Redesigning

As the weeks get closer to the EurekaFest trip, the team is continuing complete the full redesign of our machine. The main challenge the mechanical team has been facing is finding parts to use in the prototype. The mechanical team has been working very hard to complete the full AutoCad model and detailed sketches of our machine. We now have a solid plan going into the next phases of the project and are just waiting on our parts to arrive.

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For electrical and software, the PCB is almost done. Using a laser cutter, we created a control panel base for the machine’s button controls, and mounted the buttons onto the base. After wiring and labelling each input and output for data, 3V power, 12V power and ground, we soldered all of the connections to ensure they would not come loose, especially since the LEDs would often not light up when they were supposed to. Once all LEDs had been replaced, we ordered some more buttons for replacement parts in case something burned out or broke. We also labelled the buttons with the directions they correspond to, which we printed on paper and cut and taped in. However, the paper was too thick for the light to shine through, and so instead, we ordered transparency paper to print on. To incorporate sound upon pressing buttons to make the game more exciting for students (based on our audience research visit), we began looking for fun audio and speakers.

We just officially turned in our forms and are all super excited for our trip this summer. Stay tuned for pictures of our final design!

Final Phase

Over the last few weeks, the team has been gearing up to begin building the final prototype. The mechanical team has drawn up several designs to revamp the entire machine and is currently working on a decision matrix to definitively choose one design to implement. Because the final version of the machine will be built with aluminum, a more sturdy but expensive material, it is crucial that the entire team is in agreement on the best way to construct the final SpORT.

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The software team has continued working on refining the code and implementing the tactile portions of the user interface, including the button pad. The team also visited special education classrooms to receive teachers’ inputs on how to best configure the UI and touchpad for the students’ needs.

Though not much tangible advancement has been made over the last two weeks, the preparations for the final prototype have largely been in designing and refining the final aluminum SpORT to take with us to MIT.

Completion

As the day of the Mid Grant Technical Review rapidly approaches, the team is working in double-time to prepare everything for the showcase. Excluding just a few minor adjustments left to make, the second prototype of SpORT is finally completed.