Kickoff and Week 1 Update
We were pleasantly surprised by how similar the 2022 game ended up being to the 2020 in terms of the game scoring element (balls) and the end game (climb). we believe this game will play nicely to our strengths after everything we learned during 2020 and 2021.
Our kickoff is structured after the one described in this video from Team 971 with some modifications and simplifications. In general we like the flow of:
- Breaking into groups to identify and present key parts of the manual
- Robot restrictions (height, weight, extension limits, ect)
- Scoring breakdown including Ranking Points
- Field Zones, Field Elements, and Game Piece locations
- Identify Robot Actions (anything a robot can do in a match)
- Combine Robot Actions into Cycles and map out possible strategies
- Look at the viability of different strategies, aided by this DOPE spreadsheet made by @cadandcookies
- Decide on team priorities
- Break into groups and brainstorm ideas for subsystems to address game tasks
We ended up with this list of priorities (again stolen from Nick A.):
After any team event such as Kickoff, Competitions, Fundraisers, ect. we like to do a reflective identifying what went well, what we learned, and what we can improve on.
Newer kids on the team and/or kids on the business oriented half of the team identified during our retrospective that they felt as if they didn’t have enough knowledge of common FRC mechanisms to feel comfortable presenting ideas. We identified a few possible ideas to address this:
- Utilize resources such as Spectrum’s Training Curriculum
- Have all team members participate in 1 - 2 week prototyping crash course over Summer/Fall so everyone gets practical, hands-on experience
Prototyping began in earnest on Tuesday. Most team members were split into one of 4 prototyping groups. To help keep everyone on the same page and provide an outlet to record the “Magic Numbers” such as ball compression, rpm, wheel sizes, ect. for any given subsystem, we created a Master Prototyping Spreadsheet. The spreadsheet features a tab for each prototyping group to record the results of their tests.
We encourage our members to record absolutely everything they test and upload it to our team Slack. To help keep things manageable we’ve created a temporary channel for each prototype group on Slack to be archived after the season is over.
The spare 3 roller intake from 2020 has served as a great test rig for intaking the 2022 balls. So far our findings have been:
- TTB compliant wheels and rubber sleeves stretched over versarollers both have great grip on these balls, with complaint wheels being better for initial contact (lowest roller) as they help deaden bouncing balls better
- Here’s a video from 1678 explaining how to float the rubber over the tube
- ViW as the last roller work good for vectoring if needed, although initial tests show passive guide fins may also work for indexing
- Bottom kicker bar like 2910 2020/2021 helps with getting the ball off the ground
- 1.5 Compression is just about right for intake
Here’s some videos of the different configurations we tried:
versaroller + rubber bottom roller w/ kicker ramp
versaroller + rubber bottom roller w/ kicker bar
compliant bottom roller w/ kicker ramp
Next up affixing a kicker bar solidly to the intake plates to see if we can solve the deadzone issue we are seeing when the balls get captured between the first roller, bumper and ground. We did get a fun video of the ball “pushing” a robot though!
The conveyor team has made an incredible amount of progress aided by our investment in using 3D Printed Prototyping blocks to quickly mock up an adjustable test rigs
Our conveyor setup and some videos:
2 Sided Conveyor, 2 Ball Feed Test
2 Sided Conveyor, 2 Ball Start Up Test
2 Sided Conveyor, 1 Ball Resistive Test
1 Sided Conveyor, 2 Ball Feed Test
We are really happy with the performance of timing belts for conveying balls, and we think we can get away with a one sided conveyor. Next up to test is replacing the plywood on our 1 sided conveyor with polycarb to dial in the compression (the though being polycarb may require more since it will have less friction). We also want to test if we can index the ball with passive guide fins inside the conveyor.
We pulled the trigger on buying several TTB telescoping kits the day after kickoff after seeing the stock dwindle overnight, and after team 1986’s 2013 Reveal Video was posted on the our Slack.
The plan right now is to replicate the climbing sequence shown in @s_forbes Lego video. We like this climb for a few reasons:
- Minimal degrees of freedom
- No need to articulate the entire robot frame with an arm\pneumatic
- Easy to revert back to L2 climb in the event where L3 and L4 climbs don’t pan out
While we wait for the TTB kits to arrive, we made progress by prototyping a sprung hook and mapping out the climbing sequence (thanks 2357 for the idea) in SolidWorks using a series of layered sketches:
Protip: you can create simple stop motion animations using Google Photos!
We are making an adjustable shooter prototype modeled after the Greyt Shooter with CNC’d side plates which allows us to move standoffs to adjust release angle and compression:
We used this Desmos Calc made by @dydx to help plan our trajectory. Plan at the moment is to shoot both high and low when pressed up against the hub using an adjustable hooded shooter.
More to come this week!
Production of the 2022 drivetrain is in full swing!
- Gearbox plates are machined
- Exploded Assembly Views are done
- Drivetrain encoder mounts and hex spacers are being printed
Overall Robot Layout
We threw together a few possible robot layouts with simplified geometry to get a sense of how to package the various different subsystems together:
Thats about everything for Week 1! We’ll be back at it again on Monday.