P18227: Soft Robot 2.0
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Integrated System Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Integrated System Build & Test Phase

Goals:
The team's plan for this phase was broken down into two smaller sections based on an interim review session set up with our Guide, Russell Phelps. In the first section our goal was to achieve subsystem functionality and make sure their performance was within specifications. The second half of this phase was to be focused on assembling subsystem interactions and integrating their performance towards full functionality.
Accomplishments:
This phase of our project has seen enormous progress from the Subsystem Build and Test Phase. The RC vehicle has been assembled and is easily controlled from a wireless X-box controller. The spool has been mounted to the RC vehicle and is also easily controlled via the same controller. The software and hardware required to drive the vehicle is also able to control the valves that reside inside the spool and control the pattern of chamber inflation. During this phase we have also achieved consistent articulation chamber fabrication and executed testing on multiple chambers.

Electrical Results

Updated Chart of Estimated Power Consumed by our Equipment, individual and groups

Updated Chart of Estimated Power Consumed by our Equipment, individual and groups

Valve Isolation Circuit

Valve Isolation Circuit

Compressor Isolation Circuit

Compressor Isolation Circuit

Complete Driving Test Results

Testing Driving Ability: All Desired Functions of RC Vehicle Control are Present

Testing Driving Ability: All Desired Functions of RC Vehicle Control are Present


Spool Operation Test Results

Testing Spool Operation: Spool can be turned successfully, however further testing revealed that the stepper motor lacks the torque to overcome large angular moments within the spool.

Testing Spool Operation: Spool can be turned successfully, however further testing revealed that the stepper motor lacks the torque to overcome large angular moments within the spool.


Chamber Inflation Test Results

Testing Leg Chamber Inflation: Standing Pressure ~3.0 psi, Articulation Pressure 4.5-6.0 psi

Testing Leg Chamber Inflation: Standing Pressure ~3.0 psi, Articulation Pressure 4.5-6.0 psi

Testing Upper Limits of Chamber Inflation Pressures: Chamber appeared to deform in similar trials around 7-8 psi. This particular chamber had already been subjected to 7-8 psi before this trial was recorded.

Testing Upper Limits of Chamber Inflation Pressures: Chamber appeared to deform in similar trials around 7-8 psi. This particular chamber had already been subjected to 7-8 psi before this trial was recorded.


Casting of Silicone Leg Chambers

During this phase the team completed the transition to using cast silicone leg chambers rather than 3D printed ones. This decision was based on preliminary casting trials that provided airtight, flexible chambers even when manufactured in sub-optimal conditions. Since then we have made several casts and are in the process of manufacturing all twelve complete chambers and four feet, as well as some items for destructive testing.
Degassing in a vacuum ensures cast silicone does not contain any airpockets

Degassing in a vacuum ensures cast silicone does not contain any airpockets

 Mold for toe cast.

Mold for toe cast.

 Leg chamber molds.

Leg chamber molds.

 Leg chambers are cast in seperate halves and then casted together.

Leg chambers are cast in seperate halves and then casted together.

 Finished leg assembly components.

Finished leg assembly components.

Casting has been successful thus far. Leg components will continue to be produced to ensure surplus for replacement parts and destructive testing.


Risk and Problem Tracking

Snapshot of our updated Problem Tracking Chart

Snapshot of our updated Problem Tracking Chart

The Risk Assessment Chart has been updated by removing a risk about NinjaFlex. Instead a risk about our silicon legs has been added. The risk of breach or deformation of leg chambers is now higher due to observations during testing. A risk has also been added describing what would happen if there is an imbalance of forces between the robot and the tether.

Snapshot of our updated Risk Assessment Chart

Snapshot of our updated Risk Assessment Chart

ImagineRIT Poster

Special thanks to Taylor Rakocy for continuing to help us with poster design. Link to download the poster PDF is here.
Framework for ImagineRIT Poster

Framework for ImagineRIT Poster

Technical Paper

The technical paper associated with our project is roughly 25% complete and is on track to be completed by April 16th. The document is available for viewing.

Plans for next phase

There are still things that need to be executed for this phase to really be completed. We must still test a complete leg with three articulation chambers attached to a footpad, as well as test their function when supporting the robot's chassis. We must also complete and test the tether and deployment mechanism, which is on hold until our remaining components are received. We anticipate that this will be complete by April 6th. The remaining time our team has between complete assembly and the Customer Hand-off will be spent fine tuning the ComQuaT system and optimizing its performance as well as completing final documentation (Imagine RIT poster and technical paper submission to MSD and IEEE).

Individual Plans:

Role Individual Plan
Project Manager Conor McKaig
Lead Engineer Zach DiLego
Electrical Engineer Cameron Taylor
Software Engineer Sean Bayley
Hardware Engineer Zach Hayes
Purchasing & Materials Marie McCartan
Comm. & Customer Contact Jamie Mortensen

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