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Unread 05-09-2012, 02:52 PM
davidfv davidfv is offline
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Why didn't we think of that?

I am doing a small project and would like some help. Every year, we see a robot feature, system, programming, or unique strategy that really helps a team. Sometimes it is very simple and others are pretty complicated and take some team skill and experience. No matter what it is, we look at that design and wonder if that would have made your robot a lot better. I am looking for those hidden features or characteristics of a robot or team.

So please tell about a unique feature of a robot, a team, or a strategy that made you say: ""Why didn't we think of that?"

Please tell me the team number and feature.

If I get enough responses, I will come back with a follow-up and maybe help you answer the question.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 02:57 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

469 and 51 in 2010. Also any Direct drive minibot in 2011.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:17 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

A few good ones:

-Several teams in 2012 were able to use a single mechanism to do many tasks, a great example of this is 67's utility arm.

-The minibot ramps in 2011 (inspired mostly by 233), along with the direct-drive minibot was one of the most copied in season designs I have seen in FRC.

I'll probably think of more, this is what I have so far.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:21 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Catapults in 2008 (1114, 1625, 16, and 118 were good examples). I know why my team didn't think about that, but it may be good for others to do that exercise.

2010: 67 after the buzzer lift or the 254&1114 3 second lift. Our lift was fast and accurrate, but 67, 1114, and 254 were in another league with the after the buzzer and PTO style lifters.

2011, the doubler roller claw with hinged jaw was popular on many top teams (111, 1114, 254, 33, 177?) and not present on lower performers (yes there were many good roller claws, and many good hinged claws, but only a handful of double roller hinged claws).

This year, Over the bumper collection 2012 (469, 341 I believe were good examples as well as many others).
2012: Stingers/Bridge assisters.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Here is a little circuit that helped the team out testing our prototypes and robot builds. I had been asking to purchase a high amp variable DC power supply $$$ to run motors while testing our prototypes without hooking up a crio, programming and all the electronics needed. Brian Silverman and his dad told me there is a easier way and drew up this circuit on a napkin and later made the box. What it does is generate a PWM signal that is variable with the use of a pot. We can safely control motor speed with a Jag or Victor without hooking up all the electronics.

I can't tell you how great a device this thing is. I saw so many shooter videos where people just touched bare wires to a battery to get their shooter motor runnning.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10454...394?banner=pwa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibuAAnxgExQ
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Last edited by roystur44 : 05-09-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:38 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

+ 1 - Team 67's hanging mechanism in 2010. I mean come on, scoring a hang AFTER the buzzer??

This year 469's ball intake doubled as a rebound catcher. I also believe 548,330, and 1504 deserve mention. Their ball intake and shooters were integrated into the same system.
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Last edited by Ross3098 : 05-09-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:45 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

This year team 180 hooked up a "photon cannon" (aka, bright flashlight) to aim at the backboard, which they found gave much better realtime feedback to the driver of his target aim point than the camera (and reduced the amount of data they had to send through the radio). Team 25 saw the design at the Orlando Regional and copied it with fairly decent success.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 03:49 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roystur44 View Post
I can't tell you how great a device this thing is.
Cough, AndyMark, Cough, How much, cough...
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:01 PM
Aren_Hill Aren_Hill is offline
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IKE View Post
Catapults in 2008 (1114, 1625, 16, and 118 were good examples). I know why my team didn't think about that, but it may be good for others to do that exercise.

2010: 67 after the buzzer lift or the 254&1114 3 second lift. Our lift was fast and accurrate, but 67, 1114, and 254 were in another league with the after the buzzer and PTO style lifters.

Our 08 bot was actually a puncher

We also had a similar method of powering our lift to 67 in 2010, eerily similar, it was fun when we paired up at IRI with them, pulled off a double after buzzer lift in the semi's i believe.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:03 PM
BigJ BigJ is offline
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aren_Hill View Post
Our 08 bot was actually a puncher
;_;


I can't believe we didn't really think of over-bumper pickup this year. We also didn't think of a slanted ball elevator, although we were originally going to rotate our whole tower.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:05 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Hopefully this isn't against any rules but I've been making something exactly like this for about 10 years now:

http://www.robotlogic.com/product_servotester.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by roystur44 View Post
Here is a little circuit that helped the team out testing our prototypes and robot builds. I had been asking to purchase a high amp variable DC power supply to run motors while testing our prototypes without hooking up a crio, programming and all the electronics needed. Brian Silverman and his dad told me there is a easier way and drew up this circuit on a napkin and later made the box. What it does is generate a PWM signal that is variable with the use of a pot. We can safely control motor speed with a Jag or Victor without hooking up all the electronics.

I can't tell you how great a device this thing is. I saw so many shooter videos where people just touched bare wires to a battery to get their shooter motor runnning.

https://plus.google.com/photos/10454...394?banner=pwa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibuAAnxgExQ
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:14 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roystur44 View Post
What it does is generate a PWM signal that is variable with the use of a pot. We can safely control motor speed with a Jag or Victor without hooking up all the electronics.

I can't tell you how great a device this thing is. I saw so many shooter videos where people just touched bare wires to a battery to get their shooter motor runnning.
I'm impressed with what you made there, but I took the lazy way out

http://servocity.com/html/dual_servo_driver.html

Like you say, great for all sorts of tests.

For any teams still hooking straight to batteries, get yourself a small 12V battery for this, not as dangerous as the competition batteries and easier to pack around too.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:37 PM
BrendanB BrendanB is offline
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dillard View Post
This year team 180 hooked up a "photon cannon" (aka, bright flashlight) to aim at the backboard, which they found gave much better realtime feedback to the driver of his target aim point than the camera (and reduced the amount of data they had to send through the radio). Team 25 saw the design at the Orlando Regional and copied it with fairly decent success.
Correct me if I am wrong, they used a bright flashlight to shine on the target and lined up visually with said target instead of using camera tracking?

I wish we could have redone our drop down intake to double as skid plates for going over the bump like 233, 33, or even powerful enough to lift ourselves over the bump like 67. I felt like we spent a lot of time working on a custom frame to cross the bump which paid off, but it would have been a lot easier to use the kit frame and put more effort into the intake/bump crossing mechanism.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:39 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

For motor testing on prototypes, we have some little 12 volt black and decker drills that we modified with a lead and anderson connecters. They work quite well and are small and portable. Since it is a drill, you can change the polarity easily too by using the direction control. Only downside is that they run out of juice fairly quickly. Another thing we did is have a passive bridge manipulator. We have a wide faced bot so our tower slides out to make an almost square robot for balance. The bridge manipulator is a drop down from the slide out that rotates back to make an inclined plane when we hit the bridge.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:41 PM
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Re: Why didn't we think of that?

Oh yeah and this is the first year we started using anderson connectors and it has been a godsend! Changing and powering motors is so much easier.
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