned. We’ll need to see whether this will be a problem in our pulley belt mechanism later.

Also note that everything is a proof of concept. We will after building most likely disassemble everything and reassemble it cleanly later.

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