2011 Build Season Update: Week 6 Activities

Though most construction is complete, the team continues to optimize the robot’s operation. Most of this work falls on the shoulders of our programming team: Their work this week included:

      • Completing the logic for the solenoids that controls that open and close the robot’s “claw.”
      • Wiring the line sensors that control the robot during its autonomous mode.
      • Troubleshooting drive issues, i.e., fixing a damaged motor controller.
      • Developing programming logic for the mini-bot deployment.

Our competition drive team started practicing their robot moves.

2011 Build Season Update: Week 5 Activities

As arm and drive train construction is mostly complete, the programming team installed wiring and controls. They are now writing the code that will manage the robot operations.

We’ve redesigned our minibot yet again. The new design takes into to account engineering principles discussed during our design review at GE Aviation.

Students also evaluated potential drive team members based on interviews and a skills test. Our drive team members are Ty, Jeff, Brendan, and Karl.

2011 Build Season Update: Week 4 Activities

Special Ops Team 1, the “arm” team, attached the robot arm to the drive train. They are now adjusting arm’s linkage so that it will fully retract within the robot body when not in use.

Special Ops Team 2, the “minibot” team, is still working to optimize the minibot design. They have agreed on four inch wheels with a 90 degree orientation. And they modified the gear boxes to increase speed by removing gear stages.

The Programming Team is wiring the drive train and arm. Because the robot drive train is complete, students working on this team were assigned to other projects
Students also worked on projects not associated with hands-on robot building.

      • Because GE Aviation graciously offered to perform a design review, sub-team captains are putting together a power point presentation that includes CAD drawings, calculations, and solid descriptions as well as game strategies.
      • Other students are constructing a battery charging station. The robot operates off of one battery, but it may only have sufficient charge for one competition round. The team designed the robot so they can easily swap out batteries. Our new station can charge up to six batteries at a time.
      • A third group of students put together a “test” to help the team choose who will drive the robot during competitions. It includes an interview, a problem solving components, and a manipulative game to check dexterity.
      • And yet a fourth group of students is preparing our submission for the Wisconsin Regional Chairman’s Award.

2011 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

The robot drive train welding is complete. The Drive Train Team and the Special Ops Team 1, the “arm” team, are working together to attach the arm to the frame. Some team members are also working to construct the frame bumpers and sew bumper covers.

The Programming Team completed basic programs for the motor controllers. They are now waiting for build teams to finish robot construction. Then they will integrate programming controls into the robot.

Special Ops Team 2, the “minibot” team, completed construction of a working prototype. However, after experimenting with the prototype, students decided they needed a faster minibot. So it was back to the design stage. They removed gear boxes, which changed the gear ratio thus increasing the minibot’s speed. They are now working on a wheel and shaft assembly to propel the minibot.

Mini-bot team finally got bot to ascend score pole. After bot climbs pole, pneumatics push a magnet out so it stays there. This addresses concerns that after bot ascended pole, it would quickly slide down and destroy components.

Behind the scenes – grant requests, assembling bumpers (including sewing team numbers to fabric), creating a scouting sheet, button design.

2011 Build Season Update: Week 2 Activities

While Robot frame is off site being welded, the Drive Train sub-team continued work by using CAD to integrate motors into the design. Team ordered extra chain, links, and sprockets. We will use these materials to control the Robot’s locomotion.

Special Ops Team 1, the “arm” sub-team, completed CAD design of the robotic arm. We are using a chain drive to operate the primary arm pivot and a pneumatic system to control the “claw” and “wrist” movements.

Special Ops Team 2, the “mini-bot” team, is adapting a Tetrix kit to make a customized miniature robot capable of quickly moving up a vertical pole. The mini-bot will employ neodymium magnets to grab the pole and an electronic motor to propel it upwards. Tetrix kits are similar to an erector set. Neodymium magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnets made

The USFirst organization provided new equipment to control motors. The programming team is learning to use this equipment and integrate it into robot design.

2011 Build Season Update: Week 1 Activities

Following the Kickoff meeting, students and mentors discussed the game strategy. They agreed our challenge is to build a drive train is fast and maneuverable, a robotic arm that can pick up the inflatable shapes and place them on the scoring area rack, and a mini-bot that quickly ascends the score pole. Based on that assessment, we formed four sub-teams: Drive Train, Special Ops 1 (arm), Special Ops 2 (mini-bot) and Programming.

During the first week, each of the build sub-teams used CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to draft robot designs. Based on those drawings, students cut parts for the robot frame and sent them to be welded.
In addition to robot specific activities, a group of students and mentors constructed a game field which we will use to test robot design and prepare for competitions.

Another group of students developed our 2011 logo, integrated it into a t-shirt design and submitted it for printing.to robot specific activities, a group of students and mentors also began constructing a game field model which we will use to test robot design and prepare for competitions.

2011 Build Season Update: About the Game

FRC_LOGO_MOTIONLogoMotion is played by two competing alliances on a flat 27’ x 54’ foot field. Each alliance consists of three robots each. They compete to hang as many inflated plastic shapes (triangles, circles, and squares) on their grids as they can during a 2 minute and 15 second match. The higher the teams hang their game pieces on their scoring grid, the more points their alliance receives.

The match begins with one 15-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs and must hang Ubertubes to score extra points. For the rest of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their alliance score by hanging as many logo pieces as possible. Any logo piece hung on the same peg as an Ubertube receives double points. If teams assemble the logo pieces on their scoring grids to form the FIRST logo (triangle, circle, square, in a horizontal row in that order), the points for the entire row are doubled.

The match ends with robots deploying minibots, small electro-mechanical assemblies that are independent of the host robot, onto vertical poles. The minibots race to the top of the pole to trigger a sensor and earn additional bonus points.