FRC 6762 Open Alliance 2022 Build Thread

The Oscats are excited that the Open Alliance is open to all teams, and we thank those who posted in previous years. We hail from Hillsboro, NH. Our motto is everyone is welcome, and everyone has something to offer, and we truly are stronger for it. We are excited to join the Open Alliance this year as most of what we know about building robots, we learned from veteran teams, mentors who ran with FIRST in the “good ol’ days”, message boards, and at events. We are excited to be able to give back.

We currently have about 7 members, and our dedicated space is a closet in our cafeteria. We have some incredibly generous sponsors who have provided us funding to help make and buy a mobile pit setup. We hope to share how we are trying to make things work with limited resources (and learn how to do so in the process:).

A big portion of the off-season, we spent trying to make use of our space. We build and practice in the Cafeteria and classrooms. Everything must be stowed each night. We have traditionally been a Python team, but we saw the extended off-season due to COVID as an excellent opportunity to learn Java. We are currently planning on using Java this upcoming season.

During the off-season, we began creating mobile solutions for all of our building needs so we can make the most of our build season. We have a few more things to finish but are excited about the progress we made.

Our goal is to create a competitive robot this season. We will get more specific when we see what the game has to bring.

We will post our updates weekly in this thread and on our blog.

Thank you everyone for all the knowledge you have lent us. We hope to give a bit back this season and as we go forward.

Wishing you all an incredible season.
~Oscats

We worked on quite a few goals in December.

Organization

We wanted to create one downsized super-pit that would be small enough to bring to an event and fit in our closet, but big enough to leave robots and parts on mid- assembly

We also wanted to create organizational structures for our closet.

Programming

-Get the benchtop test working with the roborio 2 -Get the new Rev control system working if there is time -Get Ps4 controllers working.

Here is where we ended up…

We would have finished all of our projects (are you ever finished organizing)? but we had a snow day today, and our last pre-season meeting was cancelled. However, we are extremely close, and will finish while discussing strategy and goals tomorrow.

Week 1: It Begins

Jan 15, 2022 • Oscat Students and Mentors

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We tuned into the livestream together. Then, we got to work. There were some pre-season projects we still had to finish up.

After watching the kickoff, we came to the following conclusions for our objectives/ priorities for the game this season.

  • Defense will be huge
  • Climbing is valuable and a wonderful challenge that we feel ready for
  • Scoring in auto will be paramount too

Priorities

  1. We will begin with our drivetrain and electrics (Tank drive using the kitbot)
  2. Then move to our climber (beginning with a simple climber and then moving rungs as a stretch goal)
  3. Once we have a solid simple climber, we will add the intake v shooter

We used Monday.com to lay out our needs and plan. Our first goal was to have a working benchtop test and drivebase by the end of our meeting January 14th. We also want a simple reliable climber and functional prototype of our intake and delivery system by January 21st

Then, we began… We split our efforts and accomplished a lot.

1/11/21

We continued to work on our first step goals…

  1. Finish necesssary pre-season projects
  2. Get the kitbot drivetrain built and moving
  3. Get the motors running (benchtop test)
  4. Get driving as soon as possible to prepare for defense

We continued making incredible progress

  • One of our more haphazardous shelves broke, but we fixed it
  • The simulator is running :slight_smile:
  • Electrics/ Programming got the motors running :slight_smile: How Moving!!!
  • The entire team discusses in detail how the robot should enter carcinization to gain a defensive advantage.
  • We begin shoreing up our cart: We need to move in and out of our space each night. This cart and the benches give us more mobility.
  • The art department is creating some exceptional imagery for our shirts and banners this year
  • Sometimes, we need to bring out our inner mechanics (Mentor note: This was safer than it looks. The bench was sturdy, and there was little danger that anything would topple.)

Excellent wiring job. We found Ferrules were necessary for the 18 guage silicone wire we are using with the new PDH. It could easily create an arc between the two poles without them. This is only on the low-current circuits. The main circuits are incredible.

A Few Setbacks; And Even More Successes

1/17/2022

  • We made some more progress on our drivetrain.


    Until…

  • Found a critical flaw and reassembled the entire drivetrain (twice)
    We realized that our drivetrain was backwards and flipped.

  • The gearboxes were upside down. See how the triangular piece (circled in red) is facing up? This is consistent, so we could actually just flip the robot over, but then the ends of the chassis woulb be inverte. In that event, we would lose valuable fastening positions.

  • We also noticed that the screen left inside rail (see yellow circle) is turned wrong.
    We dertermined that it was best to fix these issues before we got too far in our construction.
    So, we began doing just that.


1/20-22/22

  • Restocked our food bin thanks to gracious donations from members’ parents

  • Got all the wheels on our drivetrain

  • Performed reverse brain surgery on the robot

  • Had some issues getting the firmware set with the Falcons. Once we got them updated, we worked to ensure that each motor was going in the correct direction before creating a Drivetrain() object.

  • Used AutonomousPeriodic() to set each motor individually asking it to drive in the direction we thought was forward, then we used WPI_TalonFX.setINverted() to attempt to get them driving in the correct direction (and definitely the same as one another.

  • The left side MotorControllerGroup() is still driving backwards, so currently, our robot drives, but with only one motor on the left side. That is our #1 Priority for next meeting.

  • This was an incredible opportunity for some members to learn more about Java programming.

  • Created a new avatar to match our logo!

  • Conintued making a bit of progress on our climber.

  • There was a bit of oversight in the purchase of our climbing mechanisms. We bought the 2 stage Climber in a box and determined that we will not use the second stage at the moment.

  • The Max height while in the hangar is only going to be six inches than the climber’s 1 stage max height, so we needed to cut down our 2 inch standoffs. In order to do this small cut safely, we got our new bandsaw – Courtesy of Donors’s Choose, FIRST, and Disiney– operational.

  • We purchased a specific-for metal- blade, but it was too wide, so, as a result, a few of us really know the ins and outs of changing bandsaw blades on a WEN bandsaw now.

  • Began coming up with next steps for our strategy design as well. We are most interested in climbing and defense, As such, we are going to complete a basic climber and then begin testing designs to make it to the high and traversal rungs.

  • Our favorite designs at the moment are similar to the design from @Maxwellfire

Here is the Gif they made. We apologize if reposting is in bad taste. If it is, please let us know, and we will take it down.

  • We also have a trolley idea that we are tossing around.