NRG 948 2023 Open Alliance Build Thread

The Newport Robotics Group (NRG 948) is charged up for this year’s game! We’ve got an awesome group of experienced mentors, committed veterans, and eager rookies. We’re excited to join the openalliance for the first time. You can see our Training Season Open Alliance thread here. Thanks to everyone who read and contributed to that thread and we hope to make this one even better.

Kickoff Recap

We had a lot of fun, and we have some ideas coming out of it that we think will work well.
After the kickoff stream ended, we reviewed the game manual in small groups, with some share out sessions in between. Afterwards, we had a design meeting with mentors, the leadership of technical subgroups, and optionally for interested rookies. After a long discussion of strategies discussed earlier, we settled on our goals for the year.
Day 2 began with concept designing and presenting, again in small groups. During the small group time, veterans and leadership members led a specific group, but once the presentations and Q&A time began, the veterans were told to stop talking during the presentations to let rookies speak. We saw many different concepts, from a forklift, to a garbage truck, to many borrowed Powerplay and Power Up designs. This allowed us a chance to see different ideas and improve on them, and poke holes in different designs. We then played a human game and wrapped up with a potluck, before going into another optional design meeting to flesh out ideas and select prototypes to pursue.


Robot Goals

This year we’re aiming high and going for a high scoring alliance captain. Here are our current strategic goals for the year:

Auto:

  • Score a preloaded cone on the high grid
  • Get Mobility points
  • Engage the Charging Station (depending on alliance partners)
  • Score second game piece (if not on Charging Station)
  • If possible: Score another game piece

Drivebase:

  • Drive quickly and reliably

Intake:

  • Ground pickup cones and cubes in multiple orientations
  • Want to have: Pick up cones from all orientations
  • If possible: Shelf pickup

Scorer:

  • Score cones and cubes on all levels
  • Low to the group

Links

Have an eNeRGizing year!

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We’ve started on some prototypes this week, and we have some excellent concepts at the moment.

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(Concept aggregation in process)

Prototyping Schedule

This year we will finish prototyping by the end of the month, with a halfway check in point scheduled for next week. One issue we had last year was the blend of prototype to actual robot mechanism, which led to delays and issues when testing at full scale. As time and people are our most limited resources, we’ve agreed that “if the design is taking too long, the design is wrong”, or at least not good for us. We anticipate having to give up complex, but potentially useful, designs because they eat up too much of our precious build time.

Evaluation Matrix

We used our new Evaluation Matrix to guide our prototyping decisions, and to narrow down which ones to pursue. After a long discussion on the weighing, we plugged our concepts into the matrix and got this:

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Changes Made

We changed the numbering scheme to a ranked 1-5, with 5 being best and 1 being worst. We also removed the “max points” field as we had already decided on a top grid system. We also shifted the weighting to increase agility (which was redefined slightly to include driver ease of use) and boosted repairability over robustness.

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We decided to devote three prototyping groups to picking and two to placing. Barbie and the Unicorn were merged as they were very similar, and Jason’s Garbage was shelved as it was a more general idea that could be implemented on top of the other 2. That left Barbicorn, Pooper Scooper, Interpretive Dance, Origami, and Escalator for prototyping.

Prototypes

Barbicorn

Bar-bie is a roller bar that can serve as both a cube intake and a sideways cone flipper. It takes advantage of this righting motion to allow it to pass only upright cones onto the Placing system. Unicorn is also a roller bar, but has a finger attached that spins to right the cube, depending on which way the cone is facing. Both of these have the same underlying structure, and should be able to handle upright, base facing, and top facing cones.

Jason’s Pooper Scooper

The Pooper Scooper uses a pair of fingers and the motion of the robot to flip and squeeze the cone, base side up. We have 2 pooper scooper prototypes at the moment.

Playbutton

Playbutton secures cones with a pair of self-aligning triangular clamps.

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Interpretive Dance

Interpretive Dance, named for the process where the Mech VP, the CAD VP, the Systems VP, and the IT captain all had to wrangle 4 different hex shafts at once to demonstrate the concept. It should be able to take cones from any orientation and bring them to base side up. Despite being the most complex picking prototype still alive, it’s the farthest along as its prototyping group worked on it for both Monday and Tuesday.

Jason’s Garbage

The Garbage Truck flips cones overhead and then extends onto the Grid, like a garbage truck. We see this as a potential addition to the other 2 placing prototypes.

Origami

Origami uses multiple four bar linkages to reach the top pole.

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Escalator

Escalator uses a tilting slanted elevator to reach the top pole.

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This was quite a week!

General Robot Update

Our robot is currently planned to be 28x30, with bottom-mounted Falcon Mk4s. We will likely also make a bumper and frame cutout to accommodate our intake.

Prototyping Updates

Interpretive Dance

We’ve been experimenting with different ways to bridge the gaps between the wheels, including surgical tubing, duct tape, and 3d printed large spacers.

Barbicorn

Although they both work, we decided to end Barbie, keeping Unicorn for now. Barbie isn’t as fast as its competition, and it has trouble depending on orientation, and we really want that extra speed during cycling.

Pooper Scooper

Pooper scooper has bearings and slides, and moves well. However, it’s problematic as a design because it’s passive, with slower cycle times and possibly a heavier mechanism outside the robot.

Placers

To be honest, most of our prototyping attention has gone to the intakes, and we haven’t gotten much on the placers. Our current plans of Origami and Escalator still stand, with Escalator planning for a four-bar linkage to tilt the elevator. That said, we do have some prototypes in the works:


More Pictures

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1047993336453152828/1063029944910885004/image0.jpg
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1047993336453152828/1063030124351590420/image0.jpg
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1047993336453152828/1063030158027669504/image0.jpg

2023 Prototyping - Google Drive

Other Build Updates


Shiny new swerve modules and a merch restock! We’ve also got our REV and game piece orders coming in.

Programming

Our programming team has been writing up Falcon swerve code, with a possible switch to NEOs in the future. We also have some control ideas, including a “Orbit Game Piece” possibly getting added soon. We’ve also been trying out Photonvision and Apriltags.

Systems

Systems updated firmware on all our components, and is setting up some Raspberry Pis with Photonvision for programming.

Firmware updating

During firmware updates, we ran into an issue where running Phoenix Tuner on our freshly updated RoboRIOs would respond with “Is Diagnostic Server installed and Rio boot complete?”. This confused us for a while, but we fixed it with:

We’re also building a new driver station, as our old one was too small for joysticks, and preparing a board for our practice bot.

CAD & Mech

CAD & Mech have been closely working together on prototyping, and have begun work on our practice bot swerve base.
In our testing we found that our 2022 bot was too low to the ground to get on the charging station, so we mounted our testing base’s swerve modules on the bottom, which worked out well.

Field Updates

Thanks to our mentors, we have one Grid built, and a full sized Charging Station. We’ve been talking with some nearby teams to add more field elements and we’re planning on opening it up to all teams soon!

One warning, however:


Change that to three and a half times, I guess
This was taken a while back, and as of earlier today the pool is still there

Outreach Event

On Tuesday, our school had an Open House for 8th graders. Our rookies led this event and did an amazing job engaging with attendees and promoting NRG to them. Hopefully we’ll see them come September!

Thanks for reading!

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https://youtu.be/cZletUr8iHQ 948 NRG details their game strategy utilizing a evaluation matrix with some creative naming schemes and shows off some of their intake prototypes as they start to tackle the 2023 Charged Up game on The Open Alliance Show

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Prototyping Updates


As our prototyping wraps up, our current plan is the Interpretive Dance prototype, along with a tilting single-stage elevator. The Interpretive Dance spits out cones bottom side up, but the tilt of the elevator will right it for the nodes. The “placer” (the hopper and outtake) is still up for debate, with the options being a line of Entrapption Stars or a grabber claw, both of which Mech is currently working on.
We also got started on our full-robot CAD.

We’ve been experimenting with TPU-printed rollers and Entrapption Stars, and they’ve saved us time and money so far. The chassis with cutout is built, with the electronics not far behind.

Subgroup Updates

CAD

CAD has been printing Entrapption Stars, wheel spacers and other things.

Systems

  • Systems did some head-scratching over how we were going to mount the board, since our original plan of a brainpan wasn’t possible with the Interpretive Dance’s massive cutout.
    • We decided to go for a vertical board, with the RoboRIO and PDH split on either side of the robot.
    • We’ve mounted and partially wired everything on the RoboRIO side’s board. Our focus on wire management during training season looks to have paid off so far!
  • REV stuff came in! We spent some time crimping them all, but ran out of white Powerpole housings halfway through, so we’ll finish them later.


  • The rookies also built a pneumatics test board, replacing our old strategy of “slap-together-a-bunch-of-tubing-and-hope-it-doesn’t-leak”.
    • We’ll likely end up not using pneumatics this year, but it’s still nice to have.

Programming

Programming is working on swerve code, vision, LEDs, and more!

OA Show

@nrgcto and I had a lot of fun on the OA show earlier this week. Thanks to FUN for hosting us! Some reflections:

  • We should have planned ahead more, as we only remembered that we were on the OA show a couple days beforehand.
    • For next time, we’ll be sure to plan ahead further, and work on timing and screen sharing coordination.
  • Tyler and Greg are incredible hosts, and from a presenter side it’s really nice having them.
  • For those reading who have an OA show slot coming up - good luck, and you’ll do amazing!

Field Updates

Our field still is holding out hope for a water game.

+1 to the flood counter?

We also drove our 2022 robot onto the Charging Station, and got some drive practice in. Video
We had to move our swerve modules to bottom mount, as it couldn’t make the ramp in its original orientation.

FLL

One of our FLL teams we’ve been mentoring, Nachos, participated in FTC Semifinals over the weekend. They did a great job and improved massively from Quals, and we’re super proud of them. We hope to see them on NRG soon!

Looking Forward

This coming week is finals week, so it’ll be quieter than normal. We’re planning on working on getting the chassis wired and built out, and supplies shipped in.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

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This week was finals week, so it was slower than usual, but build season doesn’t stop for finals…

Robot Updates

Drivebase

Our practice bot Dodo is wired and running! Our massive cutout meant that wiring was much more of a pain than last year’s large bellypan, and we split the board in two to give us more room. It’s not ideal from an electrical perspective, since there’s a ton of wiring in the back (that will need to move soon) going around most of the robot.

We even got auto paths together!

Interpretive Dance

Our first metal versions of Interpretive Dance are being built right now. We were planning on using bevel gears, but due to our manufacturing capabilities, we’re currently thinking more along the lines of the concepts in this thread. We’ve also been printing and fusing our TPU roller inserts.

Picker

The entrapption stars didn’t work quite the way we wanted, so we’re switching to a grabber claw.

The claw will extend off our elevator, with the motor being as close to the elevator as possible. We’re also considering mounting a color sensor to help out our drivers.

Escalator

Escalator is also being built right now. It’s sliding just fine, and we’ve begun to attach the arm portion. We’ve been using t-slot extrusion with metal v-groove bearings, but we might switch to using nylon bearings (and some cupholders?).

Subgroup Updates

Programming

Systems

  • We rewired some of our batteries to use Nord-locks and nylocks. We haven’t seen much difference yet, but the connections feel more solid.
  • We also finally fixed a Falcon we broke back during offseason comps. We still have a couple that need repairs, but at least that’s one more Falcon we can use, especially as we’re not buying more and we’d like our current stock of Falcons to last through the season.

Field Updates

Yesterday, IRS 1318 stopped by to help us build a Substation. Thanks for all your help, and we’re always open to having teams stop by to use our field or help build it out!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week! We’re only 47 days from our first comp at Bonney Lake…

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This week we progressed with the Interpretive Dance, and began preparing for two full robots!

Build Updates

Interpretive Dance

Interpretive Dance - or “Sarlaac pit monster”, as Mr. Doran calls it - went through multiple design iterations this week. We decided to try building the bevel gears, and it actually turned out very well.

One problem we did run into was the wheel inserts were too large and slippery to grip game pieces, so we’ve decided to go back to the “more wheels” design philosophy.
It works, at least mostly. We’re still having issues with cones going in tip first. Plus, we still haven’t figured out how to grip it. But for other orientations, it works for launching it base side up, and even centers cubes.

Gripper

We actually don’t have a chosen design for this yet. One of the leading designs is a servo-driven claw, but given the speed and imprecision that the interpretive dance spits out game pieces, we’ve also considered passive solutions such as a trapdoor for simplicity and speed, or a motor-driven claw for pure power.

One variation on the servo claw is 2 sheets of polycarb on each claw, to sandwich together the base of the cone, in addition to the gripping.

Escalator

The escalator is coming along, but is currently waiting on a few more parts to arrive. In the meantime, we’ve added a slow-closing door hinge to the tilter, to get a little more passive motion out of the arm.

Subgroup Updates

Programming

Programming continued to refine the auto balance, and worked on the rest of the bot as well (GitHub).

Mech

Mech is quickly moving into the Maxplanetary and Ultraplanetary gearbox lines. Systems and Mech traded a box for a box, then cleared one of them out, creating a gearbox… box… in the process. There should be enough space for Ultraplanetaries, too!

Systems

  • With everything going on, we haven’t progressed too much on this, but we’re planning on using polycarbonate instead of wood to save weight.
    • It’s going to be simplified, with just a baseplate and 2 side compartments each big enough to comfortably hold 2 controllers
  • We also got a Servo Power Module working. Originally, we hooked the SPM up to a PWM generator/Servo tester, but it didn’t work reliably. However, using it with a roboRIO works perfectly. We’re not sure why that’s the case, but the servo works reliably now.
  • We had an issue with an older PDH where the lights wouldn’t turn on and Hardware Client wouldn’t connect, even in Recovery Mode. We’re not sure what’s going on, but we’ve replaced that one with a newer PDH for now.

Anodizing

There are 3 kinds of anodizers: professionals, hobbyists, and chemistry teachers who anodize in their classroom to support the robotics team.
We have the 3rd kind.
Thank you Mr. Doran!

We’re planning on anodizing the metal for our next bot when it comes in.

OA Show

Come see us on the OA Show this Tuesday! We’ll be covering the Interpretive Dance and more…

… Those were bold last words.

Looking Ahead

We’ll start building our second bot sometime soon, but since we need to salvage the Falcons from the 2022 bot, we’ll try and keep it together as long as we can.
Color sensing, vision tracking, escalating, and interpretive dancing are all in the works, with a whole bunch of orders coming in this week.
Thanks for reading, and onward we go, with 40 (!) days to go till Bonney Lake!

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https://youtu.be/L3V5iaOXiO0 948 NRG demonstrates their auto balancing capabilities on the Charge Station and provides updates on their robot including their unique intake.

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Woah, you can anodize in house? How difficult is it?

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It’s definitely a lot of fun! Our shop is off-campus so transportation is a bit of a pain. We’ll have more info on our anodizing process soon!

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We’re super happy to announce that we’re opening up our field for all teams in the area to use! While not a full field, it’s got many features and we’re very flexible with timing. Just send us an email at [email protected], and we can figure something out.

Features:

  • Half field, open 24/7
  • A full-width Charging Station
  • One grid
  • Half a Double Substation
  • Carpet
  • 2 simple driver stations
  • Covered area
  • Water game ready™

We’re always open to adding more game elements (huge thanks to 1318 for adding the Substation!)

Last year, we had 5937 MI Robotics and 7461 Sushi Squad drop by for climber and drive testing, and 5937 has already stopped by for drivetrain and programming testing with us this year. It was really fun working with you all, and we’d love to have more teams stop by and talk to us!

Edit to add:

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It looks great. I would like to ask the reason you are using this technique. Also, does it get scratch marks after using it?

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Thank you! The shorter lengths especially come out well.
We used anodizing because we had the ability to do so, and because of the added strength.


We’re not quite sure about scratching, as we haven’t put it on a robot yet. The longer pieces that we’re planning on using are much harder to dye evenly.

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Like @taiga said, we chose to anodize because of our capacity to do so. For us, with a chemistry teacher with an access to a fume hood, anodizing was more accessible than spray painting. Also, the process of anodization strengths the aluminum so it doesn’t scratch which was a big plus for us.

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This week we’re continuing to work on our practice bot, and began planning for our comp bot! There’s a fair number of remaining questions about how this is going to work, but things are slowly coming together.

Build Updates

Our current plan for cones goes as follows:

  1. The Interpretive Dance flips up the cone, tossing it upwards.
  2. A set of passive trapdoor flaps hold the game piece as it passes through
  3. The claw grips the cone
  4. Escalator tips and extends to scoring position
  5. Claw releases
  6. Profit!

We’ve prototyped and attached our best guess at correct geometry for this out of 3/16” ABS sheet and built the claw.

Escalator

Both portions of the Escalator (the four-bar linkage and elevator) have been built, with the four bar being attached to the practice bot. The elevator is also built, thanks to hardware arriving earlier this week.

Subgroup Updates

Programming

We got auto Apriltag following!

Photonvision has made our vision development much faster and easier, and makes auto aligning possible.

Systems

  • We now have a proof of concept for our color sensor (hooked up Thad House’s picocolorsensor to an Arduino running SerialPassThrough to see raw serial data). The color sensor will allow us to adjust the grip of the claw based on game piece. The included proximity/object detection is really nice, too.
  • Another copy of the Electrical boards have been built, for the competition robot. Both of them were built in 2 and a half hours, much faster than our previous time around. They are waiting for a base to mount to.

Business/Marketing

  • The nontechnical subgroups have been writing up our essays for Impact and the Woodie Flowers Award, along with many members of our technical subgroups.

Outreach

On Friday, we had an outreach meeting with a community organization at a local elementary school.

Due to some persistent CAN errors, the code being from 2021, and other issues, we weren’t able to move our robot until later in the event. We were able to reimage, refactor, and redeploy code to this aging robot, and in the meantime, we face painted and gave static demonstrations of our robot. Really highlights our need to do systems checks of robots before outreach events, because Murphy is not on our side.

It was a lot of fun!

Break Time

It may be build season, and we have just one half built robot with a month till our first competition, but we still find time to do something other than robots.

From competitive foosball…

To dancing (notice our 2020 robot looking on)…

To creating towers out of old components…

And in BA meetings…

And of course, food, including jelly beans, waffles, and more…

We have a lot of fun at our shop!

#appropriate-memes is also one of the more active channels in our slack.

Looking Forward

A big REV order is coming in on Tuesday, with our metal for the comp bot (anodizing!) and NEO550s and Ultraplanetaries. Both the NEO550s and Ultraplanetaries are new to use, and we’ve put a surprising number of them into the robot because they’re just so easy to package.
Have a great week! Competition is approaching!

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A Quick Anodizing Update…

MAXtube just arrived, so that will get cut and anodized soon™!

In the meantime, we anodized some gussets!


As shown in the picture, there is some variation in color, possibly due to the variation in metal itself. The texture of each individual gusset is actually pretty consistent, though.

So, @nrgcto decided to test that with a few hard strokes with a screwdriver.


While the scratches are definitely visible close up, it’s not bad. Plus, this is a gusset we had sitting around in a storage bin, so it already had some wear and tear before it was anodized.

Overall, it’s looking pretty good! We’ll also be dyeing our L gussets gold.

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Build Updates

Interpretive Dance

No major changes to the design for now. It still has trouble intaking from tip side first. We tested it for the first time with competition motors and… then promptly burned out one of our 2 NEO 550s.

Analysis of Failure

The NEO 550 was geared to just 9:1, and in retrospect it really should have been more like 25:1. In addition, the SPARKMAX had just recently gotten a reset to default settings, and the 20A current limit didn’t burn correctly. A cone got stuck on the way up, and that was enough to smoke and kill the motor. On the other hand, when it did work, it was a little too fast, so we can definitely afford to gear down or move to a full size NEO.

NEO 550 smoke smells different from other magic smoke, though.

Grabber

The grabber is mounted to the elevator now, along with the hinge. The hinge is rather small, though it is steel, so we’ll need to adjust and eventually replace it for something more robust.

Escalator

The practice escalator is mostly built, and we finally have begun preparing to rig it. Because of the claw passing through the elevator, we have to rig around it instead of in the middle, which makes balancing and packaging between the swerve modules a pain.

Subgroup Updates

Programming

We got vision auto align! Programming is doing really well.

Systems

  • We dusted off our hall effect sensors and LEDs to use on our robot, both of which we have considered using and tested multiple times over the past few years but never actually used on competition robots
  • We also continued to wire up our Pico color sensor into a more compact and simplified package using a Perma-Proto board

Business and Marketing

Awards submissions are done as of Wednesday! Now we’re shifting to t-shirts and other things for competition.

Outreach

We had an outreach event with 9036 Ramen Robotics on Wednesday at a local library. We got to have longer conversations with many of the parents, thanks to some promotion from a teacher at our feeder middle school. We also brought our robot and let kids drive it, as well as talk to the parents as they passed through. Fortunately for us, there were no major issues with the robot this time.

Media from Lauren L., Logan K., and others

Looking Forward

Next week is mid-winter break for us, so people will be out of town. However, a good majority of our team is staying to work on the robot, so we’re hoping to get caught up with our schedule. We still have to build, wire, and program the remainder of Dodo, and build another bot!
On a personal note, @nrgcto will be taking over this thread for the next week or so.

Enjoy the ever fleeting days of build season, and good luck at your competitions!

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Build Updates

General Notes

During this last week, we’ve made a lot of progress, despite the fact that our school is on break. We finished up the mech side of our robot, wired up most of the robot, and are almost ready to hand it over to programming.

We’ve also done a lot of testing with Interpretive Dance and the claw, trying to figure out the correct positioning. We’ve had to work out quite a few specs: the escalator has to be at the correct angle, the claw has to be a certain distance from the intake– but the process has gone a lot more smoothly thanks to both students and mentors.

Grabber

There’s been quite a few changes in our claw–now grabber–since our last post. Now, our claw consists of two sets of passive trapdoors operated by hinges with polycarb. Essentially, the whole claw will flip as the elevator pivots with the game piece inside, and the piece will drop once the hatch operated by a servo opens. The hinges we’re thinking of using act as a stop, as well, and moving forward we plan to 3D-print them.

Prototype Concept:

Grabber with Cube (not successful)

Grabber with cube (Successful)

Grabber with Cone (Successful)

After building the grabber, we tried testing it with our interpretive dance intake, however, the game pieces struggled to go through the left and right polycarb doors since it kept hitting the 1x1 on the sides of the intake.

We had a very low success rate with this orientation. So we tried rotating the intake which worked a lot better.

However, one unsolved issue we have is flipping the claw over to deliver the game piece. At one point, we were thinking of putting a bar on the escalator, and something on the edge of the claw that would help flip the claw over in a tripbar type fashion.

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Escalator

We mounted our escalator! We ran a hex shaft along the bottom of the escalator, mounted a motor, added two gears, and got it up and running thanks to mech.

After this, though, we ran into a bit of a problem– how to get the carriage up and down our escalator. We went through somewhat tedious prototyping, starting with a pulley idea and string. Then we tried using polycord and 3D-printed polycord pulleys. After some tests, though, we found several things concerning. The carriage would slip on the polycord, and would make programming’s job much harder. So, we decided to switch to our elevator to be chain driven.

We also put limit switches on the top and bottom of our escalator, and Systems has worked on wiring them up.

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###Anodizing Update
On a more sad note, it’s likely that our anodized metal won’t be able to be put to good use. Initially, we had intended to build a practice bot and a competition bot (anodized bot) but due to time constraints, we’re likely going to make our practice bot our competition bot.

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Bonus picture: our Systems/Documentation lead chilling in our intake from Antigua.

As week 1 looms on the horizon, our team wishes you all good luck! (Taiga will be back next week)

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To further expand on this, at this point we will not be able to build another robot until DCMPs at the earliest (assuming we actually qualify for it).
The reasons why are many, but it boils down to not enough time, not enough people, and high complexity in our robot.

Robot Overview/Review

  1. Game pieces are collected through the “Interpretive Dance”, flipping cones upside down. They’re collected by a polycarb box with hinges and springs that passively grip the game piece.
  2. The elevator, attached to a large linkage, tilts back into scoring position as the elevator extends. The claws flips over due to the tilt*, with a servo-driven flap holding the game piece from falling
  3. Profit?

There’s a lot that isn’t working particularly great on the robot right now. The current passive claw mechanism still is somewhat unproven, and it’s already shown to be fragile, and hard to hand machine precisely. In addition, the final tilting mechanism is fully passive at the moment and may need to be motorized.

Redesigning

By Thursday of last week, we had no motion in either the elevator carriage or the elevator tilter, which brought us nearly to doing a full redesign. After a long conversation involving members and mentors from nearly every subgroup, we agreed to spend one more day on the old design.
It turns out that the majority of issues were due to not considering the claw into calculations, meaning we needed to increase gear ratios. Once that was done, everything began moving again!

As mentioned earlier, we still need to figure out the final flip stage of the claw, and possibly iterate on the claw mechanism itself.
During the last test on Friday, the tilting mechanism easily moved the elevator but broke hard stops and twisted shafts as it was quite hard to control manually.

Rebuild

Due to the tilter destroying the hex shaft, and it being a position where replacement was nearly impossible without full disassembly, we decided to move all assemblies over to a new base, originally intended for our second bot. This also allowed us to add supports and even a full structural bellypan. The hex shaft was also extended across the entire width of the robot to allow for easier replacement and (hopefully) more strength. It’s now rewired as well with a slightly better control board.


Programming finally has the full robot for the first time! Bumpers are also being built, although the support structure is proving to be challenging to build around.

Looking ahead

We have just one more weekend to go before Bonney Lake, with a lot left to do on our robot to compete. It’s not ideal, but with some luck we’ll make it work. See you soon!

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We’ve been a little behind on our updates with these crazy 2 weeks but here’s a mini-ish update


Bonney Lake
At Bonney Lake, we were the second pick of the 5th seed alliance and managed to make get 7 district points in the playoffs. We also won the sustainability award which is an incredible achievement for our team. We also nominated our programming mentor, Mr. Reed for the Woodie Flowers award. Despite these achievements, one of our greater setbacks was our tilting elevator and claw. The sheer amount of force needed to flip the elevator back and force placed too much strain on both our metal and motors which meant it kept breaking at competition and we were unable to go high or mid when scoring. Our drive team quickly adapted using our swerve drive base and Interpretive Dance intake to score hybrid. With a goal of DCMPs in mind tho, being a hybrid bot didn’t sit right with our team. Sunday night after comp we got on a call and decided to focus on a cube shooting robot and scrap the current design.

** The Redesign **
Sunday night after our first competition our members stayed up late to CAD the new shooter. Monday we built the shooter, Tuesday - mounted, Wednesday motors mounted + wired up and by Thursday our robot was headed for programming and drive team finally got it on Friday. We definetely channeled our Ri3d mode to build what we named “The Regurgitator”

Walking into our Sammamish Competition this past weekend we were able to have a fairly consistent high, mid, and hybrid shooter depending on the speed of our flywheel. The crazy part was how this new design was robust and didn’t significantly break like our previous design did which allowed our programming team to spend more time on the practice field at competition to get us a 2 cube auto! https://photos.app.goo.gl/N6XJRAPbKj64jaaBA

We ended qualifications as rank 11 and become 7th seed alliance captains. We managed to make it to the second to last match in the lower bracket before losing to the 2nd seed but it was a great run and we had an amazing alliance partners (shoutout to Pack of Parks 1294 and Chainlynx 8248). We also sustained another win for the sustainability award at Sammamish for our work the previous week in advocating for FLL workspace and STEM internship pathways through robotics. Our favorite OA post writer + Systems Lead + Documentation Lead (@taiga) also won Dean’s List at the Sammamish Competition and will go on to be judged at DCMPS.

The whole competition was so much fun and we had a great time meeting new people while spending time with the Bellevue Alliance. (We also held a workshop with the Bellevue Alliance called – Playing the BA about how to start a local alliance!)

Up Ahead
Next week we’ll be headed to Cheney Washington to compete in the PNW District Championships with hopefully a better tuned robot and a team ready to win. Following Sammamish, we took one day off and then sent the bot to our programming to get us an auto! (new team motto - let prog cook). We were able to get an auto orient to cube and are currently working on a more consistent 2 piece auto + balance (and then maybe a 3 piece + balance??) - maybe I’m being optimistic.

Shooting from the Charged Station - https://photos.app.goo.gl/i1gw79wFqcg2QoC1A
Auto Orient to Game Piece + Manual Translation - https://photos.app.goo.gl/p1WSTyFb9ier2PLx7

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