Prototyping: Stage Two

Happy New Year everybody! Before the start of vacations, every one of our technical and communications groups got together for a fun bonding event, where our members split into random groups and constructed marshmallow launchers out of PVC pipes. The launcher designs were scored on aesthetic and accuracy of shot; no group achieved a very high score in the latter category, but it was a nice way to work with other team members and get to know each other.

 Brian, Jeffrey, and Kenny practicing launching mini marshmallows from their launcher. The team had great range but struggled with target accuracy.

Brian, Jeffrey, and Kenny practicing launching mini marshmallows from their launcher. The team had great range but struggled with target accuracy.

To properly kick off 2018 after a two-week break, the team met up to continue phase two of prototyping. The mechanical team mounted bearings to the new prototype’s frame, ensuring its stability where the first version of the prototype wobbled. The flywheel and motor mount areas were placed on separate modules and now made adjustable for any variance that may occur in the ball’s inflation.

 The bearings for the second prototype.

The bearings for the second prototype.

The software team continued research on wireless connectivity between Raspberry Pi 3 and Android tablets. A successful serial connection was set up between the Bluetooth and motor controller; the Raspberry Pi is now able to send messages to the controller through a wire connection. However, the application that will be on the tablet and allow student input is currently not able to send information to the Raspberry Pi. When the software team used the Bluetooth terminal on Android Studio, the Raspberry Pi successfully received messages, but was not able to when the custom application was used. The team is now focused on the final challenge of connecting the tablet with the final custom application to the RPI3.

Finally, the communications team has been working to set up and advertise restaurant fundraisers to cover additional prototype costs and material transportation. The next fundraiser will be at Panera Bread, 7030 Amador Plaza Road, on Wednesday January 10 from 4-8 PM. Be sure to come out and show the flyer on our donation page to support our team!