Our team returned from the FRC District Competition in Haymarket, Virginia on March 6th (see the post-Haymarket post for more information) and, after taking Monday and Tuesday off for a well-deserved break, returned to work on Wednesday, beginning construction of climber prototypes and finishing up our practice chassis. The climber prototypes include a [REDACTED] although the final design still is in progress. The practice chassis is coming together well, and all that remains to be done is the mounting of our old shooter (a dual-flywheel system that was too short for our actual robot (it conflicted with the bumpers) but shares the same shooting profile and operation of the shooter on Genghis). After the shooter is mounted, we can begin to test vision-tracking code and auto-aiming code for our final robot. In addition, we are working on improving our manipulator arms (which we affectionately call Dink and Dank), by replacing them with Lexan (a sturdy polycarbonate) into a more smooth, curved shape that will be less likely to stick on defenses. Currently, the new Dink and Dank remain in the planning phase, with CAD models being drawn up, but we expect to finish them this weekend.
This past weekend, Team 619 participated in the FRC District Competition in Haymarket, Virginia! Our robot, Genghis, was selected for an alliance, and performed well despite technical difficulties, successfully breaching the outerworks multiple times in qualification matches. In quarterfinals, our robot proved to be a competitor, helping our eighth-seed alliance contest the first-seed alliance in two extremely close matches-during which we scored 107 points with our alliance, our highest score for the event. Our robot proved itself to be a versatile option for any alliance, successfully crossing defences in autonomous mode, nearly performing a single-handed breach, and both helping our allies by passing balls and hindering our opponents through defense.
A video of one of our quarterfinal events is linked below. Our alliance also consisted of Team 1111 and Team 1895.
Our robot was on the blue alliance, and is recognizable by its orange and blue leds and our number printed on the bumpers.
For the past few years of the FIRST Robotics Competition, vision code has played a critical role in allowing teams to have full control of their robots during the autonomous period. From detecting distance to the goals in 2013, to sensing the hot goal in 2014, to zeroing in on the totes and recycling cans in 2015, vision code has been able to set the teams with the strongest programming abilities apart from each other.
Team 619 will be using a new network camera this year. We plan to use this network based camera to better explore the world of vision code and create more robust autonomous sequences and teleoperated-mode game piece and field element detection systems.
Additionally, this camera will help us document our journey through the upcoming build and competition seasons and share our experiences.
If you’re new to robotics and are looking for a place to start, here is a good list of robotics resources to start from.
Today, we met at the lab and help a mock kickoff challenge! We focused heavily on strategy and design and helped test out new methods of exploring the early stages of the FRC season, all in six hours!
Here is the link the game animation. The only changes we made to the game were that seeding in qualifications was changed to a W-L-T system like we saw in 2014, and the starting position of balls during autonomous were less strict.
During our scoring analysis, we talked about the three ways to score points:
We also talked about way to play defense, such as blocking opponent’s shots or attempting to horde game pieces.
We discussed what mechanisms could be useful in this game, and then designed three robots: a defensive robot, an offensive ball scoring robot, and a robot that focused on elevating itself and its alliance partners.
After this initial design phase, we came to a preliminary strategy consensus: We wanted a robot that could play defense in the opponents’ zone, punting balls into our own zone, before suspending itself from our alliance’s tower.
After creating and sharing even more designs, we decided to call it a day and take a look at what other FRC teams ended up making in 2010.
Here are some of the videos we watched:
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