Strategy: Our main focus with this robot was reliability and consistency. After looking at various rulings and analyzing match values and alliance values, we knew that partner lifts were critical. We concluded that if we had a partner lift, we can consistently score a large number of points with minimal driver skill. However, we also knew that scoring even a few rings could drastically shift the game in our favor. We can reduce our opponent's line bonus by 3. This is because by scoring in the corners, we block our opponent's horizontal line bonus, their vertical line bonus, and diagonal line bonus.
Design: When designing, we wanted a robot which would best execute this strategy. We reasoned that a ramp would be our best option. With a ramp, we reasoned that if our partner had a functional drivetrain, they could go up our ramp. With our experiences (bowled over, get over it) we knew that tipping was a prominent issue. We applied non slip pad on the ramp to increase friction, reducing the chances of tipping. In the end, the ramp gives us a maximum of 55 points, or the equivalent of 11 rings on the low goal, 5 rings on the middle goal, or 3 rings on highest goal. As for rings, we decided to go with a scooping type system which wraps around the rings from the bottom. this scooping system grabs two rings at a time, allowing us to minimize round trips from the dispenser to the rack. The drive train is geared at 2:1 speed on two inch wheels. This lowers the overall mass of the wheel, increasing our acceleration. Because of this, our robot's control is extremely high. Another benefit is it's decreased contact on the ground. Because of this, the robot has more pressure on the tile. This ultimately results in more traction. Because of this traction, our robot was able to push robots geared for torque.
Autonomous: Our autonomous was built for defense. Since we knew the probability of scoring a ring with timer loops were extremely low, we reasoned that the next best thing was to inhibit our opponent's autonomous. Our autonomous makes our robot dash in front of the rack on the opponent's side of the field. This autonomous gives our alliance a strategic edge by forcing our opponent to ether drive around us and score on the opposing side of the field or forcing them to out maneuver us and score on their side of the field.
Problems we Faced: Our first problem was that we overestimated the reliability of a ramp. Despite the fact we built the ramp to be right at 18 inches, other teams pushed the limits with their drive train and built it right at 18 inches. Because of this, teams would usually score around 40 or so points by driving up our ramp. Our other major issue was lack of driver practice. Because of no driver practice, we couldn't score well with rings. Because of this we had to resort to defense.
Future developments: We plan on angling the hinge on our ramp. Because of this, we star off within dimension, and as it folds out, the ramp gets much larger than 18 inches. In addition to the angled hinge, we can then apply a railing so it becomes even harder for a robot to fall off the ramp once they're on. Our next plan is to make a higher reaching arm system. Due to our lack of driver practice, we need to equalize with other teams by scoring similar amounts of points. We reasoned that if we score in the same goals as they do, they cannot have a huge point lead that our ramp cannot counteract. In addition to a better lift system, we plan on adding a scissor lift to the ramp. By adding this, we can raise allies to even higher heights, earning our alliance even more points. We are also thinking about having a fold out elevator lift. This lift will allow us to score in the high goal. Since we have a lot less driver practice scoring rings compared to other people, we believe that we should add markers which indicate the height which the lift should raise. That way, aiming the drivetrain is the only challenge. Furthermore, we were also thinking about adding dead weight to the drivetrain. What way, it will become impossible for other teams to push our drivetrain.
Strategy: Our main focus was speed and precision. We reasoned that scoring rings was critical in the game. We needed a robot which can grab rings effectively, travel to the racks fast, and raise to the appropriate heights immediately. In specific, we believe that the line bonuses are critical in this game. By using line bonuses, we could easily jump an additional 30 points, or an additional 6 stages in partner lifting.
Design: When designing, we wanted traits which would give us the best ring robot. Looking at other games, we noticed precision will be key. We used a plus drive for holonomic / omni-directional properties. This drive allows the robot to strafe left and right, allowing the drivers to adjust the ring if they were slightly off. Another advantage of plus drive is it's natural gearing for 1 to 1.41 speed. By cancelling vector forces on the diagonals, you will be slightly faster, but also slightly weaker. For the intake, we used an angled scooping system to quickly grab and score rings. This angle shifts the rings, giving the drivers the biggest possible entrance for the rings to enter the peg. For our arm system, we used a four bar linkage. This linkage allows the intake to keep the same orientation throughout the entire raise. Because of this, the drivers do not need to adapt to shifting angles, as you would see with a normal arm system. Another benefit of the arm system is it's pure rotational motion. Unlike linear lifts which convert rotational motion of the motors to linear motion with the slide, the linkage system preserves that movement. By doing this, the system faces much less friction, allowing the lift to raise and lower extremely fast. Another benefit is it's high torque ratio. This ratio allows the arm to maintain it's height. This ability makes it much easier for the drivers because it keeps the intake stationary while scoring.
Autonomous: Our autonomous was built to give us a slight edge in goal control. At the start of the match, the robot strafes in front of a dispenser. By doing so, the autonomous shaves off a few seconds in driver control. From there, this allows the drive team to quickly grab two rings and score them on the rack. Due to the nature of the program, we have a very low chance of interference from an opposing alliance.
Problems We Faced: We had 2 main problems: Driver Practice, and the inability to score on the highest peg. Due to the low amount of driver practice (about 5 hours), we only mustered enough skill to score abour 2-3 times on the center column. That was only good enough for 40-90 points. We had the technology to score in the hundreds in a single 2 minute period. Our second issue was being unable to score in the high goal. Because of this, we had to resort in the low goal. Being unable to score in the high goal costed us a potential 30 points.
Future developments: We plan on using a hydra ladder to allow us to reach the high goal. The hydra ladder will be powered by two dc motors to control the length of the mechanism throughout the match. By doing so, we avoid unnecessary interference with other teams. By reaching the high goal, we have a much higher potential with line bonuses, Depending on test results, we may shift the drivetrain for torque and apply dead weight. This should let us get on the ramp easier and prevent other teams from pushing us around. Hopefully, these additions may even allow our team to push other robots around, giving us a powerful strategy in goal control. If we can prevent teams from scoring yet still score on the high goal, we can earn extra tempo lost in our traveling speed.