Sparks From Ramp

I was just reviewing the videos of the Galileo division with Robert. When, all of a sudden… a spark on the screen. We watched match number 10 from Galileo in slow mode, and come to find out, as we were flipping back upright a spark from a central location on the robot appeared. The video is from the stands side, however… it may be vewiable on a soap video of match 10. Just curous if anyone might have a suggestion of where the sparks may of originated. It was amazing to catch this after viewing the tapes so many times. Thanks for any thoughts.

The sparks are probably from static, this got talked about a lot around the St. Louis regional last year. One thing we also noticed is that here around Indiana if you sit or scoot around the ramp with your feet or on your pants you can build up a nice little shock.
That’s the only thing I can think of.

This was an awful large spark, an it appeared to come from the central part of the robot… near the right side drill motor. We anaylzed soap video, and we could not visibly see it on my poor connection. Thanks though.

We had been experiencing sparking right from the beginning once we had built the ramp. The right combination of matierials and humidity would cause electrostatic discharges. Even simply pushing the robot on the ICE would generate enough voltage to tingle your arm. This discharge led to some pretty scary times when the controlller would reset or our custom circuit board would get corrupted. Eventually, we added shielding, and a variety of other things including some trailing wire for discharge. In humid envoronments it wasn’t a problem, but in Chicago in the dead of winter it was pretty bad.

We noticed the shocks right away. usually whe we would climb up the ramp to get our robot I would usually get a pretty good shock. This was really bad at West Michigan, but it was terrible at the Galileo Division. I think that this could have lead to the fact that so many teams very frying circuits and speed controllers in Galileo. At West Michigan we actually did see sparks when a robot flipped in Autonomous mode and was pushed up then down the ramp by other robots while on it side.