We made a lot of changes to the second challenge. In the book, this challenge has robot robot crossing the room on a string (vine) to drop pebbles into a container. Once there is enough weight in the container, the next door is opened. During our first Mayan Adventure, the teams amazed me with how easy they found this challenge. So we came up with something a little bit different.
Day 2 - Crystals
There are six crystals arranged in one corner of the room. The robot (or monkey) has to move either the large gold ball or two silver (clear) crystals into the plate in the other corner of the room. The floor of the room is like a balance plate, so it's important that all the crystals not moved to plate stay in the corner where they started.
The robot starts from the 'platform' on the left side of the room. You can see the square outlined with black tape. The robot could follow the black lines to the crystals, pick up what it needs, and then follow the diagonal black line to the gold plate.
As we went through the Design Journal for this challenge, one idea was to have the robot could grab all the crystals and return them to the platform. The crystals that aren't needed, would have to be returned to their original spot. Then the robot could take the one gold crystal or two silver crystals to the gold plate. I thought this approach would be relatively simple with the robot just going forward and backward each time (no turns).
Of course, the teams had their own ideas. At this point, every team has built some sort of device for grabbing or lifting the crystals.
The FTC team created this unique 'grabber' that uses string on a pulley operated by a third motor to grab the crystal. When the motor winds the pulley, it pulls up on the string and the two sides come together. The grabber can pick up the ball.
They're also using the compass sensor to try to navigate directly from the crystals to the plate. It's the first time they've used the compass sensor, so it should be interesting.
All this creativity takes time. Each team was making progress, but it was pretty clear by mid-afternoon that no robot would be able to complete the task today. We decided to extend this challenge, and do the scoring runs about 11am on Wednesday morning.
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