With our summer materials running low and our thoughts running dry, we took a break from the robot and worked on refining other parts of competition: Judging and Strategy.
We know our goal is the excellence award, for it's the only award that guarantees advancement to worlds. Looking at the rubric, we found out that the team is graded in 5 things. Qualifying rounds, Robot Skills, Programming Skills, Judging, and the tiebreaker(rank). We knew that robot performance was half of the challenge. Qualifiers were 1 point, Robot Skills were 1 point, Programming Skills was one point, and Rankings were one point. Judging, on the other hand was 4 points. In specific, we'll get a point for every award we become finalists for. Because we knew the robot was already half the battle, we decided to target the Build, Design, Create, and either the Innovate award or amaze award. The amaze award boarders the excellence award greatly, for a team needs to be efficient in robot skills and programming skills. We are strong contenders for the innovate award with our funnels and large ball storage, but it's not a guaranteed award to appear at competition. However, we also plan on being strong contenders for the motivate award (which doesn't need judging), and the inspire award, which we have tons of opportunities to use(facebook, vex forums, demonstrations, helping other teams, etc.). Because of this, we would spend a majority of our interview, targeting the 4 design oriented awards
Our robot skills strategy revolves around scoring bucky balls as fast as possible while earning points with large balls along the way. One of the biggest edges our robot has is our funnel system. In particular, we can manipulate 2 large balls at the same time, and tackle the large ball in the barrier. Luckily, the bucky balls on the bump are also in our way. However, we should not be penalized for intentional hoarding because that is the shortest distance to target the large ball on the barrier, and we also manipulate the 2 large balls before we manipulate the bucky balls. We estimated that the strategy takes at least 40 seconds to execute.
Robot is drawn at the starting tile, orange represents path. Circles represent a full 180 turn. Green represents the approximate angle of the funnels at a given time. Thank you NAR for a beautiful birds eye view of the field.
Our main driver skills strategy revolves around a 2 vs 1 scenario, that way, we aren't dependent on our partner. For Autonomous, we plan on knocking off the 2 large balls while spitting out the preload and use the funnels to knock the bump buckies in front of our robot for a total of 15 points. the idea from there is to use the funnels to guide the buckies into the spinning intake and score into our column goal. Then, we'll target the corner buckies and score those as well. From there, we will grab both large balls and the bucky we scored in autonomous and drive over to the opposing alliances column goal. Hopefully, we'll cut them off before they score another set of buckies and score our bucky ball preload into the goal. if we don't, the match gets harder. We'll use our super hoarding ability to grab our opponent's large balls 1 by 1 while and shuffle them within our large ball storage. That way, our 2 large balls are in the goal zone protected by the robot, while the opposing alliance's large balls are in our intake. From then on, It's a mind game of protecting the column, our large balls, and preventing our opponent from scoring large balls. No plans have been made if our opponent chooses to hang, however the likelihood of seeing a robot that can do everything effectively in our area is extremely unlikely.
We also have another plan, which is more 2vs2 suited and benefits eliminations more. The idea is to use the funnels and intake to grab the bump buckies, cut across to the goal zone, and drive to the opposing side's wall and release the rollers slightly. This action will get us 3 buckies for 6 points, and de-score our opponent's large balls in autonomous. While in this position, we'll close the funnels to regrab the buckies, and score them into the column goal. We'll then blockade the goal while slowly descoring our opponent's large balls into the middle zone. From there, our opponent will score 3 buckies into our column and grab more buckies from the wall. Our lift will over extend to act as a draw bridge and set on the barrier. From there, our ally feeds us 2 buckies and a large ball. We score the 2 buckies, then we cap off the goal with a large ball. In this current situation, we earn 50-60 points depending on whether we won autonomous. From there, our ally would dump large balls into the corner where our robot is parked for defense for a maximum of 15 additional points.
After a few days of discussion, our engineering ideas started flowing again. We installed a skeleton of a roll guard/shooter and started reducing the strain on motors with elastic.
the roll guard was made with 12.5 inch channels, a 12.5 inch rail, and a few gussets. The idea was to make it elastic pulled down, and make it pass through a carabineer to lock. However, we are running into a few problems. The carabineer needs to have minimal backlash. We also need a way for the rollguard to go over the bump.
the rollguard is a perfect place to mount a shooter. the rail acts as a good scoop to pick up buckies. So if we apply a lever, we can use that as a catapult or a kicker. Rubberbands would be placed on a lever and the lift system. When the lift system rises, slack is placed on the rubber bands, causing the catapult to lower.When the catapult is lowered, we can then close a lock controlled by the funnels system. By lowering the lift, the rubber bands would stretch. By articulating the funnels systems again, the lock will be released, freeing the catapult and launching the bucky
In addition to the rollguard and shooter, we attached rubber bands to the lift system. We mounted it in a way so the rubber bands would have a very bad angle when the lift is down, and a good angle as the lift is up. By doing this, we have low power efficiency when the lift is down, allowing us to stack more and more rubber bands while remaining in dimension. As the lift raises, the rubber bands contract, reducing power, but the angle of applied force improves, increasing power. Because of this, power fluctuates a lot less compared to other systems.
"Whenever i see this robot, i feel like it's going to take off and fly any minute- Eric Barker, 4469 warrant officer of Hydra robotics
we applied enough elastic to stall out the lift without power when the intake was completely expanded and vertical. This can mean 2 things. We have enough power to lift, or we are experiencing so much friction with the elastic. We won't known until we get new motor controllers and test the robot.
Pictures depict a few strategies described in the text. Rough drafts and final drafts are mixed
Officer meeting 7/28
On the 28th, the hydra team had an officer meeting. We covered our goals, our recruitment plan, funding for the start of FTC and FRC, and officer expectations.
As a robotics team, we knew we could be Competitive, Educational, or Fun. In the worst case scenario, we know we could only be 2 of these things. Of the 2, we came to a consensus as Competitive and Fun. However, to avoid the worst, we made plans on how to work on being educational. To make this successful we decided to go with this general plan
-we analyze the game, and create tactics and vague strategies
-We reuse our mechanisms sheet of drivetrains, lifts, and manipulators, and our analysis to look for what mechanisms we want to prototype
-We do heavy prototyping. This is a heavily interactive process that is pleasurable, hands on educational, and truly determines what can be done in competition. Incoming members should be building and veterans should be designing. As time goes on, deeper into the season, veterans should be doing less designing and more guiding
-Once prototyping is finished, we collaborate and develop a solidified strategy based on tactics. Then, we select the approprtiate mechanisms to carry out the strategy the fastest
-Additionally we need to have high interaction outside of meetings. Create memes to help members and trickle small amounts of info. Supply resources such as videos and articles about effective robots and teams to inspire ideas.
For recruitment, we plan on speaking to the the freshmen homerooms, create fun events for students and parents, make brochures, use the t-shirt cannon at football games, get in the school newspaper every month, and get administrative approval to place a large recruitment poster in the lunch room. We divided who does what based off of connections and availability.
For funding, we took our traditional ideas and added more detail to each topic
-recontact Hillsborough Sheet Metal to see if we still have free metal. We have to be careful not to abuse
-team with Middleton high to qualify for the NASA grant
-Fischers Hydrolic. Possible money
-Retarget past sponsors such as valve, jc penny, etc.
-Restaurants: % of profits goes to the team
-Possible 3d printing/cutting
-One of the presidents has a connection through internship
-Moving to a new room
-needs communication with administration and clubs -expected move time will be 6-12 hours
-Clean new room
-Clean up old room
-McDonalds on van dike
-estimated 20-40 dollars
-give the option to purchase a needed part
-include wishlist and where money goes
-include suggested tools (goggles)
-Additional Officer Expectations to years past
-No whining about safety
-Check for updates
-Needs to write updates for corresponding area