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Unread 01-06-2007, 10:43 AM
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Robot ideas

Seeing as this year's competition seems rather daunting, (well to me at least) I propose that we use this thread to submit ideas for robot mechanisms or ideas. Ways to elevate the robot, ways to handle the tubes, scoring strategies, anything that will be helpful in designing or building the robot are welcome here. Criticism as well as long as in the FIRST way it is graciously professional.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 10:48 AM
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Re: Robot ideas

My idea for the way to handle the tubes is to use a hydraulic arm like what our team used with the year tetras were used. have the arm be able to scoop up the tubes, possibly latching onto it gently and be able to tilt or release the tube. somewhat like what is used in construction equipment (The digger thing that scoops up dirt in the bucket)
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Unread 01-06-2007, 11:00 AM
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Re: Robot ideas

Drivetrain
Seems that the highly-maneuvarable (mecanum) drivetrains will be back in fashion, as you'll need to move laterally in order to accurately place the ringers on the rack. Either that or you'll see more side-mounted game manipulators. It simply doesn't make sense to have a manipulator on the front because you can build the front-back and up-down functionality into the manipulator, while lateral manipulator movement is more difficult.

Lifting - Obviously a ramp to drive onto won't really be feasable: there won't be enough space for another robot AND whatever manipulator you have. Plus it would be very risky for both robots involved.

I suppose if you engineered your piece-manipulator to be extraordinarily strong you could use it to lift robots as well.

If a team could get a large number of collaborators together, they could design a hook and clasp system where all robots have a standard 'handle', and anyone that wants to design a crane to lift them can do so. Actually, that might be a useful 1lb addition to any robot, just to make sure your robot is crane-able. A crame system wouldn't be terribly difficult to add to a strong maniputor, just have a cable on a pulley and a winch mounted down low (for balance). Or if the up-down mechanism for the manipulator is suitably powerful (worm gear), just have a rigid hook mounted to the manipulator.

Edit: If any box-on-wheels team doesn't include at least a handle, then that would be a serious flaw. If you've got a 50lb robot, flaunt it. That's like 30 free points right there.
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Last edited by Bongle : 01-06-2007 at 11:09 AM.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 03:40 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongle View Post
Lifting - Obviously a ramp to drive onto won't really be feasable: there won't be enough space for another robot AND whatever manipulator you have. Plus it would be very risky for both robots involved.
I think that a ramp might be feasible, it's what we want anyway. But yes, the hook is a very good idea.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 03:48 PM
Rick TYler Rick TYler is offline
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Re: Robot ideas

This is going to be so much fun this year! Since I'm not on an FRC team right now, I can speculate wildly without having to worry about giving up any Top Sekrits.

RobotAddict and I were talking about the most radical idea we could think of and came up with the following.

* Ignore the ringers. Let your alliance partners do that.
* Build a 12-inch-tall, maximum-weight bot with multiple-speed transmissions
* During most of the match, play defense
* At the end, deploy pneumatic forklifts off both sides of your bot, and lift BOTH of your alliance partners 12" off the ground

Would you pick an alliance partner that had lifting as its only non-defensive contribution?
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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:08 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Mage View Post
I think that a ramp might be feasible, it's what we want anyway. But yes, the hook is a very good idea.
Here's my reasoning behind ramps
-A 30-degree ramp was real hard to navigate last year for many teams, and those were teams that KNEW it was going to be there and planned drivetrains accordingly
-Even as steep as a 30-degree ramp would limit your robot to having a flat top at 1.5 feet unless the ramp expanded in length while it deployed.
-Look at some of the speed required to get up the ramp last year. Teams would take full-court runs just to make it up. Do you want your alliance partner having to do that to your precious robot?
-So let's suppose you tell them "NO FAST RAMP EMBARKING". That limits the number and types of drivetrains capable of climbing your ramp.
-Building a robot strong enough to support 120lbs on top of it will add weight and take space that does nothing but (possibly) scores 30 points at the end of a match.
-Tipping: If you knock the controls while a robot is on top or that robot goes too far or not far enough while embarking, you're in big trouble.
Quote:
Would you pick an alliance partner that had lifting as its only non-defensive contribution?
Not really. It is possible to score (edit: 596!) points on the rack, but it is only possible to score 60 points through lifting. And just a note on that idea, I don't think forks are optimal since an error in maneuvering (only on one fork when the drivers think it is on two) could easily result in robot to be lifted just getting flipped instead. Platforms or cranes would probably be easier.

Something I learned last year is although you can be a VERY good defensive robot while not contributing offensively, there will always be offensive robots that are almost as good as you defensively, and can also score. Adding game pieces often doesn't compromise defensiveness to the extent that you have a big advantage by sacrificing them. Only if your game piece is completely useless should you sacrifice it to optimize your defensive capabilities.

Here is my compact rundown on lifting methods:
Ramps:
Pro: Compatible with ANYTHING, since everything can move
Pro: Simple to use
Pro: No centre-of-gravity issues
Con: Since the rest of the field is totally flat, drivetrains may be designed so that climbing angles isn't possible
Con: The idea of 120lbs of barely-controllable robot climbing on top of mine gives me nightmares
Con: Tipping risk of mounting robot makes a mistake while getting on
Con: requires robot to be built tough enough to support its own weight and stresses of potentially getting ram-mounted
Con: Mechanically complex to get up to 12 inches. You'd need an unfolding ramp or lifters in the robot body to do this.
Lifts
Pro: Can get the other robots real high
Pro: If well-designed, compatible with anything
Con: Mechanically complex
Con: Tipping risk if one-sided
Con: Tipping risk if not perfectly mounted

Cranes
Pro: Can conceivably get to 12 inches
Pro: Mechanically more simple than lifts (at least as far as I can think: winch->tower with pulley->other robot)
Pro: Can be built into manipulator that will be there anyway
Pro: Not really a tipping risk for liftee assuming their handle is centre-mounted
Con: Complicated and time-consuming to interface with lifted robot at game time
Con: Requires lifted robot to have a handle
Con: Tipping risk for lifter unless you lift two at once

Last edited by Bongle : 01-06-2007 at 05:49 PM.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:28 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

I believe that a robot design must be picked for your teams capabilities, style, of driving, and overall mentality. If you team has the money and the resourses and the time then you should possibly build an extremely good ringer scorer. But if your on a team with a limited budget and and minimal resources then mabey a slow powerful defensive robot is more you style.

Regardless of whatever you situation is I think that this will be a great game to promote innovation and there are gong to be many different robot designs this year. A well ballanced alliance may be one of the most important things this year, a mix of good ringer scorers and and lifter bots may be a force to be reconed with.

On different note I think fast manuverable drivetrains will be needed if you are going for anykind of good offense this year. And the multiclass system is a good addition and I think that many of the offensive robots this year will come from the 6 foot class they are already light which gives them a speed advantage, but a good defensive bot should be able to counter that.

2007 Will be the year of the Mecanum Drives Now to convice my team to use one
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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:38 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Just to point you guys in a good direction as far as ramps may go, take a look at Wildstang's (111) 2001 robot.


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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:39 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Mage View Post
I think that a ramp might be feasible, it's what we want anyway. But yes, the hook is a very good idea.
here.....
Quote:
<R05> "Wedge” ROBOTS are not allowed. ROBOTS must be designed so that interaction with
opposing ROBOTS results in pushing rather than tipping or lifting. Neither offensive nor
defensive wedges are allowed. All parts of a ROBOT between 0 and 8.5 inches from the
ground (the top of the BUMPER ZONE) that are used to push against or interact with an
opposing ROBOT must be within 10 degrees of vertical. Devices deployed outside the
ROBOT footprint should be designed to avoid wedging. If a mechanism or an appendage
(e.g. a harvester for retrieving GAME PIECES) becomes a wedge that interferes with other
ROBOTS, penalties, disabling, or disqualification can occur depending on the severity of the
infraction.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:42 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparksandtabs View Post
here.....
Quote:
<R05> "Wedge” ROBOTS are not allowed. ROBOTS must be designed so that interaction with
opposing ROBOTS results in pushing rather than tipping or lifting. Neither offensive nor
defensive wedges are allowed. All parts of a ROBOT between 0 and 8.5 inches from the
ground (the top of the BUMPER ZONE) that are used to push against or interact with an
opposing ROBOT must be within 10 degrees of vertical. Devices deployed outside the
ROBOT footprint should be designed to avoid wedging. If a mechanism or an appendage
(e.g. a harvester for retrieving GAME PIECES) becomes a wedge that interferes with other
ROBOTS, penalties, disabling, or disqualification can occur depending on the severity of the
infraction.
Keep reading.

Quote:
<R06> Ramps, platforms as other mechanisms specifically designed to elevate ROBOTS during
the END GAME are exempt from Rule <R05> when they are deployed in the HOME ZONE.
Such devices deployed outside the HOME ZONE are not covered by this exemption.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 04:43 PM
Noah Kleinberg Noah Kleinberg is offline
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick TYler View Post
This is going to be so much fun this year! Since I'm not on an FRC team right now, I can speculate wildly without having to worry about giving up any Top Sekrits.

RobotAddict and I were talking about the most radical idea we could think of and came up with the following.

* Ignore the ringers. Let your alliance partners do that.
* Build a 12-inch-tall, maximum-weight bot with multiple-speed transmissions
* During most of the match, play defense
* At the end, deploy pneumatic forklifts off both sides of your bot, and lift BOTH of your alliance partners 12" off the ground

Would you pick an alliance partner that had lifting as its only non-defensive contribution?

I thought of this too, it seems like a pretty good idea, especially if you're concerned about running out of weight with a ring manipulator. The only problem really is this:

An alliance captain will probably pick a second good ring manipulating robot in the first round. In the second round, the picking is reversed, like last year, so if you're the best defensive/lifting robot, you will probably get picked by the eighth ranked alliance, while you might prefer to be on a higher ranked alliance. And if you end up as an alliance captain as a defense/lifting robot, then you can pick one really good ring manipulating robot, but you'll probably want to pick a second ring manipulator in the second round, and you'll have a late pick in the draft.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 05:02 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred View Post
Keep reading.
Sorry, didn't realize there was new rules in the robot section! I have only made my way through the "The Game" Section so far.....I agree, Stang '01....
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Unread 01-06-2007, 06:44 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongle View Post
Here's my reasoning behind ramps
-A 30-degree ramp was real hard to navigate last year for many teams, and those were teams that KNEW it was going to be there and planned drivetrains accordingly
...
-Look at some of the speed required to get up the ramp last year. Teams would take full-court runs just to make it up. Do you want your alliance partner having to do that to your precious robot?
-So let's suppose you tell them "NO FAST RAMP EMBARKING". That limits the number and types of drivetrains capable of climbing your ramp.
Our team had no trouble getting on the ramp when right next to it even with the
transmission supplied in the kit of parts
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Unread 01-06-2007, 07:20 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

Although my team has not decided to toss lifters/ramps out all together, we feel that scoring tubes will be a safer bet.

The idea of counting on other robots is just too dangerous. What if a only one alliance member can climb your ramp, and that robot breaks down? You won't be able to score at all!

If I was designing a ramp, I would make it adjustable (user specified angle) and then pre-set it before the match.
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Unread 01-06-2007, 07:48 PM
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Re: Robot ideas

since this is our first year our teams just trying to keep things simple mostly on the defensive side and we will most likely score on the first row only if we score at alland like alot of teams weve been thinking about a ramp of course
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