We've gotten off to a running start!! We've had a productive time back from Winter Break and want to share our progress.
Our Hardware Team #1 has developed a prototype that integrates the drivetrain, sensor and extruder motion subsystems using VEX parts. Its next steps are to fully autonomize and scale up the prototype for use on an actual road.
Hardware Team #2 has been working on a sensor subsystem for the scaled prototype; after exploring the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost of developing a sensor from scratch in comparison to using industrial or gaming sensors, we determined that our best option would be to use Microsoft's Xbox Kinect Sensor (Beta 2). It is cost effective, gives reliable readings, and can be coded using C.
Out Materials Team has been exploring potential materials to use as filler. After developing and testing over 20 different types of Non-Newtonian fluids, we have decided to broaden our exloration of materials to chemicals that catalyze the drying of cold patch and render it a more durable product. After conferencing with one of our mentors, a construction engineer, we discovered that cold patch is the material currently used by road maintenance crews to temporarily fix potholes in Houston. Cold patch is a "temporary" fix because of its succeptibility to crumbling during the brutally high temperatures of Houston summers. Cold patch therefore, would be a perfect material in the event that we are able to find a way to increase its heat resistance.
We are incredibly pleased with our progress thus far, and are eagerly awaiting our mid-grant technical review.
Please stay posted for more updates!!
-The KSHS InvenTeam "Drive Doctors"