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VexU at the Kalahari Signature event!

VexU Blog Post – 1/19

On January 19th, VEXU competed at the Kalahari Signature event in Sandusky, Ohio, where the team won the Innovate Award! After brief period of relaxation at the adjacent waterpark and resort, we got back to work to prepare for our next two competitions. VEXU will be competing at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana on February 25th and again the next week in League City, Texas.

Since the competition, we’ve been intensely focused on completing and revamping the existing subsystems on the larger of our two robots. This has included a lot of tricky CAD and manufacturing work to remove weight and speed up the robots handling and acceleration. For the frisbee shooter, we’ve revamped many elements of the conveyor, turret, and shooter systems and are finalizing the assemblies. We’ve also continued developing advanced control software for our unique Differential Swerve drive, a project many months in the making that is finally coming to fruition!

On the smaller robot, we’ve opted for a full redesign which has been championed by members Andrew Wu and Will Reger. For this design cycle, we focused on developing a simple and effective design to shoot the frisbee that will be easy to drive and debug. This robot is now reaching the manufacturing phase and will be a great complement to the larger robots complexity.

On the software side, our Computer Vision efforts have been expanded by Jake Wendling, who has developed algorithms to identify frisbees from a video stream and to estimate their position and variance as a statistical distribution. We’ve also collaborated with the RoboMaster committee to develop and improve existing algorithms for simulation and robot localization with LIDAR.

We are excited to compete again and hope to keep up our momentum through the rest of the Spring semester!