The Mighty Morphin Tower Arrangers are:

Chris Barlow

Darren Lewis

& Ted the Robot

About Us

The Mighty Morphin Tower Arrangers are a team entering into the competition, Eurobot 2009: Temples of Atlantis (see www.eurobot.org for details).

Darren Lewis and Chris Barlow are both BSc Engineering Product Design students from Middlesex University in North London, UK.

Although the task for this year's competition is a complex one, the Tower Arrangers' philosophy is to use as few moving parts as possible, and to use natural forces wherever they are available. This should result in an economical, reliable system designed to score a realistic number of points match after match.

This site will follow the team's progress from initial design to final build and our progress through the competition itself.

The Contest

"Eurobot is an amateur robotics contest open to groups of young people from around the world, organised in teams."

"The aims of the contest are to favour the public interest in robotics and encourage hands-on practice of science by young people. Eurobot is intended to take place in a friendly and sporting spirit."

"More than a simple championship for young people or a competition, Eurobot is a friendly opportunity to unleash technical imagination and exchange ideas, know-how, hints and
engineering knowledge around a common challenge. Creativity and interdisciplinary is necessary. Eurobot values fair play, solidarity, creativity and sharing of technical knowledge,
whether it is across technical realisations or project management."

"Eurobot takes place in Europe, but is open to teams from other continents. Countries with more than three teams interested in participating must organise a national qualification in order to select the three teams which will participate to Eurobot finals."

[www.eurobot.org, 2008-2009]

Friday, 1 May 2009

42 Points!!

Footage from the UK Finals on 05/01/09 of the robot achieving its maximum score of 42 points.


video



video

Monday, 27 April 2009

Claw & Software Revisions

As the day of the UK final approaches, focus has been put on getting the system as efficient as possible. During the rebuild, the claw was modified, bringing the lower support section closer to the bottom in the hope that it would support the lower part of the column better. This didn't work as planned. It turned out that this design made the tube too stiff, so it didn't flex in the right places. This put the claw's pressure on the higher discs, meaning that it wouldn't collect more than 2 or 3 discs at a time.

The design has now been reverted back to the original, with the support claws higher up, and a rubber band pulling the bottom of the claw into a funnel shape to support the column where it needs it most.



Also today, the team has started making changes to the program, to make the stacking process more efficient. The plan is to stay closer to the stacking zone during construction, so that less time is wasted during transit.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Obstacle Avoidance

The team are using 2 Sharp infra-red sensors to find the position of other robots on the table. Both sensors are placed just higher than the column element dispensers to try to avoid the robot reacting to anything other than another robot. Both sensors face forward.

The team calibrated the sensors and created a sub program on the main drive board to tell the motors to react. When the sensors see another robot which is positioned in the way, the motors will stop for 0.7seconds, then if the sensors still see the robot, the motors will reverse until the other robot is gone, then attempt to return to the point it left.


video

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Rebuild








During the second and third weeks of the Easter break (13th to 22nd April), the team rebuilt the entire robot with new parts. (Before to the left and after photos are below).

The laser cut MDF which provides the different levels was painted off-white.

The MDF parts that make up the claw were remade in white, opal acrylic; this reduced the friction on the guide rails.

The lintel mechanism was remade in laser cut white acrylic for strength and accuracy.

The PTFE casters were redesigned to be more adjustable; so as they ware down they can be moved, allowing the back of the robot to maintain the same height.

Poor quality micro switches were replaced with industrial standard switches.

The tapered shape at the front is widened allowing more room for error when collecting column elements.

Last but not least, the guide rails, track and vertical encoder was extended. This now gives the claw a 50mm higher lift. The team plan to use this to place 2 extra column elements on top of their original tower. This will raise the total points per match from 29 to 42.

Last few jobs are
- The pull cord
- Obstacle avoidance
- 90 second shut down timer
- Fine tuning all programs

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Further devolopment with temple construction

This video shows the robot building a temple when there is already a temple of the opposing colour in the same position that it wants to build. Also the robot collects 4 discs in the first row so it doesn't bother to drive around the rest of the grid, it goes straight to the stacking point.

video

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Lift Mech Improvements

The program has been modified to speed up the disc collection process. This means that the robot spends less time stopping for discs, and so will allow us to arrive at the construction zone earlier.

video

Saturday, 21 March 2009

New Sponsors

Also this week, after a few weeks in planning, we can officially welcome our sponsors, Phoenix Dynamics.

"Established in 1994, Phoenix Dynamics is a leading supplier of interconnection solutions to the Defence, Automotive, Rail, Nuclear and Control System Industries."

Check out the website, www.phoenixdynamics.com for more information on the company.