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First Steps

First of all I have to mention a company we purchased a few electrical bits and pieces from this week. CPC sent us our order – twice! I queried this and they explained that their system had suffered a glitch which had cancelled orders and recreated them with a new order number. Our order, worth less than £6, slipped through and was processed twice. Do they want the extra goods back? No. We’ve been told to keep them and use them (which, frankly, won’t be hard) and they have refunded us! Talk about above and beyond. There was no need, and all that, but what great customer service.

Whilst I am on this subject, we bought a couple of bits from Ryanteck and a few more from Technobots. I think they had a race, with both providing excellent communications telling me that they had received, processed, picked, packed and mailed my orders and both arrived the following morning. Less than 48hrs from order to delivery – brilliant!

All this meant that I had to sit down and draw up a basic chassis for KEITH Evo so that we could start to test and develop. Harry had already sounded out the DT technician at school who was happy to help with cutting. I gave Harry a .dwg and a .dxf file from AutoCad on Friday morning and asked him to try to get the parts cut from some scrap material. He has a very full timetable on Fridays, so I wasn’t expecting results, but he arrived home with the parts cut from 3mm mdf having sorted it out during lunchtime. As ever, PiWars sparks interest from lots of people who then go out of their way to help. Harry has had to promise to take KEITH into school to demonstrate him and our future laser cutting is secure!

Laser Cut Parts

The parts went together really well (smug grin!) and an hour or so later we had a chassis with wheels, tracks and motors fitted. At the same time, Harry put together his motor controller on the breadboard. Over the weekend we will try to put radio, arduino, Pi, motor controller and chassis all together to see if we have life! Watch this space…

As soon as all of that is functional we will work on the distance challenge and the line following. I think we are confident that code and techniques worked out last year will help with that, so they should be quick wins. After that, the 3 point turn will create the biggest challenge and we will use the same work to fine-tune the straight line speed test in autonomous mode.

As for the skittles…

Tracks

~Andy


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