Rookie team looking for a build project to train team

Hi -
I am a mentor for a rookie team. We are looking for a relatively simple project to train our recruits. We have built the AndyMark base and are able to drive it.

We’d like to build a common FRC mechanism from prototyping to design and fabrication to get a sense of FRC before the game release in January. I don’t want it to be too complicated because we are busy with grants etc.

I would love ideas from experienced teams.

Thank you!
Helen Potter

I would go for an intake, or two or three. See if your students can work up a relatively simple Cargo intake from 2019 (or two or three different ones). Something in that size range seems to be pretty useful, at least three of the last four years.

The hardest part of “what do do with a game piece” is not how you get it out of the robot. It’s getting it into the robot in the first place, and then getting it to the ejection device while the robot has it. (Intake and ejection CAN be the exact same thing… but then you get into moving it around. Keep it simple.)

I would probably look at some past FRC game challenges (I recommend 2018’s power-up since all you really need is a milk crate). Get together with the team and watch the game animation on YouTube and design a simple mechanism that can manipulate game pieces from that game (some kind of an intake / end effector). This way, the team can get some idea of what build-season is like from the start (Watching the game animation) to the finish (having a robot). Try not to focus on all aspects of a game when doing this, since designing a full-featured robot for any game can be time consuming, and field elements can be pretty expensive.

A nice thing to do may be putting a single-jointed arm with an intake onto your kit base. You could use a cargo or power cube if you have those or even any sort if ball you have lying around. Its nice to get a feel of both controlling a game piece and moving it and this is a pretty effective and simple way to do that.

This is clutch. 1293 stole liberally from Spectum’s MCC CAD, and the net result was the best robot the team had ever assembled. 10/10 would steal again.

Also, good CAD and fabrication practice can be making things you’ll use during the season. We learned Onshape by designing a pit cart we use at home and on the road. Other than spending a little on the casters, it was a cheap project–it’s all dimensional lumber, some angle aluminum for the hardware boxes to rest on, and plywood and polycarbonate for the workbench.

3946 had great success with this model in post-season 2018. The same sort of thing will work well with 2019 CARGO or other balls if you tweak the wheels. (Having two wheels on the leading axle with a gap between them are more useful, compliant wheels are less important with inflated balls that with relatively stiff boxes.)

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