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Oct 28, 2011
01:35 PM

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Oct 28, 2011
01:35 PM

Robotics and Mathcad utilization help!

Hey everyone,

So I have had a lot of fun using Mathcad since Feburary of this year. Our FIRST Robotics Competition team 1671 from Clovis, CA got it free as a part of competitions Kit of Parts. I have main been checking out the solve and set equal to operators and taking integrals for my Calculus homework when I get tried of doing them by hand.

But recently, I have found another use for it. A little over a month ago, I joined the Zero Robotics Competition, a competition sponsored by MIT, NASA, DARPA, TopCoder, and some other institutions. They challenged teams to develop software that would make a robot revolve a round an object, like in a circle. Although it was quite simple at first, as the task got more difficult, I turned to Mathcad to help me solve some problems.

However, I recently ran into some difficulties. First off, I am not entirely sure what Mathcad does and does not allow and understand. I have no formal training; I mainly learn through the included tutorial files on the program (Mathcad 15.0).

In any case, I am trying to find the equation of the cirle where a sphere and plane intersect. I had realized, given the equation of the plane, and using spherical polar coordinates, one could determine the polar/zenith angle (ϕ, phi) given the azimuthal angle (θ, theta). When I use the solve operator for ϕ, I get an answer. But when I try to retrieve the relation used to solve ϕ from θ, I get an error.

I have attached my work thus far. Sorry the messiness!

polar_azimuthal takes the simple plane of y + z = 1 and use polar coordinates to determine the ϕ and θ that match. changing the value of θ will invoking f(θ,ϕ) to run and produce an answer for ϕ. pol_azi_2 tries to do the same thing, excepting using a general case.The final box equation attempts to solve for the relationship of ϕ and θ, but fails. I am guessing it's either dividing by zero, can't be factor, both, or something of the nature. I just don't know!

If you are able to find anything out, our team would greatly appreciate it!

Also, how can I use the arrays to simulate vectors and take dot and cross product?

Thanks!

Evan Giarta

FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains

Zero Robotics Challenge Team ZRSC #49 Central Valley Manhattan Project

10 REPLIES 10

Oct 28, 2011
03:24 PM

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Oct 28, 2011
03:24 PM

Evan,

I'm happy to hear Mathcad has been there to help and that you're doing so well with FIRST and Zero. I'm hoping some of our resident experts (@ValeryOchkov, @MikeArmstrong, @A.Non) can assist in giving some insight on your questions.

Regards,

Dan

Oct 29, 2011
03:15 AM

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Oct 29, 2011
03:15 AM

Hello!

You need to use the following in symbolic calculations:

Oct 31, 2011
04:18 AM

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Oct 31, 2011
04:18 AM

Hi Vladimir,

What you wrote there makes a lot of sense! I will try that as soon as possible.

Thanks!

Evan

Oct 31, 2011
04:21 AM

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Oct 31, 2011
04:21 AM

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the encouragement. I am pretty excited for whatever else PTC has in store for the upcoming FRC season. I am sure it will be great!

Evan

Oct 31, 2011
07:43 AM

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Oct 31, 2011
07:43 AM

Evan,

Also, these links may be useful for you:

Mathcad video tutorial: http://learningexchange.ptc.com/tutorials/by_product/product_id:4

Mathematical Engineering Resources: http://www.ptc.com/appserver/search/mathcad.jsp

Nov 01, 2011
02:58 PM

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Nov 01, 2011
02:58 PM

Hi Evan,

How is it going? Have you resolved the problem or are you still seeking a solution?

Chris

Nov 03, 2011
04:14 AM

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Nov 03, 2011
04:14 AM

Hi Chris,

We didn't get to far after that. Our code was due on Monday, so we had to work with what we already had. Luckily, however, I think we qualified for the semi-finals! which means we have time to look back on this again and hopefully find a solution!

Thanks for asking!

Evan

P.S.: I am having trouble getting Mathcad Prime 2.0 to install on me XP laptop....its says something about .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.0. I tried to look for 4.0 stuff, but couldn't really find anything. Any suggestions?

Nov 03, 2011
04:37 AM

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Nov 03, 2011
04:37 AM

Evan,

Mathcad Prime 2.0 release has not appeared yet (it only passes through the stage of testing, the final release scheduled for Q1 2012), perhaps you mean Prime 1.0. Mathcad Prime 1.0 requires Microsoft. NET Framework 3.5 SP1, which must be installed first from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=25150 . NET Framework version 4 can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=17718 Also, I recommend you upgrade to WinXP Service Pack 3.

Nov 03, 2011
04:40 AM

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Nov 03, 2011
04:40 AM

Oh I see...I'll do those things as soon as I get some time! (Which unfortunately may not be for awhile.) Thanks for all your help Vladimir!

Evan

Nov 03, 2011
04:54 AM

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Nov 03, 2011
04:54 AM

No problem.