4/20/2011 Sticky Boom Sprint #2 Update

Ok, now for a quick update:

  • Worked with Kirk, Forrest, and the Red Rocks Systems guys pinning down the functional requirements for the electronics/controls part of the project. While this isn’t a very visible milestone it’s an important one. Part of the challenge was making sure we prioritized features into A-list functionality that we have to have, B-list functionality that would be really nice to have, C-list stuff that would be nice but can be dropped easily, and so on. We’re trying to do several upgrades, including having all the electronics powered by a battery back in the boom deployer, going with a more complicated electromechanically locking gripper mechanism, adding data acquistion and control, etc. More on some of that later.
  • AJ was working on getting Solidworks setup and getting into the gripper mechanism preliminary design. We’re hoping to have the first rev of that system in-house to test by next week, so we’re charging ahead. We both brainstormed gripper design concepts yesterday evening. AJ has done a lot of Solidworks modeling in the past (in fact I met AJ last December at a Solidworks 2011 rollout meeting in Louisville), and will also be doing some quick-pass Solidworks Motion (which uses the Adams motion analysis engine he used to work with) analyses as well. I may have some CAD model/Cosmos Motion eyecandy to show tomorrow.
  • I spent a good chunk of the day doing logistics work. Things like getting another seat of Solidworks so AJ and Mike can be jamming away at the same time, getting some money in place so I can get SRI started on their part of the project as soon as possible, keeping paperwork moving forward to close-out the angel investment round we’re doing to fund this project, and working with some of the companies whose proposals we’re trying to get onto by doing this project. This stuff isn’t fun, but if it doesn’t get done, my team members can’t do their jobs.
  • The Eye Candy for the day is brought to you by Mike Judson. Yesterday right before I went home, he pinged me about doing a quick Lo-Fi boom deployer prototype out of Home Depot parts. The goal was to both figure out how everything fit together, and also get some estimates for the amount of torque he needs out of the gearmotor train…I wasn’t expecting him to get done with that already, but thanks to Mike, we have eyecandy for tonight:

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