Fingers and Robot Controller

Posted by Dave… at 1/31/2001 3:13 AM EST

Engineer on team #5, Robocards, from Melvindale, MI and AFL (Alcoa Fujikura Ltd).

Last year, I felt a little uneasy about placing my fingers inside our robot in order to press the Robot Reset button, either upon downloading new code, or out on the playing field before a match.

Frequently, I also noticed FIRST officials and/or referees have to come over to a team’s robot, find the RC and figure out how to press the button on the “buried” control unit on a robot that they were unfamiliar with.

While I realize Innovation FIRST designed the unit so that the RC would respond to new code until the reset button was pressed (to avoid unexpected movement of the robot), isn’t having to place a finger inside the robot even riskier?? (especially with the pneumatics)

A wire soldered to the RC with a small switch located outside of harm’s way seems ideal, but I don’t know if it would be allowed.

I have already asked FIRST, but was wondering about thoughts of my distinguished colleagues.

Comments?

Posted by Joe Ross at 1/31/2001 3:33 AM EST

Engineer on team #330, Beach Bot, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA/JPL , J&F Machine, and Raytheon.

In Reply to: Fingers and Robot Controller
Posted by Dave… on 1/31/2001 3:13 AM EST:

: Last year, I felt a little uneasy about placing my fingers inside our robot in order to press the Robot Reset button, either upon downloading new code, or out on the playing field before a match.

If you changed the program then all you have to do is press the ROBOT RESET button on the Operator interface. This will reset the program.

: While I realize Innovation FIRST designed the unit so that the RC would respond to new code until the reset button was pressed (to avoid unexpected movement of the robot), isn’t having to place a finger inside the robot even riskier?? (especially with the pneumatics)

The only time that pressing the reset button should be risky is when you are trying out a new program. Pressing the reset button in order for the robot to change channels should not cause any harm to anyone, IMHO.

: A wire soldered to the RC with a small switch located outside of harm’s way seems ideal, but I don’t know if it would be allowed.

It is illegal. You can’t modify the robot controller and in order to add that switch, you would either need to remove the existing switch or disasemble the robot controller, both of which are not allowed.

It would be nice to be able to use a switch anywhere on the robot to reset the controller, but I think it is hardly necessary. Another way to look at it, I would think that it would be harder for the referees to find your custom switch than to locate the robot controller.

Posted by JVN at 1/31/2001 3:28 PM EST

Student on team #250, Dynamos - Capital District Robotics Team, from Shenendehowa High School and General Electric and Verizon.

In Reply to: use operator interface button for programming changes
Posted by Joe Ross on 1/31/2001 3:33 AM EST:

The danger exists whenever you reach inside a
robot…one of the first rules we
teach our rookies is to NEVER EVER touch the
controls when the driving instructor (me) is
inside the robot…

Even then accidents happen…

About 2 days ago, one of our potential drivers,
accidently trimmed the wrong joystick
I got 3 fingers sucked in between
the drive wheel and the timing belt track…
it hurt

it still hurts…

Always be careful…

~John #250

Posted by Chris Orimoto at 1/31/2001 3:33 AM EST

Student on team #368, Kika Mana, from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames/Hawaiian Electric/Weinberg Foundation.

In Reply to: Fingers and Robot Controller
Posted by Dave… on 1/31/2001 3:13 AM EST:

Personally, I wouldn’t want to modify the Robot Controller in any way, unless absolutely necessary. But then again, there’s a lot of things I wouldn’t want to do. Last year, we placed our RC in an easily accessible place and covered it (along with other electronics) with a removable, plexiglass plate. I’m not sure if that helps much…just my thoughts.

Chris, #368

Posted by Nate Smith at 1/31/2001 9:11 PM EST

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

In Reply to: Fingers and Robot Controller
Posted by Dave… on 1/31/2001 3:13 AM EST:

: Last year, I felt a little uneasy about placing my fingers inside our robot in order to press the Robot Reset button, either upon downloading new code, or out on the playing field before a match.

: Frequently, I also noticed FIRST officials and/or referees have to come over to a team’s robot, find the RC and figure out how to press the button on the “buried” control unit on a robot that they were unfamiliar with.

: While I realize Innovation FIRST designed the unit so that the RC would respond to new code until the reset button was pressed (to avoid unexpected movement of the robot), isn’t having to place a finger inside the robot even riskier?? (especially with the pneumatics)

: A wire soldered to the RC with a small switch located outside of harm’s way seems ideal, but I don’t know if it would be allowed.

: I have already asked FIRST, but was wondering about thoughts of my distinguished colleagues.

: Comments?