Finals



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Expecting major competition at finals, we made some major changes. We rebuilt the entire machine with new motors, circuitry, and metal. We used diamond plate aluminum on the sides for aesthetic appeal. All of the holes were precisely drilled to keep the new gears properly meshed. To indicate the angle of the fishing pole, we used a potentiometer that mounted directly to the shaft. This made the digital display more accurate. The button pressing mechanism slowed the swinging pole as the button was depressed. We replaced this mechanism with a trigger device. Now, a plunger driven by a compressed spring would press the cast button. A lever held the plunger in place until it impacted a wheel mounted to the body of the machine. At the end of the casting motion, another lever impacted the body and raised the plunger. The mechanism was then ready for another cast. Another major modification was the addition of video targeting. This consisted of a video display and camera cannibalized from a camcorder. As the fishing pole was prepared for a cast, a microcontroller measured the angle of the main shaft from a potentiometer. The microcontroller then referenced a table to determine where the lure was expected to land. Then the microcontroller repositioned the camera to center on that point. The intent of this device was to eliminate the need to guess how far the target was. Unfortunately, there was not time to perfect it. It became unnecessary as by this time we had become experts at estimating the distances.