This summer we had nine high school interns working here in the Lake Oswego office, (just outside of Portland, Oregon). They were assigned to different groups within the manufacturing division where they spent half their time working on a project specific for that group. The other half of their time was spent on a group project. The common denominator for all of the students is that they’re active in the FIRST Robotics Competition, where high schools have teams that design and build robots to perform certain tasks and compete against robots from other schools.
I was fortunate enough to be a mentor for Kevin, (second from the right on the back row), and worked with him on his individual project. Even though Kevin has participated in the FIRST program, he hadn’t worked with Inventor. However, Kevin did have some programming experience which is why we was assigned to the Inventor framework group. It was a bit of a challenge coming up with a project that can be finished in a short amount of time and provides a good learning experience. We had one false start but then came up with another project that I believe turned out very good. Kevin was able to learn some basics about Inventor and the API and was also able to use and expand his programming skills.
As a result of Kevin’s work and research we now know that the goal we were working towards is not currently possible without some additional work being done inside Inventor. I was hoping we could implement the entire project using the API. I don’t want to describe in detail what Kevin was working on because I’m still hopeful it will show up in Inventor one day but it was something I believe will make the API a little more accessible for those that aren’t comfortable programming and navigating Inventor’s API.
Once we realized there were some road blocks to finishing up the main project, Kevin wrapped up the project the best he could and then started playing with Inventor and the API. Below is a video that he produced. It’s done completely with Inventor except for the use of FFmpeg to create a video from a series of images.
The camera is following a curve and using the curvature of the curve to control the roll. Keep an eye out for additional postings here where I’ll discuss the portions of the API that were used to create the video.