Over the past few days, we've been mainly working on the hardware side of the eco-disaster challenge and to be totally honest it's snowballing in to a much bigger task that we anticipated. Despite not having to carry out this challenge in an autonomous way (We are entered as intermediates) we are aiming to score as many points as possible, so Autonomously is what we're aiming for.
The main issue to overcome at the moment is detecting when the barrel in close enough to the robot to be picked up, the first idea was to use a micro switch, but this might not work on the day as we found that if the barrel was on a smooth surface then there wasn't enough friction to prevent the barrel from being pushed along by the micro switch without actually having enough force to trigger the switch. The level of surface friction is understandably not published on the Pi Wars Website, so it's too much of a risk to rely soley on micro switches in this instance, we're still at the drawing board with this one.
We have managed to print the jaws and work out the geometry of the levers that act upon the jaws, but at the time of writing this we've not worked out exactly how we're going to open and close them or how we're going to lift the barrel once it's loaded in to the jaws.
Anyway, here's what the Team Currington robot looks like today.
Needless to say, It wont look like this when it's finished.