How are you doing the swirl finish on those parts? We use a rotary sander on our parts to get a matte finish, but this seems like a very nice alternative
Hi Ari, we will make a quick video tomorrow showing how to achieve this finish!
This is just a small post to showcase some testing we did today of shooting cones. We’ve found that although possible it is challenging to do it consistently as there are to many variables that you must control (speed of shooter, robot position, the orientation of cone etc).
(successful shot 1)
(successful shot 1) (followed by missed shot – this highlights how inconsitant it can be as nothing was changed between these 2 shots)
I hope you found this interesting or helpful! Also, stay tuned for our Week 5 Recap!
This is just a quick post to highlight our most first video tutorial which shows teams how to put a very simple – yet very attractive swirl pattern on box tubing. If you have any questions about the process please let us know, we are happy to help!
Also stay tuned for our week 5 recap! Will be coming out very shortly!
Awesome video, thank you for taking the time to make it.
Very nicely done!
I wanted add: this process is called ‘engine turning’ and can be performed with a number of different tools. I have found that if I wear nitrile gloves during and after the process (until aluminum’s natural oxide layer reforms) I can avoid staining the parts with finger oils.
Looking forward to seeing this all together!
Week 5 was a very productive week for Team 3161, with production and manufacturing moving ahead with a fast pace. We got our parts that were sent to Sable back and began cleaning and preparing for assembly. Lots of fast paced action finally reaching the shop. Detailed below is our fifth week of build season, as well as a quick summary. We will update our log next week with our week 6 progress, so make sure to check our thread soon!
- Design - Models built to verify the strength of the arm
- Manufacturing - Production and manufacturing of pieces for the superstructure and core robot elements
- Production & Assembly - Parts received from our Manufacturing sponsor have arrived and have been prepped for assembly.
- Programming - Setting up pose estimation, Intake-Wrist prototype integration, and trying out initial autonomous routines with the testbot.
We received and started prepping all of our sheet metal parts! A huge thanks to our metal fabrication sponsor “Sable Metal Fabrication”!
With the help of one of our team mentors, we ran a set of simulations, called Finite Element Analysis, that simulated the stresses and loads that our intake arm extrusions would theoretically face. This was mainly done to evaluate if we have gone too aggressive with our planned pocketing or not. It was a bit of a complicated process to understand as team members with a limited post-secondary engineering background but we had two main simulations explained to us;
One simulation set shows the Von Mises stress that the arm will experience, it is the “theoretical measurement of the estimated stress within a material”, different materials behave differently when placed under pressure and tension. The stress-strain curve was explained to us, and after calculations of our given material, we managed to find suitable proof that our arm would be able to handle the strain and validated that our pocketing was fine in the end.
(This screenshot shows the Von Mises Stresses that our 2nd stage arm will face when extended. Simulation says the maximum Von mises stress is 9.81 MPa and the Yield stress is 275 MPa. A factor of safety of ~28)
(This screenshot shows the Von Mises Stresses that our 1st stage arm will face when extended. Simulation says the maximum Von mises stress is 24.09 MPa and the Yield stress is 275 MPa. A factor of safety of ~11)
The second set of simulations explains the maximum displacement or bending the arm will get when it is loaded
(This one shows the Maximum displacement (bending) our 2nd stage arm would experience with a full theoretical load (maximum intake weight) when extended. The estimated maximum displacement is 0.6406 mm)
(This one shows the Maximum displacement (bending) our 1st stage arm would experience with a full theoretical load (maximum intake weight+2nd Stage) when extended. The estimated maximum displacement is 0.4422 mm)
These representations are examples of the results of the calculation, which provides us with a sense of confidence that our design should be able to theoretically handle some of the forces the arm will experience.
On another note, we have done work to add refinements derived from prototyping data to our “competition” intake design. Several elements were changed from the interim design used as a reference for designing the rest of the robot, The material was switched from 0.184 Aluminum plates to 6mm Polycarbonate plates (mainly due to in house capability and fast turnaround vs having it go through our manufacturing sponsor, which allows us to iterate between versions within days or even hours, vs up to 2 weeks), Spacing and wheels determined from the prototypes added into the design as well (3 inch staggered wheels and surgical tubing lined flexible tube was determined to be optimal as of now).
(Snippet of the new intake while it is being CADded, some details need to be determined still before it can be considered competition-ready, but we hope to solve enough details for this version so it can be made and tested next week.)
Manufacturing & Production
This week was a huge pace change and pivot point for the team. With the start of semester 2 and the academics settling back down, we began hosting daily meetings and for longer hours. With all of this extra time and manpower, production blazed forward and we really started to get a sense of momentum.
At the beginning of the week, before we received our sponsorship piece, we finished the majority of the superstructure and arm pieces that needed to be made in the shop. Lathe parts were manufactured efficiently with each piece being given to a student who would then take charge of Lathing, Boring and Tapping the piece. Getting these done quickly before our order came in with the majority of the pieces was a huge boon for efficiency and organization.
We received our Sable order, one of our new sponsors for this year, near the end of the week and quickly jumped on the opportunity to move forward with assembly and production. A majority of the pieces needed to be deburred, sanded down and cleansed with alcohol. Lots of different ongoing projects and different groups of people working on a wide variety of gave us a taste of the hectic nature of build season that was greatly missed.
(Students sanding down gussets and plates)
The belly pan took a huge amount of time and effort due to all of the holes and slots that needed to be filed down. Thanks to all of the hard work and effort however, the wiring and electrical components of the robot will be able to move forward smoothly.
(Students deburring the parts received from Sable)
A superstructure mock-up was able to be made this week with the arrival of the parts. We finally got a physical representation of what all of our cad and planning work had been for and also provided us with a sense of scale on what the size of the final robot design would be like.
This, in turn with the arm pieces, gave us a nice overall representation with how big the final design will be with the actual parts, and also a feel on how much more integration and building is like, with many other subteams relying on mechanical to begin more work such as programming and electrical.
Programming this week started with mounting the limelight and setting up pose estimation on our test robot. In the process of doing so, photonvision was installed on our limelight and calibrated with two different resolutions; 320x280 and 640x480. This was done to test the performance.
Based on our testing, 320x280 gave us about 3m of accuracy and 30 frames per second before glitching out. With the 640x480 resolution, we were able to get to 5m of accuracy with 5 to 7 frames per second. Ultimately, we settled on 320x280 as it was able to provide us with faster response time. However, this is not final and we might change the resolution based on our needs in the future when we go to practice fields, as pose estimation doesn’t require us to have vision responses all the time. It’s just for path corrections.
For pose estimation verification, we first ran it without vision feedback and tried to stop the robot from moving while the wheels were able to slide on the floor. Which gave us false results as it thought it was moving, but in reality, it was stationary. For our second test, we added vision measurements to our pose estimation class and ran the test again, this time the pose estimation didn’t change even though the wheels were sliding on the ground and the robot was stationary
Another big portion of programming this week was getting our auto system work with other subsystem integrations such as the Intake.
This was our first auto test:
Here we tested to ditch the cone while the robot moved forward to grab another piece. Although we’re getting promising results, This test needs to be done on a carpet and a cube as well to see how the game pieces react to the carpet.
Our second auto test:
Here we tried to shoot the cone while half of the robot was on the community zone line and to see how we can reduce our cycles during auto. Shooting from this distance and with our relatively low-fidelity prototype, wasn’t consistent; However this will be solved once we add the Arm and a higher-fidelity intake to the robot.
Our third auto test:
Here we tested the 1 cone auto without shooting it from the community zone line. Will probably stick with shooting as it’s faster and cooler; However it’s worth noting that the auto speeds are limited to 0.5m/s for testing purposes and would need to test all the autos again with the competition configuration to see which is faster.
I hope that you all had as much fun reading this post as we had working on the robot this week. As always, lots of luck and love to all of the competing teams this year. Make sure to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your team and demonstrate your appreciation for each other. Make sure to check out our build thread next week for the week 6 update!
Can you share the meshing of your FEA models please?
Are you pocketing 1/8in wall tube or 1/16in wall tube?
We can share once the mentor who helped is no longer busy.
Edit: Also its 1/8" wall tubing.
I’ve modeled a tubing for FRC in a large number of configurations and have always found that un-pocketed 1/16 wall tubing is lighter and/or stronger than pocketed/lightened 1/8in wall tubing. Thus you may want to consider making those parts from un-lightened 1/16th tubing.
If you’re interested I’d be happy to repost some of my results here.
I think we didnt have a source for 1/16" tubing at that size at the time. But i will most certainly bring it up in the meeting! Thanks
Edit: took a look at our typical suppliers and none of them have 4x4x1/16" aluminum tube. So very likely thats our reasoning.
1/16” wall 6061 2x1 is very difficult to source in Canada, the only good source is Studica (They stock Andymark products) for $50CAD/6ft
This week held massive progress for our robot. With a majority of the wiring and coding being completed, all that is left is final touches and some design tweaks as difficulties arose. Detailed below is our sixth week of build season, as well as a quick summary. We will update our log once we have made solid so make sure to check our thread soon!
- Design - Temporarily descoping robot design due to some issues that arose
- Electrical - Wiring of the Chassis and of the Superstructure
- Assembly - Completed superstructure, chassis and some of the arm assembly
Programming - Integration with new intake and chassis, debugging scouting app
This week we are proud to share our functioning competition chassis! Assembled, wired and functioning within 3 days with only 1 connection issue to troubleshoot, a first for the team! - Check the “Electrical” section for more details!
Unfortunately, Due to a compounding number of elements, such as scheduling delays out of the team’s control, manufacturing issues associated with the telescoping arm and programming wanting more time to do work on the robot, we had to re-scope our whole system for our week 1 competition so that it is way simpler and can be done faster.
We decided we wanted a fully operational robot for week one, even if it meant we had to scale down some functionality such as l3 scoring and some ground pickup functionality, rather than show up with a barely functional robot (as we unfortunately have experienced before, so we hope to avoid that this year).
An interesting insight is that this temporarily re-scoped robot still manages to meet most of our priority list goals set in week 1 of build.
We devised a simpler arm composed of two pieces of 2 x 1 0.095 6061 Extrusion attached together with bolts which will function as a simple stick on which the intake will be attached. Although not exactly as advanced as we hoped for, it will be simple enough to deal with for Georgian until we can complete our original arm for waterloo (we decided to outsource some parts that we had difficulty manufacturing for that arm to a new sponsor, but their lead times and other team concerns meant that we had to go with the simpler arm as explained before)
(New Arm in CAD)
With the bellypan having been filed down at the beginning of the week, we quickly moved forward with starting to wire the chassis. We have had difficulties in the past with robots shutting down due to can errors and wiring faults, which really motivated us to make sure to make this wiring clean and concise. The plans for the can, 12 gauge and 22 gauge power were all pre planned out and checked to make sure it created a short and clean route.
(Bellypan in first stages of wiring)
Since we already had a practice chassis built in the off season, we just simply took off the components piece by piece and started ziptieing and using screws to hold them on. The sparkmaxes were placed in separate corners to help mitigate the amount of wiring needed to connect the power to the MK4i swerve modules, and also to help with separating the can wiring into separate “groups”. The can runs from the roborio, to our pigeon gyro, to then going from each pair of sparkmaxes and their respective cancoder on top. This pattern of sparkmax to cancoder follows for each successive grouping to finally terminate at the pdh. We turned off the resistor in the pdh and will attach a separate resistor at the end of the arm to terminate. With this patterning, even if there is a can failure with the superstructure and arm, we are still able to drive the chassis. The power ran to the mini power module, with each cancoder using a separate run instead of combining them all into one in case of failure.
(Bellypan attached to the rest of the chassis, in the process of being wired)
One interesting thing to note for our wiring was the use of Wagoes to attach the wires. We wanted to eliminate the use of soldering both to save time but to also have flexibility available to us in case of emergencies when in between matches. They feel strong and have functioned perfectly for us so far. We used zip tie squares onto the chassis to help organise the wires, leaving us with a clean wiring and should eliminate any potential issues that could come from the electrical side of the robot design.
(Example of Wagoes being used in the process of wiring)
Moving forward, we wanted to start integrating the wiring to the motor and controllers of the intake and arm. Since our radio is on the superstructure itself, we had a radio cover printed to prevent damages. Once the final touches are completed on the superstructure and the breaker has been safely mounted, the wiring should be completed.
We also started attaching the superstructure to the chassis itself to begin the final stages of design, and also for finishing up the last pieces of wiring.
(Beginning of wiring integration planning with superstructure attached)
As we got the plate parts from our manufacturing sponsor (Sable) and had them properly prepared, we started assembling the superstructure in week 5, and we finished them this week.
We also started planning and practicing integration with the rest of the robot once the chassis was made online.
(New Arm semi integrated into the bot, showing both starting configurations and L2 scoring configurations.)
Hopefully for next week we get most of the bot assembled and wired, as well as the competition intake cut, assembled and integrated, so we can begin integration and autonomous testing, as well as driver selection and practice.
This week was more of a mechanically focused week, which meant that there was not much programming to do as everything was being set up for final tuning and testing. Our programming subteam helped with finishing wiring the new chassis and making sure that the IDs were properly updated with new values, and also worked on modifying the code to perform with the new electronics ( the pdh, mpm, rpm etc).
With the arm and intake system also being mostly finished, some of the code was also written and modified to reflect the new situation. The subteam worked on writing code to test our arm prototype and its integration with other systems, and also to figure out the inverse kinematics for the new arm and how much pid and force they will need to properly balance and lift itself. The programming lead also managed to test the scouting app we will use for the upcoming season to collect info, and fixed some prevalent bugs along the way.
We have taken great strides this week in our robot construction and assembly this week, and we are eager to compete at our week 1 competition at Georgian College with our completed design. As always, lots of luck and love to all of the competing teams this year. Make sure to check out our build thread soon for our finalised week 1 competition robot design post!
The students had a very busy week and weekend working with the robot, but they had to also study so I am temporarily filling in for one of the students who usually posts these updates.
Unfortunately had to abandon the collapsible details we usually have for these updates due to videos not embedding properly with them.
This week held massive progress for our robot. With a majority of the wiring and coding being completed, all that is left is final touches and some design tweaks as difficulties arose. Detailed below is our seventh week of build season, as well as a quick summary. We will update our log once we have made more progress and go to competition next week so make sure to check our thread soon!
- Assembly and Integration - Finishing up last minute changes and getting the bot ready for testing and tuning
- Driver’s Practice - Getting our drive team set up and lots of time on the field.
- Programming - Setting Presets, Autos, Lots of debugging and fine tuning
This week we are proud to share our completed and fully functional robot! Able to score on all 3 Levels (Except Cube L3 for now) and functioning well.
With the robot being completed, it was time for us to pick a name for the bot and start the official branding. We wanted to continue with our naming theme of the ancient Greek titans, so it limited our choices to a select few. With a small amount of debate, we soon came to an agreed consensus.
So, without further ado, please welcome the 3161 2023 bot …. Krios! The titan of constellations, we thought this name would perfectly suit the theme of the game about making patterns on the grid, or ‘constellations’.
The early portions of this week were dedicated to finalising the mechanical portions of the robot, with fine tuning and debugging following. We had a stint of bad weather and snow storms, which required us to finish wiring at our team captain’s home. All that was required was finishing up the CAN for the arm and wrist controllers, and also finishing up providing power for all motors and electronics required. We attached the RSL, and also included colour sensor wires and any other wires needed in a nice cable protector travelling up the arm.
Krios all wired and dressed up in cable protectors.*
Robot Currently weighs around 101 lb with battery (88.75 lb w/o) which means we have plenty to play with in terms of additional counterweight.
We discovered a potential way to accidentally tip the robot:
This means we had to set soft limits as well as go through adding ballast in the chassis to counteract the arm
Initial Cycling Tests with Defense (important to note that this defense test looks to be mostly invalid in sections where the robot is trying to score due to protected zones):
We unfortunately found it very difficult to intake cubes and score them without them getting stuck.
See in the video how it tries to further intake the cube when it’s supposed to be releasing it, we believe this is due to the counter rotating nature of the intake rollers and a structural element to keep the cube from touching the top roller and/or a 3rd roller behind the two existing ones (also theoretically enables L3 Cube) would fix the issue (this made us focus primarily on cones for the weekend).
Before we wrapped up to go to the practice field, we tested our intake’s robustness, and based on our tests, we are delighted that it can take some hits with no damage that affects its operation.
Besides these few small issues and the bumpers still need to be made, Krios is fully functional and is fully built for more advanced testing and compete!
With finally being done assembling, wiring, and initially testing the robot, it was time to calibrate the code and get some hands-on practice in preparation for our events. With a big thank you to the Robodrome and 5406 for letting us use their practice field. We managed to test a huge variety of different situations and even play a few simulated matches with other visiting teams.
Krios at the practice field with intake resting
We tested three main methods of cone/cube acquisition in the human player stations; from the shelf, directly dropped from the chute for ground pickup and the robot docked to the chute for quick cone intake.
Human player shelf cone intake
This intake method should eliminate the randomness of having cones tip and fall over while falling in the human player chute, and provide a fast and more efficient cycle while going to and from the grid
Our human player started practicing how to consistently drop cones in a specific orientation for ground pickup
We also did mock matches with other visiting teams in the field, it was very productive and helped us and them gain a lot of insights on the dynamics of the field with multiple robots in play. but due to one of the teams not yet revealing their robot for this year, we unfortunately cannot show videos we recorded that are associated with these matches or tests that have their robots visibly identifiable in the background.
Programming this week was focused on testing all of their code and ensuring that everything is running safely and smoothly.
At the practice field, programming spent time preparing and testing the multiple autos we were aiming for with our auto selection dashboard. We calibrated the different measurements and paths necessary to have a fully functional auto and for the ability to adapt to other team’s requirements and capabilities.
Auto testing videos:
(first attempt “oops”)
(L3 + L1)
(Failed attempt at L3+L1)
This week was full of exciting and anxious energy as we near the end of the 2023 build season. We are preparing and doing lots of practicing to do well in our week 1 competition at Georgian College with our completed design. As always, lots of luck and love to all of the competing teams this year. Make sure to check out our build thread soon for any other robot updates and our week 1 comp post!
Hello everyone! We competed at our week 1 event, Georgian College, which was a MASSIVE success for the team! We had so much fun playing matches and seeing the fruit of our labour and hard work that we put in during the build season. Braving through one of the harshest storms of the winter season, we still had a huge turnout for the event and a large number of our team members made it to Barrie safely. We had an absolute blast in Barrie and we are extremely excited to share our success and appreciation of the FRC community with you all.
We are so very proud to be winners of the Impact award at Georgian College! Thank you to all of the lovely support we have received thus far to take us to this point and for being the reason we managed to earn this award. We are also so happy to have been the event finalists along with 8731 and our alliance captain, 1325. Huge thank you to them for being a strong and formidable alliance and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them in this endeavour. We really appreciate everyone who reads and provides guidance to us on this thread and throughout the community.
Although our qualification results were not what we had initially hoped, with us ending in the 12th spot during qualifications, we knew that our robot was performing at a very consistent level at teleop and if we were able to keep this consistency and speed, we would be able to hold a strong position as a fast complimentary L2 bot that would be a good match to a consistent L3 bot.
Throughout some of our early matches, we realised that there was a lack of communication between the Human Player and the rest of the drive team. We used the LEDs present on our robot and made them flash different colours in accordance with what game piece we wanted, with purple being cubes and yellow being cones. This system seemed to work alright, but during intaking often the robot position would be off and it would have to move closer in order to have proper orientation and get the cones. We hope to improve this for UWaterloo, our next event.
Scouting and strategy went smoothly thanks to our scouting app, Manto, that our programming lead developed to move away from paper scouting. It quickly lets us record information on matches and gather enough information to make informed decisions during matches and for strategically developing ideas for specific matches. We got a huge wealth of information that let us make informed decisions, and the qr-code based system easily lets us catalogue and collect the information. Although we were not alliance captains during selections, it was still a great boon to have all this knowledge and help our eventual alliance captain in the event pick our third team to complete the alliance.
Semi-Finals & Finals
We were picked by 1325, the 3rd Alliance Captain as first pick to be in their alliance for the playoffs, along with 8731 as the second pick. We were so grateful to accept their invitation and we were blown away by our performance as a team along with 8731. With a huge amount of enthusiasm, we stepped into the semi-finals.
Making it through match 4 and 8, We won unchallenged throughout the semi-finals. Our team combination of 1325 scoring on L3 while we filled up links on L2 was a match made in heaven. We won points swiftly and efficiently, while 8731 played a solid defense against the opposing alliances. Lots of tense and stressful moments which all led up to Match 11. Going up against the Number 1 Alliance was a huge challenge but with lots of skill and some fouls on their end, we managed to beat them and move on to the finals. What a rush!
It was such an honour to be able to play at the finals rounds and take full advantage of the Georgian college event. It was big for the team as it was the farthest we went through in an event since GTR West in 2012, 10 years ago. We went up against great sportsmanship and we all tried our hardest to win the event and get the blue banner. Unfortunately we did lose both final matches even after beating Alliance 1 previously, but we tried our hardest and showcased what we are capable of and on how successful our season has been so far.
Again, Huge thank you to 8731 and 1325 for the amazing experience and for the strong performance! We won’t ever forget what we have done together. Big congratulations to the winning alliance of 4039, 1114 and 7659! It was a well fought battle and they definitely deserved the win.
One of the most exciting moments of the event for us was being able to win the Impact Award! Through a strong essay, great presentation and a culmination of many years of team effort allowed us to earn this award. We are extremely grateful to the community and our sponsors for getting us up to this point, and for everyone else who has gotten us up to this point. Being qualified for DCMP was a great relief for our time and gives us time to really hone the presentation and get our delivery perfect. Having the Impact Award be our first blue banner was a very exciting moment as a team and we hope to be able to move forward with our presentation.
Even though we performed just as great as we had hoped, there are always things to improve on for the next time, in our case the UWaterloo event in a few weeks time.
Improved and Faster Auto Routines:
Our Auto routines for this event were done without any vision aids, and while it was mostly functional, it made us have to slow the auto down, hindering more ambitious functions and had the potential to miss the scoring platforms or intaking the game pieces if the robot unexpectedly hit an obstacle. We also unfortunately did not have an auto balancing mode ready for the first event and that proved to be very disadvantageous to us. So we plan to mostly use the break between the two events to improve on this and implement vision processing and pose estimation to our routines so it can be faster, more consistent, fault-tolerant, and hopefully enable us to do more ambitious modes such as the much internally-coveted 2 game piece + balance auto.
More Human Player - Driver/Operator Coordination:
A greater form of communication between the HP and the rest of the drive team is a must, as getting a faster cycle time will give us more time to fill up any other links, and any miscommunication can contribute to the match outcome. We plan to improve this by getting more practice time and human player familiarization of the robot led codes, as well as adding improvements to the overall system.
Shelve the Telescoping Arm, Keep and Improve the current System:
We have decided to stick with our current system and maybe make some small tweaks for better intaking and outtaking. The original telescoping arm design that we planned to initially implement after this event, has been left to the side for potentially the rest of the season, as any more drastic mechanical changes could cause even more issues and a greater hassle.
Faster Cycling and More Consistent L3 Cone Scoring:
Our L3 cube scoring has been surprisingly consistent enough, although our L3 cone scoring needs improvement. With more driver practice and the implementation of software fixes and possibly scoring aids, the L3 Cone scoring should hopefully become almost as consistent as our L2 Cone and L2/L3 Cube scoring while also improving our L2 cone and cube cycle speed.
Better HP Cube Routines
We noticed that our Human Player Cube pickup is a bit sluggish and suboptimal for our goals, we plan to hopefully rectify this by exploring methods to add a set point in the arm and wrist that enables a direct hand-off of cubes from the human player station to the intake, like what we currently have for the cone.
After all of the excitement and fun with the event, it was time to celebrate and reward ourselves for all of our hard work this season. With some well deserved treats and lots of cheering, we feel ready to take on the rest of the season. Thank you all so much for reading and supporting our team and for being the reason we are able to have such a large impact on the community. As always, lots of love and luck to all competing teams and we hope you can join us as we look forward to a successful rest of the season
Hello everyone! We just wanted to share our most recent video which is a recap of our experience at the Georgian College Event. We hope you enjoy it!
Today is the day, the team is loading in the robot into the Waterloo event later in the day and although sorry for the lack of updates the past 2 weeks with a mid-semester break and a busy couple of days preparing afterwards, we have made some strides into improving our robot for Waterloo, and we are really excited for what’s to come in this event!
Upon the conclusion of the Georgian event, we set a couple of goals we want to achieve going into waterloo, and these included:
We have successfully implemented vision and pose estimation to the system after a moderately painful week of debugging, tuning and planning. As a result we have devised 3 main autos to work with for this event; an L2 2.5 Game piece + Balance, an L2 3 Game piece “Link” Auto, and a cable protector side auto.
Had a series of practice runs to help familiarize HP/Driver coordination more, leading to less cone handoff issues and a faster cube HP Intake run.
Kept our goal which was pretty easy and simple, although the CNC’d telescope extrusions were delivered to us (it looks so nice oh my, see below for a photo of it), we plan on using it as an offseason project instead…
Unfortunately a more consistent L3 cone scoring was found to be difficult and requires large enough mechanism changes that would eat too much time and undo some progress software has made(given we only had about a week to work with since the other week was march break for us), so we decided to only do L3 cones on an extraordinary basis for this event.
However we were able to do a series of driver practice runs that improved our cycle times at endgame relative to what we were already achieving at Georgian, an important thing to note though is that this was done with no defense, so we will see how much defense will bring down that number for us.
We have noticed that our cube and upright cone intake setpoints at georgian were suboptimal, leading the intake to miss slightly overinflated cubes or tip upright cones, rather than intake them in. So we introduced some minor changes to improve their reliability.
We also tried installing centering guides into the cone intake, although albeit a bit fragile in the early iterations, it works well in centering the cone, avoiding the variations associated with the roller intakes and resulting in a faster and more consistent teleop and auto cone scoring.
Below are a series of cycling tests that we have done, again huge thanks to 5406 for letting us use their practice field.
These tests allowed us to find out that we were able to cycle a full L2 grid + some L1 or L3 cube in one full match (assuming a 2 game piece auto), which is really promising but as noted above, this is without defense so we will see.
We also found out that in our case, the fastest way to fill L1 is using cones and not cubes.
One of these videos had another person manning HP instead of our HP, and it shows that practice and coordination is really important if we want a fast and consistent human player cycle time.
In some of the videos, it seemed that we had difficulty intaking ground tipped cones, which is not that much of a deal given our focus is more on chute pickup at the moment, but it was later found to be a wrong setpoint.
We have found out that the inconsistency associated with our L3 Cone is too high, which is why we do not really want to use it unless really needed. Something to look onto again and solve after Waterloo though.
We initially had issues about having to mirror pathplanner pathing, causing issues and possibly requiring us to do 2 separate paths per side for an auto, this issue took a while to fix but was eventually fixed by creating a custom python script that just mirrors the path.
Videos of some of the autos we have done, playing with various times and techniques so we can obtain a faster and more consistent autonomous
L2 “Link” run, even though it lasts slightly more than 15s in this video, we managed to get it down to about 13s at the conclusion of yesterday.
L2 2 game piece balance runs, a series of videos showing numerous attempts at trying to test this auto mode
One thing to note is that this practice field is in rough shape. One of our mentors had to hold the charge station up so it didn’t get stuck when we climbed (some of the videos they failed). The barrier isn’t straight and moves so it’s not even easy to align correctly at the start and there is only 1 mark to place game pieces down (where the cube was) so the cone was measured and best guessed.
So a lot of those near misses are seeming like they are poor field alignment. So hopefully later after load in today, we can get practice matches in to make little tweaks to the pathing.
Overall we are very happy with the results, this is the most advanced auto setup the team has had in its 13+ year history and it is something that is very significant to the team.
We have made pit collateral hopefully done in time for this event, showing the basic features of the robot when explaining them to judges or interested folks in the pits.
Also our 2023 robot page is up at: 2023 Season | Team 3161 - Tronic Titans
Telescope Extrusions CNC’d by a sponsor, unfortunately these won’t be on the bot for the official season, hopefully in the offseason it will be!
We swapped our green compliant wheels for custom gold wheels for the rest of the season.
Found a potential failure mode in our intake belts, we believe this is due to a lack of current limiting in the system and have implemented changes to prevent that for Waterloo.
This week was full of work and dedication in order to prepare for our next event, and was very neat seeing what other teams have done for week 2 and week 3, we are really excited for what Waterloo has to offer since there are a lot of very strong teams in the lineup. As always, lots of luck and love to all of the competing teams this year. Make sure to check out our build thread soon for any other robot updates and our waterloo recap post!
Absolutely amazing work 3161! Im blown away with the progress you’ve made this season!! I’m hoping to be able to swing by Waterloo tomorrow afternoon and pick your brains on a few things .
Best of luck this weekend!!
You guys looked great at the practice field. Good luck this weekend!
Hello everyone! Last weekend we competed at the University of Waterloo event! It was a blast like always, and it was great seeing all of the different and improved designs of fellow teams’ robots. The city and university itself were amazing and the effort of the volunteers and staff made the experience even more memorable. We hope you enjoy this summary of our time at the event!
We are so very proud to be winners of the Sustainability Award! It was a great honour to be recognised for our efforts on keeping a smooth running team and on our capability to keep the values of STEM and FRC moving forward. We hope we can use this to make a positive change for good and learn on how these values that earned us this award can build up a stronger community together
Overall, we had a very good time at Waterloo and felt like we tried our hardest to achieve as strong a performance as we could. We ended in 9th place at the end of the Qualification matches, which was a considerable jump from our Georgian College placement.
Using new techniques and improvements from Georgian College, we found ways to make our cycle times even smaller and, along with our autos, fill the entirety of L2 while still balancing and placing a few pieces in the other levels. Fine tuning this cycle time and human pick up coordinations will give us a stronger performance during ONCMP and other future events.
Using our Manto scouting app, we were able to easily gather information during matches and organise the best possible strategy to win the match. Along with pit scouting, we had a stable strategy team to help back up the drive team during each match. Having a solid system for data collection was a huge asset and a reason for the smooth operations during comp.
Another significant improvement that we had gained over our Georgian College event was the consistency and scale of our Autos. What used to be just 2 L2 game pieces or an L3 and balance became an entire link on L2 or score less game pieces but balance. These extra points during auto were a deciding factor in a few matches and we hope to make these even more consistent for future events and reach the ceiling that we know we can reach as a team.
Our Qualification and Elimination matches are available to watch on youtube and were live streamed if you would like to view any of our specific matches.
Once our 9th place ranking was solidified from the qualification matches, it was time for alliance selections to begin. We were very grateful to have been picked by Sir Lancerbot, Team 4917, and to have worked with MineKee, Team 7520. It was amazing to experience the creativity of other teams. It was a great coordinated effort to make it to match 12 with both teams, and we can’t wait to see where we can all move forward together in the future.
We also have to give a huge round of applause to the rookie team we founded, 9098, for making it as alliance captains of alliance 3 and more importantly as finalists! It’s amazing to see how far they have gotten and the excellent performance they have shown at their events. We can’t wait to see how far they will grow in the future.
As always, there is space for improvement. Whether it be an organisational, mechanical or programming issue, there is space to look back on what we could have improved on.
More Consistent Autos- Our autos are ambitious, and were fantastic when they worked and made a whole link. However, we saw that sometimes the intake would miss a game piece or it would not make it on to the node. Further tuning and calculations need to be processed to have our autos working 100% of the time. Getting all of the details ironed down and getting them consistently working will give us much greater scoring capability.
We also observed that when starting on blue alliances, and extrapolating the observation makes the same effect if we ran a cable protector auto in the red side, that the vision system is essentially blind (no apriltags to detect until much later in the auto sequence), leading to less accurate blue alliance autos at waterloo. For ONCMP we plan on adding a second limelight to mitigate this. We also explored trying to relocate the existing limelight to somewhere central but the additional recalibration and compensation needed for this to work meant that it would be more beneficial for the programming team to just work with an additional limelight.
A Better Intake- We found that our intake would inaccurately place cones or cubes in the higher levels. Getting our angles and measurements to a more accurate point can give us greater consistency in scoring potentials during L3, and free up the stress for our alliance partners.
We recently cut a revised intake, it is the same geometry as the outgoing intake but has a clearance cutout in the bottom, that helpfully will aid in the robot being able to intake cubes while strafing sideways. One of the biggest issues regarding cube pickup was the alignment required in such a narrow intake, and this revision should help in somewhat mitigating that issue.
We will also be trying out a new bottom roller, the current solution was good but we found it somewhat inconsistent in intaking cubes, and definitely inconsistent shooting cones to L3, so we are trying a custom rigid urethane roller, we hope to get some tests with this new roller design in the coming days to see how much of a change it makes from the existing surgical tube wrapped roller.
Early test with a standing cone
Expanded Human Player Pickup- During competition, we saw that the intake sometimes had difficulty picking up cubes from off the ground. Precious time was wasted getting the game pieces that could have been spent scoring. Developing our intake to take directly from the human player chute can save more time when scoring and get our cycles much faster. Another avenue to potentially explore would be getting game pieces from the shelves, as these would give us more flexibility on where to place the human player and also give the drive team many more choices during a match to further strategy.
Faster Cycle times- Although our cycle times and ability to fill a full l2 node during a match was something to be proud of for the team, we feel we could do better, and the robot can only do so much, so this will mainly involve more drive team practice . We have booked practice fields in the current and coming week to hopefully work to improve this, as well as tune the autos better.
Waterloo was a huge success for us as a team and we are proud to have made it this far. Huge congratulations to the event winners and finalists and the Impact award winners. The venue was beautiful and we felt all of the teams treated each other with gracious professionalism. As always, lots of luck and love to all of the competing teams and we can’t wait to see all of the teams at the ONCMP event.