Off Season Events: How much do you change your robot?

I was just wondering how much teams usually change their robots between now (or after atlanta) and any summer scrimmages they compete in.

Is there the same weight limit at scrimmages?

Before Battlecry 2006, team 177 changed their robot from shooting from the floor to shooting from the top of the ramp. We also redesigned our ball hopper from being all polycarb to being made of kevlar netting. The offseasons are a chance for the new students to take the robot and run with it, making the robot what they want after seeing what worked and what didn’t during build season. Go nuts!

Usually offseasons don’t have formal inspection procedures, but you should still try to be legal.

We’ll be doing pretty much a complete redesign of our arm for Monty Madness and PARC X, making it a two joint arm instead of the original one joint. It worked pretty well originally, but the pivoting action of our claw wasn’t as great as it should of been. With the arm modification, we’ll can the pivoting action of the claw and just make it a straight grabber. It’ll make positioning of the tubes a lot easier and faster.

Also we’ll be using these off-season events as an oppurtunity to make a better (and well, working) autonomous mode with the CMU cam, so we can have one for next season.

We’re planning a complete redesign on our manipulator, which basically rendered our whole arm dead at UTC. We’ll also try to cut down on our ramp weight, which we were forced to remove.

My team is supported by the boyscouts (Venture crew 308) instead of a school. With that, we often go to boyscout events and let the kids control the robot. Last year with the balls and all, it was pretty simple to let them do that. It’s not so easy to kill with a ball-gathering robot but they still almost did more damage to the robot than competitions. This year, with the arm we have, I’m wondering how we’re going to let them drive it. Our arm is a pointy stick! I’m thinking we add pillows or something to the front of it so that nobody gets stabbed.

Aside from precautions for kids, I haven’t immagined changing the robot’s design. If anything, we’d probably change the hand’s design again to make it work better because the hand is the most simple part. In the end, it will probably stay unchanged.