This week I made an Excel spreadsheet containing information about the experimental information on the SCP actuators we make in the lab. In the same spreadsheet I made separate sheets with the data on the SCP actuators for different journal articles that also use the 117/17 model silver coated nylon thread. We also were able to figure out how to use the stepper motor and currently the maximum RPMs is 250. However, that is not a problem because currently we want to use the stepper motor at 200 RPM. Ahmed thinks that the stepper motor is capable of greater RPMs but a possible reason why it cannot surpass 250 right now may be due to the Arduino.

Pooja called Shieldex (the company our precursor fibers are from) and found out that, at least with Shieldex, yarn is a type of thread, so we do have the correct precursor fibers.

We decided to switch the article we are basing the experiment off of from the “On the control” article to the “Fabrication” article. The weight still proves to be an issue, and when we tried to twist and coil the precursor fibers almost all tries resulted in a snapped thread. However, I weighed the 3D rod that Kevin made for us and it added 7.60 grams of weight to the load. On Monday we will continue with fine tuning the fabrication process and working out the various problems.

Today (7/21) Kevin taught Anthony, Pooja, and I SolidWorks in the CAD room. All three of us designed an attachment and hook for connecting the SCP precursor fiber to the stepper motor. First we made a two dimensional shape in one plane before making it three dimensional by extending the shape we drew out. Hopefully we will continue these lessons for the rest of the summer.

I also talked to Ahmed about his traffic control project and he showed me a simulation of a circular, one lane traffic jam caused by one car. However, with the integration of an automated car controlling the speed, that car was able to fix the traffic jam.

I was able to finish the Arduino code that allowed the LED on the microchip to blink manually on one internet page with two buttons: LED ON and LED OFF. This is a good starting point for possible use later in our project if we want to make directional controls for our robot.

We also soldered today, as the connection from the bread board containing the esp8266 chip to the microchip controlling the stepper motor was inconsistent. We were able to fix the connection for the jumper cable to the stepper motor microchip and control the stepper motor, starting it and stopping it and setting it the RPM we wanted.

We also had to troubleshoot the connections for the servo motor when we wanted to try making an SCP actuator (as we had just designed the hooks for the stepper motor that day) and Anthony and I made sure to document the placement of the jumper cables to the DC power supply and esp8266.

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