Team 1675, UPS, is excited to deliver our perspective to the #openalliance this year. We’re hoping our approach to robot design and strategy is helpful to the community at large.
A quick introduction for myself, I’m Adam. I joined team 1675 in 2011 and am currently the longest tenured mentor on the team. Overall, I’ve been mentoring since 2005 when I started with team 677 while I was in school. I’ll be the primary poster in this thread, compiling information from our student leaders and other mentors.
Brief Team Background:
The Ultimate Protection Squad was founded in 2005. We’re certainly not a powerhouse, but have had a solid run through our history, winning a handful of awards and regionals over our 18 years of existence. Our goal each year is to push ourselves, but not over-extend.
One of our biggest limitations is access to our build space. Throughout build season we only meet 4 days a week. 3 weekdays (5:30 - 8:30), and Saturdays (9-4). We’re pretty much limited to only these hours in our shop so making maximum use of the time we’re on site is a big priority to us. We really don’t want to be standing around with limited shop time.
We also have a few limitations in our manufacturing capabilities. We do have a CNC plasma cutter which allows us to design custom aluminum plates and gussets, but other than that we mostly manufacture with a chop saw and hand tools. We don’t currently have access to reliable 3D printing either. We rely heavily on COTS parts and build our designs to incorporate these parts as much as possible.
With that in mind, we typically try to design strategically to do one game task very well, and be capable at a second task (typically endgame). In 2022, we designed a double-catapult high goal scorer and a simple level 2 climber. We had one of our most successful seasons in terms of student engagement and excitement and the robot did everything we designed it to do.
As a preseason project we’ve invested in SDS Mk4 Swerve modules. The high quality COTs optinos (as well as getting bullied mercilessly by swerve drives in 2022) helped us make the decision to finally take the plunge. The team has been working diligently to bring up a platform to prove out our capability to make this work as a drive base. We were hoping to be able to fully test out swerve as a drive base before the season starts, but we’re nearly out of time.
Additionally, we’ve been working hard to expand our sponsor base. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to add John Deere, Milwaukee Tool, and The Gene Haas Foundation to the group of our long-time sponsors Rockwell Automation, Regal Rexnord and GE Healthcare.
At this point, we’re likely to pick a strategy and design that would be able to work with either swerve or a kitbot chassis depending on how swerve development goes early in the season.