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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-04-2003, 03:06 PM
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This year, we were a box with treads. The treads were something we've never tried before, and I think they were a huge success. I totally don't want to do for the box design next year. I really like the good methods of building a frame around the robot, and getting rid of the box idea.

We are making it one of our team goals to explore differnet methods of drive systems this summer in the off-season, and try to have all the possible systems planned out, and then put the best method to the 2004 game when it is announced.
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Unread 04-04-2003, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
I first wrote a rant about how teams need to be more creative in their robot designs.. but yeah, it seemed pointless, and I already knew the answer to all my questions.
Yeah I know but creative ideas are only relevant if they are useful to the competition. Personally I have loads of creative ideas that I will use in robots other than first due to their restriction of materials and the fact that the competitions limit design. If the need arrives next year for the robot to cross giant pot holes or uneven terrain then the tri-star drive train is the way to go.
Quote:
it really wouldn't be that hard/expensive to build a walking robot.
It depends on what your definition of walking is. It could be really easy or really complicated depending on your definition.
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Unread 04-04-2003, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by wysiswyg
Yeah I know but creative ideas are only relevant if they are useful to the competition. Personally I have loads of creative ideas that I will use in robots other than first due to their restriction of materials and the fact that the competitions limit design.
But surely there's got to be a better way to excel at this years game than drive around and push boxes, as many teams did prove.

Do you think FIRST is hampering what could be accomplished by the materials they limit teams to? Price limits are understandable, but... yeah... whatever. I'm just thinking aloud. Next year... no rules... EVERYTHING GOES!
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Unread 04-04-2003, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Do you think FIRST is hampering what could be accomplished by the materials they limit teams to? Price limits are understandable, but... yeah... whatever. I'm just thinking aloud. Next year... no rules... EVERYTHING GOES!
Actually I was thinking off the topic of my head about impellers. You see them in other robotics competitions ie sumo but the rules do not allow them in First. In fact there was posts about that in the First Rules Forum. I have read that a good suction system with those robots and you can get them to float upsidedown. Im going to see if I can use a impeller off a vacuum and see if I can get a robot to hang upsidedown. Not to mention it is awfully hard to get a walker moving with only four motors.
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Unread 04-04-2003, 05:27 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Moving beyond boxes on wheels.

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Yeah those were pretty much the answers to the questions in my rant... moreso technical knowledge I think though. And it really wouldn't be that hard/expensive to build a walking robot. It's not like it's a new idea or anything... there are plenty of robots they could base their design off of.

What about a round robots? Segway-bot anyone? Er... flying robot?
Last year our robot was round, it has a 30" diamater. this year our robot has 4-wheel steering and four wheel drive.

Go here to see the "Fighting Crab"!
http://www.canalwin.k12.oh.us/info/r...00_00045_1.JPG
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Unread 04-04-2003, 10:23 PM
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i don't think the RC responds fast enough to operate a segway-bot
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Unread 04-04-2003, 10:34 PM
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Any teams that went with an arm-like appendage this year is what I would consider a great "Out of the box" idea. Many times, this is better than a square box robot, even if it can get to the top of the ramp fast
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Unread 04-05-2003, 07:24 PM
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One of the most interesting things I saw was a two-wheeled robot from the Norther RobArtics in Alaska at the PacNW regional. It used two bicycle wheels for drive and had all the other components put on a board in between. Seemed like it had a hard time getting precise control, though, and it rocked forward and backward a lot.
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Unread 04-06-2003, 05:16 PM
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The other thing that may be limiting some of the creative ideas that people have suggested is the number, and power of the motors given to us. Two chippies, two drills, two window motors, a van door motor, two globes, and two fisher-prices. Sure, you can do a lot with that, but each type of motor has something that it is good at, either speed, torque, or a combination of the two. You are also limited in pneumatic cylinders. Springs have some pretty heavy restrictions on them, and our power source is, as ever, the 12 volt battery. All those are limitations. An effective bipedal robot would be difficult to use with these limitations, because you would have to have power at least three joints both ways, on each leg. If you do it with pneumatics, your pump will be running non-stop, and you will drain your battery quite quickly. If you wanted to do it with motors, you would have to mount them, and find a way to translate rotational motion into linear motion. You would also have to build the correct gearing so that it would operate at the correct speed with the correct amount of power. Neither of those problems are insurmountable, but think about how much easier, and how much more effective it would be to build a "box". Uneven terrain? Treads, with a 4 motor, two speed transmission. Lots of obstacles? Three degrees of freedom bot, or crab drive.
Canned? Yes. Effective? Definitely.
The other thing to worry about is building it in 6 weeks. Remember, you can't start building this thing until the game is unveiled. It doesn't matter how well your plans are layed out, and how much you've tried to think of everything, there are only so many hours of shop time between kick off, and ship date. Some of those ideas would take a very long time to build.

Now, some people may start shouting to release restrictions, but think about the "real world" for a moment. Lets say you want to design a car. Now, right off, you have a fairly good set of restrictions. Most important, it has to be safe to others, and it's passengers. Next, it has to keep up with other traffic. It can't damage the roadway. That tosses out walking cars (can't keep up with traffic with short legs to bring it down low enough to be safe, if you give it long legs, it may step on another car. That's not safe.) It also tosses out tracks. Metal treads rip up pavement like nothing else. Rubber ones wear out really fast, and are hard to change. Don't believe me? Take a look at some of the treads on bots out there. they get mangled very easily. So you're pretty much left with wheels if you want any cargo capacity. That's what the industry has stuck with.

I think that yes, FIRST does limit some creativity in terms of what can be done for bots on the field, but I also think that it helps us prepare for jobs in engineering in the "real world". However, don't let that stop anyone from trying to innovate!
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Unread 04-06-2003, 07:21 PM
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I think the general box on wheels design seems to fare well, because you can focus on power and speed rather than manipulators. Team 25 has built a box on wheels (once called a flying brick) for two years in a row now and the 2002 bot did fairly well and the 2003 bot is off to a good start. Simplicity seems to do well in FIRST.
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Unread 04-06-2003, 07:25 PM
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Re: How about the robot that was supposed to...

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott358
... do a cartwheel onto the ramp within 2 seconds.

I saw a post back some time ago but haven't heard anything since.

Scott358
Actually, It didn't work right, b/c I was at 179's regional and it just stretched out on the normal floor before getting to top of the ramp.
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Unread 04-06-2003, 07:58 PM
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About 4000 years ago some guy realized that it was alot easier to move something using a wheel. To this day there is still no better way of moving something than the wheel. 99% of teams use wheels because there simply the best. There have been many FIRST "inventions" at one point in FIRST history the rotating-wheel, delphi-drive, was a new and amazing thing. Omni wheels where once new. Walking bots would be great but they are slow and a biped would be highly unstable. A few years ago a combiner drive train was nearly unheard of then a 2 motor combiner slowly became popular and now there are a few 3 motor combined drives.

This thread so far has only focused on drive trains but there are also the so called "boxes". The use of materials is very generic. Many bots are 80-20 frames with lexan shells for a reason, its fast and reliable. There are innovaters here as well. If you asked about 8020 at Nats 6 years ago people wouldn't have a clue. There once was a team who built a bot of almost entirely lexan. There are new innovations this year with materials. Both 45 and 229 use expanding foam in there wings. In the early seasons teams had very short arms but they slowly grew as teams found lighter and stronger materials and construction methods.

My point is coming up with a totally revolutionary idea is very hard to bring to life. Every year there a few new ideas, and over the course of a few years those new ideas become the norm. If you take a look at the bots of each years competion is succesion you will see a pretty clear evolution.
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Unread 04-06-2003, 08:38 PM
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There will always be restrictions, constraints, that will keep you from thinking too creatively.

It all depends on which box your trying to think outside.

I've yet to reveal a few tricks team 30 has up their sleeve, mostly because the creator just may get a pattent for it...
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Unread 04-07-2003, 04:47 AM
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You could just use on-board balance management systems for 2-wheeled bots, in fact this type of thing could make some incredible stuff.

Only problem is... it's not allowed
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Unread 04-07-2003, 05:14 AM
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why not boxes on wheels are cool especially when you are paired with them!!


Not!!!!
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