ISEC RoboClimb

Client: ISEC Youth Robotic Space Elevator Competition
Task: Multimedia Design Production Development
Skills: Engineering RobotC
The goal of the RoboClimb competition is to carry as much weight to the top of a 22-foot ribbon as possible within a five minute time limit. Additional points are awarded for autonomously loading 'satellites' onto the climber. All tasks must be performed autonomously without any operator intervention.

2014 Robot Modification Summary

Problems addressed by changes:

  • Binding on loose or stretched ribbon
  • Not successfully loading satellites
  • Spinning axles wearing through 3x5 liftarm

Physical changes to loader:

  • Lengthened satellite loader to accommodate error in weight placement
  • Added supports and guides to keep satellites centered and eliminate worm screw sagging
  • Changed worm screw drive motor mounting system to allow for proper weight placement
  • Added black worm gear segments to denote proper initial placement locations for satellites
  • Improved mounting structure for landing base
  • Moved loader slightly closer to the ribbon to ensure accurate loading
  • Modified the front end of the loader for more reliable satellite loading alignment
  • Created a new rear loader to hold a ½ lb satellite for the first run
  • Removed unnecessary support structure to reduce friction with moving satellites

Physical changes to climber

  • Changed side ribbon alignment rollers (pin connector with slot) to slotless connectors. This prevents the ribbon from getting caught in the slot, improves tracking and reduces wear on the ribbon.
  • Added support for the tensioner wheel axle to significantly reduce bending and wear and improve pressure distribution on the ribbon
  • Extended satellite arm to increase satellite spacing and improve loading
  • Added front satellite holder to hold a 1/2 lb satellite for an additional trip up the ribbon. This satellite holder drops out of the way after depositing the satellite at the top in order to prevent the satellite from hitting the holder on following trips.

Program Changes to loader:

  • Adjusted satellite travel distance and speed to accommodate competition weights and new loader design
  • Added trip counter to accommodate an empty run up the ribbon
  • Added Bluetooth communication between primary and secondary loaders to eliminate the need for additional sensors that could pose reliability problems
  • Increased loading speed to save time (~2 seconds per run)
  • Reset flipper position before loading satellite for increased accuracy

Program changes to climber:

  • Added bluetooth trigger functionality
  • Added additional run for front satellite and empty run
  • Created a custom button task to stop the motor multiplexer when a button is pressed
  • General improvements to program style and efficiency
  • Created locking trigger to prevent accidental starting without a computer