Jersey Voltage 4587 Build Thread 2022-2023

Hey everybody! Hope you had a great holiday! Jersey Voltage is excited to continue being a part of the open alliance for the 2022-2023 Charged Up season. We were founded in 2013, and are a high-school based team in Jersey Village, Texas.

We are competing at TX Channelview and TX Clearlake. We will be posting at least once a week throughout the build season and look forward to an incredible and exciting season!

Social Media and Website:

Team Website: About – Jersey Voltage
Facebook: Redirecting...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JerseyVoltage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jerseyvoltage/

6 Likes

Hey everybody! Jersey Voltage had a great kickoff this past Saturday! We met for 6.5 hours, and discussed our strategy and goals for the season. Focusing on ways to create an amazing robot that can maximize ranking points whilst being a useful alliance

Robot Objectives:

Need:

  • Pick up cones from the floor, at any orientation
  • Score cones on the bottom and middle levels
  • Dock in auton
  • Dock and engage in teleop
  • Be able to navigate/drive over the charging station during a match at half speed
  • Score pre-loaded game piece

Want:

  • Pick up cubes from the floor
  • Score cubes on the bottom and middle levels
  • Dock and engage in auton
  • Be able to navigate/drive over the charging station during a match at full speed
  • Develop software to assist in scoring game pieces

Wish:

  • Score cubes and cones on the highest level
  • :sparkles:Yellow robot :sparkles:

We will begin prototyping over the course of this week, and will let you know how it goes!

2 Likes

We did a bunch of stuff over the past week! We went over safety rules for miter saws and band saws. After that, we began brainstorming and prototyping ways to intake a cone. We came up with multiple ideas, the best of which seems to be using complaint wheels to intake the cone. We also made a couple of other prototypes that attempted to intake the cones from the side, but they didn’t work out.

We have a couple other ideas for collecting game pieces - a one-way latch that easily opens to pick up the pieces from the ground, and (for cones specifically) a rod that goes into the cone from the bottom to pick it up. We are going to look at prototyping these other ideas over the week, as well as brainstorming and prototyping some ideas for arms and other mechanisms to lift game pieces to score them on the middle (and maybe upper) nodes.

2 Likes

Welp, here’s an update for yall: We have spent this week prototyping, for the most part. We did some further prototyping with compliant wheels, making a slightly sturdier prototype. Some of the prototypes still broke though. We also designed a first prototype of a claw/scissor mechanism.

We have also begun to make a charging station to began practicing balancing a previous year’s drivetrain, to get a feeling for how the charging station responds. We have started updating our code and transferring over those parts of the code that are still applicable from last year’s code (last year’s code: GitHub - JerseyVoltage4587/Jersey_Voltage_2022). The GitHub link for this year’s code will be out shortly, as soon as it is properly set up.

We have also decided on using a double-jointed arm to move the game pieces between the different levels on which we can score, which we are attempting to determine specific dimensions for through CAD modeling.

We came to the decision this week to use a rectangular orientation of the KOP drivetrain, as opposed to the square one, because the longer base will help the robot be more stable on the Charging Station, whereas the square drivetrain confers no real advantages.

2 Likes

Sorry that this post came out late. This past week has mostly been working on things mentioned in the previous post; We began constructing our drivetrain, we continued to build the charging station, and we worked on improving our claw prototype, although we haven’t been able to get any solid testing done with it yet. The code and CAD have also been worked on a little, and should be linked next week.

2 Likes

Last week was incredibly productive!

We have finished building the Charging Station, and are currently working on building the Cone Nodes. Besides that, we have also finished building our drivebase and should have it wired up this week, ready to test on the Charging Station. We have also finished the first iteration of our claw prototype, which should be committed to CAD this week.

This week we finished building the cone nodes and have also finished wiring up our drivetrain, which should be programmed this week. We also cut out lexan parts for a claw, but the team has decided, since then, that pursuing an everybot is a better use of our remaining time and resources. We have also started constructing our bumpers, which should be done within the week.

1 Like

My sincerest apologies for not posting last week! I forgot to past because the week before that one - and this past week, too - were both extremely hectic as we tried to finish our robot in time to test it out at 5414 Pearadox’s Open House. We didn’t get to test out our intake, but we managed to assemble and attach our superstructure, and do some driving around to see how the robot handled.

There were a couple of things I noticed that were interesting - one was that we could actually go over the Charging Station fairly quickly, and without any real risk of tipping, as long as we paused for a second at the end of the Charging Station, to allow the Charging Station to fall back down. Our robot also appeared somewhat tippy, but not too much, especially considering that we haven’t added weights to the bottom yet. This relative stability may be a result of the fact that we used the standard KOP chassis orientation, which has a slightly wider base than the base that was suggested for the everybot.

A huge shoutout to 5414 Pearadox for hosting their Open House - it was truly an incredibly helpful and amazing experience!

1 Like

We have spent the past couple of weeks building up our everybot. Things have been going fairly smoothly for the most part, and we have, at long last, finished building our robot.

The one problem we’ve run into is that our motor controllers (Talons) aren’t showing up on Phoenix Tuner, so we are unable to get their IDs to program them. Besides that, we simply need to tune our arm extension and height, and get some driver practice in, in anticipation of our first competition, Channleview, this weekend. Good luck to all the teams attending Channelview - looking forward to an exciting first competition!

2 Likes

CHANNELVIEW POST


Last week we went to Channelview, and the event was amazing - the team had a blast, our robot was put through its paces, and we came out of the event wiser than we went in!

We were ranked 14th at the end of qualifications, and proceeded to quarterfinals as second pick of 6645 Alloy Obsession, captain of the 8th seed alliance, alongside our alliance member 4328 Furious Falcons.

As I hinted at earlier, we learned a lot about out robot from this competition, of both the good and not as good varieties:

GOOD:

  • Our autonomous routine to dock and engage worked flawlessly, every single time we ran it. The only time it didn’t work was when we added more weight to the robot than what we’d initially had in mind when we programmed the robot - removing the additional weight put us right back where we started with a reliable auto. The actual code for the auto was the simplest thing that worked - we had the robot back up by the distance between the charging station and where it started.
  • We could score cubes reliably on all levels and cones semi-reliably on all levels. This was a good thing to have confirmed because we were unable to do very extensive testing before the competition.

NOT SO GOOD (and how we plan to make it good):

  • Intaking was difficult. The primary reason for this was that it was hard to accurately line up the robot in front of the double substation, and we lacked significant driver practice. To assist with intaking, we are going to mount a USB camera to help the drivers position the robot for intaking, and we’re going to try and make sure they can get more practice.
  • Concerns about tipping - our robot was a little bit tippy under sharp acceleration and turning, and/or when going over the Charge Station. While not necessarily the biggest detriment to out robots capabilities, being able to drive faster without a fear of tipping could improve cycle times and Charge Station balancing. Fixing that is mostly going to be a matter of adding weights on the bottom of our robot.
  • The biggest problem we faced was that the right side of our drivetrain would occasionally shut down mid match. This has been a significant and persistent problem, to the point that our current plan for fixing it is to swap out the NEOs that we have thus far been using on the drivetrain for CIMs.

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • We plan to add PID controlled loops to our code to allow us to set the arm to certain heights to assist with intaking and scoring, and also to allow us to score in autonomous mode.
  • We plan to extend the capabilities of our robot in autonomous period, by adding more mobility and also adding scoring, with the help of the aforementioned PID loops.
  • We have swapped out two of our robot’s tread wheels for omni wheels, to enable quicker and easier turning.
  • We also plan to improve/redo certain mechanical parts of the robot that showed signs of wear over the course of the competition, most notably the hinges on the arm.

Channelview was an amazing experience, which the team enjoyed and learned from. We look forward to our next competition, Clearlake, on March 31, April 1, and April 2!

3 Likes

We have spent the past two weeks working on improvements to out robot. Some of these we finished, some we’re still working on, and some we decided weren’t worth the time and effort.

Finished:

  • We added a camera, attaching it to the top crossbar of our robot via a 3D-printed mount.
  • We swapped out our NEOs and SparkMAXs for CIMs with Talons and Victors, along with mag encoders. We have not yet thoroughly tested the robot to ensure that this has solved the problem where the right side would shut down occasionally.
  • We have swapped out the back two wheels of our robot for omni-wheels to enable better turning.

In Progress:

  • We are still working on implementing PID loops to help with scoring. At the moment we are currently working on finding all the necessary constants to implement the loops.
  • We are working on adding the ballast - mainly, we are looking at how best to add the weight to allow us to turn easily, because we found that placing the weight poorly can make it difficult to turn the robot.
  • We have added autos with increased mobility options, although we have not yet added with scoring, as that depends on the PID loops.

Not Worth It:

  • We decided it wasn’t worth it to replace the hinges, because the alternate hinges we found were too big to fit where our current hinges are, and they also had a different hole pattern, which didn’t overlap nicely with the previous one. Thus, the only way to utilize the new hinges would be to make new arms, which would require tuning and tensioning the new arm all over again, which we felt was not worth the time - instead, we will simply buy spares of our current hinges, just in case.
1 Like

Space City at Clear Lake

From Mar 30 to April 2, we attended the Space City at Clear Lake competition, and had an incredibly exciting and successful competition - the team had a great time, our robot did far better than at Channelview, and best of all, we qualified for state!

We were ranked 14th at the end of qualifications, and proceeded to semifinals as first pick of 418 LASA Robotics (PurpleHaze), captain of the 7th seed alliance, alongside our alliance member 8598 Electroknights.

One thing stayed the same from Clearlake, though - we learned a lot of things, both good and not so good:

GOOD:

  • We have swapped out two of our robot’s tread wheels for omni wheels, to enable quicker and easier turning.
  • Our autonomous routine to dock and engage continued to work flawlessly, every single time we ran it.
  • We could score cubes reliably on all levels.
  • We swapped our NEO’s on the drivetrain for CIM’s.
  • We added a camera mount on the top crossbar of our everybot, with a USB camera on it. This made a world of difference in lining up our robot for intaking.
  • We swapped out several worn down gussets and loosened rivets.
  • We also added weight to the drivetrain of our robot to keep a low center of mass, allowing us to comfortably accelerate and decelerate quickly.

NOT SO GOOD (and how we plan to make it good):

  • Our drivetrain would consistently drift slightly to the right. We’re not sure what caused this problem, so we plan to simply add PID control to the drivetrain ti compensate.


IMPROVEMENTS:

  • We still plan to add PID controlled loops to our arm code to allow us to set the arm to certain heights to assist with intaking and scoring, and also to allow us to score in autonomous mode.
  • We still plan to extend the capabilities of our robot in autonomous period, by adding scoring, with the help of the aforementioned PID loops.



Clear Lake was an amazing competition, and at the end of it, we found ourself ranked highly enough to go to state!

1 Like

** TEXAS DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP**

From April 5th to April 8th we attended State and we had an exciting time! As ever, we learned from the experience, from the good things and the not so good things:

**

GOOD:

**

  • We have swapped out our traction wheels for grippier ones to improve acceleration and charge station.
  • Our autonomous routine to dock and engage continued to work flawlessly, every single time we ran it.
  • We could score cubes reliably on all levels.
  • We swapped out several worn down gussets and loosened rivets.
  • We added velocity PID which prevented our robot from drifting.
  • We still plan to add PID controlled loops to our arm code to allow us to set the arm to certain heights to assist with intaking and scoring, and also to allow us to score in autonomous mode.
  • We added PID controlled loops to our arm code ,which made intaking and scoring more reliable, and also enabled us to score in autonomous mode.

** NOT SO GOOD (and how we plan to make it good):**

  • Multiple things broke on our robot as a result of wear and tear. Fortunately, there was nothing that we weren’t able to quickly get up and running again.

State was an incredible event and Charged Up was an awesome season! Jersey Voltage plans to continue competing by attending off season competitions in the summer and the fall as well.



2 Likes