Today was the first design review day. In the morning we broke off into groups and continued working on the prototypes of the various grabbers from yesterday. After the prototypes were (mostly) complete we began the design review. We first talked about grabbers. Groups presented their prototypes of 8 different grabbers to the parents and mentors. We discussed the pros and cons of the finger grabber (this grabber interfaces with only one side and uses the lip to pick up totes and bins), pneumatic slider arms (one arm is stationary and the other slides using pneumatics so it can pick up totes and bins), a wheel grabber with a funnel guide (a funnel with wheels would guide in the totes and bins which would be picked up with the help of wheels), a set width grabber (would be set to the width of a tote but possibly something could be added to also allow it to pick up bins), pneumatic hinge arms (one arm would be able to move from 90 degrees to a wider angle using pneumatics to pick up both bins and totes), a caterpillar belt lifter (would have hooks on a pulley system), suction grabbers (these probably wouldn’t be able to lift bins or totes by themselves but could be good add-ons to provide stability), and a hinged grabber (similar to the hinge arms but the pneumatics would be in the back instead of the corner). We talked about of a lot of important issues such as stability, how hard or easy the designs would be to drive, picking up bins and totes, and picking up totes that are all right next to each other.
The next thing we discusses was the 5 lifters which are chain, belt, pulley, four bar linkage, and scissor jack. We discovered before we pick a system we need to determine how we want grab the bins and totes, and how we want to stack them. The last thing we discusses was the benefits and drawbacks of rectangular, u-shaped, and bridge chassis. There was also talk of the need for an overall strategy which would help us make some of these decisions.