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View Poll Results: What does the no-bag change mean to your 2nd bot?
We never made a 2nd robot. 50 17.54%
We'll still build the 2nd robot. 144 50.53%
We'll likely use the money on other things. 91 31.93%
Voters: 285. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 11-14-2018, 07:34 AM
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2nd robot survey

Curious what the impact of having unfettered access to your competition robot means to the phenomenon of 2nd robots.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 07:41 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

I could see us building two robots, but not identical. One would serve as a test bed for prototyping ideas for the other one.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 07:54 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Obviously we still need to discuss this as a team, but I suspect that we will continue to build 2 complete robots--dropping our 3rd "half robot" (usually either a few key mechanisms or a chassis for path development).

Once competition season rolls around, there are still many competing tasks that require a robot: Auton development, driver practice, mechanism improvements, teleop controls development, vision development, creating video assets to name a few. **NOTE: Unfettered access to the competition robot brings a lot of advantages, but it will be crucial to consider wear and tear on that machine and we will have to be careful to not kill it before we compete.

My first pass at how we will allocate our robots:
"Competition Robot" - Auton and vision development/tuning, tweaking of key mechanisms (identical robots are never truly identical, it would have been such a gift to actually be able to play with our Steamworks fuel launcher between comps), filming for videos.

"Practice Robot" - Driver Practice, testing/proving of new mechanisms, teleop controls development, auton team Full Sends (no full sends on competition robot!)

The thing that excites me the most is the potential for a calm Thursday full of practice matches. Rolling into a competition with all updates installed and fully vetted will make for so much more practice time on a real field. (As an aside, I suspect this is where the low-mid tier teams can make huge gains from this change. We'll see better prepared drive teams and better tuned autons. Access to a real field is hard to come by but becomes a lot easier when you're not finishing your robot in the pits on Thurs)
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Unread 11-14-2018, 08:16 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

For us, it is rare that our 2nd robot matches in performance to the competition bot (friction, dimensional differences, quality of build, etc.) and they are of limited value in terms of autonomous programming/tuning.

I don't think we'll build the full on 2nd robot with the same intent as previously.
We've had a separate test bed for electronics for a few years, detached from any physical robot, and will likely continue that.

I don't think we'll spend the effort on fully building a 2nd functional robot clone of our competition robot. We may build a 2nd robot in the summer in the vein of "if we had the season to do over again, what would be do?"
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Unread 11-14-2018, 11:37 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEng83 View Post
For us, it is rare that our 2nd robot matches in performance to the competition bot (friction, dimensional differences, quality of build, etc.) and they are of limited value in terms of autonomous programming/tuning.

I don't think we'll build the full on 2nd robot with the same intent as previously.
We've had a separate test bed for electronics for a few years, detached from any physical robot, and will likely continue that.

I don't think we'll spend the effort on fully building a 2nd functional robot clone of our competition robot. We may build a 2nd robot in the summer in the vein of "if we had the season to do over again, what would be do?"
I can't speak for the decision we'll actually make, but this is true for us too. We've never been able to get a second robot perfect enough to get any real auto programming done on it, but it was useful for driver practice... I suspect we'll use the money for other things and continue with our use of a 'programming board' for testing purposes.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 11:43 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
I could see us building two robots, but not identical. One would serve as a test bed for prototyping ideas for the other one.
Was gonna say the same thing. Identical drive base, but no longer built for drive practice. Now it'll be for programmers and design testing.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 11:50 AM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

The second robot becomes the competition robot, and is built after we see how the game works....
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Unread 11-14-2018, 12:05 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

We may not build a full second robot, but the benefit we found with having a second robot is having parts to swap out. For example, 2017 our gear grabber had an issue where it would bend screws holding our linear slides down. The replacement wasnt quick so our solution was to take the assembly off our practice robot and have it for a quick swap when need be. We couldn't redesigned the part to make it work better but having the pit crew service the arm asm. during the match wasnt that bad.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 12:14 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

I voted as "save money for other things" but I'm re-thinking this. If we have to ship our bot to a regional in week 2, and it goes directly from there to one in week 5, we'll still need a practice bot.

Alternative is to take 'bot in checked baggage, and lose most of Thursday putting it back together and testing.

If they'd give us some time on Wednesday for reassembly, that might work. Or we could just fly a day early (added hotel/van cost) and put it together in the hotel room, or using a local team's shop. Hmmmm....

Guess I really can't answer this question just yet.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 12:51 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

There's definitely a big wear-and-tear downside to driver practice on the comp bot. So I'd probably be in favor of having two "identical" robots, and trying to minimize non-competition use of the comp bot (final auton testing, that sort of thing).
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Unread 11-14-2018, 12:59 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Still will build two, except now we can have programmers working on auto routines and tuning our models on one while we do driver practice with the other. Then we can do driver practice with both to simulate playing defense.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 01:22 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Honestly... I don’t know how it will affect us. We’ll probably talk over our 2020 build plan after this season.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 01:30 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

I've been thinking about building 2 robots but the second is a revision of the first. They'd most likely share a lot of components so the first revision would become spares for the second one.

Wear and Tear is a big concern but now with robot access between competition it should be easier to maintain a more proactive approach to maintenance. IMO most of the time wear in FRC isn't really wear in the conventional sense, it usually indicates some larger design or construction issue that is in need of resolving.
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Unread 11-14-2018, 01:38 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squillo View Post
I voted as "save money for other things" but I'm re-thinking this. If we have to ship our bot to a regional in week 2, and it goes directly from there to one in week 5, we'll still need a practice bot.

Alternative is to take 'bot in checked baggage, and lose most of Thursday putting it back together and testing.

If they'd give us some time on Wednesday for reassembly, that might work. Or we could just fly a day early (added hotel/van cost) and put it together in the hotel room, or using a local team's shop. Hmmmm....

Guess I really can't answer this question just yet.
Day early and I'll bet a blue banner that some local team would love to host your re-assembly
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Unread 11-14-2018, 01:40 PM
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Re: 2nd robot survey

2009 was the first year we built a true practice robot, although we had enough full protos of Speed Racer and our main robot to have practice robots in 2008.

That was 10 years ago when our season was one regional (Week 1) so we probably wouldn't have built a practice robot in 2009.

Today is entirely different since districts in 2014. We will still make a practice robot and I'll be pushing that our team make a third competition chassis for programming and driver practice exclusively while the two main robots are built.

One robot will have a hard time surviving programming, drive practice, practice matches, and 150+ official matches that teams are pushing.
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