2363 Triple Helix: Genome Zeta

The students are working on a release video, which I’ll post when it’s finished. In the meantime, I threw this together just to get something out there…

That’s all well and good, but where’s your 2014 robot?

See you at Virginia.

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A video *without *annoying dubstep/pop/remix “music”? It’s an xmas miracle… :yikes:

Looks super simple and very effective, good stuff!

Oops. Corrected…

looking forward to seeing Zeta B soon. then Zeta A at Richmond

Love the single piston catapult! Looks extremely consistant and effective!

Looking forward to coming down to play. See you guys in a couple of weeks.

You may notice that the prototype catapult had a single cylinder, but the robot catapult has two. We tried the second cylinder somewhat on a whim, and were surprised at how performance improved without a huge hit to air consumption.

By performance, I mean a wide range of distances where shots can be made. It’s possible to tune the shots for maximum distance, but you can only make shots from very far away (on the down side of the flight trajectory) and very close up (on the up side of the flight trajectory). We tune the throws until those sweet spots touch, giving a wide sweet spot. (Right now, the bagged competition bot has a range of 6-16 feet.) Our goal is to tune the practice bot catapult so we have a wide range, with the top end of that range being the spot where the robot starts in autonomous. Right now, we have a 2 ball auto, if the robot doesn’t need to move for the first two shots, we think we can get to three.

To test air capacity, we ran rapid fire drills with human player loading. This meant starting with the robot at the auto position, firing, then running to the human player for hand loading and then back down to fire another shot. We can get to 6 good shots before the air pressure drops to where the 7th shot is low. All seven of those shots are within a 2 minute match.

We always plan to maximize the number of points we can score by ourselves in a match, even if our partners are completely ineffective. So, theoretically, with two partners who can’t move (and no defense), our bagged robot match score is:
2 auto high goals, one hot, one not: 15+20=35
mobility points: 5
4 high goals before air runs low: 40
1 after recharging: 10
total unassisted, undefended match score 90 points

Plus, any time spent eluding defenders, or retrieving truss shots, just gives us more time to recharge our pneumatics.

By passing to partners and selectively doing truss shots, we might be able to push that higher. But, missed high goal shots, by us or our partners, will really mess things up in a hurry.

Here are some pics of Genome Zeta as configured for the VA Regional.

We developed some new features on our practice bot after bag day, and installed them on Thursday:

  • additional “fingers” on the catapult arm that prevent the ball from spitting out the front side of the bot when picking up. These also help the ball settle into position when catching
  • net on pickup arm helps with catching. When pickup arm is stowed, net prevents errant balls from ending up in our bot accidentally. The net also adds height that helped block at least one high goal shot of an opposing robot.
  • deployable wings help funnel the ball into the shooter pocket when catching. These make human player loading much easier for loaders not on our team, who haven’t practiced loading our bot. These also enabled our alliance member to pass directly from robot to robot in the air.
  • rope from the wings to the net arch helps funnel tossed balls into the shooter pocket.
  • fixed lexan side shields, front shields, and internal shields protect the guts of the robot from damage from defensive robot appendages.
  • pressure sensor added to our high pressure reservoir is used to turn off our camera ring and a rear side LED light strip when supply pressure drops below reliable shot pressure. This allows our drivers to know if the pressure is low without taking eyes off the robot.