Objective: Determine Plan for states
Task: Improve the intake, Autonomous, Driver Practice, Drivetrain, and Develop De-scoring System
Today, we got together as a team and decided what we wanted our robot to do by the time states came around. As a whole, our goal was to obtain the excellence award. That means we need to perform well in both competition and judging. We all agreed that we needed to improve our intake system. At competition, the main thing that held us back was our inability to score bucky balls. Without this capability, teams could easily exploit bucky ball points, preventing us from recovering. To tackle this point, we made it our goal to get a magic intake. From our research, a magic intake is a side roller system that can grab the ball at any point of the rollers. With this capability, we should be able to quickly gather balls and match other teams such as Vibots, Piratech, Haile, and Tampa Prep.
In addition to this, we want to maintain our status of the most powerful autonomous in the region. Currently, we have an autonomous which can span from 12 to 18 points. If we can get 18 points consistently every time, We can 2 vs 1 most autonomous programs
Furthermore, we want to improve our driver skill. From experience, we realized that extra driver skill with a responsive robot was enough to make teams win tournaments. Because of this, by practicing how to drive, we can improve our scoring ability without making changes to the robot in a short time period.
Since we're aiming for the excellence award, we need good skills runs as well. Our goal is to obtain about 30-40 points in programming skills, and about 60 to 80 points in driver skills.
Once we improve our intake, driver ability, autonomous, and thus skills, we want to focus on 3 other systems as well. We want to improve the funnels, improve the drivetrain, and attempt a de-scorer. To improve the funnels, we need to figure out how to make it deploy at a set length and prevent it from breaking. For the drive train, we noticed that in competition, our robots turning radius was really bad, and lacked the ability to strafe. For the de-scorer, we needed to figure out how to deploy the system and fit it into dimensions.
Objective: Stabilize the intake
Task: Swap out the mounting plate with channel
Problems: The limiters were too long
Soutions: Cut the limiter to length
Today, our goal was to stabilize the intake. During match play, if we got entangled with a robot, ran into the wall, or even hit the barrier, our intake mount bended, preventing us from grabbing or storing with the same efficiency. In specific, our large balls would fall out because it wasn't supported by both tower rollers, while our bucky ball intakes wouldn't grab as well.
to fix this, we swapped out the mounting plate with a piece of 1 by 5 by 16 channel, cut to this size. We then placed 4 standoffs, twice the amount we inserted last time, to fasten the intake to the mounting plate. We did not mount the intake to the robot just yet however. We worked on it in pieces so we could maximize the number of people working at the same time. After this, we mounted the left side of the intake, onto the mounting channel. We then inserted a railing to act as a limiter, with 4 points of connection
Objective: Stabilize the intake
Tasks: Reverse the tread pattern, add the right side of the intake
The goal for the meeting was to continue stabilizing the intake. However, we noticed that the tread pattern we made last time was backwards. The Large flap was the first thing which grabbed the bucky ball. We quickly changed the pattern so the shorter flap contacted the bucky ball first, so then we moved onto the right side of the intake. We mirrored the left side onto the right side. Once the intake was built, we noticed that the limiters were too tall. So we removed them, cut off 2 holes, and remounted them. We then added a large amount of rubberbands to the intake. Even with vigorous shaking, the intake would not fly open.
Objective: Improve the intake
Problem: intake wasn’t mirrored, intake couldn’t grab from the sides
Solution: Move the intake one hole out, tune the intake to get the magic intake
Task: Move the intake out, rewire the intake with y splitters, change the height of the intake to get the magic intake
We got ourselves a Magic Intake! Surprisingly, we got the intake on our 2nd try. What we did was raise the lift to change the height of the rollers rollers until it got the intaking capabilities we were looking for. Once we found the appropriate height, we found the spacers we needed to achieve the roller height and lowered the lift as much as possible to maximize grabbing capability. We tested the new height and we got the magic intake. However, it does seem like it’s not as responsive as other magic intakes. There seems to be a gap in grabbing ability. It can easily grab in the far side of the rollers, but when it gets closer towards the outermost edge of the intake, the grabbing ability declines. Despite this, it also runs into the same problem other magic intakes have. The rollers may have large range, but actually placing balls into the intake are a bit slow to keep up with other components of the robot.
Despite testing the rollers today, the electronics need to be done more carefully. To test the system, the wires were quickly done. But in its current state, it’s quite messy.
Since we knew that a cortex port was busted, we inserted a Y splitter to our functional intake port. When we tried the intake, we noticed that the rollers would spin in the same direction. Because of this, we reversed a polarity so that way the rollers would spin in opposite directions, allowing the balls to come in and out
Objective: Improve the intake
Problems: We need the wall to grab large balls, magic intake only responds to extreme sides
Solutions: Allow the intake to bow outwards, try to reduce the intake angle as much as possible
Tasks: Apply a hinge to the intake, remove the pillow block on the arm system, create lexan sponsor plates, change lower intake bound,create de-scorer, and change programming to new motor ports
Today, the meeting was focused on improving the intake. First thing we did was test out the intake. It has similar capabilities to the magic intake, but it has a blind spot near the middle extremes. We noticed that in order for the magic intake to work, the ball needs to get under the flaps to grab. We then tried grabbing the large ball, and noticed that the intake could only grab with a wall. We also noticed that the intake wouldn’t expand as easily as it did in the past. So, to make up for this, we decided that if we had the capabilities to make the intake bow outwards, we can grab the large balls more easily. We then took the hinges from our sponsorship plates and attached it to the intakes and applied elastic so the system would bend outwards. We tested the manipulator. We noticed that it would bend, making room for the large ball, but we also noticed that it lacked the traction to actually grab the ball. We also noticed that it was much easier to grab against the wall with the system. We also tested out how the zipties worked at solving our hooking problem. Thanks to this addition, we won’t get stuck to the field perimeter.
In addition to working on the intake, we also started working on the de-scoring system, making new side panels, and the code. The de-scoring system turned out too large, but we can lift the weight. We made the side panels out of lexan. Finally, we swapped the right intake and the bottom right lift motor port to to make our Y splitters legal
Magic Intake Test
Credit to team 21 for giving us this idea
Here is the bend which affects our grabbing abilities
Improving the intake
Rubberbands + Back Up
Extra power we use for the lift system