I’ve come to realize that these past few weeks have just been one big game of, “how long can I go without knowing any robotics jargon?” and I have been winning. Words like “cascading elevator” and “passthrough” and “rack and pinion” have flown over my head for three weeks now, and I’m not confident that I will ever catch up. Nevertheless, it’s typical for me to spend my days conversing with fellow team members, smiling and nodding my head as a symphony of mechanical jargon whooshes past my ears. I am over it–so much so that I have taken it upon myself to inform the general public. Thus, I bring unto you the Team 341 2019 Robot Dictionary.
Cargo Intake noun: portion of the robot that literally inhales the cargo into the robot. Their prototype is quite extravagant–it sets a path for the cargo to go through so it can transfer to the pass through. They’ve been tweaking it all week–it takes great restraint to not bounce the cargo around all day, and for that I applaud them.
Cascading Elevator noun: an elevator design in which each stage of the elevator moves at the same time. Students have been working on a CAD of one for our robot for weeks, and are steadily pushing to prepare it to be sent out to a sponsor for construction. This process however, has been slowed due to the ever-irritating existence of friction.
Free time noun: a bizarre concept unknown to team members during build season. Between work hours, studying for midterms, and an increasing urge to just sleep in, the notion of having time to do nothing is quite unfamiliar at this time of year.
Gearbox noun: different sized gears mesh together, spinning at different speeds, resulting in the movement of various portions of the robot. These gearboxes help to move the drive base, elevator, and intakes. It was truly a feat making it through these past few weeks without knowing this one, so write it down.
Hatch Intake noun: portion of the robot that picks up the hatch panel to then put on the cargoship and rocket. This subsystem has been working with a center expander and scoop combination, which will not be covered in this dictionary, so go somewhere else for that.
Leapfrog noun: formerly a child’s game played at recess, currently a failure. ‘Twas an attempt at lifting the robot onto the platform, but unfortunately, it broke. And then it was fixed, and it broke again (cue Another One Bites The Dust). Thus, the HAB team’s precious baby was buried alongside the countless other failed prototypes, and they started back at the drawing board, ending up with a new design (see Linear Actuator).
Linear Actuator noun: a mechanism that functions similarly to a pogostick, except it doesn’t fly. That would be cool, though. It replaced the leapfrog mechanism, and its prototype has been working very well. Watching that prototype work was like watching the Eagles win the superbowl, except instead of climbing on telephone poles, we climbed onto the HAB platform.
Pass through noun: mechanism which allows the ball to ~pass through~ the cargo intake to the elevator (bet you didn’t see that one coming). They’ve CADed and begun prototyping a design for it. The prototype has evolved from a wooden box with arbitrary measurements to a fully defined Lexan prototype. Personally, I enjoyed the wooden box. It had character.
Rack and Pinion noun: a gear and a long shaft that mesh together; the gearbox in the drivebase powers the rack and pinions, which makes the HAB mechanism work. The HAB subsystem has recovered from a tough week of the previous mechanism breaking. However, they’ve been able to finish the prototype and testing of this new design. Did you know that every time a Miss Daisy prototype works, an angel gets its wings? We have like, 5 flying angels right now.
Robot Vision noun: the method by which the robot will operate during the sandstorm period at the beginning of each match. It is the primary responsibility of the programming subteam, who have been testing it over the weekend. The robot is programmed to follow retroreflective tape, and has been working rather well. I was thinking it would be rather funny if it were set to follow other robots, just for fun. It would be like the robot version of tailgating.
Whirligig noun: the fake name for it is a deburring tool, but here at 341, our community of intellectuals calls them whirligigs. Because why would you call them by their real name?
Feel free to reference this dictionary when you’re distraught while chatting with team members. I, too, was completely lost for an unacceptable period of time. Week 3 served as a perfect opportunity to educate our audience on our wide vocabulary. Go forth and use your newfound knowledge to mildly impress your loved ones. If you say “linear actuator” enough, you’ll easily become the smartest grandchild.