As the university year draws to an end, this only means one thing, end of year exams. So I apologise in advance if post and news are sparse over the next month, if I do post a lot it is most likely me procrastinating!
In other news, I recently represented the University of Canterbury in this years Warman Design and Build competition, this competition is open to universities from New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia and is aimed at mechanical and mechatronic engineering students.
We had to come up with a system that would transverse between two tables, suspended on a bar and finish in a set finish box on the other side.
We won our campus rounds but unfortunately were only able to place 4th at the main competition in Sydney, it all came down to time as you will see in the video below, we were only able to manage 7sec. 1st-Monash (Melbourne) (5sec), 2nd-University of Newcastle(6sec) and 3rd-RMIT(6.5sec) all placed ahead of us, although it came down to 0.2 points between us and RMIT for 3rd!
Here is our “Atlas pipe crawler” in the warmup rounds.
Our limiting factor in reducing our time was our main actuator, we just could not get enough voltage to it to have it extend faster, this meant we were running our drive motors at 70% out of the box as not to get to the bar too fast and have to wait, you can see at the end they are up to 100% when we leave the actuator behind. Our original idea for a tracked system was to easily transverse the bump strips and have the most direct line, but now seeing others easily take them with normal wheels makes me wonder if we could not have gained more speed there and by going to a 4wd system.
In all, it was a great experience, chewed up a lot of my spare time, and opened my mind on how there are many ways to achieve one task.