Friday, May 4, 2012

Live streming on SASHA 5.2

Today, SASHA 5.2 was equipped with a final setup for live streaming.  The robot is now able to hold a mobile phone and send live video of what it can 'see' to a computer through Skype video communication.
The final setup looks like this:

Finally, we have been very busy putting the finishing touches and repairs on our robotic arm, SASHA 6.0, and have been working on a tentative project, SASHA 7.0.  SASHA 6.0 will soon be equipped with the same Skype video chatting technology implemented on SASHA 5.2.  Stay tuned for more updates on this!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NASA Project

The NASA project is where we will attach a camera onto a camera stand which we installed onto the top of our old vex robot, SASHA 5.2. This new robot is SASHA 6.1 and it is going to be used as our NASA rover. This is a very advanced project that will take a while to establish and place the camera stand ou top of our robot.
After we esemble the camera stand on top of the robot, we will use a phone as our camera. The phone will have Skype turned on so it can show us everything that is going on in front of our Mars rover. We'll have a computer turned on so we can see whatever the rover sees from our computer. We can even direction the rover without being right next to it if we have the camera attached, just like they do with.the actual Mars rover. The only difference will be that ours us not as advanced as theirs.

Friday, April 27, 2012

T-Shirt Design

Recently, we began creating a T-Shirt for our team.  This is a polo shirt because it will fit into our school uniform and allow us to remain in uniform while identifying us as Team 6 members.
While this T-Shirt is not final, it is a basic idea of what we intend to have.

Custom t-shirt printing at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Help Our Group.

Latest Updates of SASHA Vex

Currently, we are beginning a new project who's goals are provided by NASA.  This project will help us develop skills in engineering, science, and robotics, and promote these in our work environment.

Our first robotic arm is finished.  We completed the arm and it is fully functional aside from one converter which was overloaded and quickly replaced.  The robotic arm is open to improvements, but currently it is in testing phase so that we can determine where these improvements will be.
Finally, we are working on a poster advertisement to promote our group and recruit new members to the team.  A copy of this poster will be uploaded as soon as it is complete.  We need to diminish the size of other groups and increase our own in order to increase our budget and the resources and materials available to us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Robotic Arena changes

Currently our group has abandoned the construction of the robotic arena.  Our mentor, Mr. Didacus, was not satisfied with the level of engineering which we were doing and we have decided to leave the project in order to save time.  Other groups are attempting to fix the arena while we prepare to navigate our robot around the arena and retrieve the mines.  We will keep you posted on the status of the competition which is tomorrow and my personal assistant Anthony will be recording video, taking pictures, uploading presentations, and blogging all at once to keep you informed at all times during the competition.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arena Construction

Today our group completed the construction of the Robotic Arena which will be used for the Minesweeper competition on Friday.  While other groups have worked on the arena in some ways, our group has the most participation in this great event and we are considered the sponsors of this project.  We are proud to host the Minesweeper competition soon, and we hope to do well in this competition!
The basic layout of the arena starts with the cardboard base.  Each base is raised about six inches and has several holes in it for columns on which the "mines" (or balls) will be placed.   There are a total of four platform, connected by wooden bridges making it challenging to get around.  There is one platform, the entrance platform, which does not have any holes on it.  It is purely for the purpose of entering the arena and navigating around it.
The structure looks like this:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Updates

Our robotics arm, dubbed SASHA 6.0 is by far one of our most complex robots ever. In our last post, you've seen some sneak pics of it, and here are some more, for construction of this latest robot is almost done. All that is left is to program it and amaze the public with its versatility. 

In other news, our previous SASHA robot, capable of mine sweeping is under maintenance, and repairs will be done by Kevin Musco for the competition on Friday. We hope to do well with this robot. Here is an image of it in its completed form: 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to follow us

All of you found this blog somehow.  We now would like to take advantage of the fact that you discovered us and point you towards some other places where we post information so you can find out the most about our group and enjoy all of the resources we provide for you to learn about us.
Here are the places we currently use (hint: each image is a link):

Our Latest Project

Well, this on doesn't even have a name yet. But here are some sneak peak pics:

We are now on Merit Boosters!

Project SASHA Vex is now on Merit Boosters!  Merit Boosters is a website designed to help youth earn money for projects and goals that they have.  We hope to create a project on this website soon and get approved so that we can start raising money for future projects.  We will keep you updated on the status of our profile on this website so that you can support our group.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

12 step engineering process

 This is the 12 steps engineering process about our latest change in the vex robot, SASHA 5.2. We have gone from SASHA 1, to SASHA 2,to SASHA 3, to SASHA 4, to SASHA 5.1 and finally we are SASHA 5.2, our latest vex or mindstorms version of the SASHA robots.

1. Define the problem - our problem is that we need an arm by tomorrow.
2. Brainstorm - we thought about our old arm idea that had only one arm in the front of the vex robot and the second design of our robot were we had two arms.
3. Research and generate ideas - we researched ideas from looking at other groups ideas which were pretty much all by the book, and then we decided to make our own design for the arm and put it on the top of the robot.
4. Identify criteria and specify constraints- we had many constraints that held us back including that we can only use one brain for the initial and final design, because we are using two brains for the testing, but we will have to change it back when we are done.
5. Explore possibilities - we have had several possibilities for the arm/arms on SASHA 5.2. we have had one arm in the front of the robot, one arm on either side, and now an arm on the top.
6. select an approach - we have decided to go with one arm on the top of the vex robot.
7. Develop a design proposal - we are going to construct an arm on the top of our vex robot, SASHA 5.2, which will be better than either of the other designs and well attached with screws.
8. make a model or prototype - we are currently working on constructing our arm on the top of the robot.
9. Test and evaluate the design using specification - we are going to test our arm with the vex micro controller and try to pick up the either the green vex ball or a tennis ball.
10. Refine the problem - we have created an arm on the top of our vex robot that will be capable of picking up and carrying the vex ball/ tennis ball.
11. Create or make solution - we created the vex arm.
12. Communicate processes and results - we have clearly documented all work on creating this vex arm on top of our robot.


Today we are currently installing several limit switches on to our new vex robot, SASHA 5.2. We had limit switches on it before when it was SASHA 5.1, but we took them off when we dismantled it for our new design of SASHA 5.2.

SASHA 5.1 had to be dismantled because we had two arms with two brains for our testing phase when we decided to go with two arms, one on the front, on on the back. Now we have decided that we would go back to one arm but change it from the front of our vex robot design and put it on to the top. SASHA 5.2 is clearly much better than SASHA 5.1 because now it is smaller, and easier to control.
 This is our new, smaller version of our current vex robot, SASHA 5.2. We have gone from a much larger, harder to control version of SASHA 5.1, to this smaller, faster version of SASHA 5.2.
As you can clearly see in the above image, we have constructed our arm on the top of our vex robot instead of two,one on the front and the back of the frame. You can also see that we constructed another frame to hold the arm in place that goes above the main body that holds the brain and the battery.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today's Work

Today we are testing the amount of electrical output coming from our motors. We are measuring this electrical current with a digital multimeter. We also worked on printing our entire blog to put it into our binder.  However, our blog is currently blocked and outlawed in the public school system which we are in, so we are unable to make any adjustments to the public blog and page design, and we cannot print it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today we clarified that our vex robot, Sasha 5.1,  has two brains only for testing purposes. We decided that it would be easier and more efficient if we used two brains for testing and then we will change it back to one brain for the actual finished vex version, Sasha 5.1. We also have re-tightened our whole vex robot because some parts of it were loose and need to be tightened before we can start to test it again. We are unsure of what we are going to do next with our vex robot, because we are not sure if we should keep the new design with two arms, or go back to our old design with only one arm and add the counterweights back to where they were before to replace the second arm.     

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Working with the Engineering Design Process

Throughout our project, we've had many errors.
Through the mandated use of the Engineering Design Process, we've been able to overcome these, and continue on with the development of SASHA 5.1.  The robot in it's latest form contains two arms, two brains, five motors, two transmitters, and requires two remotes to run.  We believe that right now, we are done with all developments and that no further ones will need to be made.
The robot, SASHA 5.1, looks like this:
Top view
Side view
 Some of the problems we've encountered have been:
  • Inability to pick up a ball (no arm)--This led to development of SASHA 5.1
  • Inability to hold ball
  • Lack of speed
  • Lack of power
  • Incontrollable arm
  • Extremely unbalanced robot (this led to several developments/changes)
  • Inability to turn
  • Lack of controller ability to control the robot properly
 Because we couldn't hold the ball, we added a separate mechanism to lock the ball in when we pick it up.  This required an extra motor, upping our count to 4 motors.  We then upgraded to extra large wheels, with a back wheel that has the ability to travel in 360 degrees.  Then, we added a counterweight in the back to prevent the robot from tipping forwards when we lifted the arm.  We experimented with different stopping mechanisms, and settled on a vex piece that would cause the arm to stop moving when it was pressed against the rest of the robot as the arm was lifted.  Later, we added a different arm on the opposite side to stop it from being unbalanced.  Our robot is basically complete, and we think that this will be the final product.
As always, subscribe to our blog and stay posted for additional developments.

Friday, March 2, 2012


As you know, we've had issues determining versions of SASHA in the past.
However, while this robot used to be SASHA 4.1, and was later upgraded to 5.0, it is now known as 5.1.  We've done too much work on it for it to be the same as the old SASHA 5.0, the miniature drone-capable robot.  It now has mine sweeping capabilities, two arms, and two brains.  It is larger than we expected it to be, and it is definitely not as fast, versatile, or stealthy as the original.  There is no way we could continue this construction without the robot being completely different from the original product, as our objectives have changed.  Although it's not a brand new robot, this robot is definitely new.  We may never see SASHA 5.0 again, but it'll always be a part of 5.1.  These additions have put SASHA 5.0 past what we've ever imagined for it.  Welcome to our lab, SASHA 5.1.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Major change to SASHA 5.0

We're starting a major adjustment to SASHA 5.0: the addition of a second arm.  We're not sure how this is going to work, but the idea is that the second arm will create more possibilities for our robot.  It will allow us to do more in testing, usage, and competition.  Also, the arm will create better balance for the robot, because the arm that we have now causes the robot to tip over when it was raised will have a counterbalance.

This crude sketch shows how the final robot will be arranged.  There are two brains, and the other arm will be situated on the opposite side from the existing one.  In addition to this, we will probably be outfitting the robot with all four wheels the same.  The wheels we use will be the ones that are currently in the back (near the new arm's location).  We'll continue to let you know how this development is coming, and keep you posted on all the progress we make.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We recently got back from winter vacation and we're now working on writing a RobotC program for our mine sweeping robot.
 Check out RobotC here:
We'll upload a copy of our program when we're done debugging and have gotten it to work on our robot as the final product.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Project SAHSA : The best and the latest

As promised, here is the presentation of the best and latest of project SASHA Vex, in blog entry format.
 Project SASHA Vex started out at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.  In a brand new robotics class, teams were formed and given the task of creating a complex robot using Lego Mindstorms.  Team 6 immediately started searching for designs.
 Pretty soon, a machine gun robot was discovered and instructions for this robot were printed out off the internet.  The basic structures were built, and the very first robot built by Team 6 was complete.  This robot was capable of firing Lego parts used as ammunition in quick succession by using a spinning arm to strike the "bullets" and send them flying forward one after another.
The first design is seen here.
However, pressing the trigger and watching about 10 Lego pieces fly across the room wasn't quite enough.  At Project SASHA, we strive to improve the robots we use constantly, and this was our goal from the beginning.  Although no official documentation was created at that time, we extended the clip (the straight up piece seen in the image that feeds the ammunition) so that we could shoot for a little bit longer.  We also created a set of wheels so that SASHA could drive around, and an automatic firing mode.  Finally, to top it all off, we added a rolling clip that would say "Shoot!" every time we shot a round.  This was mainly for amusement purposes, but it also put on display some of our early programming capabilities.

 The next task of Team 6 was to create a robot that could play soccer.  The robot built by Project SASHA was completely original, using absolutely no outside influence to create the structure and mechanics of what soon became SASHA 2.0.  Although we were just getting into the business of creating digital portfolios and website documentation, there is only a limited amount of media and information on SASHA 2.0, our second and final Lego project.

SASHA 3.0 was designed for the purpose of wireless streaming.  We wanted it to be very fast and extremely versatile, while having streaming capabilities that allowed it to hold a camera in a safe way and travel long distances while maintaining reception (for the remote and for the camera).  

Recently, we started building a miniature robot named SASHA 4.1, paying respect to all of our robots who have contributed to the design of this new machine.  This robot's project goal is to sweep mines, as seen in the Vex mine sweeping challenge.
All the latest on this robot can be found on our blog, because it's one of our more recent projects and we will have every detail on the digital portfolio.

SASHA 5.0 a work in progress

The title "Robotics Engineering" certainly suits our jobs today, because of all the engineering work we've been doing.  The robot, SASHA 5.0, has been proven to be extremely effective, but after we added the arm, it needed some work.  Since this design is completely original, and from our imagination, it's not going to be perfect the first time we do things.  However, we are taking extra time outside of robotics class to work on this project because of it's importance to our group.

As of now it is still in Beta testing and weight and balance issues along with power issues are holding it back for now.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

SASHA 4.1--Major Announcements

SASHA 4.1, the miniature mine-sweeping robot, completed it's first successful run today.  Although this project is not quite done, it is definitely on it's way to excellence.  The competition for the mine-sweeping robots is scheduled for this Friday, the 17th, and we plan on excelling at (if not winning) this competition with our compact robot, designed to get the job done in the safest way possible.  Today, we started out by putting the finishing touches on our robot, and then we began testing it.
At first, the wheels worked arcade style, so we had to change around the ports to get them to work tank style which is the style we prefer.  The following images show our tests of the robot, including small adjustments made to better the robot, such as a small plate added in the bottom to hold the battery better.

This driving shot of SASHA 4.1 displays the front area.  In this area, we are considering adding a robotic arm for the purpose of mine sweeping, our goal for this new project.  This arm will most likely be adopted and taken from SASHA 4.0, because of it's versatility and ability to pick things up.  While we are still researching mine sweeping, and have a lot to learn, we believe it is in our best interest to use this sort of arm based on other groups' excursions and our experience.  The area in between the two gray wheels is where we would put this arm, and it would be securely balanced on the opposite end while it moving around to pick up mines.
This decision being extremely important and innovative, we'll keep you updated as time goes on so that you can stay informed on our decisions.  And of course, more pictures will follow to tell the story of SASHA 4.1s development.

Finally, we're announcing that consideration of SASHA 4.1's name is taking place.  Since 4.1 is having such a major impact on our group's work, and since we have not had time to build another robot to sweep mines, we're thinking of making SASHA 4.1 into SASHA 5.0.  This miniature robot is paving the way for future success for our group, and we want to recognize the impact that it's had on us respectfully.  However, it does incorporate a lot of elements from previous robots:
  • Special turning wheels from 3.0
  • Moving arm from 4.0
  • Possible small variety of Lego parts from 1.0 and 2.0
  • Live video streaming capabilities from 3.0
The reason we gave SASHA 4.1 it's name is because it takes elements from all of our 4 previous robots and combines them into one, making it somewhat of an unoriginal design.  However, the purposes for SASHA 4.1 are unique, and the method of creation that led us to the small body is entirely new--so why not make it SASHA 5.0?  We'll keep you updated on this decision, because although it seems minor, it will affect our future robots in every way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breakthrough/development: SASHA 4.1!

SASHA 4.1 is now in development!
We're taking a break from SASHA 5.0 to develop 4.1, a miniature robot that will use Robot C and might incorporate drone capabilities.
SASHA 4.1 will be a side project that will keep us busy while the considerations, planning, and building of 5.0 takes place.
Our variety of parts, laid out for consideration

Tyler working with the aforementioned parts

We also use brand new parts from our VEX kit to complete our building

In addition to VEX parts, we will be using Lego Mindstorms NXT parts

All of them will come together in the hands of our builders

Our group is working with a wide array and variety of parts, going to the deepest depths of our resources to create the tiny SASHA 4.1.

At the same time, SASHA 5.0 is not forgotten.  We are working hard to produce 5.0 while also working on 4.1 at the same time.  4.1, since it is a miniature project, will be completed in much less time and therefore we are hoping to complete them simultaneously.

Also, finally, as promised, here is a copy of our presentation for the potential Robotics team members of next year.  It displays the expertly crafted and designed SASHA 4.0, showing the work our group has been doing for the past few weeks.
This is a glimpse of our presentation.  Click the image to see the rest.