Owen, Nick, Ellie, Sarah, Maddie, Kristen

The Electrical department is the nervous system of our robot. The code and electricity that are necessary to the function of our robot are sent through the robot using wiring connmainwaves” to the rest of the robot), but as of the 2015 season, all are being replaced by the Power Distribution Panel (PDP) and roboRIO, respectively. These two new components make processing speeds faster and save space, as both are visibly smaller than their predecessors and an entire component has been removed. Other components that are unchanged include the following: motor controllers, solenoids, on/off switch, bridge, DC/DC converter.

The PDP, which is connected to every electrical component on the robot, does what it is named for and distributes the battery power to every wire inserted into it. The roboRIO is the brain of the robot and harbors the code, and inputs and outputs break out directly from this controller. Solenoids are connected to the roboRIO and convert those directions from the programming into actions for the pistons that they are connected to.

The department uses two different motor controllers, typically five-speed Victors and one-speed Spikes, to change the speed at which motors function. The motors that the controllers are connected to control the speed that the drive train or works. A radio, often called a bridge, receives signals from the laptop being used to control it, and is connected to the PDP via DC/DC converter, which turns our 12 volt battery power into a proper five volts. A simple on/off switch completes the board.