Aerial Assist requires we build a robot that can pick up balls from the field, pass them from one robot to another, and shoot them into a goal. We get extra points for working with alliance partners to move the ball from robot to robot before attempting to score.
To address these challenges, our plan is to use a catapult for shooting the ball into the goal and a roller system to pick up balls from the field. We will also use the catapult to pass the ball between robots.
During the first week of build season:
- The mechanical sub-team has been working on CAD (Computer Aided Design) for the pickup system and drive train.
- The media team is working on our Chairman’s Award application. They are also designing a lamp — using the US FIRST e-watt bulb — for a Central Illinois Regional challenge.
- Parents are helping build a practice field.
- And some students are restoring older bots to use during our driver competition.
Team 2039 launched its 2014 build season with a kick-off meeting at Eigerlab. In the morning, students and mentors watched the kickoff ceremonies that introduced this year’s game: Aerial Assist.
After receiving the game information, the team broke into smaller groups to discuss strategy and robot design.
After a lunch break, we did a human walk through of the game. Students acted robots, drivers, and game pieces. This helped us learn competition rules, scoring, and game play.
Parents joined in by planning construction of a playing field which we will use to test our robot design and practice our driving skills.
AERIAL ASSIST is played by two competing Alliances of three Robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ foot field, straddled by a lighting truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a 2 minute and 30 second match. The more Alliances score their ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their alliance receives.
The match begins with one 10-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver. Each robot may begin with a ball and attempt to score it in a goal. Alliances earn bonus points for scoring balls in this mode and for any of their robots that move in to their zones. Additionally, each high/low pair of goals will be designated “hot” for five seconds, but the order of which side is first is randomized. For each ball scored in a “hot” goal, the Alliance earns additional bonus points.
For the rest of the match, drivers remotely control robots from behind a protective wall. Once all balls in autonomous are scored, only one ball is re-entered in to play, and the Alliances must cycle a single ball as many times as possible for the remainder of the match. With the single ball, they try to maximize their points earned by throwing balls over the truss, catching balls launched over the truss, and scoring in the high and low goals on the far side of the field.
Alliances receive large bonuses for “assists,” which are earned for each robot that has possession of the ball in a zone as the ball moves down the field.
With the stop build time of midnight Tuesday soon arriving, students are putting in long hours and extra effort.
Construction of all the mechanical subsystems is complete, this includes: the Frisbee pickup system, the conveyer, the shooter, and the drive train. Students are now integrating these subsystems into the bot in order to produce our final robot.
The programming team has completed the base code. Individual members are now developing final Lab View code for specific operations. They are also addressing some last minute design changes. Student programmer Andrew is customizing the driver station dashboard.
The Electrical team has finished wiring both of the electrical boxes. They have created mounting brackets and placed them on the robots for the electric boxes. They are also using bolts to hold the boxes onto the brackets. This allows them to have easier access to removing the electrical box if needed.
Our Mechanical team is currently reworking the pick-up system. The launcher sub-team is continuing to develop a launching system, and the pick-up sub-team is working hard on the feeding mechanism for the launcher. They are also finishing the conveyor systems. Additionally, another sub-team is putting bumpers on the rookie bot to help the drivers practice.
The programming team has finalized the psuedo code. They also have finished the base code. They are beginning to code in Lab View.
The mechanical team finished assembling the drive train. The electrical team finished the main electrical box. Both teams are working together to mount the electrical box on the drive train.
A sub-team is mounting the pick up mechanism onto the front of the drive train. Another sub-team completed construction of the shooter. Next step is to attach it to the drive train.
The programming team completed the robot pseudo code. The pseudo code provides the logic programmers use to develop the actual Labview code.
Our mechanical subteams have been hard at work. Students working on the drive train have cut spacers, assembled wheels, and sized and chained the ‘bot. Other students are finishing the braces for picking up frisbees and are currently designing four bar linkages for climbing the tower.
The programming team completed a new drive train program that should improve robot acceleration and speed. The CAD team is redesigning a customized gear box. The electrical team is installing Victor motor controllers on the robot side panels. This will save us room in the electrical box.
Our goal is to complete the robot by week 5 so we can participate in pre-ship mock competition.
Our students have been working hard on designing our robot. The Mechanical sub-team has cut two frames and sent them out to be fabricated. They then painted both frames and are now assembling the drive train. The pick-up and shooting sub-teams have been working on prototypes for the final bot.
The Programming sub-team has continued optimizing PIE control drive train.
Our students working with CAD are nearly finished with drawing our shooting system and our drive train and are starting to draw up designs for pick up.
We finished the Frisbee loader and climbing pyramid portions of the practice field.
This year’s game challenge involves picking up frisbees and launching them into targets. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the target. Teams can earn even more points if their robot climbs a tower.
To address these challenges, we divided into four subteams: shooter/pickup mechanism, climbing mechanism, programming and electrical. We also have students specialists work on Computer Aided Design, marketing, and design prototypes.
Team members brainstormed for robot design ideas during the kickoff weekend. Following this activity, our first project was to build simple prototypes. Students claim they used quantum mechanics — or maybe plain old physics — in developing prototypes.
From the prototypes, students used Computer Aided Design, CAD, to develop schematics for the drive train and the frisbee shooter. We will deliver these schematics and our drive train frame to team sponsor Superior Joining early next week. Students hope to be present while they do welding work for us.
Team 2039 launched its 2013 build season with a kick off meeting at Eigerlab. In the morning, students and mentors watched the kickoff ceremonies that introduced this year’s game: ULTIMATE ASCENT. They devoted the afternoon to developing robot design ideas and game strategies.
Parents joined in by planning construction of a playing field which we will use to testing our robot design and practicing our driving skills.