January 31, 2017

STEM and Gaming | Besiege

finals week be like

Life is crazy. CRAAAAAAZY. When I'm not at rehearsal, I'm building robots or doing homework or trying to exercise more than once a year or maybe doing one daily in GW2 if I have a minute to spare after all that. Junior year isn't fun.

If I ever have time to myself, though, I try to spend it studying what I want to study, which is conveniently not any of the classes that I'm taking. My current freetime subjects include forensics, microbiology, and epidemiology, as well as engineering fundamentals and CAD. It was when I was poking around at some physics and SolidWorks that I got the idea to open Besiege up again. Curly (who is still my best bud and says hi) got it for me waaaaaay back when, and I thought to myself that maybe now that I'm actually building things in the real, I could get a lot more mileage out of it.



I started by remaking my standard chassi and learning how to configure keys all over again. I had the idea to mimic the omni-wheels that I get to play around with at my robotics shop so I could go in any direction with much more ease. After experimenting with wheels for a while, I decided on using eight large wheels, four of which all went forward or back, and the other four focused on pivoting to change direction. Eventually, I want to figure out how to incorporate a sort of mecanum-drive system, but that will take a lot more building and testing.



So then, I started on making a catapult. Why? Wanted to. I quickly figured out there was no way to make an angled panel or do anything angled unless I was stretching cord or something, so I consulted one of my friends (who shall forever here be named 'Scotty'), who suggested I do it "Minecraft Style", which is something I hadn't considered. That worked considerably better. After fleshing out a little bit of physics that kind of died when I realized that I couldn't actually determine some of the constants, I was able to create a system where the contracting of a string-based winch would launch the projectile, a spring on the other side of the catapult pulling it back off the ground while the winch slowly let out more string to return the arm to its original position.


Up next, I'm looking to incorporate some sort of collector system that could pick up projectiles and place them in the catapult basket-y thing. As well, I'm looking to smooth out the catapult bounce as I drive around.


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