Day 1 Week 1

Just a few questions for everyone who have first week regionals:

What was different than expected(defense, mobility, etc.)?

Any cool designs that someone on your team thought of then you said “pfft that’s cool but impossible”?

How did IR work in general?

Were lap counters reliable?

Also any little problems or things that weren’t expected, like rules and things like that?

Yes, don’t leave us in the dark!!! I’ve got three more weeks to prepare, give me the details. Photos welcome.

As stated in our “unveiling” thread- we had two problems caused by the field today

First- the height dimension for the overpasses has been getting lower and lower. By days end the sag had them down to 76" from the floor. A number of robots, including us, want to clip the bottom of the ball just under the overpass to pop it up. So if you counted on a more or less 78" be wary because it may be way off from that. We slammed the crossbar on our first outing and spent the rest of the day trying to finagle some solution to this inconsistency.

Second- Our IR system worked flawless at home. We pointed a dozen different remote controls at it, shot it through windows, pipes, cupped hands- well you get the picture. In the pits it worked like a charm.
On the field it suddenly became erratic and lost signal. Hmmm. After an afternoon of anguish we found the culprit- that damned flag beacon. The IR system to count the laps was mounted right next to our receiver and the beacon was blasting the system. We cut power to the beacon and it worked fine. So we moved the receiver and shielded it and that seems to work fine. Thanks to 1676 for the button we formed into a beacon shield.

As for game play- picture driving at rush hour when you are in a hurry to get home. Everybody- arm or no arm- needs the walls to corner the ball. And there is fair arm to arm contact.

Everybody is velcroing their control systems to the operator station because runaway robots in autonomous are smashing the far walls and tossing the controls off the shelf.

Overall the game is not as wonderful as I would have hoped.


Thanks for the info! We are used to a sagging overpass, since I made our test one out of too small of pipe…I guess our pool noodle ball knocker offer idea wasn’t so flakey after all. And we have our IR receiver mounted low on the robot, but it might need some shielding.

What kind of shielding could you use for an IR sensor? Would plastic stop signals, or would you have to use sheet metal?

Do you have a TV? and a remote control? do some experiments!

(and let us know what you find)

Hmm, well, it’s one person’s opinion so far. But thanks for the detailed update. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like it’s a pretty hectic free-for-all.

I don’t have an answer to your question, but if you want to test a material to see if IR light passes through it, take a newer video camera with nightshot and look at your remote while sending signals. Put a material you want to test between the camera and the remote annd then see if you can still see the pulses.

I very strongly recommend that everyone pay attention to this. Wildstang’s control board went flying today after an exceptionally fast robot hit their driver station in hybrid mode. I know they won’t be the last to experience this.

In sports people want excitement and want to see lots of scoring.
I think that’s what made it so exciting to watch the dominating robots in 2006. This game is much different.
After watching video footage today, it looked like someone played a VCR tape and kept it on slow motion (with the exception of speedy bots)
As predicted, grabbing/grasping the ball is tough and doing it with great efficiency is just as important as scoring efficiently, if your a hurdler.
Easy for me to watch it on video,…must be something else for the student controllers trying to play the game.

Holy moly! I hate to see what that bot looked like afterwards. Hope it didnt have a manipulator sticking out and bumpers in the front!:ahh:

Hmm… we used to clamp our control boards to the shelf to avoid that problem. We haven’t done it in a few years, but it sounds like it is time to break out the clamps again… Thanks for the info!

Another option is if you have a camera phone or really cheap digital camera you will be able to see IR pulses through it.

Wildstang left the field between the two rounds of the practice match. In the second round, the same robot hit the same spot again, this time so hard that one of their side bumpers snapped off. It’s crazy out there.

Before we shipped our robot, we added a layer of Lexan on the robot. It was also in front of the IR board. It worked fine, so I don’t think Lexan affects an IR signal that much.

I agree. We made a lexan case for our IR receiver and no problems receiving signal.

ok now i am worried. i am a week two regional, and have some concerns. first off he have fiberglass grippers that go around the outside of the ball and i am concerned about them snapping off since people say that there is a lot of arm to arm contact. also during testing at home, we forgot to pick the wheels up off the ground when loading the program, and it shot forward (while still tethered) and we ended up herding a table! has anybody broken their arms yet…
like i said we are using fiberglass grippers that i molded, which are only 2 or 3 layers thick, with a plywood rib on the back…
does anybody think there will be a problem?

Ever since our joystick snapped during the autonomous of the Pittsburgh semi-finals two years ago, 1629 has used a very heavy control panel with rubber pieces on the bottom. I think that adding the extra velcro will help.

It would be helpful for teams to know the answer to this really big question, Wayne…which side of the velcro is facing up on the control station -fuzzy or loops?..and thanks for the tip regarding ir receiver positioning! Good luck on the track everybody.

I knew it was in there somewhere…

"6.4.2 Player Stations

Attached to the Alliance Station Wall are three aluminum shelves to support the robot control systems of the three teams on the ALLIANCE. The support shelf measures approximately 60 inches wide by 12 inches deep. There is a 4-1/2-foot long by two-inch wide strip of Velcro tape **(“loop” side) **along the center of the support shelf that may be used to secure the ROBOT controls and Operator Interface. Each setup location includes a competition cable that attaches to the “Competition Port” of the Operator Interface. This cable provides power for the team’s Operator Interface and controls communications with the ROBOT. Emergency Stop (E-Stop) buttons for each team are located on the left end of each Player Station shelf. Arena components (including team number displays, competition arena hardware, alliance lights, control hardware cabinets and clock displays) are also located above the Player Station and below the shelf"

You need the hooks on your Operator Console, to grab onto the loops on the strip on the shelf.