We received plenty of feedback during our technical prototype review, and this post will detail what was discussed and our respective plan of action.
Structural integrity of the frame
The frame we currently have is made out of acrylic, and since we are planning to send weights down to open the containers, the frame has to be able to withstand very strong forces (>10N) without breaking or showing the slightest hints of fatigue. As such, Mr Tune suggested that we remake the entire frame out of aluminium brackets and mount all motors on those accordingly. Those brackets are able to withstand much more force than acrylic and do not bend easily at all. The complication from this is that the weight of our vessel gets magnified even more. As such, we will have to think of ways of using some sort of floaters or floatation devices to keep our vessel afloat.
Water container improvements
The water container, in its current state, can be improved. The plunger piece could be replace with a simple circular acrylic piece, which is much more suitable for its function of keeping water contained inside the container. We would also need to seal off the screw holes and any gaps in the container with a silicon sealant.
Controlling the container’s lever
Mr Tune suggested using bicycle brakes to control the container’s lever instead of weights as weights are hard to come by and even moreso because we need a very specific type of weight. Even purchasing it on our own would not be feasible due to the weights potentially costing quite a bit of money. The bicycle brakes might be clunky but would get the job done.
Now that we received feedback from the lecturers about Imp Bot, we had to hit the drawing boards to come up with another design for the vessel from scratch. Given the limited time of just 3 weeks to complete the project and to get every single component working, we had to plan it out thoroughly and efficiently.
Firstly, the most minor change we had to make was to cut out two circular acrylic pieces to replace the plungers for the containers.
Secondly, we had to come up with a new design for the frame. Since we’d have to use aluminium brackets, we decided to stick with a box concept as it is easy to fabricate given the amount of time we have left for it.
We plan to cut the brackets next week as the workshop ran out of aluminium brackets, and hence we had to place an order for it from Sun Hee Hardware Store, to be picked up next Monday. We would have to manually fabricate all the components ourselves. We would have to saw, file, mill, and drill the brackets. Due to it being very manual, precision is paramount. It is inevitable that we will make mistakes in alignment, but we must try our best to minimise this. While this is a much more solid frame compared to what we have currently, it would be a great challenge to ourselves to complete this within 3 weeks. Nonetheless, we welcome it and will put in a lot of effort in order to achieve this.