Thursday, June 2, 2022

Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2: Work and competition

The majority of the day on Wednesday was filled with working on the final touches of our line-following robots. My group primarily focused on fixing certain bugs and improving the speed. However, just when we had our code fully working, tragedy struck. Our robot suffered damage and needed to be fully recalibrated. This took up the remainder of class. Thursday is the competition, as it was pushed back a day due to time constraints.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday, May 28: CERN and Zermatt nights

After waking up in Geneva, we headed for CERN. When we arrived at one of the particle accelerator’s main instruments, the compact muon solenoid, we took a short tour of the facility. The main assembly hall, where the instrument was built piecemeal and lowered into the testing cavern, was massive. After touring the hall, the group was led into an elevator nearly 90 meters underground into the computing and sensing hall, the closest we could get while the accelerator was in use. After heading out of Geneva, we headed for Zermatt, taking lots of winding paths through the mountains.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Friday, May 27: On our way to Geneva!

Today was a travel day to Geneva. On our way, we stopped at Bern, where we took a little tour of the city and went up the famous clock tower, Zytglogge. Before this, we stopped and saw the bears in time for them to eat.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26: Broken robots and barbecues

Watching the sun come up from one of the many hillside cell towers is one of the simplest pleasures to experience in Switzerland. On most mountains in Switzerland, one can find publicly-accessible towers to climb, yielding views nothing short of amazing. On the day following the first ZAHW graduation party since COVID-19, a few students were awake at 5:30 a.m. to view the beautiful sunrise atop of a nearby cell tower.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Wednesday, May 25: Design day and Frackwocke celebration

The majority of class today was spent on preliminary testing for the robots. All groups had prototypes 3D-printed from yesterday, but putting together the coding and physical parts of the robots proved to be more difficult than expected. By the end of the day, some teams had working robots, while others kept finding difficulties with their microcontrollers or other aspects of the robot. My team’s robot was definitely struggling a little bit, but everyone’s got three more days to figure it out!

Tuesday, May 24: Frachwoche day two and the start of the robotics challenge!

Today was the first day of preliminary design for our robotics challenge. We began the day by following the product design process. We created a "project requirements" document, a "functional block diagram," a "morphological box," an "evaluation matrix," and an initial sketch. The goal by the end of the day was to create a prototype design for the robots for all the groups so we could all begin 3D printing overnight. By the end of the day, it was expected that many of the prints would take around 12 hours to complete. Hopefully, they will all be ready for us to start assembling tomorrow!

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday, May 23: Frankwoche begins!

The day started off with an introduction to CAD (computer-aided design). While half of the class had already used this program, it was constructive for all of the other students who had never seen it before. This program is beneficial for our project as it allows us to design our robot’s body and shape. During the class, the professor taught us how to make an example version of a robot we would later have to design.