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.