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jon
04-02-2003, 07:38 PM
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.

Pretty much, the reason I started this thread, was for one question.

Has there ever been a walking robot in a FIRST competition?

ok... two questions...

What's been the most creative/non-standard locomotion for a FIRST robot?

ok... three...

Why don't we see more of them?

Cory
04-02-2003, 07:39 PM
Does Beatty count as a walking robot?

Cory

Jeff Waegelin
04-02-2003, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by Cory
Does Beatty count as a walking robot?

Cory

I would say they would count. It definitely was a walker.

Kevin A
04-02-2003, 07:50 PM
does a robot that rolls count? as in the whole body/frame goes over itself.

Ours can roll half way over...some people call it flipping...but thats locamotion:p

Solace
04-02-2003, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by jon
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.

Pretty much, the reason I started this thread, was for one question.

Has there ever been a walking robot in a FIRST competition?

ok... two questions...

What's been the most creative/non-standard locomotion for a FIRST robot?

ok... three...

Why don't we see more of them?


the only really imaginative ones that I can recall are 857's kiwi drive from last year, Beatty's from last year, and this year's technocat ball drive.

I think the reason why we don't see more things like this are 1)Simplicty - noncomplicated things tend not to break as easily, 2)money - not all teams are that well endowed to do things like that, and 3)time and effort - have you any idea whatsoever how difficult it would be to design a walking robot? Even if you did go ahead and build one, it would probably take a couple of years of build sessions just to get the design down and prototyped before you even started building it.

J2Kraatz
04-02-2003, 07:59 PM
I guess you could call them a walking robot.

jon
04-02-2003, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by Solace
I think the reason why we don't see more things like this are 1)Simplicty - noncomplicated things tend not to break as easily, 2)money - not all teams are that well endowed to do things like that, and 3)time and effort - have you any idea whatsoever how difficult it would be to design a walking robot? Even if you did go ahead and build one, it would probably take a couple of years of build sessions just to get the design down and prototyped before you even started building it.

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?

Clark Gilbert
04-02-2003, 08:34 PM
Would our ball drive count as a "creative/non-standard locomotion for a FIRST robot"?

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/pictures.php?s=&action=single&picid=4243

ItsPat
04-02-2003, 08:44 PM
I do have a couple crazy ideas for a walking robot. A bi-ped to be exact.
I'm probally going to spend the summer prototyping it with k-nex, then 2x4's, and once i get it down ill have the team give me a hand with assembling it from 80-20.
Its do-able. Its just hard.

I mean sure, Honda might have spent x million dollars and a decade building their Asimo, but Junkyard wars can build things that work to an acceptable extent in 10 hours. I can settle for something more towards the latter end of the spectrum. :D

Plus, me, I'm not in FIRST to stack blue bins. Its an engineering competition, as well. Just think about the future applications of your FIRST expirence. Making the same base over and over or even worse, using the same one, isnt a learning expirence.

Thats my opinion anyway. My team did laugh the biped idea off pretty quick, but hey, eventually I wont be the Freshman anymore.....;)

Gadget470
04-02-2003, 09:05 PM
As was stated, team 71's Walker, team 45's ball-drive, and 857's kiwi are 3 excellent ideas that were very interesting and "out of the box."

Other ideas that aren't strap a wheel to a motor (basically) are any system of a swerve drive, be it omni-wheels (which, in and of themselves are a non-conventional method) or swiveling shafts, or swiveling the motor gearbox and wheel all at once, and then there are the parallel drive systems (2 sets of wheels that can be dropped down depending on direction of movement wanted). There are tons of ideas floating around that have yet to be implemented also.

Why don't we more of them?

Time, effort, resources, strategy.

Time: Developing a new or complex idea can put a damper on build season time.
Effort: Someone has to be willing to either build the mechanism(s) and work out the math for an effective system. Non-dedication to a project has been the downfall of many systems.
Resources: Some teams don't have people who think up the fancy ideas that win awards and praise. Some teams have the people, but not the machinary to make it. Some have the people, and machinary, but not the material for a decent enough price.
Strategy: The game for the year often isn't workable with some of the neat ideas on the 'market.' Team 71's walker wouldn't be useful for this years game (as it traveled only in a roughly straight line). 45's ball-drive takes up a lot of space leaving little room for other features (as seen with video of 909). The kiwi-drive is probably just too easy to push off of the HDPE. So there are 3 great ideas that won't be effective for a champion robot this year.
Because of this, teams opted for a fancy way to perform the target. Instead of driving to the center, they'd flail to the center.


Prototypes only go so far. You can build an awesome machine or part of a machine, but if it would be pointless to implement, your machine/part goes unnoticed. I think the teams that build these elaborate items want to be noticed for their accomplishments, and rightfully so. I personally was working on a few prototypes before the game was released and they are now sitting in a pile waiting for possible use next year. I didn't expect HDPE, which reflects my prototypes not being designed to work with it.

Every year there will be at least one really neat idea that really stands out. It doesn't have to be drive-train either, but commonly is. Eventually, FIRST will reach a point where almost everything involved in the bot will be awe-striking to people who hadn't thought of it. Give it time, ideas are on there way.

ryanspensley
04-02-2003, 09:22 PM
I think it would awesome if there was a robot that would just be in a big ball that could roll over everthing. Has it ever been done in FIRST?

Joe Ross
04-03-2003, 09:10 AM
What about team 276's robot? http://firstrobotics.net/03gallery/pages/0276-1_jpg.htm There are more pictures in the cleveland section of chiefdelphi's image gallery too.

Scott358
04-03-2003, 07:17 PM
... do a cartwheel onto the ramp within 2 seconds.

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

Scott358

AlbertW
04-04-2003, 02:47 PM
254 had a walker in their bot... they never used it though.

Joe Matt
04-04-2003, 02:55 PM
With the budget the teams have here, you really can't have more than boxes on wheels. Plus, FIRST almost totally rules out any other ways of propulsion (like hamsters.) Levitation, teleportation, and others are still far off for us to use too. ;) :D :p

AJ Quick
04-04-2003, 03:06 PM
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.

Adam Y.
04-04-2003, 03:35 PM
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.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.:)

jon
04-04-2003, 03:54 PM
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!

Adam Y.
04-04-2003, 03:58 PM
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.

odin892
04-04-2003, 05:27 PM
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/robotics/images/2002/00_00045_1.JPG

AlbertW
04-04-2003, 10:23 PM
i don't think the RC responds fast enough to operate a segway-bot

Ryan Dognaux
04-04-2003, 10:34 PM
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 :D

Mongoose
04-05-2003, 07:24 PM
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.

scuba_sm
04-06-2003, 05:16 PM
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!

Aignam
04-06-2003, 07:21 PM
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.

Melissa Nute
04-06-2003, 07:25 PM
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.

sevisehda
04-06-2003, 07:58 PM
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.

ItsPat
04-06-2003, 08:38 PM
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...;)

MacZealot
04-07-2003, 04:47 AM
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 :(

EIROBOTICS86
04-07-2003, 05:14 AM
why not boxes on wheels are cool especially when you are paired with them!!


Not!!!!