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Friday, January 21, 2011


Gooooood times around here :)

Our team started the season with a timeline [don't we always]. We wanted to have a working prototype by the end of Week 2 [tomorrow] and it actually looks like we are on schedule. This is fabulous and so on and so forth. 

The software sub-team [myself and our programming mentor, a splendid gal who graduated from the team in '06] is doing nicely. After a floundering experience yesterday when Lisa was sick and not able to attend the meeting, I rallied today and went on to write some passable code. I got a motor working with a joystick [to raise and lower our gripper/elevator system], and got the pneumatic cylinder gamepiece gripper hooked up to switches on the driver station, wrote a little function to adjust the sensitivity of that joystick for the motor [to allow for fine-tuned control of the elevator], and found information on the third joystick we need to buy. 

The classic sight of the day was the team captain [me] racing down the hall, mug in hand, to grab some more tea, check in on the t-shirt/Chairman's subteam, then return to the lab to work on the code whilst interfacing with the hardware team.

We also encountered some watchdog errors: the watchdog is a software critter which will shut off the robot if it does not get 'fed' with its little data packet every second or so....safty feature and it is REALLY annoying, but a useful debugging feature. We think the on-board camera may be giving us the problem. 

And now for a link:  from Quivering Daughters, here. I don't know anyone who does better than Hillary at both perfectly describing the grief that many QDs feel, and providing the remedy for that sorrow. 

Oookay, off to take another peek at the watchdog errors, then head to bed before the 9-hour day in the robotics lab tomorrow....ehehhe. 

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