Improving the Conveyor, Adding Structural Support and Building the Wind Turbine Rotator

Improving the Conveyor

After testing a few days ago, we saw a few things that were not going as well as we want them with the fuel cube conveyor. One thing was the conveyor pressing the cubes into the shooter when it was not supposed to do this. That is why we decided to put a stopper into the conveyor. It is a servo with a rod attached to it. At first we had a problem with the cubes being pushed over the rod but we solved it by lowering the bar (in the U) above the conveyor.

Servo with rod attached
Shooter and conveyor from the top with the stopper servo behind it

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Building a Prototype of the Shooter

We went back to our calculations, and noticed that the torque of the motors should suffice after all. (They are three times as strong as we need them to be).

Now we need a gear ratio of about 30:1 (see the calculations). To see which gear combinations might work, we made an excel table that calculates the ratio for each combination of wheels. By combining two pairs and multiplying their ratios we strove to get to the 30:1.

Ratio of different gearing combinations

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Attaching the Fuel-Cube Conveyor to our Frame

After lots of discussion we finally decided to follow the KISS principle (Keep it Simpel Stupid) and build the conveyor belt mechanism after all.

We started by attaching the extrusions in an angle of 60 degrees to the frame. However the original frame is too far apart. That is why we calculated the needed offset of the conveyor extrusions and cut small aluminium pieces to accomodate for that. Additionally we cut smaller pieces to insert between the upper and the lower extrusion.

Extrusions of the conveyor attached to the frame (showing only one side)

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Attaching the Solar Panel Picker to our Frame

Yesterday and today we spent our time attaching the Solar Panel Picker to our frame. The challenge here was to build something that would lie flush against the ground but also not take up too much space in the robot. That is why we decided to build a loose joint in addition to the one driven by the servo.

Sketch for attaching the solar panel picker to the frame

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