Zany Zappers: Zeroing in on Zombie Zapocalypse

Conquering the Zombie Apocalypse: A Journey Through Innovation and Strategy

Welcome to our latest update on the journey to Pi Wars 2024, where our team is gearing up to face the thrilling Zombie Apocalypse challenge. With creativity, technical prowess, and a dash of sci-fi flair, we’re excited to share the progress of our robot’s specialized attachment designed to take down the undead with precision and style.

The Challenge Ahead

The Zombie Apocalypse challenge tasks our robot with clearing zombies from the Pi Wars Tower. With a mix of remote control and autonomous operation, the challenge pushes the limits of our engineering and programming skills, requiring us to knock down targets without crossing a foul line. Precision, power, and strategic planning are key.

Designing for Victory

Our approach has been to refine and innovate, building on our previous successes. The heart of our design is an attractive enclosure that houses a pan and tilt mechanism, driving a flywheel-driven ball flinger. This year, we’ve integrated high-resolution Waveshare digital serial servos for pinpoint accuracy, ensuring we hit those small targets every time.

Pi Wars Towers with Targets: An overview of the competition arena with zombie targets positioned in the tower Isometric Render with Cover Hidden: Detailed view of the robot’s attachment with its protective cover removed to reveal internal mechanisms Section View Showing Firing Mechanism: Cross-section of the robot’s attachment highlighting the ball flinging mechanism Clear Cover to Show Workings: The robot’s attachment with a transparent cover to display the internal components Isometric Render: Full isometric view of the robot’s attachment in its entirety A Kryten Naval Gun: Reference image of a naval gun similar in appearance to the robot’s turret cover

Stealth and Style

Inspired by feedback and pop culture, our “gun turret” cover resembles a stealthy, faceted head, echoing the dual significance of “Kryten” from Red Dwarf and the Mark 8 naval gun. This not only adds a cool, sci-fi aesthetic but also aligns with our goal for a sleek, unobtrusive design.

The Heart of Control

Choosing the right microcontroller is crucial. Our specs demand something small yet capable, fitting within our design without compromising on functionality. It needs to handle everything from servo movements to sensor inputs, ensuring seamless operation during the heat of competition.

The Road to Autonomous Precision

With the inclusion of a distance sensor and considerations for potential image classification, our robot aims not just for brute force but intelligent, precise targeting. The recent allowance of manual laser pointers for target indication adds another layer to our strategy, offering a blend of high-tech and practical solutions to ensure victory against the zombie horde.

Reflections and Next Steps

As we finalize our design and move into testing, the excitement within the team is palpable. Our modular approach, focusing on unit testing and adaptability, has allowed us to iterate rapidly, adapting to feedback and new ideas.

Stay tuned as we continue our journey, refining our designs, and preparing for the challenges ahead. The zombies won’t stand a chance!

A futuristic robot equipped with a sleek, sci-fi inspired gun turret attachment, aiming at zombie targets in a simulated post-apocalyptic setting. The turret is detailed with pan and tilt capabilities, surrounded by an enclosure that gives it a stealthy appearance. The robot stands ready in a competition arena, laser pointers mounted, with the essence of precision and high-tech engineering. The scene embodies a mix of playfulness and advanced technology, capturing the spirit of innovation and challenge.