Today I met with Steve to continue building the robot chassis that Alex and Jasmine had begun to work on Sunday. The two biggest changes we made was 1) eliminating all gears on the robot and driving two treads with 1 motor and 2) laying the NXT flat instead of standing up. These changes were very important because the robot could now get over the crater ridges without stalling in the middle or tipping over.
We also created a small scripting language using NXT-G. We can now program the robot by sending a text file with commands to the robot, while an NXT-G program on the robot will decode the messages. This has drastically reduced the time it takes to program a given set of commands.
The Compass and Ultrasonic Sensors have been added onto the robot, and so far we managed to get the robot off the landing ramp, into the first crater, out of the first crater, and touching the first set of helium 3 loops. Our next goals are to design and build an arm that can pick up the loops, as well as a storage device to store them.
Thanks once again to Alex and Jasmine for starting a great chassis ! :D