This was our second design review session with the engineers from our sponsors. A variety of engineers gave their input on our robot designs and ideas. The following people came to our design review session: Cedar Vandergon, engineering manager at Hypertherm; Bill Schmidt, an electrical engineer at Hypertherm; Nate Dahlquist, a mechanical engineer at Innovent; and Joe Lampey, an optical engineer at Promet Optics.
At the design review, our goal was to answer how we could modify our lifting system to prevent the rack and pinion from not mating with each other, how we could make our grabbing system more efficient, and how we could prevent our drive motors from caving inwards due to weight/pressure of our robot’s weight. An idea that many engineers had was to spring the pinion against the rack to remove any bias that the lifting system would create as it raised up. To make our grabber more efficient, they suggested using different materials on the grabber plates themselves. To prevent our drive motors from caving inwards, we came up with the idea to create a custom motor mount that holds the back of the motor upwards and anchored to the baseplate.
These design review sessions have proven to be helpful to our team because our engineer mentors show us unique solutions to problems that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Oftentimes, they show us a different resource or material with which we can build our robot’s systems or concepts that we can implement on our robot.