The 2023 season (and my last season) is over, so it’s time for me to do a bit of reflection and release our cad. Feel free to ask me anything you would like about our robot.
This season was wildly successful for our team, despite our relative inexperience (we lost lots of knowledge as a result of the pandemic). A few of our highlights were:
- Excellence in Engineering at Clackamas
- Setting a (short lived) world record at Sundome
- Seeding 5th and placing 3rd at the end of elims at DCMP
- Ranking 10th in the PNW
- Qualifying for worlds for the first time since 2017!
As a whole, this is our 2nd best season ever, only second to 2015. However, as all seasons are, it was by no means perfect. I’m going to focus mostly on our design, as that is what I am familiar with.
- Our robot’s strategy was effective, which was surprising to me. For all of our district competitions, we had no ground intake capability, yet, it wasn’t really necessary in this game. By DCMP and worlds, we were able to add ground cube intaking. This progression helped us be competitive at all levels. However, the way we arrived at this wasn’t the best (more later).
- The mechanisms were solid. Considering the significant impact forces exerted on the large extensions this year, we had remarkably few failures. Our extension was fast, and simple, and our intake held game pieces very securely.
- We used swerve for the first year, which was very successful. There is no way we would have been as successful as we were without swerve.
- The bot was light, a significant improvement over our 124 lb 2022 robot. We even weighed in at 95.5 lbs at Sundome. This is mostly a result of switching to 1/16” box tubing for the majority of the robot’s structure.
- We did well recovering from multiple stumbles and setbacks throughout the season. This season didn’t go smoothly at all, but we were still able to have an excellent year (more on this below).
- We made a fairly significant architectural mistake early on in the season that made further improvements difficult to add. Initially, we thought that a ground intake would be too heavy to also extend to place game pieces, leading us to our decision to have the ground intake handoff to a roller claw on the extension mechanism. This meant we designed an extension mechanism that couldn’t reach the ground. For the intake, we pursued a “weedwacker” design based on 2158’s prototypes, which was never really going to work.
- We failed to adequately reflect on our progress and abandon mechanisms that weren’t going to work. We spent a significant amount of time prototyping and designing a ground intake. The prototypes never fully worked, and we kept running into design issues. However, we failed to see that it wasn’t going to work out, and we spent too much time trying to force the design to work.
- The design failed to adequately integrate the needs of other subteams. There wasn’t enough planning for wiring, and there was miscommunication between design and programming regarding designing in sensors. I think this was due primarily to a lack of experienced members and too much work to do.
Most of the issues we ran into were a result of inexperience - the design subteam only had 2 members with prior experience, with the 6 other members being new to frc. Despite this, we were very successful, and I am very proud of what we accomplished this year, and I’m excited to see what the team comes up with next year.