This is going to be a weird one, but the Grasshoppers are here to share our thoughts, ideas, processes, and mistakes.
We started off this season discussing the different activities and deciding what we would like to participate in. We quickly decided to ignore the innovation challenge and game design challenge, focusing only on improvements to our 2020 robot to improve our odds of success in Infinite Recharge at Home.
What our 2020 robot looks like:
Things to improve:
Shooter - shot accuracy, adjustable range
Collector - speed and consistency
Indexer - speed, reduce capacity from 5 to 3
Wheels - optimize for maneuverability and auto pathing
Singulator - fastest mechanism in our power cell handling system
Drivetrain - automatic shifting and power are adequate (for now)
Climber - not needed
Sucker system - illegal, even in IR@H
We started off our CAD effort by copying our 2020 OnShape directory and deleting unused subassemblies from the main robot assembly.
Does that mean that you will be replacing the entire indexer with a lower capacity design? That seems like a pretty major undertaking to save a few pounds when what you have in place already works so well.
I’m sure there is a sound reason for taking on that challenge, but I’m having a hard time ignoring the benefit of using what you’ve got over saving a few pounds. Does the robot not drive smoothly or is it more top heavy than you’d like or something?
I’m actually very excited to see how this develops along with other teams who choose to optimize for this new game. There are going to be quite a few teams that optimize and I suspect we will see some interesting new techniques come out of it.
Now if only a certain team hadn’t ruined a vacuum ground effect system last year…
I’m excited for that aspect too, feels almost more real world engineering to me when a group has to modify something to adapt to a new set of guidelines. It will be entertaining to watch as teams make the call between dropping proven designs or choosing to upgrade existing designs. And don’t get me wrong, we will be making some changes to optimize for the restrictions of the challenges presented, but I think we will be solidly in the upgrade camp.
I guess I was just surprised to hear that such a large component of this robot will be changed in the interest of what sounds like weight rather than performance. But in a game of tenths every bit counts!
We are currently developing a quality plan for controlling and improving our 2020 robot before we get into detailed design work. This will help us identify the key changes that we should implement in order to improve overall robot quality.
The initial results were interesting, if obvious. It showed issues with battery, radio, and powertrain were the most concerning.