Eagle Robotics 5417 - 2022 Build Thread

Welcome to 5417’s first build thread! We are joining the #openalliance. We have been running for 7 years out of Allen High School, first at the main campus and recently in the last few years, we moved to the Steam Center.

We will be competing at Week 1 Waco and Week 4 Irving, hope to see y’all there!

Unfortunately we had run into a bit of issue in updating our build thread for our first two weeks so we will be running a quick rundown of events that occurred our first two weeks.

Week of Kickoff (Week 1)
This week we started off the season with our tools training for newcomers and safety training. Our build team is then split off into various groups to create prototypes and develop ideas that was thought up. We approach prototyping by looking for two things out of each concept, the magic numbers, and the proof of concept. Every prototype has a purpose, we prototype only to prove that such idea is possible and can be converted to an actual mechanism. As well as to obtain to magic numbers for creation of a mock up/semi realistic mechanism.


Intestine is the wording we uses for the part from the point where the ball exits the intake into the robot to the point where it exits into the shooter. The reason we combined the two mechanisms this year is because we realized that it was much easier to incorporate and have been arrangement for robot real estate (arranging for which mechanism gets which part of the robot) if the intake and intestine is streamlined into a single sub team and have better discussions with one another.
As soon as our game discussion was over, we brought out the handy dandy swerve everybot that we build during the offseason last year and modified the intake to fit the balls this year. This was done to test for the magic numbers of what height and width outside the bumper is the first contact point best at, and what compression value works the best when intaking.
We came to the conclusion that an 1.5"-2" compression works extremely well in intaking.
The material that we used in the gif above was simply pool noodle cut open and warped around a 1" tubing. This allowed us to wrap various materials around it such as different types of tape and other friction wrappings. Our finding was that this season’s ball was not picky on what type of material to intake with.


We first listed out what we want on our shooter and what choices that we have to make.

  • Adjustable vs Non-adjustable hood
  • Turret vs aiming by turning

These choices were left up to discussion and nothing much were really decided for the whole of week 1, we mainly prototyped various shooters and looked at advantages of one versus the other in both practical situations and theoretical situations.
Due to this year’s game being a vertical goal, we had a interesting idea of implementing a double wheel shooter that’s flat facing straight up with two wheels facing opposite of each other. We can then change the trajectory of the ball path by having one wheel spin faster than the other, thus creating a curve towards the slower wheel. While this was a interesting concept to play with in theory, we soon discovered that in practice, it was simply to little change in the angle to affect the trajectory enough to be useful.
We also messed around with a standard non-adjustable hood and found that it is as reliable as always.


After thriving the last two year off our climber (the mechanism that outlived everything else), we were pretty confident with our climbing game. So as soon as we started, we aimed for that sweet 15 points traversal climb.
The first week was mainly theoretical discussions involved with many white boards and expos, we took huge inspiration from 3572 from their 2013 climb since it was extremely similar to our old climb and we didn’t have to change much from it. But after doing some math and theoretical situations and looking at past climbs, we realized that we could make the whole process faster by having box tube like arms like ttb climber instead instead of pull up like arms and also ensure that we never reach outside of the horizontal 16" limit from the bumper.
FRC 3572 30 point climber - YouTube


Drivetrain, the one topic that will never have clear answers.
The first question in discussion for us was the topic of discussion for the past 3 years. Swerve or west coast drive(wcd). We felt that this year was one of the years where you can argue that swerve might be really oppressive, that alongside the fact that we were able to run a custom design swerve bot during last off season, it was looking more and more like a swerve season. But we after much discussions, we resorted back to wcd because of the a few reasons:

  1. we never ran a COT swerve prior to the season and only ran a custom swerve designed by one of the design leads
  2. we felt that we had perfected the wcd drivetrains to a level where it is extremely competitive with a really well practice driver.
  3. To add on to 2, we are also planning on making a practice bot this year to play one on one defense with the competition bot, so running swerve might cut too much dent in our budget that we can’t go forward with this plan.

The second question was gearbox, after years of running cims, we had successfully swapped over the neos and quickly decided on a 6 neo drivetrain. We then thought about the theoretical speeds that we would like to reach in our drivetrain, last year we ran a 12 fps gearbox and it worked extremely well with its ability to push robots and traveling quickly around town. We felt that we might want to be a little bit faster this year in terms of acceleration to improve our cycle time, we settled for a theoretical speed of around 15-17 fps. With 3 neos on each side, this drivetrain will be the fastest and most pushing power will have ever had.

Week 2
This week we started wrapping up prototyping various ideas and started thinning down to 1 or 2 ideas for each mechanism. This way we can jump into week 3 finalizing plans and proceed with integration and final designs. This will ensure that we are on schedule to deliver a “final” cad on 12:00 PM 1/30/2022


This week we had many extremely successful prototypes, we first tested one of our favorite intake material, the Entrapption star! This was used first in our 2019 robot for the intake of the cargo and it was really fun for us to mess around with.
We then tested out the regular materials such as the compliant wheels.
We settled on the Entrapption star but did not have enough to create a final prototype for us to incorporate so that we can test the flow of the balls into the intestine. So we settled with the compliant wheels for now.
Next we moved onto the intestine. After reading through many build threads regarding singulation of the balls, we concluded that we want to have constant contact of the balls at any point and we don’t need to worry much about singulation jams that would often occur in infinite recharge as the balls are much less compressible. We tested out having rollers spaced apart with small omni wheels on them as our constant active contact to the balls forcing them into our hopper and it worked extremely well.


There was not much going on in the shooter team in terms of practical testing but we were able to get many of the questions that were left unanswered in week 1 solved through a lot of theoretical debates.

  • Adjustable hood vs Non-adjustable hood
    After looking at Cavbot 7492’s update on their field and shooter testing, they have found out that balls shooting from far bounces out extremely easily. We concluded that any shots farther than from the safe zone is invaluable for us to attempt as it will result in frequent bounce outs, so the incentive for running adjustable hood became a lot less. Another topic that came in discussion is the impact angle, if we ran an adjustable hood, we shoot at different distance from the goal by changing the arc, so if we shoot from medium range using the adjustable hood, our intake angle will be much more perpendicular to the faces of the cone of the upper goal. While on the other hand, if we have a non-adjustable hood, this allow us to have more practice time rather than perfecting a adjustable hood, and it will also less the angle of impact and in theory will stay in more often.
    *Turret vs aiming by turning
    Last year, we aimed by turning the entire robot and it did make us a lot easier to defend against as a slight tap would disrupt our shooter by a lot, so this year, we felt that a turret would definitely be desirable even if it might take practice time off our hands.

We were able to develop a prototype of the climber designed, it was partially completed today but I was unable to get pictures. We will be testing the prototype next week so I’ll just create a separate update for climbers next Tuesday when the testing data is out.


One thing that was left undiscussed last week was the topic of frame perimeter, which ended up being a huge discussion. We realized that we want to create a robot that’s small so that we will be able to slither our ways our of defense and won’t take up an extreme amount of space when we are climbing, but we always want a decently long robot so that we don’t exceed the 16" inch horizontal extension rule when we climb. So we waited until pretty much every other mechanism was thinned down to a single idea and created our drive train base off the needs of everyone else while maintaining the smallest perimeter possible. We wished to have the possibility to intake in two balls at once so the width has to be at least 20 inches, and due to our intestine design and climber tilt, we settled for the dimension of 25"x30" for the robot dimension.


Intestine is a weird name for a component :thinking:

Our 2020/21 robot has an esophagus. :man_shrugging:

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Time for Week 3!

we’re ending our week 3 short as our team will be handling a FLL and FTC event this Saturday, so here’s our rundown of this weeks progress! This week was a much quieter week as were only able to hold 1 full length meeting and 1 half length meeting due to our obligation with making props for our school play and hosting events. However we still made tremendous strides in mainly intake/intestine and shooter prototyping. We’re projected to have our integrated robot cad to be done by this weekend as the cad currently is just various mechanisms having their prototypes and non integrated cad.


After finalizing the protoype for the singulation hopper last week, we had a idea regarding turn the singulation hopper vertically so that balls intaked will directly be fed upwards into the shooter without delay.
The testing of the vertical singulation with balls going in one by one came out with great results, however we did run into trouble intaking balls at the exact same time through this specific singulation prototype.
After much debates about the advantages versus the disadvantages of having this type of singulation method, we came to the conclusion that we should still run with a vertical singulation because of the fact that there only is 11 balls on the field so the chance of two balls sitting next to each other is extremely low and even lower when defense styles such as hitting piles of opponent balls comes into play. The vertical singulation allows us to be much lighter in our design and have a faster transport time(not by much but we are pretty much min-maxing here if anyone is familiar with that theory/discussion). If there are two balls that end up sitting next two each other, we would just have to tilt the intake by a little bit and the balls would singulate properly as well, so it is not like having vertical singulation will completely prevent us from intaking in two balls.


After testing using a simple prototype, trying to figure out backspins, compressions, and angles needed, this week we created what we call a final prototype, which would be a final proof of concept before we begin the production of the real mechanism, this is helpful in tuning the mechanisms and allow for kinks to tested out before we go into production.
Here is the “final prototype” for the shooter subteam, on the prototype, we tested out both belts and chains. We tested with the wooden dowel hood as we had discussed that a non-full plate hood this year might be more consistent compared to a single metal sheet hood or a polycarb hood as the balls this year aren’t exactly round and the gaps between dowels might allow for more consistent compression. It is at the 20 degree exit angle from the horizontal and we are planning on adding another 35 degree exit angle after our first competition.

We did not have much videos of the shooter testing as most of our testing were done outside of the meetings by people who had robotics classes which allowed them to work on FRC. But we came to the conclusion that dowel hood was able to allow for much consistent shots as our all three of our balls shot at the same arc and landing spot despite one of them being not completely circular.



The prototype is now fully equip with rotational and linear motion!
We are still missing the stationary hook before we are able to traverse bars but we can now climb bars and rotate our climber to angle it at the next level.


Unfortunately, we didn’t make much progress on the actual drivetrain design, however, this is hopefully to be changed by the end of this week and beginning of next week. We did however, come to a conclusion regarding the gearbox we will be running this year. We will be running 2 3 neo wcp ss gearbox using a 7.69:1 ratio. This will give us a 16.21fps simulated speed and 20.01 fps free-speed.


Half way to Comp!

Today marks the halfway point from kickoff to our first comp!!! (I myself is not looking forward to the next few weeks) We are almost done finalizing the robot CAD and have started production and assembly on the major mechanisms. The schedule is to hopefully finish assembly by next Thursday and transfer robot to programming. Here’s a quick run through of all the mechanisms for this week.


We have finalized all of the decisions, including using entropion stars as intake material, vertical integration, and 4 bar intake. The CAD is currently being developed and is close to being finished.

Manufacturing is completed and we are currently on assembly of the parts, other than waiting on drivetrain to be finished welded, we are close to done on this mechanism!


After a bit of discussion, we changed a lot on the shooter and its respective turret. First was the dimensions, we realized that placing the motor at the back of the shooter and placing the limelight on the front caused us to be extremely long (~18 inches), so we did a little of squeezing and manage to fit the motor and limelight.

Manufacturing was started this Saturday, we have made all of the parts but are waiting on a few 3D prints to be done. Assembly will be pretty much done on Monday or Tuesday and we will see a finalized shooter irl!


We have mostly finished up the CAD, just waiting on finalization of all the integration and we will copy it to the other side.

We are currently waiting on metal stocks, and gearboxes from assembling. A few of the metal plates will be out of our production reach so they will be send to sendcutsend for production.
The only thing left is just piston mounting!


Unfortunately no production progress was made on drivetrain due to the lack of time of our welders and also snow day delaying 2 meetings for some, however…

We were originally planning on continuing with the regular 4 1" omni and 2 1" colsons that we have been using for the past few years, but a discussion has came up that resulted in us changing our wheels to 1 set of 1" omni wheels, 1 set of 2" colsons in the middle and 1 set of 1" colsons under the shooter/intake side of the robot.

  1. During Texas Cup, we played a lot of defense with our second bot and realizing that it was really easy to defend against a 4 omni robot, as the only thing needed to redirect other robots shots is to apply a little light tap onto either the front of the back side.
  2. By having this set up, it will allow us to have the rotation be pretty much center of the shooter.
  3. Other than either having pneumatics wheels, 6 colsons, or have 8 wheels, this is prolly the wheel config that will be the hardest to be defended.

Countdown: 28 Work Hours Till Comp

We had quite an interesting week… The week started off smoothly as we completed our integrated cad

However, everything went down hill after that, we made a decision to shrink the drivetrain last minute as it did not fit our requirement of width of 21-23 inches that we set at the beginning of the season, but this was poorly communicated as we welded a frame that was the old sizing. We had a discussion of what can be done to minimize the damage and we concluded to proceed with the already welded together frame as a test base to ensure that there aren’t any integration problems by mounting everything on it first, then transfer over to the correct frame. Now, systems updates!


We constructed our intake design and were able to test it out, however… we did not account for how much we had to move our while superstructure that the intestine/shooter and intake mounts on and had to redesign the whole intake in terms of lengths extending outwards. Here’s a video of it working properly.
However, to solve a problem is simply to create new problems…

Our intake now goes on top of the shooter when retracted…
So, we figured that since these contact points were working for us, we quickly drawn down the measurements to ensure that the next revision will work, even if the mode of retraction and extension is different.

After we are sure our systems work, we will recreate it in polycarbonate and transport it onto our competition frame.
Short update on intestine:
we have virtually completed intestine assembly, one intestine change we made on the fly was adding a second motor so that the front two bars next to the intake and the back two bars next to the shooter are controlled separately, this will allow us to have a much better controlled storage and a kicker for the balls.


Shooter and Intestine subsystem was able to be completed this weekend. Other than a few swap outs and protection placements, they are both virtually competition ready. Turret is working as expected and we are waiting for the full integration to test out this revision of the shooter, however, it should work as we expected it to as we have already tested previous revisions. ezgif-2-309a03cb80


We have finalized the climber design and send all of our parts to sendcutsend, they are estimated to be here Tuesday, in the mean time, we have started assembly of various other parts

one set of climber parts are completed and the second set is close to being done, we are looking to be finish in terms of climber assembly late next Tuesday.


I’m going to be skipping drivetrain as a subsystem this week as I explained most of it during the introduction, we have finished the cutouts for the comp frame and will be clamping it together for Tuesday to ensure everything fits, then welding late Tuesday, every other preparation for drivetrain is completed. We have started mounting our pneumatics systems and electronics systems onto our superstructure as it would be easy to transfer over to the comp base when ready.

The belly pan show would be where we place our new PDH with more support on the bottom and covering on top, our pneumatics tank and manifold is placed below the belly pan.

We were able to get an extreme amount of work done this week as we had a 10-10 meeting this Saturday, however, integration problems are always unexpected, so we will be falling behind schedule, hopefully we can speed up our process this up coming week and present a competition ready robot by Thursday.


Countdown: 14 Work Hours Til Comp

This week had a huge amount of progress, only thing left to do on the comp bot is to rewire cam and do a little of wiring management. Hoping to get robot 100% completed on Tuesday and have robot functional for drivers on Saturday for a 6 hour driver practice before we go off the comp. Here’s the systems update for this week.


After seeing that our old intake would not integrate well with the current version of the robot, we scratched that design and quickly transitioned into making something that would fit better.
This revision of intake took all the magic numbers from the old intake but switched up how it’s folded inwards. After ensuring that the design worked using laser cut masonite, we swapped over to polycarbonate version.
Due to how many overlapping occurs on the intake structure, we couldn’t figure out a good way to mount the motor parallel to the rollers, so we had to buy a 90 degree gearbox and still waiting on the delivery of that item before intake is technically fully functional.
While waiting for the delivery of the 90 degree gearbox, we also begin to start making backup parts for the intake for our week 1 comp when it does break.


So, during the week, the whole superstructure(intestine, intake, shooter) was being worked on in not really a secure manner, which resulted in it falling off the table and our limelight holder breaking in half. This allowed us to see exactly where the weak point is and what part is the first to go at competition. We also realized that the bottom of the tall structure was a lot more sturdy than we thought and we started printing backups for the turret just in case of such event happening again, hopefully we will be able to make a whole other turret and just quickly swap during competition when needed.


Our parts from both SendCutSend and mcmaster-carr came this Thursday, we have finish assembly of the stable hook and is really close to finish the assembly of the actual climber structure.


we got the frame size finalized and managed to weld it and paint it black this week.

All drivetrain components are completed and is technically ready for comp expect wiring.


We have begin producing final wiring, including the beam break that we use and also creating an umbilical cord for our turret wiring. Lastly we have finished configuring the cam mapping for the robot and hopefully will be able to be much more organized this year in terms of cam.

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