X-SHARC #6838 | Build Blog 2022

X-SHARC #6838 Build Blog 2022

Team #6838 is very excited to be a part of the #openalliance this year. We are a team from Istanbul, Turkey. We currently have 40+ students and 5 mentors. We’ll be sharing everything we go through this season with its ups and downs.

We like to mention that we are not a very experienced team and we are almost entirely student-led. Until this season, we did not have any technical mentors but this season we have one technical mentor and two other mentors who assist with the manufacturing. So, you might know a lot better than how we (try to) do something. If so, do not hesitate to leave some feedback.

Rapid React Season Goals

  • We want to be inclusive to our new members as much as possible. We want to give them areas to challenge themselves and learn.
  • We want as many members as possible to participate in the robot assembly.
  • We want to have a stronger social media appearance and do more outreach.
  • We aim to follow our build season calendar spot on.
  • We shoot for winning at least one of the two regionals we compete in as either the alliance captain or the first pick.
  • We, therefore, aim to qualify for the Champs.
  • Lastly, we want to make sure all students and mentors are safe regarding the pandemic we all are going through.

Kick-Off

As with most teams, the Turkish teams will not be holding an in-person kick-off event this year. We were planning to do a 118 inspired kick-off with parents and students following a similar structure.

However, the rising Omicron spikes have prevented us to hold a gathering as such with more than 100 participants. So, we switched to a hybrid kick-off event with 20 students physically participating and the remaining members and parents tuning in through a Zoom meeting.

Our Kick-Off organization team has put in a lot of work into tomorrow. They have great workshops and surprises planned which our Kick-Off lead will go in-depth in a separate post.

(For strategizing, we follow a somewhat unfamiliar approach to other teams because of our geographical limitations. The game animation is revealed around 9 pm here in Istanbul, so it is moderately late to strategize. To work around this, we will be handing out worksheets that are revised by 6328 for their kickoff. Thanks 6328, 2791, and 1678! Students will fill these out Saturday night and Sunday morning and submit a photo of it to a Google Form which will later be used in the virtual strategy meeting the same day. )

Regionals

We will be competing at İzmir Regional (March 3-6) Week 1, and also at Bosphorus Regional (March 18-20) Week 3.

Build Season Calendar

For the build season planning, we almost copied our calendar off of 1678. This year, we want to include as many members as possible and be very planned while doing so. So, copying 1678's calendar and doing little tweaks to fit our team's needs, we came up with a pre-season

calendar like this.

You can also view the calendar here:

It is great to (hopefully) finally experience the full build&comp season again and this time as a part of the #openalliance.

We’ll keep you updated.

Have a wonderful Kick-Off!

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Hi!!
As the Kick-Off lead, I would love to share the action plan we took and the activities we planned and performed in the Kick-Off day.

At the beginning, the design team worked on new creation of (several styles of) badges that are special to this Kick-Off event organized by us, Team 6838. Also relevant timeline brochures were prepared for follow-up, according to our action plan of the organization. You can view these mentioned designs below.



badge2

We started the action plan with putting FRC Kick-Off’s essentials together as a list. Later, we realized that the workshops on different aspects in FRC is a vital activity to be done on Kick-Off since our team had a huge recruitment of new members at the beginning of this year. Therefore, our PR subteam gathered the important topics to be covered for each department and the department captains prepared slideshows as well as some interactive assignments. For example in CAD department’s workshop, the captain went over the simple rules and principles of designing with a visual slide and after that, the members in the workshop were assigned to create a key holder according to what they just have learned. At the end of the day, we had two 30-min sessions of 5 different departments held simultaneously.

Second bullet point on the action list was to perform a “FRC Strategy 101” lecture, given by the former captain of the team. We found it very important for our new team members to make sure what to keep in mind while watching the game reveal, beforehand. The strategy lecture was inspired by Team 118, thanks for your cooperation in terms of releasing the strategy documents of yours!! Ultimately, the team was aware of how to develop strategy from root to edge through the season, at the end of this lecture.

While learning and educating ourselves during the Kick-Off, we retained entertainment and a high pitch team spirit. To do that, we made an all-round activity, what we called “Treasure Hunt”. Due to hybrid system, our team was separated into two groups: one group was joining us from their home via Zoom and the other half was able to attend the event organized in our school. We put a lot of work in order to connect these separate groups together and Treasure Hunt activity rushed to help. The treasure was the Winner Award and it was hidden somewhere in the school. There were several clues to lead the teams to the treasure. However, the clues were only sent to online-attending members. So the school groups needed to be in touch with their online partners in order to reach the clues and find the 3-digit code hidden in the clue’s spot, in the school. We made it similar to the series “Heist” where the “Professors” were online group who lead the other group who play this game “in person”. It was very much fun to play and I can admit that this game helped us to build stronger communication skills within the team.

Through the Kick-Off organization plan, we also didn’t forget about snacks and food arrangement. Pr subteam prepared a “Welcoming & Lunch Break” at the beginning of our Kick-Off event where we served muffins and Turkey’s traditional desert, “Izmir Bomba”. Also, at the short breaks the service of chips and confectionary food as snacks in order to keep up with the pace of loaded and dynamic timeline of the organization.

Just before the big game reveal of Rapid React, we had our dinner. Lastly, accompaniment with our cup of popcorns, we dialed in the FIRST stream and cannot wait for the game animation to be revealed!

Our self-organized Kick-Off event lasted for 7 hours, from 3pm to 10pm, by spending almost all day together to celebrate the brand new season, Rapid React, and building a new robot that hopefully help us to enhance as a team to a greater level.

We wish every team to have a great & healthy season and we cannot wait to see you in tournaments!! :slight_smile:


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Strategy Decisions

After analyzing the game, we noticed the followings for our team:
  • Terminal is not that well useful, we would rather concentrate on picking up floor cargo that has stopped bouncing around.
  • Auto is very valuable but also very hard to nail.
  • Low scoring could be as beneficial as high scoring.
  • Consistent high scoring might cause problems with balls deflecting and bouncing out.
  • Traversal rung seems too hard for 15 points and we believe mid rung would be competitive enough for first week regionals.
  • Defense is gonna be rough, but if you shoot against the fender, the defender driver will have a hard time seeing your bot.

After meeting with the entire team and hearing everyone’s ideas, we had everyone submit their analysis worksheet to a google form. Afterwards, we met with the subteam leads to do further in-depth analysis.

Based on these meetings, we plan to do the followings:

Auto

  • Must Have | Shoot One Cargo and Taxii
  • Nice To Have | Shoot Two Cargo & Taxii
  • Explore | If we have time, we want to implement trajectory following with holonomic capabilties.

Hub

  • Must Have | Shoot Upper against the Hub itself.
  • Nice To Have | Shoot from a wider distance range.
  • Nice To Have | Have the shooter shorter than the first rung.
  • Explore | RPM adjustment based on distance & Auto aligning (Vision)

Climb

  • Must Have | Climb to the mid rung.
  • Nice To Have | Go under the first rung.
  • Explore | Climb fast under 6 seconds.
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Robot Design

For the overall robot design, we want to keep it as simple as possible. We will look over the RI3Ds that are being revealed today to figure out which route we will take.

Nevertheless, we first finished up our drivetrain design by Sunday midnight. We will be sticking with SDS MK3 swerve modules for this season as well thanks to the open field.

After looking over the prototypes RI3D teams are making, we really liked the Bulldog’s concept as well as the IUPIU’s designs. We decided on trying out the following:

Intake

  • We are not sure if we should go with an over-the-bumper intake. We want to avoid it if possible.
  • We want to use 2" mecanum wheels to vector the ball so that we only pick up one ball at a time.
  • We are not concerned about still bouncing balls. Our intake will only pick the still ones for now.
  • We do not know how the intake-storage transition is gonna take place. Honestly, this is the part we are most concerned about.
  • Storage

  • We want to only try out a linear storage mechanism that has an L shape.
  • We plan on using HTD5M belts for the conveyor.
  • We plan to go with an L shape over a diagonal path, because we are concerned that a very steep path might result in balls falling down.
  • Shooter

  • We plan to have a simple hooded shooter with no top rollers for now.
  • We will try out different compressions and angles to see if we can shoot directly up against the hub.
  • Climber

  • We will go with a telescoping climb that probably will have only a single stage.
  • We are still looking into how to stay there after climbing.
  • We are not sure if we want to have 2 or 1 telescopes for now.
  • After listing out what we want to do, we did some initial sketching of how the robot layout could be. The first mock-up designs of the robot look like this:

    This design is going to be revised in the following two days to a more refined shape with more RI3Ds coming up and with us testing out more stuff.

    Prototypes

    Conveyor Prototype

    In order to test out different compression levels with the HTD belts, we sketched out a very simple board with bearing hole pairs like so:

    We will be cutting this on the router and testing the 3 different pairs (top first- bottom first and so on) and test the compressions: no compression (except for belt thickness and imperial/metric roundings), 1cm compression, and 2 cm compression.

    Based on the results, we are going to make an estimate of which works the best to CAD the actual system.

    Intake Prototypes


    For the intake prototyping, we pulled out our 2021 robot, Zenith, and removed its intake. Holding it at different angles we tested how it interacted with the cargo. The results were surprisingly well.
    You can see the videos of the testing here.

    We also tested with 3D-printed mecanum wheels and 2" and 2.25" compliant wheels to vector and pick up the balls. This was also more successful than we anticipated. We will be printing more of the 2" mecanums and also get our hands on some WCP 2" mecanum wheels. We plan to go with an intake approach similar to this one. Its video can also be seen through the link.

    This is all for now, will keep you updated.
    #openalliance

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    Week 1 Overview

    Our school had exams going on till Tuesday. So, the first meeting was on Tuesday. This week we met up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    Tuesday - Firmware Updates and Intake Prototypes

    On Tuesday, we wired up our 2021 robot, Zenith and updated the firmware, and did the configurations needed. Afterward, we did some initial intake prototype testing with our 2021 intake and a couple of 2" mecanum wheels we had. These prototypes and their videos can be seen in the previous post. We did some measurements of the vectoring intake prototype to CAD one up later. The axle center is 24 centimeters away from both the ground and the frame perimeter.

    Wednesday - Farewell to Zenith

    On Wednesday, we met up to disassemble our 2021 bot. As we do not have enough resources to keep it operational or displayable, we salvaged everything off of it. Here are the last photos of Zenith.
    Before:

    After:

    Thursday - Storage Prototypes

    On Thursday, we were planning to receive the storage prototype from one of our sponsors and try it out. However, that plan did not go as intended. We could not get our hands on the part, so we used whatever we had in hand. That day, we were low on students, so I don't believe we have any good pictures or videos of it. However, we tried out how the cargo reacted with timing belts used as conveyors. Overall we had a compression of something similar to 3 centimeters (roughly 1.2 in). We really liked how the balls interacted with the belts, so we decided to use this type of conveyor for the real robot.

    CAD

    During all of this, we were trying to get our robot CAD done as well. We had some towers sketched up as we posted in the last post. However, after seeing IUPUI's robot reveal, we decided to shape our tower similar to theirs to save up space on the back of the robot, allocating room for the climber and the battery. One thing we really tried to pay attention to was symmetry with the current design.

    Tower

    Specs:

    • The current setup has 3 centimeters of compression.
    • Both gearboxes are the same on both sides with a 56:6 reduction.
    • The upper conveyor is slowed down with an additional 1.25:1 pulley ratio.
    • The lower conveyor is slowed down with an additional 1.14:1 pulley ratio.
    • The belts are all HTD 5mm timing belts.

    Possible Failure Points

    • The design does not allow for quick compression tuning. We are relying on our prototype results but we are a bit worried about the compression. The timing belts can compress a lot whereas pulleys will, obviously, not. In such a case, we can’t change the overall compression easily. A possible solution to this is to put some bearings on a shaft and tension the belt from a third point on the conveyor.
    • The 775pros on the custom gearboxes are way too close to the 4" compliant wheels. The expansion of the compliant wheels could be significant enough for us to move the motor away. We will fix this before manufacturing in the CAD and also possibly move the motor down to keep the COG low.

    To-Do:

    • Move the 775s to a safer position.
    • Connect the tower’s two sides horizontally to improve rigidity.
    • Put a threaded rod on the side plates near the intake (the cheese grater plate) to improve rigidity.
    • Figure out if we need beam breaks, if so, place them in the CAD.

    Shooter

    The current setup is for prototyping and figuring out the angle we need. The compression is 2". This is not configurable with this setup as we trusted the data on CD for now. The top backplate slides up and down in the grooves and is held in place by nuts. The hood angle should be set for between 75 and 85 degrees. Our current plan is to power our shooter with 2 Falcons hooked up 1:1. However, our Falcon orders will not come to Turkey for at least 1.5 weeks, so, we will be using 2 RedLines with a 3.25:1 reduction for now. After, hopefully, doing some testing, we will CAD the final shooter.

    To-Do:

    • Add a motor mount.
    • Revise the 3D printed backplate for manufacturability.
    • Fillet all the edges and make things look nice.

    Climber


    For the climber, we are going with a very simple telescoping climb. The outer tube is 80x80x2mm and is quite long. The inner stage is a lot smaller in length and uses 60x60x2mm tubes.
    We plan to power the climber with a single Falcon geared 16:1 and we will play with additional reductions through pulleys.

    We plan to finish the CAD by this Tuesday. We will also order all the tubes we need tomorrow to a sponsor of ours who has access to CNC Mills and everything. Once we get the parts back on Thursday, we will start manufacturing. Also, there is a possibility of our lead technical mentor being isolated due to Covid. We will try to stay online and do CAD for a couple of days until everything is settled.

    Will keep you updated.

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    CAD Update

    This week, we haven't done any in-person meetings due to school restrictions, exams and mentor availability. During this time, we finished up most of our CAD basing our dimensions off of our previous prototypes and other #openalliance teams. So, this is where we are currently at:

    Climber

    In the first post, we said that we would use a single stage telescoping climber. However, the current constant force springs we have in the shop was not long enough to do that. So, we switched to a two-stage climber.

    To-Do:

    • Need to add the spool and motor mount to the CAD.
    • Need to give some thought to the scenario of 16:1 Falcon in brake mode not holding the robot up.
    • Need to give some thought to the way the climber is mounted to the superstructure.
    • Might possibly add an X-SHARC cutout to the front similar to last year.


    We will probably do the climber assembly and mounting after being done with all the ball subsystems. So, we want to take the time to make sure we get the climber CAD done nicely, preferably before this Saturday.

    Intake


    The current compression with the current intake should be around 1.125". For the very first time, we actually calculated our intake’s surface speed and made sure it is near 2x speed of the robot. The RedLine motor has a 4:1 Sports gearbox with an additional pulley ratio of 1.7:1.

    Things to consider:

    • The current additional pulley ratio of 1.7:1 is achieved through 20 tooth and 34 tooth pulleys. However, the 34 tooth pulley might stop the cargo from vectoring as it is a bit large. We might switch the pulleys to 18 tooth to 31 tooth and see if that helps.
    • The roller placements are not yet tested. We will test them out with a wooden rig next wednesday.
    • The cylinders we are going to use are not CADed yet. We might just throw them in place in real life at this point.
    • The motor interferes with the side plate of the storage. We do not want to cut out two different side plates. We will either cut one side piece after getting them manufactured or change the design of both before manufacturing. This is still TBD.

    Tower

    Changes:

    • Added the front X-SHARC plate. This plate will function as a spacer while assembling the structure and help us make sure the spacing between tubes are correct. Afterwards, it will be mounted to the front to hold the two sides of the tower together.
    • The gearbox shape was changed so that it does not interfere with the compliant wheel or the climber assembly.
    • The top tube of the tower was changed to 25x25x2mm tubes instead of the 25x50x2mm tubes for lightening and aesthetics.
    • Added intake mounting holes to the side plates near the intake.

    Shooter

    We plan to use 2 x 1:1 Falcons for the shooter with 2" of compression and 4" 60A Andy Compliant Wheels. However, it will take some time for our Falcons to arrive in İstanbul. Until then, we will be using 2 RedLines with 3.25:1 reduction. The current side plate's mounting holes is designed to accommodate for both motors.


    The back plate of the shooter is going to be entirely 3D printed. (Probably in two pieces) We designed it so that the hood can move up and down by its mounting holes. So, we will have 4 different angles with 5 degrees between each of them.

    As, currently we can not prototype as much as we would like in the shop, we are trying to make a combination of a competition shooter and a prototype. We will try out angles and motors with this setup but we will probably (hopefully if it works) keep it for competition.

    And of course, we will add some lightening holes to make it both lighter and cooler.

    Let us know if you have any suggestions, comments or questions. Will keep you updated.

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    Is there a reason you went with the 60A 4" compliant wheels for the shooter? We found that having compliance in the wheels can hurt consistency if there’s too much of it, so we leaned away from compliant wheels. Curious if you found something different?

    Hopefully will test the shooter next week using a wooden version. Will let you know what we find out!

    But as a quick answer, we used the 60A ones in our 2021 robot and they were pretty consistent, so we wanted to stick with what we know. Also, 60A is very not-compliant. So, it should be fine.

    Also, there is the added bonus of being in İstanbul and not being able to order new parts often. When we do, we try to keep the shipment count down by using either Andymark or WCP. I guess, using 80A or 60A stealth wheels from Andy could have been a better option.

    Nevertheless, using what we already have saves a lot of time and money.

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    Storage Prototypes

    Yesterday, we did some quick&dirty storage prototypes. We wanted to test single-sided timing belt conveyors after seeing many fellow #openalliance members have success with it. Here is the setup:

    You can see the videos of us trying out different speeds and doing multiple tests here.

    Our Takeaways:

    • One-sided conveyor is a lot easier to manufacture and maintain. It costs less. It is easier to vary compression.
    • There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Similar to other #openalliance members, we have found 3-4 (1.2"-1.5") centimeters of compression to be very good.
    • The material on the back might make a significant difference to the results we see. Polycarb was our go-to solution but we might want to add something more grippy or put some holes in the polycarb to create a bit of traction. We haven’t tested out anything except for wood for now.
    • The belts tend to come out regardless of how much spaced out they are for our case. They are not held in space with spacers for now, which might be a reason. Possible other solutions could be putting 4" compliant wheels on the outsides and 2.25" or 3" wheels on the inside to act as compliant flanges for the belt. This needs some thought and testing.

    For now, we will be updating our CAD to a single-sided conveyor. We are not sure if we should pull the balls up spinning the same way as the shooter or the other way around. This will be a decision based on how doable each option is and easier to maintain compared to its possible benefits.

    Lots of 2" Mecanums

    We have been printing and doing some finishing touches on some mecanum wheels for the last week. Currently, we have 16 total, 8 on each side. We will be using these to prototype our intake, while the WCP mecanums are on their way to Istanbul from the States.

    Swerve Fixes

    We ran SDS’ MK3 modules in our last two off-season comps but we did not have any spare Falcon shaft retaining screws. Apparently, those imperial screws are impossible to find in Turkey. To overcome that, we had custom screws made and also prototyped with some 3D printed Falcon shaft clamps.

    As our orders from McMaster arrived in early December, we ran these clamps for both off-season comps, and they withstood the rigorous gameplay of play-offs in both.

    However, we do not want to risk them for regionals. So, we switched our swerve modules from using this clamp to using proper screws.

    We will be trying to get parts manufactured through our sponsors and local places up until Wednesday. We will do some more prototyping then and start assembling the robot beginning on Wednesday.

    Let us know if you have any questions or comments!

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    Manufacturing

    This week, we finally started the manufacturing for most parts. Turkey has been covered with snow and almost all factories in the country have been temporarily closed down by the government. This has made all things a lot harder to pull together. Nevertheless, we got some things done.
    Most of our parts are usually manufactured in another city through a sponsor and powder coated black before being sent to Istanbul. However, the weather and this factory-shutdowns made that temporarily unavailable.

    Gussets

    For now, we have found a new sponsor who laser cut our gussets from a scrap piece of 3mm aluminum. We will be sanding them down and spray painting them black for now. If our main sponsor can manufacture powder coated parts anytime soon, we will replace them for the competition robot. For now, we have just manufactured only what is needed to hold the robot superstructure together and nothing more.

    Tubes

    For the tubes we are using, we also could not get them manufactured through our main sponsor. So, after a bit of searching around, we found a new sponsor who would cut the our chassis and superstructure tubes. We will hopefully be able to pick them Monday morning.

    We will be using spray paint for tubes as well to save time during the weather-shutdown crisis.

    Field

    The field manufacturing process has also finally begun. The upper hub has just been manufactured. We hope to get the upper hub in the air during the weekend. We will also be putting 3mm polycarb around the upper hub to see how we should design around bounce-outs.

    Acrylic Prototypes

    We also cut some prototypes for the intake and the shooter out of acrylic. We will be manufacturing the final shooter out of aluminum and the final intake out of 5mm polycarb.

    Intake Prototype

    We wanted to test out the current design we have with the intake and finalize its height from the ground as well as the compression. So, we put together this for testing:

    We did a lot of testing to see:

    • How well vectoring works with 3D printed ones.
    • If the second roller being entirely compliant wheels cause and issues with vectoring
    • How compliant the entire intake mechanism should be.
    • How we should place the hard stop to stop it from pivoting any further down.

    You can see all our testing videos here.
    We have around 15 videos of different setups that might be insightful for teams that are looking into vectoring intakes.

    Our takeaways are:

    • 3D printed mecanums work very very well.
    • We do not need any mecanums on the second roller.
    • The intake should not be very compliant for vectoring to work properly.
    • We should not be compressing on the balls as much as we anticipated. (We measured the pivoting holes’ distance from the ground and the distance of the hard stop from the bumpers. So, we do not have a specific magic number for compression. However, I believe our videos would give a very good idea of how the balls react with different setups.)
    • We will be using a bolt and a nut covered with something like surgical tubing to stop the intake from pivoting way down.

    Shooter Prototype

    We have also cut 2 different shooter prototypes. One is the shooter design we already had, with a fixed compression and 3 different angles to test from:

    This shooter uses a 3D printed backing. The mounting holes are way behind the actual backing in case we want to reiterate to a design with less compression. We printed it in multiple runs like so:

    However, after seeing the bounce-out rates of other teams we also thought of shooting a bit further back than the fender. So, just in case, we also edited the GreyT Shooter to mount 2 Falcons/2 Redlines using our current belt & pulley setup. After putting some mounting holes for the robot, we cut them out of acrylic to try out once we have a proper field.

    This is all what we have been up to for the last week. Let us know if you have any comments, questions or advice.

    Will keep you updated.

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    Enjoying following along with the build this season, some great stuff here! Very curious to see some test videos of the shooter and how those 60A AndyMark compliance wheels are working out.

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    Shooter Testing

    Today we assembled our first shooter prototype, wired it up, and did some testing.

    We did some initial tests with it shooting with 2" of compression from the fender. You can see the test videos here.

    Our Takeaways

    • 4" 60A compliant wheels are good enough. They do not show any deformation visible to the human eye while shooting or compressing the balls.
    • The batteries we had lying around were pretty bad. We were trying to do voltage control for now, but inconsistent batteries made the results inconsistent as well.
    • Looks like the balls have quite a bit of energy that might cause bounce-outs. If all goes well, we will test it with the real upper hub sometime soon.
    • Our launch angle seems good enough. However, top rollers might be a must-have depending on real upper-hub tests.

    Edited GreyT Shooter Prototype

    We also prepared the GreyT version in case we were not happy with our compression or launch angle. They both seem OK for now, but further tests will reveal better results.
    We used the shooter backing from our 2021 robot to make it easier to assemble for now. The backplates are not actually co-centric with the wheel but seem good enough in case we need to test it.

    Storage Assembly

    We will be beginning our storage assembly next Tuesday but we started to get the rollers and belts ready for easy installation on Tuesday when we receive the parts.

    Plans

    This was a short update but we will be continuing to put together storage rollers tomorrow as well. Hopefully, we will be getting our field up in the air tomorrow depending on our sponsor. On Monday, we will be receiving our laser-cut parts for the chassis and the storage. We plan to get them powder-coated on Monday if we can. Regardless, we will begin putting together the actual robot on Tuesday.
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    The Robot Assembly

    So, this is where we currently are with the robot assembly:

    First, let’s take a step back to show how we got here.

    Tuesday

    On Tuesday, we received our parts from our laser cutting sponsor.

    After painting these parts with spray paint, we assembled the tower and the chassis with two separate student groups like so:

    This is what the tower assembly looked like by the end of Tuesday:

    The chassis was also mechanically done on Tuesday, waiting for the tower assembly:

    (One Falcon has a broken retaining screw on its end. We will be removing that soon and reassemble the fourth swerve module.)

    Wednesday

    On Wednesday, we spent quite a bit of time assembling the rest of the tower. After assembly, we did some tests with it. You can see the test videos here and here are our takeaways:

    • The belts can easily jump off the pulleys when the pulleys are not somewhat precisely aligned.
    • The 35A compliant wheels tend to grab a bit of the fuzz on the balls as mentioned by another thread.
    • The balls can fall back from the tower when holding only one ball in some configurations, but this seems rare for now. We will investigate this further once we get the robot moving.
    • The compression (around 3-4 centimeters) works very well.

    Here is the tower mounted on the chassis:

    We will be getting all the aluminum plates cut again and powder-coated sometime late this week/early next week. We might switch them before the competition.

    We will be mounting the polycarb plate for storage tomorrow. We will also do some further tests with the current acrylic shooter and intake before we get the polycarb and aluminum versions made.

    The Field

    We also finally got the field up on Tuesday!


    We will get the upper hub coverings made out of 3mm polycarb sometime soon.

    3D Printed Parts Tracking

    Our manufacturing lead pulled out every single 3D printed pulley we had and listed them on a Google Sheets. He also added a place where all designers can put their needed parts for him to print. This made the workflow much easier as we do not have to search all over the shop for a single 30 tooth pulley.

    This is all we have for now. Shoot us your questions or comments!

    Also, we are very pleased with where we currently are compared to our team’s performance in the previous seasons. I believe this is the most we have achieved in a build season in such a short time in the entire team history. The team is very happy with the current progress so far!

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    I was curious if you did any testing for having differently sized wheels on your storage? We were also thinking of doing this (3" in center and 4" on outer parts) but about halfway into the CAD, we realized that the surface speed of the 4" wheels would be faster than the 3" wheels. Now we did plan to have both the 3" and 4" wheels in contact with the Cargo which may be different from your design. When we have our storage up and running we may do testing with doing 3 and 4 vs just 3 all around.

    1 Like

    Sorry for the late reply.

    During our initial storage prototypes, we did not have any large (4") wheels on the sides. The ball seemed to drift from one side to another in some cases. However, this was a prototype, and its width was significantly wider than what we currently have (therefore introducing more space for the ball to drift).

    Currently, we have 4" wheels on sides to accommodate the ball’s cross-sectional area and to keep it centered. It seems to work pretty well for now. Also, we have 2" compliant wheels on some places and 2.25" compliant or 2.5" Colsons on others. Technically their surface speeds are also different, but it does not seem to make much of a difference. We think how grippy and squishy the wheel is more important in this particular case. For example, the angled turn and the upper roller right before the ball enters the shooter has Colsons to introduce more consistent compression. This was our thought process for the design!

    Intake + Tower Testing

    Yesterday, we tried out the acrylic intake prototype we had with the actual robot to see how the intake and the storage interact.

    The tests were very successful, however, we noticed the back roller not contacting the ball enough in some cases. Also, the intake when it is retracted was slightly out of the frame perimeter. So, we changed the design so the intake can be retracted nicely. Also, the back roller was moved back and up slightly. We are getting the intake plates cut out of polycarb for tomorrow.

    You can see the testing videos here.

    Shooter Updates

    After our tests, and watching how other teams are doing, we also decided to switch to a top roller design. Also, our spline to hex convertors are stuck in the U.S. for now. So, we had to switch to a design using either belts or pulleys. This is the design we came up with for now:

    The top roller does not spin as fast as we calculated it to be because of the gears and belts we had. Hopefully, this will work.

    Pulley Management

    Our tower uses a lot of custom pulleys that vary in width to fit different places and belts. So, our manufacturing lead decided to put names and tooth count on the new pulleys we are going to print. They look like this: (It is semi-Turkish but it means lower storage)

    We are getting our gearbox plates, bellypan, shooter plates, and intake plates cut today. We will also hopefully receive our WCP and Vex Pro orders today. Hopefully, we will have some exciting updates over the weekend.

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    Thank you. We were also planning on using different-sized wheels to center the Cargo but switched to all the same size because of the surface speed realization (we had no idea how much it would affect the storage performance). We did finish assembling our shooter mechanically yesterday so we think we are going to try testing with both just all 3" wheels and the 3" wheels in the center and 4" on the outside.

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    Progress Update

    Today, we had a lot done. It looks like we will be completing the entire mechanical assembly (minus the climber) by the end of tomorrow's meeting. We also started to layout the electronics today. We will be continuing that tomorrow as well.

    We have been meeting almost every single day for the last two weeks, so we all will be taking Monday off. Our team captain and lead technical mentor will decide on the meetings for next week tomorrow.

    More Parts & WCP and VEXpro Orders

    Finally, our orders from Vex and WCP arrived. We also got our belly pan, shooter plates, and intake plates. We started the day by assembling the mecanum wheels.

    Shooter Assembly

    We finally got our Falcons and finished the new shooter assembly. It only needs a couple more hex clamps here and there.

    Intake Assembly

    After the last prototype, we changed the motor mount closer to the rollers. We also moved the back roller a bit further back and slightly up. The mecanums are also replaced with WCP metal mecanums. We will finish putting it together tomorrow and assemble it to the robot.

    Electronics

    We also started to lay the electronics out on the bellypan. Their positions are not final but it is a start. We will continue doing so tomorrow.

    We are very happy with our progress so far. We hope to get the robot up and running in a couple of days. Let us know if you have any comments or questions. We will keep you updated!

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    Mechanical Assembly

    On Sunday, we (sort of) finished the mechanical assembly of the robot minus the climber.


    We began that meeting by finishing the intake assembly while our electronics subteam laid out the components in their final positions on the belly pan. Afterward, we drilled out the temporary gussets holding the superstructure to the chassis and riveted the belly pan which acts as a huge gusset holding the robot together. We also started the wiring.

    Manufacturing & Andymark Order

    We are still waiting on our Andymark order to arrive in İstanbul. They will be arriving around this Friday/Saturday. We need the hex bearings, the Falcon Sport gearbox, and the gears from the order to put the storage gearboxes and the climber together.

    We also sent out our Falcon (the one with the broken retaining screw to be fixed) and four 775pros (to press pinions) to our sponsor. We received them and our climber tubes from our sponsor which I forgot to take a picture of. We will soon start assembling the climber as well.

    Wiring

    Today, we wired up the entire CAN bus except for the climber Falcon. Tomorrow, we will be wiring up the power cables and probably finish the electronics. This year, we are running some of our cables in-tube. We drilled some holes on chassis tubes on both sides and covered them with tape. We are routing our cables through those holes. This seems like it will make the wiring look a lot cleaner.





    There are small other fixes that we need to get done mechanically. These include:

    • Strengthen the intake mount.
    • Swap the shooter pulleys to 32 tooth from 30 tooth.
    • Decide on the pneumatic cylinders’ mounting for the intake deployment.
    • Put the storage gearbox together.
    • Test the upper conveyor extensively to find if/why belts come off.
    • Cut out a battery mount from polycarb after mounting the climber (which will act as one wall of the battery mount).
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    Progress Update

    Hi! I am Berra Eylül from the programming department of X-SHARC #6838. I joined the team this season, and I will hopefully be taking over the writing of the build blogs as much as possible. We haven’t updated the blog for some time now, so we have a lot to share. This is what the current robot looks like:

    Electronics

    The electronics part of our robot was finished as of the 10th of February. As for the updates about this part; we have the entire wiring ready, but we will be adding the climb motor after we receive the shortened shaft for the climber gearbox.

    We also took apart all our 11 Falcons, checked for the shims, and re-applied Loctite. This took us almost two meetings, so we are a little behind what we anticipated.

    Parts

    We have also received our Andymark orders from the USA with the help of our sponsors. We received our new battery charger, climber gearbox, hex bearings, some gears, and a couple of other items.

    Our sponsors likewise provided us with some items including gearbox plates, logo plates, climber gussets, and a hook that all needed some machining and manufacturing. We had a small problem with our previous storage gearbox, so we had that plate remade. All our plates were powder coated black and sent to us.

    Shooter

    The belts and pulleys placed at the sides of the shooter were too loose for our liking, so we decided to change the pulleys to 32 teeth from 30, and 21 teeth from 20. The shooter plates tend to bend outwards, resulting in some looseness. Therefore, we added another threaded rod between the plates to pull the shooter together.

    Here is the photo of the current shooter setup:

    Shooter Testing

    Last weekend, we did some initial tests with the shooter doing only percentage control. We tried out different percentages from a different set of distances from the fender. 43 to 45 percent of the power from the Falcon seems adequate for the upper hub as of now. You can watch the test videos here.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cIhvtpeo8CXij4dAjYRY2ZxnszGvfniG/view?usp=sharing

    Climber

    Our climber lead, who also designed our 2021 climber, finally finished our new climber, being careful to not repeat the mistakes we did the prior year. The agitation we faced last season with the climber has decreased, and it is more sturdy. Furthermore, we increased the size of the bearings and bolts to decrease the unintended flex in the climber. We also increased the rollers' sizes because the CFSs didn't have enough space to roll freely.

    Here is the photo of our climber mounted to the robot:

    Intake

    Our intake was missing some sturdiness because we did not have anything holding the plates together except for the rollers themselves. So, we added some tubing and spacers with threaded rods in between to increase the overall firmness. We are currently doing some testing to find out where we should place the hard stop for the intake.

    Storage Gearbox

    Both of the storage gearboxes were finally assembled and are currently being installed on the robot.

    This is the end of the update regarding this week. We would love to hear your feedback or answer your questions!

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