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July 26, 2016 - Day 2: Pool Tests and A Bad Connection

Posted by admin-robotlord on July 26, 2016

The alarm clocked blared in my ear at 4:30 in the morning. Why? Well we had to be at the Transdec pool by 6:00 if we wanted good times for the pool runs. As I cracked my eyes open, I see all of the lights in the rooms turned on, the hotel room outside doors open, and four people walking in and having a good ol' time. Turns out that Scheide, Hali, Jesse, and Michael all pulled an all nighter to test the robot in the hotel pool and make sure it could go through the gate to qualify for semi-finals. As I got up and got ready, they turned off the lights and went to bed. We will wake them up later when the are needed. Jon, Michael, and I got in the truck to drive to the Transdec pool to set everything up and make sure we get good time slots. I got the first time slot to be at 10:00 in pool D. An hour before our pool time, we did a dunk test to make sure there were no new leaks. After taking the robot out of the water, it looked like there was water inside the robot! Thank goodness we did a dunk test, hey? An easy fix was to take AquaUrsa apart and replace the main lids with new o-rings. Perfect! Now there are no leaks. Finally, the rest of the guys decided to show up. By this time it is about 9:50. "Can we make this pool test guys? The electronics aren't even back in the robot yet and we have to connect it all still." I asked the guys.  They replied with, "Let's ask another team if they want to switch times with us. It will give us more time to connect the electronics." So Parsa and I walked over to Dave, looked at who had a pool time right after us, and went to go ask around. Unfortunately all of the teams said no since we asked so last minute if they wanted to switch, so we had to cancel our 10:00 pool time and reschedule for 12:45.

Around noon everything was working and we were ready. Forty five minutes later, AquaUrsa was getting lowered into the water and we were ready to test. "Put in the kill switch!" we told the diver. He lined up the robot with the gate and once the connection was made, the robot slowly started randomly turning right. Okay, let's try that again. The diver lined up the robot again and inserted the kill switch. It started moving straight, and 5 seconds later it was leaning left. Okay, so it looks like the IMU connection is a bit weird right now. 20 minutes passed by and our pool time was over. We didn't qualify. That's okay, we have the rest of the day today and two more days to qualify still! I found Dave and booked a new time slot for 4:15 in pool D. After the guys worked on the IMU for a bit, it looked like it was working so we were on our way to the next time slot. AquaUrsa got put into the pool, the diver brought him to pool D again, and we decided to tether him up for the first run to make sure it works. The kill switch was entered and the robot immediately went right. After another try, it looked like the IMU connection got bumped and disconnected again. We took it out of the water, and our time slot was over.

All of the rest of the time slots during the day were booked up, so after a little bit of waiting we decided to go back to the hotel and work on fixing the IMU so we can qualify. Once at the hotel, we ordered pizza and took a much needed break. An hour or two later, we had our nightly meeting, Michael and Jon went to go buy dodgeballs to create our own buoys, and then had a video conference Rumman. A couple of hours later, the guys were trying to fix the wiring on the IMU subcon and it snapped off! They decided to epoxy it so it could still be waterproof, but it was pretty much toast. With last minute thinking, Michael mounted our extra IMU inside the robot so we could calibrate it in the morning and try to use it to qualify. Sean, Parsa, Jon and I all went to bed earlier since we were the ones delegated to go to the Transdec pool at 6:00 am to try to qualify the robot. The rest worked on their tasks as we waited for the next day to come.

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