Build Log 10
Meeting 25 (2/28/22):
This was our last week before competition, so we decided to hold meetings every day this week besides Wednesday. During today’s meeting, we:
- Put our numbers onto our bumper fabric
- Changed out some wheels in our elevator
- Designed and printed a limelight mount,
- “ORCAnized” for our competition.
For our bumpers this year, we used heat transfer vinyl that had been cut outside of meetings, and today we were able to press the first set of numbers onto one set of our bumpers.
To fix a compression dead space, we added new wheels to the bottom of our elevator, this eliminated the dead space issue we were having. The balls now have no dead space or significant compression issues when moving throughout our shooter.
We also designed a limelight mount that we would print in preparation for the next meeting, as well as ORCAnizing a toolbox with any tool we would need for repairs at competition.
Nothing notably bad happened at today’s meeting.
Meeting 26 (3/1/22)
- Did more ORCAnization,
- Added more tools to our competition toolbox,
- Prepared a box full of smaller parts for repairs,
- Complete more drive practice and
- Added numbers to our second set of bumpers.
Our bumpers are nearly finished by this point, all that’s left is to add a way to fasten them to our frame in a way that’s easy to undo. More ORCAnization for competition was done, we have our toolbox and parts box pretty much done. More drive practice was also done so our drive team can be as prepared for the competition as possible.
We weren’t as productive as we would have liked to be, especially being this close to competition. Also, the limelight mount we printed didn’t end up working and we had to go with the design we were using before.
Meeting 27 (3/3/22)
Even more orcanization for comp, we began discussing plans about getting to comp and what it will be like, we added retractable lanyards to our climber, we did more autonomous testing, drive practice, and we watched and took notes on the driver’s meeting.
More orcanization and preparation for comp was done, as well as we planned how each person would get to comp because of the long drive it is from our school. We added retractable lanyards to our climber to keep the strings it uses out of our drive train. We used to use zip ties that would break off once enough pressure from the rope was put on them, but after rereading the manual, we realized that we couldn’t have any parts that intentionally break off. These lanyards extend far enough to allow us to climb freely without the rope getting caught in our drive train. We did more work and testing on autonomous, and we were able to get goals semi consistently. To end off the meeting, we watched the driver’s meeting and took notes on how competition was going to play out
We had plans to stagger our member’s arrival times, but because of rules explained in the drivers meeting, we had to get our entire team to the school by 5:50 am, which we weren’t super excited about.
Meeting 28 (3/4/22)
This was our last meeting before comp so we spent almost the entire meeting on getting us completely prepared for comp, we also spent some more time on autonomous.
We got everything completely ready for comp so we could just hook up our trailer and leave. We decided to bring as little as possible because all 10 members at the competition had to stay in the 8x8 pit. We ended up bringing the robot (obviously), a table to build on, a single cabinet, our safety bin, and our comp toolbox. We also brought an extra table and coolers to set up outside with food and drinks whenever people needed a break. We made some quick adjustments to our autonomous routine to make it a bit more reliable.
Our code was based on voltage rather than RPM, so different batteries would affect our robot’s consistency, and we had just ordered new batteries that would be unused until comp. This could cause some major problems because the new batteries will have more voltage and change how powerfully we move and shoot. We started learning a way to change it to RPM but that couldn’t be changed until the next competition.
I’ll keep this overview brief, we were part of the WINNING ALLIANCE!! We’re all extremely proud of getting our program’s first ever blue banner. Although we were on the alliance with the top 2 ranked robots, we still feel like we pulled our own weight and we learned a lot to take home and improve on in future events. Thank you to Triple Helix (2363) and Spartan Robotics (5724) for selecting us to join them.
We are so proud of how well we did despite our small and inexperienced team, to give a perspective on how small our team is, our entire team was able to make the comp, we have 10 people including mentors. We pretty much rebuilt our team from the ground up, so no one on our team had a lot of competition experience other than watching from the stands. Our drivers were both completely new to driving as well.
Here are some good things that we found out during the competition:
- Our robot is extremely sturdy, towards the end, a ton of robots were breaking and ours didn’t break besides some wires coming unplugged.
- We have an extremely consistent middle bar climb, every time we used it, both in practice and in comp, we made the climb. The only time we couldn’t climb was in one match where we went for the low bar and because we had to extend our arms outside of the hanger, our climb wasn’t counted (yet we still made the climb).
- We found a better spot to shoot from that got us even more consistent to get balls into the high goal.
We are still extremely happy that we won our team’s first blue banner, and we really think that we can make it to districts after making some edits to our bot in the next few weeks.
We got unlucky with a lot of our matches in the beginning of our competition, and we were ranked 17 for the first half of the competition, the only team below us was a team that wasn’t even able to participate for that portion of the competition as they hadn’t passed inspection. We ended up getting to 15th by lunch, then up to 13th by the end of the qualifiers. Overall we didn’t do super well in the beginning, but we picked up speed after lunch and kept that momentum going.
Here are some bad things we found out during the competition:
- Although we got the ball into the high goal consistently, we had too much power and backspin so the balls bounced out a lot of the time, losing us a ton of points and ranking points.
- The same issue with bouncing out persisted in our autonomous as well, and we figured out that there is only one spot that our 2 ball auto works in.
- We had 3 times where wiring came unplugged and disabled a part of our robot, once with our flywheel, once with the right side of our drive train, and once with our roborio power. We need more stable wiring because if we can fix that, we should have very few problems occurring during matches in the next comp. It was all part of learning how to best wire the new boards.
All of these are improvements that we hope to work on before the next competition.
Meeting 29 (3/6/22)
We decided to have a short meeting today after our judging so everyone could go home and rest. Unfortunately, we had the first judging slot, so we had another early morning.
We feel like we made a great impression on the judges, we did something for them that we call “orca squats”, where we get in a circle, and do squats while chanting “orca”, and they definitely enjoyed that. We also did a couple rounds of orca squats during the competition. We made some quick changes to our hub that helps account for the funnel which a lot of the balls bounced out of. We also changed our sprocket ratio on our backspin reducing wheel, and after some code edits, we had almost no backspin on our shots. After we cleaned up the shop, we started work on autonomous and switching our code to be RPM based instead of voltage based.
During our work on autonomous, we found out that our 3d printed pulley was getting caught on it’s key and slowing our flywheel down considerably. After a quick replacement, we had too much power and hit the roof a lot. The replacement will most likely get jammed again, so we ordered some parts to switch off our 3d printed pulley with a metal one. This issue caused us to have less time to work on autonomous than we hoped we would have.
This build log comes to an end, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us by replying to the thread or sending a message in our Open Alliance Discord channel. We always appreciate feedback and options!