We’ll be trying to update this thread each day with new video links and to respond to questions/discussions.
Day 1: We spent the majority of the day today CADing the robot as the climb will likely be relatively complex and we anticipated space issues due to the size of the balls. Teams may also want to invest in a pressure gauge for the ball as it is difficult to tell how close the ball is to the correct pressure with a regular bike pump (since it’s such a low pressure).
Most of our day was dedicated to fabricating the elevator for climb. Unloaded, it works very well, we have not yet tried moving it with a load. We have, however, hung from it to test our hook strength and they did not appear to warp. We still don’t know if our overall climbing mechanism will work as we still have to add our rotating arms. Hopefully, we can get that done today.
Our rollers for the elevator were made using custom brackets. The overall design of them was inspired by the vex elevator examples found here. Custom making them allowed us to have a smaller clearance between stages, but the brackets that vex provides are a great alternative for teams that cannot custom make brackets.
We built our intake (didn’t really prototype it first) and it initial trials worked really well. We have not yet tried driving around to pick up cargo from different angles. Overall, overhead rollers seem to pull these balls in very efficiently and easily over the frame of the chassis (depending on its height).
Space on the robot is still of great concern if we are climbing and shooting…it might be a viable strategy for some teams to just build a really good climbing bot.
Also, a quick shoutout to AndyMark for sponsoring us this year. Something small, but they sent us their spacer kit which has been incredibly helpful to quickly and accurately achieve the right spacings. Definitely recommend every team have an assortment like that instead of cutting spacers. We’ll also be using their Redline Motors for our climb in combination with a 100:1 and 48:1 sport gearbox.
We just uploaded a video showing the progress on the elevator. Assuming we are able to get from the mid rung to the high rung, we should be able to theoretically get to the traversal rung. Our main obtacle will be the robot swinging after switching to the high rung. Also, time could be a constraint depending on how fast we can climb.
Yesterday we finished fabricating our climber (elevator and rotating arms). However, we do not yet have hangars to test it on. We normally use the field elements of the local FRC team we mentor (army ants). Their parents/mentors building it have not yet gotten to them, so we will help build them tonight to have a proper climber test. Previously, we were going to give up adding a shooter for the sake of time, but we may add one while the hangars are being built.
There will be no day 3 video update as we have no way of testing what we built. As soon as we can test the climb we will upload a day 3/4 showing its success or failure.