2016 Midwest Regional

Rockford Robotics ended its 2016 competition season on a high! At the April 1 – 2, 2016 Midwest Regional we ranked 13 of 52, were chosen to compete in the elimination rounds, and won the Gracious Professionalism Award.

You could see the team’s strength by watching how our students responded to competition pressures. While we had an extremely good start on Friday, we ran into drive train issues. Though we managed a few more matches with students’ patchwork and excellent driving skills, we hit a point where the only choice was to replace the PTO box. With at least 10 hands on the robot for 2 straight hours, we replaced the gear box in time to make all our Friday matches. We ended qualifying rounds with a 7 to 3 win/loss record

After being picked by the 8th alliance, we knew playing the 1st place alliance (and eventual champions) wasn’t going to be easy. The students stepped up again, implementing new autonomous to work best with our alliance, tearing apart the defenses, and flying around defensive robots.

Our students also shined by helping a team without a robot build one on site, which gave them the opportunity to compete. This along with all that the team does in the community was so impressive that we were presented with the Gracious Professionalism Award. This Award  Celebrates outstanding demonstration of FIRST Core Values such as continuous Gracious Professionalism working together both on and off the playing field.

2016 Central Illinois Regional

Rockford Robotics competed in the Central Illinois Regional March 18 -19, 2016. Though we struggled during initial rounds, the team rallied to address robot issues. Students made enough improvements that we won three of our last four matches. By the end of the competition, we were successful in showing off our robot’s capability to breach several defenses and shoot in both the low and high goal. Robot improvements included:

  • Added arm to lift the portcullis and lower the Chival de fris
  • Fixed electrical connections that were causing loss of battery power
  • Replaced shooter motors to reduce shot time from 6 seconds to 1 second
  • Added a climbing mechanism

While our team was not chosen to participate in the elimination rounds, this disappointment had its benefit. We were able to get an extra five uninterrupted hours working on the robot, which will put us in a much better position for the next competition. We were able to move and trim the arm to pass inspection, deploy and test autonomous operation, fix the shooter controls, collect camera data, and remove arms for further testing. While there is still lots of work to do in the next two weeks, the team is ready for the challenge.

2016 Build Season Update: Week 5 Activities

Our build team completed assembly of the  drive train. This year’s drive train is our most compact and sophisticated yet. It includes eight motors and twelve wheels. For comparison sake, the greatest number of motors we mounted on previous drive trains was four. We’re proud to have achieved our goal of building a robot that can sneak under the low bar.

The electrical team completed wiring and began testing the drive train program.

Students continue to work on the shooter assembly, intake rollers, and the lift arm. We hope to mount these parts on the drive train by Friday.

2016 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

Our build team cut drive train parts and sent them out for welding. Superior Joining Technologies  is providing welding services for us. Build team is now prototyping the pickup system.

The CAD team is working at the challenging task of fitting eight motors and four gearboxes into a five foot space on the drive train.

The software team is developing a vision tracking system that will allow the robot to autonomously aim the shooter at the goal.

The electronics team completed the first draft of the electrical schematics.

Mentors, parents and students finished construction of the tower and several defense obstacles that we will use in the practice field.