According to club sponsor George Giltner, the animation division of the TechHOUNDS robotics team has been working on creating a Rube Goldberg machine, which is a difficult or complex contraction designed to perform a simple task.
“In the pre-season, the veteran members have been giving the new members a little challenge,” Giltner said. “They’re basically creating a Rube Goldberg machine. Each student gets their own step, and then at the end, they’re going to bring them all together and create a Rube Goldberg machine.”
According to Giltner, the project includes ten steps, which ultimately light up a display that reads “TechHOUNDS.” He said this pre-season preparation is designed to familiarize new members and increase their involvement before the build season begins.
“Last year, what (the animation division) worked on was called a safety animation,” he said. “It was a short, little 30 seconds to talk about how to be safe when working on the construction of the robot. Our team worked on that video. The downside to that was it was such a complex video that the new members didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get involved. It was mostly the veteran members kind of brushing up their skills.”
Ryan Wilmes, student lead and senior, said he is excited for the final product.
“From what I’ve seen so far, it looks very cool. I was in there when some of the new members were working on it,” he said. “It looks like they’ve gained a grasp of knowledge on how to use the program and they’re working on animating and brainstorming their ideas.
The robot ops division of the TechHOUNDS team has completed its project to create three drive trains—a six-wheel drive, crab drive and Mecanum drive—during the preseason. Meanwhile, the construction division is finishing benches that they made for Faith Church and has started another project.
“In years past, we’ve had to dissemble the robot to make it fit in the crate,” Giltner said. “(The construction division is extending it about six inches higher, I believe.”
In addition, the programming/electrical division has been working with robot ops to wire the three different drive trains, and the public relations division has created preseason T-shirts and a newsletter. Finally, the web division has been keeping the TechHOUNDS website updated.
Wilmes said he is proud of the team’s progress during the preseason.
“We’ve accomplished a lot all throughout the team,” Wilmes said. “Everyone’s meeting deadlines, and everyone’s ready for the build season.”