Thanks for your thoughts!
One of the hardest parts of this project was trying to draw the line between “Designing for the Field” and “Design for the Team”. While I 100% agree with you that this Robot isn’t perfect for the competition field (for a team of our capability), it is designed for what we wanted to get out of it.
This robot served several purposes:
- Be effective on the field,
- Teach us a lot if we build it,
- Teach us a lot, even if we don’t build it.
I talked about this a bit in our Design Philosophy section. Note that #2 and #3 can (and do) conflict at times, and we had to draw the line between them.
One of the things we realized early on is that designing a dead-simple robot, like an Everybot, WOULD be the best option for us in a competitive sense. But while an Everybot would give us an effective on-field robot, it wouldn’t teach us in the areas of weakness we noticed in our 2020 robot (and team).
That’s why we made some of the decisions we did. We spent several hours arguing whether we needed a turret. I personally didn’t think we should have one, but we decided to add a COTS one because we knew we could buy it and get it working in the (probably non-existent) 2021 season and learn a lot from it. We knew we did not have the knowledge to really design our own turret from scratch, but we felt that buying a COTS turret (+ limelight) would teach us a lot that we could use in 2022 and beyond.
Another thing was the steel tape climber. We actually originally went with a elevator-style climber, but scrapped it after realizing we knew less about the Steel Tape climber, and we also believed a Steel Tape climber could be more realistically made at home using 3D printers and other tools, if we didn’t have access to a shop.
Every mechanism was a trade-off between effective design, a useful learning experiment to design, and ability to realistically build it in 2021. Never could we do all three.
As for the CF and colors, those are just aesthetics. We wanted to expand our rendering and video abilities using Fusion360 and Blender, a niche we hope our team can become known for.
So in the end, if we wanted to design the “Perfect” robot, we could’ve just done a CAD remodel of 2056 or something. But we wanted to be realistic, look at what we could possibly build in 2021, and if nothing else, learn a lot during the design process (which we certainly did).
Here’s to hoping that we can build some of this robot this season!