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.

2014 Build Season Update: Week 1 Activities

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.

2014 Build Season Update: Kick-off

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.

2014 Build Season Update: About the Game

AerialAssist_RGBAERIAL 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.

2013 Build Season Update: Week 6 Activities

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.