FRC 2062 Open Alliance Build Thread

Welcome to CORE 2062’s build thread! We’re a bit late to the game, but are excited to join the Open Alliance!

Over half our team is made up of rookies, so this year we are looking at more of a rebuilding year, aiming to gain valuable experience, as most of our team members have never been to a competition. We aim to be solidly in the top 15 teams at all our regionals this year. Currently we are on waitlist at the Northern Lights Regional in week one, and are confirmed for competing at Midwest and Wisconsin during weeks four and six respectively.

If you want to look at our CAD library and programming library you can look here and here. Also here’s a cool Behind the Bumpers interview for our 2020 robot at the Lakeshore FRC Scrimmage Qualifier 3 event.

This season we determined as a team that our biggest priority was to have a floor intake feeling that teams without one would be at a massive disadvantage. We agreed that a beater bar was the best idea. Here is a video of our beater bar prototype.

The prototype worked pretty well, in fact it was based off of our 2012 intake. It seems to work at varying heights and regardless of whether balls come in near the edges or in the middle. We agreed as a team that we’d use an intake similar to this design.

Next we felt that shooting was the most important thing to do. We felt that while scoring in the high goal was important with this being a game favorable for defense, a robot needed to be able to score on both levels to not be easily shut off by defense. We had 5 different shooter prototypes: a catapult, an adjustable hooded shooter (the baby carriage), a parallel shooter, a four directional wheel shooter (the lobber), and a dumper.

The catapult was a bit disappointing. The prototype group responsible for making it, stated the reason for the low height of the ball was due to geometry. They felt that the catapult could go higher if they changed the angles of the pneumatic cylinders used to actuate it. We as a team decided that even if that was true, the catapult didn’t seem as reliable as the other three shooters that could shoot in the upper hub, and also wasn’t as adjustable as those shooters. Here is a video of our catapult prototype.

The adjustable hooded shooter’s success was nice due to it being a prototype group consisting solely of rookies. If they adjusted the hood, the ball’s trajectory would change, suggesting with the design we could shoot in the lower or upper hubs. The maximum height of the hood though wasn’t as high as the four directional wheel shooter or the parallel shooter. Here is a video of our adjustable hooded shooter prototype.

The parallel shooter was a pretty simple design, as its a common shooter in most shooting games. It’s common though for a reason as it worked really well in our testing, and led to it being chosen by our team as the shooting mechanism we were going to use. By changing either motor speed or the angle of the shooter, we thought we could change ball trajectory and shoot in both hubs. Here is a video of our parallel shooter.

The four directional wheel shooter was a mystery to how it would perform, as its the only design that we came up with completely from scratch. The team was half split on it working great and the balls constantly getting stuck in it. The former group was right as it worked great, in fact it could also shoot in the low goal, if only 2 wheels spun, making it the most adjustable of the shooters. Ultimately, we felt that with this year being a rebuilding season that the originality of the design might make it too difficult to complete if we were to get off waitlist for the Northern Lights regional, so we decided in favor of the parallel shooter. Also, the motors for this design were pretty scary. Here is a video of it.

Our last shooter designer wasn’t really a shooter. The dump was just a simple ramp that we figured we could use if we wanted to be a defense bot that could also score a little bit. We chose not to do the ramp because well we wanted to have a shooter. The ramp though is something still in the back of our minds that we’ll use if there’s some problems with making the parallel shooter. Here is the glorious dumper.

Finally we viewed the endgame and climbing as the least important, figuring that in the worst case we could always find a team good at climbing. We still consider being able to get to the medium rung a necessity for any team hoping to be picked. High rung is also something that we feel is easily doable, but decided not to go for the traversal rung, feeling the risk if we mess up was too high. We prototyped both a telescoping arm, and a claw grasping mechanism.

The telescoping arm prototype intrigued us as it offers a nice safe way to climb to the higher rung, albeit it is a bit slow, so we might prototype more to find a faster mechanism. Here is our telescoping arm prototype.

The claw design, we think, can allow our robot to firmly grasp onto the middle rung, making it easy to climb to the high rung. We think that we could get even more stability if we make our claws into a design similar to fingers lacing together. Here is a video of our claw prototype.

We’ve also decided on using a drop-center tank drive train. We’ll be looking to post some of our cad designs as we get them finished. Hoping to start building our drive train tomorrow.

Some more strategy analysis we had was that we felt that a winning World’s alliance would have only 2 teams that shot, and 1 defense bot with both teams aiming for the upper hub. We don’t believe a team that can’t shoot higher hub will advance far at World’s, but we do think teams that can make lower hub 100% of the time will do great at regionals.

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