2015 Build Season Update: Week 4 Activities

As the electronics team completed the control board, they are now working on wiring the components.

The programming team is developing the pseudo code. This is step by step description of the software logic the robot will use to perform tasks. The programming team will use it as a guide when creating the LabVIEW code.

Superior Joining completed welding the robot chassis frame. The students are now mounting motors, gearboxes, and wheels.

The CAD team completed the forklift structure and are now designing pulley systems that will move the forklift mechanisms.

2015 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

Our sub-teams have been hard at work.

The CAD sub-team continued work on the chassis, added a track system to the forklift, and designed a structure to hold the electrical components.

The Build sub-team cut aluminum square stock bars for the drive train. We delivered these parts to Superior Joining, who graciously volunteered to weld the chassis. Build team members also installed electronics on our prototype robot so we could test its maneuverability and it capability to transverse a slope.

The Programming sub-team is optimizing our FIRST Robotics supplied LabView program to be compatible with the RoboRIO hardware installed on the electrical board. Their immediate goal is to ensure drivers can control motors.

The Electronics sub-team is building the electrical board. It includes:

    • a power distribution panel
    • the RoboRIO (a field programmable gate array, i.e., the robot’s brains)
    • seven Talon SRX motor controllers ( 4 for drive train, 2 for vertical lift, and 1 for horizontal lift)
    • a WiFi router
    • a voltage regulator

Media team continues to work on award applications. This year we are applying for:

    • Chairman’s Award, FIRST’s most prestigious award. It acknowledges team’s community outreach and promotion of STEM
    • Woodie Flowers Award. This award acknowledges a mentor whose dedication and support is an inspiration to the team.
    • Entrepreneurship. This acknowledges teams with an outstanding business plan.

2015 Build Season Update: Week 2 Activities

Students started prototyping the robot this week. We tried a system of motors, pulleys, and springs to move the forks closer and farther apart. We chose a fork design that consists of a 3 inch, 45 degree angle offset. We used to CAD software to lay out our drivetrain design. We also started to CAD the bearings for our lift.

In the world of design, we locked down the positioning for our sub-components. We decided on a continuous belt system for the lift, we cut our drivetrain, and are preparing it for welding. Next week, We will start building the lift, finish robot CAD, and prototype the electronics board.

2015 Build Season Update: Week 1 Activities

This year’s game has lots of challenges. They include moving totes and recycling bins, stacking totes up to six feet, removing “litter” from game floor, inserting “litter” into recycling bins, and driving robot over scoring platforms.

Our strategy is to build a fast robot that can reliably stack totes. After much discussion, we decided on a forklift design. The robot will have a U–shaped chassis with space in center for forklift. We think this design will provide stability, as well as space for electronics. Mecanum wheels will provide drive train maneuverability.

We are deciding between two ideas for our forklift design: an angular articulated forklift with two forks that pivot at the robot’s back and a linear articulated forklift with two forks attached to a perpendicular piece that allows them to open and close.

The robot will also have a pulley system to lift the fork up and a few layers of sliders to increase it’s height.

During Week 2, we will build prototypes to aid our forklift design decision. We will also CAD the drive train.

2015 Build Season Update: Kick-off

Team 2039 launched its 2015 build season with a meeting at Eigerlab. In the morning, students and mentors watched the kickoff ceremonies that introduced this year’s game: Recycle Rush

After receiving the game information, the team broke into smaller groups to discuss strategy and robot design. Parents joined in by planning construction of a playing field which we will use to test our robot design and practice our driving skills.

2015 Build Season Update: About the Game

FRC_recycle_rushRECYCLE RUSH is a recycling-themed game designed for the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). It is played by two Alliances of three Teams each. Alliances compete simultaneously to score points by stacking Totes on Scoring Platforms, capping those stacks with Recycling Containers, and properly disposing of Litter, represented by pool noodles, in designated locations. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all scoring elements used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

Each RECYCLE RUSH Match begins with a 15-second Autonomous Period in which Robots operate independently of their drivers. During this period, Robots attempt to move themselves, their Yellow Totes, and their Recycling Containers into the area between the scoring platforms, called the Auto Zone. Additional points are awarded if the Yellow Totes are arranged in a single stack.

During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the Match, called the Teleop Period, Robots are controlled remotely by student drivers located behind the walls at the ends of the Field. Teams on an Alliance work together to place as many Totes on their Scoring Platforms as possible. Alliances earn additional points for Recycling Containers placed on the scored Totes, with Recycling Containers at greater heights earning more points.

Alliances also earn points for disposing of their Litter in either their Landfill Zone (the area next to the Step marked by the white line) or placing Litter in or on scored Recycling Containers. Alliances that unscored leave Litter on their side of the Field at the end of the match add points to the score of the other Alliance, as it is considered unprocessed and not properly disposed of.

Alliances have an opportunity to earn “Coopertition Points” by coordinating with the other Alliance in the Match. Coopertition Points are awarded if, at some point in the Match, there are at least four Yellow Totes on the Step simultaneously. Coopertition Points are doubled if the Alliances arrange at least four of those Yellow Totes in a single stack on the Step.

2014 Build Season Update: Week 5 Activities

Rockford Robotics has completed construction of our 2014 ‘bot.  We will “bag and tag” the ‘bot on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Then it is hands off  until we compete in the Central Illinois Regional, Feb. 27 – Mar. 1 and the Wisconsin Regional, Mar. 20 -22, 2014

ON-NOM, the Devourer, is a quick moving offensive robot with low center of gravity. It as  good passing and catching skills as well as being a reliable and accurate shooter. Our goal is to work with alliance partners to maximize the score through assists.

2014 Build Season Update: Week 4 Activities

In week four, we will mount the pick-up system and finish wiring the robot. Then we will have two weeks to optimize the autonomous program and for the drive team to practice.
Students continued robot design and build tasks.

The mechanical team has just about completed the robot construction. Only task left is to mount our ball pick up system onto the drive train.

The electronics/programming team:

      • Created a wiring diagram
      • Wired the entire robot. This includes nine motors and their associated controllers and the air compressor.
      • created a systems document that detailed electrical and  programming needs.

The media team filmed a video promoting the team that we will use as part of our Chairman’s Award application

In week five, we hope to complete our electrical and programming integration and then start practicing for competition

2014 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

During Build Season Week Three, we continued robot build tasks. The mechanical team students:

      • Assembled the drive train, including mounting wheels, gearboxes, chains, and bumpers.
      • Completed construction of the catapult and mounted it on the drive train.
      • Completed a kinematics study to determine the optimal length and pivot point for the ball pick-up roller arm.
      • Machined the intake roller structure.

The electronics team started to lock down programming requirements. They also designed electronic mounting plates and began their manufacture.

In week four, we will mount the pick-up system and finish wiring the robot. Then we will have two weeks to optimize the autonomous program and for the drive team to practice.

2014 Build Season Update: Week 2 Activities

During the Build Season Week Two, students built a wooden prototype of the robot. They used it to test and refine robot design parameters. After testing was complete, the mechanical sub-team used CAD software to draw the drive train, ball pick-up system, and shooter.

Local companies are helping with tasks we are unable to perform at our ‘bot shop. Superior Joining Technologies is welding our frame. Woodward is machining insert for pickup rollers. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, a student group will meet with GE Aviation engineers for a design review.

Students are also working on other build tasks including making robot bumpers and assembling gear boxes.

The Media Team completed design of t-shirts and promotional buttons. They also are working on a video that will be used to introduce the team to the Central Illinois Regional Competition.

Lastly, a student group put together a test for robot drivers.