BlueStamp Engineering - Week 4
It's kind of hard to explain how my project works, but it goes a little something like this: your fingers bend, so the sensors in your glove bend, so the sensors read the data and send it to the tiny motors, so the motors turn, so the fishing line gets pulled, so the robot fingers bend. Basically, when you wear this special glove and move your hand, the robot will mimic your gestures. This week, I was adding some finishing touches to my robot when I suddenly lost control of the robot's motors. That's really, really bad. I mean, if the servos don't work, then nobody is listening to the sensors, and nobody is telling the fingers to bend. You'd just be sitting in front of a hand-shaped statue while wearing an ugly glove.
I spent a full week trying different things to get control of the servos back, but nothing worked. I went through potentiometers, capacitors, resistors, and regulators until my instructor finally told me what I didn't want to hear.
"Kriselle, I think you should just cut them and restart."
Well, that's twenty hours of work down the drain. The funniest part was that the problem wasn't missing anything, I just had a regulator in there that I didn't need. It prevented my servos from getting the current that they needed, so they were all acting pretty wonky. But that's okay! I got the chance to redo a lot of things that I regretted doing/not doing. It only took me a week more than expected, but it works (almost) perfectly!
In short, I'm done with my base project, and am now working on modifications. More specifically, I'm trying to make the glove and the robot communicate wirelessly. I almost don't want to do it because I'm scared that I'll mess everything up. It's okay. If I do, I can always restart. Again.
My dramatic solution to my unnecessarily difficult problem earned me what the instructors call the "Rudy Award". In essence, it's a nod to the recipient's perseverance and hard work. My instructor emailed my parents a long, glowing letter about why I had earned the award. It was absolutely dripping in praise about my color-coded wiring and "beautiful, well researched notes".
The award also came with a more tangible reward: anything the recipient desired, so long as its cost was under $10 and was within driving distance from BSE's location. I asked for milk tea from Teaspoon. They're about $5, so I asked for another one for my friend. The thing is, I forgot to ask for tapioca pearls, so it was a lot less fun than I thought. The good news, though, is that my friend won the award right after me. She ordered milk tea for the both of us, but this time with pearls. Next, we plan on downloading Uber Eats and getting snacks delivered to us. We're both done with our base projects, so the rest of the program should be somewhat more relaxed. Hopefully.