So after the third testing day on the May long weekend, we thought it couldn't get any worse. Boy, were we wrong. First and foremost we decided to do a pool dunk test. That did not go as planned. In the previous week, we trimmed down the edges of the bigger, outside lid so it would be an easier and smoother process to close the smaller lid on AquaUrsa. But we realized that for the pool test, something was leaking! Luckily, it was an easy fix, but then it was a little rocky for the rest of the test. We got AquaUrsa into the pool for a total of 30 minutes. Yay. But one good thing about the third testing day is that the mechanical team finally finished the frame on AquaUrsa! It's looking extremely good so far!
Throughout the next week, Rumman and Veslin put in extra time to change the computer system from a normal intel computer to Beagle Bone.
Finally, we were on to our fourth pool test, ready as ever (which coincidentally did not mean much). We were only 10 minutes late to the pool, so off to a good start for the day, if I do say so myself. We started testing the electrical components of AquaUrsa, and realized the motors weren't working how we wanted them to. Whenever the horizontal thrusters were turned on, the vertical thrusters automatically turned on. Also, the vertical thrusters kept on turning on without any commands. Rumman and Veslin thought that was weird because it was all working at the third pool test a weekend earlier. Initially, we thought there was problem with the backplane in the electronics department. Then, the waiting game began as Mikey ran back to the project lab for a different backplane.
The blackplane is a board to which the main circuit boards of a computer may be connected and that provides connections between them.
Twenty minutes later he came back, and we had come to the realization that it wasn't the backplane at all. Part of the motor problem was that the cord attached to the right vertical thruster was messed up and only making part of the connection. That is partially why the vertical thrusters were not working, but since it wasn't a problem we could fix in the next half hour, the test was done for the day.
A couple of good things came from these two unfortunate pool tests:
1) The LED lights still work! Yay!
2) AquaUrsa does not leak at all, and the lid is not as difficult to close now. Therefore, it will be easier, faster, and more efficient to get into the robot to fix any electronics that need fixing.
3) Beagle bone did not fail us at all, and Rumman and Veslin figured out that they could both connect to the program at the same time, and see each other make the program changes on both their computers. So that was super neat to know. Two minds on one program is always better and more efficient than one!
4) We have officially reached rock bottom, so now it can only get better from here! Here's to wishing us luck next weekend!