First Year Team's Drive Train Done!!

Team 4547 Westy Tek would like to present a link to a video that represents a moving robot in its First FIRST year:

Congrats to all of the students who made it happen so far!!

Make sure you test it on carpet with weights. A tank drive with those traction wheels behaves very different than on concrete floors. Good luck.

Yes we are aware of that. Just dont really have carpet space to run it on. Just a preliminary run too. Thank you for your input and Great job to all of the students on their hardwork!!!

Nice! Im sure you are WAY ahead of many rookie teams.

First time driving a robot is always fun. Congrats :smiley:

Pretty sure you guys are ahead of some veteran teams too…

Good job on getting a running chassis already! Just adding a single arm to dump discs in the low goal to that robot will put you ahead of about 80% of rookie robots and a chunk of veteran teams as well.

You can never be done too early for more testing and practice!

Let me just emphsize this for a second:

Practice, for you guys, will be something that can very easily set you apart from many other teams at competition.

Going for some complex system, as a rookie team, will probably not be the best course of action. As a rookie, every team lacks resources. Tools and parts. Both of these things put a damper on what you can create and how fast you can do it. At least for us its quite frustrating to want to prototype something and not have the parts to do so!

Anyway, (And this is just advice :slight_smile: ) evaluate your resources and capabilities honestly. Nothing good will come of you guys trying to focus on doing everything in this game at the top notch level. Something that alot of rookies miss is that being a defense bot is ok!

If you were a robot last year that could stop the opposing alliance’s inbounder from getting balls to the opposing alliance’s half of the field, you would have been a pretty solid 3rd pick for many alliances. Add the ability to balance on top of that (Which isnt that hard to add) and you have a fairly affective robot on your hands. All is very easy to make, just make your robot with a large wall on it and the ability to drive at a fair pace and boom! there you go!

What im getting to is that practice is SUPER important. Defense can be really affective, and it probably wont be that hard to block a lot of teams shots with a 60" tall robot, epically if you can drive really well! Even if the alliance has to turn one of their robots on you to play anti-defense, you just took one of their robot our of play to stop you. Even if you dont completely shut them down, you’re still stalling them. And points they dont score are the same as scoring the points offensively yourself (although some may think its less ‘glamorous’).

Does this mean you shouldnt attempt to build a shooter or a climber? No, not at all. Just strategize and have a backup plan if it doesnt work out, which will probably not be the case based on how quickly you guys have gotten yourselves together!

Its better to do one thing above average than a bunch of things poorly.

Just some stuff to think about IMHO. With a little strategy (and practice!), basic robots like I described above can still be very effective.

Good luck to your team in your season! Its a whole lotta’ fun :smiley:

Thank you everyone for their support and critiques as well as encouraging words. This is my 9th year as a FIRST member (mentor and student) and I can say that even though we are not fully done with the drive train, I can say that never stops to amaze me at home the students faces light up after seeing their robot run for the first time!! That’s why I love FIRST and will not stop doing it!!
Oh we will be practicing extensively come down the road. Have a few other things to worry about before that happens but getting their.

congrats. What is the size chassis that you guys chose?

I think the outer dimensions are 32"x25" i will have to get back to you on that.

Great job!!! You guys are up and running before the first week is out!!
That is agreat accomplishment!! We hope to see you in St. Louis!!

It is definitely a good idea to follow both these suggestions for real-world testing. A drivebase that can fly around the floor at 40-50 lbs can behave very differently at 120-150 lbs.

That being said, I did notice some definite rock in the video suggesting the center wheels are appropriately dropped. Based on this I suspect you won’t run into much of a problem turning.

It is fantastic that your team has expedited this build and gotten something running in under a week. It will really help to motivate the students and to give plenty of time for gameplay subsystems, integration, testing, and practice. In our rookie year we were still stuck at the whiteboard with nothing built in week 4, which made for a really hard push at the end and resulted in little more working than a drivebase going into the regional (in our defense, this was before the kitbot existed).

As others have said, aim to finish early and practice - even just a few focused days of practicing critical manuvers, and getting comfortable with what can be done in 2:15 will put you way ahead when you get to the competition.

I’ve noticed a STRONG correlation between how quickly a team builds its drive base and how well it does in competition (with some exceptions for powerhouse teams that do it “all at once”). Great job!

Now you will want to test it on actual carpet. It’s exciting to do it on linoleum, but in order to get an accurate picture of what your drive can do, get it on a carpet and add weight to it.

I hope not, those dimensions would not be a legal frame perimeter(322+252 = 114 > 112). I doubt that the kitbot (which I think you’re using) would be illegal size though so I’m sure you’re fine. Congrats on getting your FIRST ever robot up and running so early :).

Don’t be too sure… All of the C-channel in the Kitbot is 30" long, which makes a 32"x25" bot possible to build, although it is illegal.

My only gripe with the kitbot this year is the way the belts work with the size constraint. The belts are designed to work with a 6-wheel, 30" long robot… what if you want a shorter robot? We decreased our length, and now the belts don’t work with our 6 wheel design.

It seems to me that, when giving teams so much flexibility in the size/shape of their robot, they really shouldn’t limit us with belts. Now we have to wait on sprockets to arrive so we can go with custom length chain.

First off, he said 32" x 25", not 35" x 25". But that doesn’t invalidate your point, a 32"x25" frame has a 114" perimeter, 2" over the allowed 112" limit. But given that the kitbot rails are 30" long and 1" wide, 32" seems a very plausible length for the robot (30" + 1" on each end). Let’s hope they cut their center width down to 24" or less rather than 25"! :ahh:

Oops, my mistake, will edit my post.

Thank you and Im pretty sure the perimeter is 110 overall so 30"x23" is our dimensions and I understand the belts though. That aspect of it is very tough. I am use to the chains drive.