Hey, all. We’re hoping to benefit as much as possible from our Week 5
match date. From your experience, which parts are most likely to tank during the games? Can you all let us know which replacement parts we need to be making/buying/bringing? And what can we count on FIRST supplying?
FIRST supplies nothing to you
Its hard to say, what you should bring is totally dependent on your robot. Depending on what you’ve used, its always nice to have extra motors, victor 884’s and things like chains and gears…
but as i said, its dependent on what youve used.
(note: if i misspelled anything, too bad, ive had no sleep…)
you should have spares for any critical, custom machined parts. As a rookie team, you may or may not have may of these (or any at all), but it’s good to know. Also, FIRST has some spare motors and stuff, but not a lot. Bring extra fasteners (bolts, nuts, washers, etc) in multiple sizes. you never know when you’ll need them
our failures included:
operator interface (!) had to borrow one
motor/transmission, using the DeWalt transmission, gear slipped on motor disabling drive on one side, we had two spare assemblies because we had to remove 2 of the original 4 drive motors to make wieght
some physical damage to a “crash bar” resulted in a roller breaking in the robot. They sold 4" ABS pipe at the hardware store across the street from the venue so we made a new roller.
Also we had the KOP transmissions which we did not use on our robot, but loaned to another team to help them get going when they had problems.
I think this might show that you really can’t anticipate what will go bad, so bring what parts you have, and hopefully you’ll be able to find what you need or improvise a fix if you have any failures that you don’t have spares for.
Okay, 2 more questions:
We built our practice ramps out of wood (no diamond plate) and so we too will probably have a harder time with the real ramps. We heard that many teams made this same mistake; have people made modifications at the games? If so, any suggestions?
With all the ramming and pushing, we’re going to tip, I just know it. Are there any modifications to the lower body of the bot that have been helpful?
Thanks, guys. And Nutty, your shirt’ll be on its way this week!
Before you take to mind anything I say, my team hasn’t competed yet. We’re not due until next weekend, at Lone Star.
I woudn’t worry too much. If you discover on Thursday that you can’t climb the ramp, start asking other teams if they have any spare wedgetop/roughtop treads, and see if you can add them to your wheels. If that’s not an option, head out to Lowes/Home Depot and see what they have available for wheels. I was in Home Depot today and some of their tractor wheels caught my eye.
If you have extra weight to play with on your bot, attach some scrap metal to the lower portions of your bot. Not sure how much weight you guys can play with though. Another option is to try and attach some simple anti-tip bars somewhere. I don’t know how they would work, I’ve only seen them on other robots. If all else fails, ask neighboring teams. I was surprised last year (My first competition) that so many teams were so helpful. I thought it would be much more “No! They’re the ENEMY! We can’t help them!” but it wasn’t. Teams are always willing to help out those that are hurting. Besides, you never know who you might get allied with.
If you have the weight and the lower portion of your robot is short near the edges, take some metal to make some anti goal incursion devices so you have no way of going into the corner goal. It is easy to do and the “fine” is about as steep as they come (a DQ).
the way to get the most extra weight at the bottom of the frame without it hurting your overall weight is the 15 pounds of bumpers. i do not know if you already have these on your robot or you can not because then the ramp is impossible. just a suggestion.
As far as traction, just put some roughtop on your wheels. We did that and our robot turned into a BEAST.
A word about traction: Make sure it’s secured WELL. We had attempted to attach it to the 6" Skyway wheels by screws and they came off, so we ditched that. There are ways to do it, just not ours. Also, bumpers do not necessarily make you unable to score on the ramp. It depends on the configuration, but treaded, 6 and 8 wheeled robots tend to be able to do it just fine.
Motors, some electronics like battery connectors, and pneumatic fittings, plus some control components (loaned for that competition only). The complete list is in Section 8.