Iron Reign

Welcome to Iron Reign

Iron Reign @ Science and Engineering Magnet

Team 6832 Members:

  • Dylan Chorley
  • Evan Daane
  • Trace Hamada
  • Ethan Helfman
  • Alisa Lin
  • Omar Ramirez
  • Caitlin Rogers
  • Jayesh Sharma
  • Darshan Patel
  • Maximillian Virani
  • Tycho Virani

Articles by section: business

Earth Day Texas 2015 at Fair Park

25 Apr 2015
Earth Day Texas 2015 at Fair Park By Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Omar, Jayesh, and Darshan

Task: Represent SEM and STEM at Earth Day 2015

Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles came by our booth where we were representing our Science and Engineering Magnet High School and sharing our STEM message with the community. Ms. Huitt, our principal was also there. Unfortunately we forgot to take any video while inside. Above Tycho is visiting with the solar car team from Ben Barber Tech in Mansfield.

Reflections

Traffic was not great where our booth was, but we still got a lot of interest in our robot. We brought a subset of the field so that we could demonstrate better, and we linked the robot to the earth day theme by portraying the balls as debris that needs to be cleared after an environmental disaster.

Discovery Faire at the Dallas Downtown Library

20 Jun 2015
Discovery Faire at the Dallas Downtown Library By Caitlin, Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, and Tycho

Task: Present at the Dallas City of Learning Discovery Faire

"Kids are invited to “Turn Up!” to make, create, craft, play and learn at the Dallas Public Library on Saturday June 20. The Dallas City of Learning free family event will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on various floors at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St."
Quote from Dallas City News Article

Iron Reign was one of many presenters at the Discovery Faire, showing various robots to curious kids and parents. We were on the top floor, and after rolling up assorted robots from the team's past years, we were set up across from Polyprinter people. Although it took a while for visitors to make their way up to us, we were working with and talking to a large crowd at the peak.

Reflections

We set up multiple places for people to interact with. In the right-hand corner of our area we had a sumo field with 2 or 3 smaller lego robots running. On our main table we had our coca-cola cube 3d printer we won from an earlier grant, and the beginning of Argos was set up. Currently Argos uses color blob detection to follow a selected color from an android phone. Right now the phone is mounted on two servos and swivels in the direction of the color. Minion, our robotic "dog" was being driven by Tycho and was going around the whole area. A lot of kids wanted to try driving him around, and Tycho attempted to teach them the leash based controls.

The main attraction was our season robot, which was set up with a few foam tiles, a rolling goal, and a bunch of plastic balls in a box. We followed he path of the balls through the beater bar, into the chute, up the ski lift, and off the backboard into the tall rolling goal. We seemed to do better here than in any previous competition! A crowd of kids surrounded the robot, and while it was originally being driven around, we decided to keep it stationary later, only running the collection and scoring motors. It was hard to keep their hands away from the ski lift, something that could be broken easily, and that could potentially hook onto sweaters or necklaces. We told them to roll the balls towards the beater bar and watch as they travelled up and (hopefully) into the goals. They seemed really interested and engaged as we got a combo going, and started cheering as goals were made.

A lot of parents came by the booth, and we were distributing fliers and information for our high school, The Science and Engineering Magnet. Many asked question about the curriculum, entrance requirements, and robotics opportunities there. Parents of younger children asked for suggestions on how to become involved in robotics with their kids, and we suggested looking for FLL teams in their middle schools and scouting troops.

Moonday 2015 at Frontiers of Flight Museum

18 Jul 2015
Moonday 2015 at Frontiers of Flight Museum By Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Omar, and Jayesh

Task: Represent SEM and STEM at Moonday 2015

The Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts an event every year called Moon Day that exhibits a lot of STEM topics to anyone who drops by. Iron Reign always has a booth with DPRG and exhibits most of the previous robots and topics that we've been involved in. This year we showed off Argos and Kibosh in particular, also having GyroBoy as an example based off our presentation given to the DPRG just the previous week. We had our booth where we presented our robots and also had a seperate team walking around, showing off Argos and Minion. We were able to talk to many people, both young and old, and we impressed upon these people the importance of what we're doing and how the STEM fields could affect them. We impressed a couple engineers that came over with one of them exclaiming: "Man, kids used to mess with their dolls and toys, you guys do things that we weren't able to until late college!"

Reflections

Our opportunity to talk to both kids and adults experienced in the STEM fields, and leave an impression on both, is something that has come to define this team. To get kids excited about what we do and start getting them to see if they have any interest, helps us prepare them for their future in their early age. Meanwhile, to be able to learn from other engineers and take advice from their experience helps prepare us for our future.

Intro to Gyros

22 Jul 2015
Intro to Gyros By Caitlin, Tycho, Max, Omar, and Jayesh and Darshan

Task: Share what we've learned about motion sensing

On July 11th we gave a talk for a classroom full of adult members of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) where we shared what we've learned and are still learning about motion sensors, particularly gyros. The talk took place at the Dallas Makerspace. Our thanks to DPRG, Steve and Doug for hosting us and recording and editing the video. The presentation slides can be downloaded here. We hope this helps other FTC teams who are exploring the same subject.

Reflections

We are fairly happy with how the presentation went. We made a few mistakes and omissions in our talk and could improve our delivery. We should probably have added one last slide of "dos and don'ts" to make it simpler for teams that are just starting with gyros, so we'll do that in a follow-up post.

Our assessment of the quality of the gyro in the 2nd gen Moto G isn't a first hand assessment, as we don't actually own a Moto G. But if you Google the gyro on the Moto G you'll see stuff like this: https://www.reddit.com/r/GoogleCardboard/comments/2syeb2/moto_2nd_gen_gyroscope_fix_request/

So it seems that using this phone with Google Cardboard leads to a very jerky experience that probably means difficulty using it on a robot. But it's also possible that the gyro is fine and it's the built-in sensor fusion with the accelerometers and magnetometers that is the problem. We are interested in feedback from other teams that have this phone to see what they think of its gyro. We know of at least one other team that is planning to test this phone's gyro.

We are also interested in feedback from other teams on which external gyro they plan to use. The easy choice is the hitechnic gyro that we've mostly used in the past. But the truth is that it is a very drifty gyro and there are probably better choices out there now. We are looking at a few ourselves and plan to post the results.

We estimate we've put about 90 person hours over 3 meets and a lot of homework into this presentation. And that doesn't count the time we've put into actually learning how to use gyros from sensing through to control. If we'd spent even half that time working on our FTC judging presentation last year we'd be in much better shape. We learned of some teams at the South Super Regional that spent much more time practicing their presentations. We have to learn how to set aside time in the weeks leading up to competition when our focus has been only on the robot.

Mayor's Back to School Fair 2015 and Dallas City of Learning at Fair Park

07 Aug 2015
Mayor's Back to School Fair 2015 and Dallas City of Learning at Fair Park By Jayesh, Max, Tycho, Omar, Darshan

Task: Share STEM opportunities with returning Dallas ISD Students

On August 7, 2015 we tried to inspire returning DISD students to think of themselves as budding engineers and scientists. At the Mayor's Back to School Fair and as guests of Dallas City of Learning, we demonstrated our creations to Mayor Rawlings and hundreds of kids. Many students learned to operate the robots and learned about robotics opportunities available to them at all levels in Dallas ISD.

Reflections

We were in the historic Women's Building at Fair Park. It's a beautiful building, but foot traffic was not great since it was separated from the main buildings. The kids who did come through still got a kick out of Kibosh. We had it slowed down so they could control and play with it directly. Mayor Rawlings was really nice and seemed genuinely intersested in what we were doing and especially that we were doing so much over the summer. He is really concerned about summer learning loss and that's part of why he is backing the Dallas City of Learning initiative. Omar spent a lot of time touring the building with Argos and even taught Mayor Rawlings how to operate it. And our story did get featured in the school's first newsletter this year.

Learn About GitHub

08 Aug 2015
Learn About GitHub by Max, Tycho, Jayesh, Caitlin, Ethan, Trace, and Alisa

Task: Learning more about Git and GitHub.

We've been using GitHub to host this website and to version our robot code since last year. Max, Tycho, Jayesh, Caitlyn, Ethan, Trace, and Alisa attended. Steve Edwards, a member of DPRG, taught us about Git, which is a distributed version control utility that allows there to be a central version of a program while someone may be editing their own local version on their computer. Github is a website that hosts repositories for free.

Reflections

We've been using GitHub for about a year. This website is powered by GitHub pages, and we also have a robot source code repository. But we've mostly been using GitHub for Windows, and today's talk revealed what it was doing for us under the hood. We now have a greater appreciation for GitHub, but it was interesting to see what was happening underneath GitHub for Windows. We clearly still have a lot to learn.

Labor Day Meeting

07 Sep 2015
Labor Day Meeting By Caitlin, Jayesh, Darshan, Alisa, Omar, Max, Tycho

Task: Learn about OpModes

Today, we reviewed opmodes in the FTC API and how to register new opmodes. We also learned about the differences between regular, linear and synchronous (from SwerveRobotics) opmodes.

Task: Review Blogs/Journal

Our Blog == our Journal. What we also did today was quickly review how to create blog entries so we can do that more frequently this year. We also tried to catch up on our lengthy backlog of journal articles. We were very busy with outreach this summer and haven't had a chance to write up most of those events.

Reflections

With the new game being released this coming Saturday, we should soon be able to try and figure out what kind of robot we'll need to create and how to approach the problem both code-wise and machine-wise.

The linear opmode works as a simple sequence of instructions, while a regular opmode is more event driven but still simplified kind of the way that arduinos work where some lower level task manager is responsible for calling our main loop and making sure that communications with the hardware devices happens between those loop calls. Synchronous opmodes are provided by the SwerveRoboticsLibrary and are similar to the linear opmode, but seem to have some advantages. There needs to be a lot of work in order for all of us to really understand all of this code in the new environment before we'll be able to use it well, but in time we'll learn. I hope.

FTC Kickoff 2015

19 Sep 2015
FTC Kickoff 2015 By Jayesh, Omar, Max, Tycho, Evan, Ethan

Task: Attend FTC kickoff and assist newer teams in understanding task ahead of him

We were invited by team Technical Dificulties invited Iron Reign to attend first FTC kickoff for our region ever. With the Technical Difficulties coach leading the discussion, everything relating to the game and coopertition in North Texas was discussed. Technical Difficulties, with some input from us and a few other veteranss, was able to assist the rookie teams with understanding the task of the FTC challenge this year. Questions asked included the challenge, possible loopholes, rules and regulations, and award chances and how to possible obtain them.

Reflections

Iron Reign has always made a priority of assisting the newer teams in FTC and even FLL to understand the competition they are entering and the responsibilities they will undertake in this year and beyond. Many people came up to us asking about build strategies and even basics like understanding javascript. There will be future workshops invloving programming and building that we may attend to learn and spread our own knowledge on the subject matter.

Money Please

10 Oct 2015
Money Please By Evan

Task:

At the strategy meet we had, I brought up how we need money to get sensors so we can detect our heading and position. At the current moment we spend about 3000 dollars a year on parts and sensors and we only get a 1000 dollar grant to pay for them. We have to compensate the rest with our own cash stash. So this year we are going to seek out donors for our cause. I made a list consisting of some potential people who might have interest putting their name on the side of our bot.

Reflections:

Necesito mucho dinero.

Create a List of Blog Tags

17 Oct 2015
Create a List of Blog Tags By Caitlin

Task: Make a list of tags for blog entries

We've been tagging each blog post as we write them according to topics we think they fall into, but there's been no standard for what to choose from. For example, what I tag as "Mechanical" Omar tags as "Build." When we get some scripting done on the blog to separate according to topic we will need consistency between everybody.

Reflections

So far these are the tags chosen to represent main topics and types of posts:
@Team members: comment tag suggestions at the bottom of this article or in the group chat

  • Business - almost ALL outreach is under this tag too. grants won and companies talked too
  • Outreach - giving to the community, The team went out to an event, taught something, mentored a group etc
  • Mechanical - physically working on the robot or designs for that (omar's used "build" in the past, similar to that)
  • Software - programming, talking about sensors or something
  • Design - robot design (including arrangement of parts and wires), Creo mostly though
  • Organization - logistics about arrangement of tools, workspace stuff, may overlap with a lot of others
  • Journal - for when you've gotta get meta and blog about blogging
  • Tips - tips and tricks, something we think should be shared with other teams
  • Private - posts that contain trade secrets or something we don't want to share. won't be shown on the main blog page
  • Video - video is embedded somewhere in the post
Scripting will be used later to get some navigation / searching by topic, but we still need to go through previous entries from this season and replace old tags.

SEM Open House 2015

11 Nov 2015
SEM Open House 2015 By Jayesh, Caitlin, Omar, Max, Tycho, Darshan

Task: Publicize our school and team + showcase the benefits of robotics

Iron Reign was once again invited to attend our school's open house and present our robotics group and speak about what we have and will do. We mainly focsused our topics on the transition between middle school level robotics and high school level. The topics covered included the overall engineering and computer programmming that we undergo as a part of FTC. The classes that these possible future students would undertake as a part of SEM such as Physics and Computer Science would function as a baseline in the challenges presented in FTC and the main focus of our presentation was to hopefully show these possible prospects that what they learn in class would actually be utilized in their everyday life.

Reflections

With the discussions we had with the people in the crowd and leadership of our school, we garnered a lot of attention towards our team and robotics in general. Many people who hadn't had a lot of personal experience with robotics were mostly attracted to the dynamics of the robots as they moved around and showed of their basic motor functions. Other people who were engineers and researchers were impressed with our technical level at our age. Many people exclaimed how it's good that we're taing full advantage of our opportunnites as they never had these opportunites at their age. These open houses let us see how we were before starting FTC seriously, and these opportunities have helped us for our likely futures in the STEM fields.

Meeting other Teams at the Scrimmage

14 Nov 2015
Meeting other Teams at the Scrimmage By Caitlin, Omar, Darshan, Jayesh, Tycho, Max, Evan

Task: Get a feel for where we are and the progress of other teams

Whether or not we were allowed to compete, we felt that it would be worthwhile to go to the scrimmage, if only to see how we compared to other teams. Climbing the mountain is the hardest mechanical design challenge so far, and we were able to see their solutions.

Reflections

Many teams had treads like ours, with different arrangements of idlers, while other teams had completely different solutions. RoBo Bison Team #8811 had a particularly ingenious way of moving up the churros.

Team #8514 used a wheel design that we had discarded early in the design process, with surprising results. Their front wheels were omni wheels, and their back wheels were ridged for more traction. once they got high enough on the mid-zone, they used their claw arm to reach higher and pull themselves up.

"I specifically asked if they had problems with falling sideways down the mountain, and they did say that they had to be careful to drive up at an angle as close to 90 degrees as they could.

One team had programming trouble, and a few of our members went over to help with their problems. They were using app-inventor, which made it a little hard to and had a well known problem with their wifi-conectThis team ended up taking home a trophy at the competition

Researching Awards

22 Nov 2015
Researching Awards By Caitlin

Task: Research and understand the various awards

We rarely prepare enough for awards, usually hoping the practice before that we've done enough to be in the running. Last year we won the PTC Creo award at one competition, but that was a one time deal. This year we can prepare our journal in such a way to make it easier for judges to find what they're looking for when deciding.

Reflections

Out of the 9 awards, 7 are given at every tournament. These main 7 are Inspire, Think, Connect, Innovate, PTC Design, Motivate, and Control. Following are summaries/key points of the main 7 awards.
Inspire

  • Good Engineering section, Team section, Business and strategy section
  • good reliable robot in general
  • professional
Think
  • Detailed notebook with drawings
  • Notebook must recount lessons/journey/experiences of team
  • Entries giving lessons on underlying math and science concepts
Connect
  • Notebook business and strategic section. Contains fundraising, sustainability timelines, outreach, and community service goals
  • actively engaging in the engineering commnuity
Innovate
  • design process and design solution
  • elegant and unique design
  • efficient design
PTC Design
  • detailed design drawings
  • functional and aesthetic design
Motivate
  • Be an ambassador for FIRST
  • recruit others who might not be active in STEM
  • EVERY team member must participate
  • Each member must present
  • Creatively market the team
Control
  • Must fill out application sheet
  • Engineering section
  • uses intelligent coding
  • @ Iron Reign members: Pose and color blob would give an advantage

Most of these awards hinge on us being able to effectively present our achievements to judges, with a well organized engineering notebook. Our tagging system will make it easy to categorize posts based on what award they fall under, I just need to add sorting pages for these 7 new tags. Then we can print out extra engineering notebooks dedicated to each award. When added, we will go through previous posts and tag based on the relevant award category. All the more reason to get this done quickly, the posts are piling up.

Business Planning

05 Dec 2015
Business Planning By Alisa

Task: Making a Business Sponsorship Template

I worked on making a rough draft of a sponsorship template. This template will be used to email companies to ask for their sponsorship. I have a list of companies that have a high chance of sponsoring us. I found several more to add to the list Evan started last week. I also added sponsorship levels to increase interest for the companies: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Copper, Steel, Iron. Different levels through our list imply greater rights and priveleges in accordance to money donated.

Reflections

Our team is hoping to fix up some flaws of the template, so we can start using it to ask companies for their sponsorship. We are short of money and in the future, we will look for other ways to gain sponsorship money. This will help iron Reign continue its operations in both competition and extracurricular state. We are quickly growing out of the pure robotics team and growing into an organization.

Outreach and Sponsors

20 Aug 2016
Outreach and Sponsors By Caitlin, Darshan, Jayesh, Omar, Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Tycho, and Max

Task: Analyze how finances effect recognition

It's always a challenge to convince sponsors that we are a worthy team for their grants, visibility in FIRST and the public makes it easier. Teams whose schools have the finances and space to host a tournament are recognized by their peers and even get a boost to Regionals. However, our space is limited, and we wouldn't be able to pull off a quality event if we tried to host. Because of this our opportunities to get noticed by frequent veteran judges are limited, and we step up in outreach to make up for this.

Working with the Mobile Tech XPerience has been a huge amount of fun and a great learning experience, while being extremely visible to say the least. The MXP works to provide equal access to STEM technology to disadvantaged neighborhoods, and we teach modeling and NXT robotics. We get first shot at staffing the vehicle because of how closely we worked with them in the creation. The team was recognized in a CW33 Class Act for our efforts, and this is an incredible help to our sponsorship efforts. We want to tell potential sponsors that Iron Reign is a team that will put everything into getting out and interacting, and we have the evidence to show that.

MXP Transportation

10 Sep 2016
MXP Transportation By Darshan, Caitlin, Jayesh, Omar, Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Tycho, and Max

Oh the places you'll go!

We attend many events throughout the DFW area, taking our robot and whatever else we need along with us. This has often puts a strain in how much we can actually bring with us to FIRST events and STEM events in general. Over this past summer the team helped refurbish an old 90s RV to use as a Mobile Tech XPerience to drive around and help bring STEM to kids. Since the team put in the work to revamp the RV and worked so closely with the nonprofits involved, Big Thought gave us first dibs at using it when it's not out on deployments during the weekends. The MXP gives us a way to transport us and our materials to places that would otherwise seem unlikely. We can also use the MXP in collaboration with DISD to fund trips out of state and other competitions.

With the MXP at our disposal, bringing it to events can not only provide benefits to ourselves but also to other kids and teams. Plus it looks cool.

Budgeting With Team 3734

24 Sep 2016
Budgeting With Team 3734 By Ethan, Evan, and Austin

Task: Create a Budget Sheet for the 2016-2017 Season

As always, Iron Reign needs more money. We are a title 1 school in a cash-strapped district with over 60% of students qualfying for free lunch. So, this year, we decided to *actually* make a spreadsheet to track what we need and how much it'll cost. Coincidentally, our sister team, Imperial Robotics made one too. Also, this year, we're going to share a practice field at our school, SEM. So, we've combined our costs into one spreadsheet for potential sponsors. We are considering these grants:

Reflections

We really need to start applying for grants - many of them have already started accepting applications or are about to. Considering that our estimated costs for this year are >$2500, these grants are extremely important to us. You can help us today by clicking the donate money up top!

Applying for Grants

23 Oct 2016
Applying for Grants By Charlotte and Evan

Task: Applying for Grants

As the season begins, we have started to apply for grants. Grants are important to us because 68% of students in our home school receive free-or-reduced lunch, and we are underfunded by the district. It is our responsibility to seek the money required for our team to thrive.
Here is an excerpt from a letter we sent to a local business:

"Unfortunately time is money and the time it takes us to contribute to each of these events costs us dollars we don’t have. We all love teaching young children who are interested in robotics and technology and we hope what they receive is beyond value. But we also need to raise our competitive game and new parts cost money. When jerry rigging and reusing parts unsuited for the job, we waste time that could be used to make more progress and continue the advancement of our robot. As we continuously refine our design, new parts are needed and some need to be replaced as we strive for an efficient and reliable entry. The other piece of the financial puzzle is transportation costs. This year we plan to take part in multiple competitions including out-of-state competitions in order to deepen our competitive potential and improve our chances of advancing to the next level. Competition expenses beyond the standard local track are some of the hardest expenses to fund."

Reflections

In the future, we wish to reach out to more businesses for grant opportunities. We have already applied to the FTC grant and others, and we have set up a Paypal page where anyone can donate any amount of money. For example, you can donate

A Thank-You to Tetrix

12 Nov 2016
A Thank-You to Tetrix By Ethan and Evan

Task: To create a thank-you video to Pitsco

We entered a contest to win a pack of Tetrix parts on Twitter, and we won! You can also enter the contest by following these instructions

So, as a thank-you to them, we made this:

Bake Sale

13 Jan 2017
Bake Sale By Darshan, Caitlin, Evan, Jayesh, Omar, and Janavi

Task: Plan Bake Sale

During our winter break, we worked on our robot, but we also planned to gain funding for our continued progression. We had applied for multiple grants but we thought crowd souring would be also be beneficial. One way we thought we could accomplish this was through a bake sale at our school. We found out that we are not recognized as a nonprofit by the IRS which means we can't do fundraising through companies like Chipotle. We also have a PayPal, but online funding can also be very tricky. At this point we've planned out who's bringing what to sell. Although our date hasn't been confirmed, we have planned for the 19th or 20th of January.

Reflections

We realize that funding is obviously a major part of running our robotics team. Doing things such as this bake sale throughout the season could help put a dent in our tab.

To Do List Update

11 Feb 2017
To Do List Update By Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Omar, Janavi, and Evan

Task: Update our To Do List

Sensors

  • CDIM #2 on right side
  • color and distance sensors on right side
  • ultrasonic sensors
  • can we get rid of distance sensors?
  • omnidirectional travel sensor based on trackball
  • omnidirectional travel sensor based on I2c mouse

Autonomous

  • simplify approach path to wall
  • simplify beacon detection
  • second beacon
  • compute distance before slowing down
  • alt config to bypass a non-working beacon if it's the first
  • pointed at gap between beacons, drive until touching, square with imu, check / adjust distance with ultrasonic

Authonomous with Vision

  • More team members than Tycho study Fixit3491 videos 4 thru 7
  • Integrate OpenCV 3.2 back into app
  • done
  • Integrate Vuforia sample
  • done
  • Get image from Vuforia into OpenCV
  • in progress
  • stuck with bug
  • Camera mount tweaking to get best vision line
  • Does wide angle work with Vuforia configuration
  • Real Vuforia based auto navigation
  • OpenCV beacon analysis from Vuforia beacon localization

Particle Launcher / Flywheel + Rail Type

  • New grippy custom printed flywheel design
  • complete
  • Custom flywheel printed and assembled
  • done
  • 3 versions
  • nylon, open ninjaflex, dense ninjaflex
  • Rail design - done
  • Rail print - done
  • High speed motors - aquired
  • Frame and mount rails, flywheel and motor - in progress
  • Particle Release Gate and Servo mounting
  • Presentation narrative and blog updates - tie in with earlier design iterations

Cap Ball Fork Lift

  • Replace lift spool with double lift+retract spool made from Tetrix track guide wheels
  • Add slides for fork support
  • Add pulleys for retract spool
  • Add deployment servo
  • Fabricate folding fork
  • Figure out fork release by hyperextension
  • Can we retract cleanly?
  • Can we refold? CR servo reeling in a refold line might do the trick.
  • Code to support these capabilities

Journal / Blog Improvements - ADD STUFF HERE

Awards Guidance Sheets - ADD STUFF HERE

Presentation - ADD STUFF HERE

Robot Reveal Video V1 - Shot List

  • Intro Sequence - half second shots of robot driving into frame from overhead, right side, front
  • Mecanum Freedom - high overhead shot of robot going forward, strafing, diagonal, turning
  • Particle Collector - close up short shots of collector running from side and from front
  • Particle Collector - Pulling in a particle - muliple angles (can one of these be done with a dolly shot of moving particle?)
  • Particle POV - camera on mat - robot strafes into view, engages collector and drives over camera until camera is at accumulator lift
  • Particle Collector - shot from under the robot sitting on polycarb, camera under the polycarb at the rear of the robot lookup up, seeing a particle pulled in, guided by funnel and loaded into accumulator
  • Particle Collector - Automatic Opposing Alliance Particle Rejection
  • Particle Collector - Machine Vision Based Automatic Tracking and Collecting Behavior
  • Particle POV - running up accumulator lift - not sure if this is possible without animation
  • Shooting - with flywheel - wide shot of 4 balls coming out
  • Shooting - close up of Particle Release Gate
  • Shooting - close up of Particles cycling through Launcher while off of robot
  • Shooting - close up of Particles landing in the vortex or on an accuracy marker
  • Cap Ball Lift Deployment
  • Cap Ball Lift Capture
  • Cap Ball Lift Raising
  • Cap Ball Lift Depositing
  • Cap Ball Lift Retracting
  • IMU Close up + 90 degree turn + station keeping behavior(on black turntable; make shot from above)
  • Navigation - Calibrated Odometry in both normal drive and strafing
  • Combined high accuracy Heading and Odometry with Trig = absolute field position (close up of telemetry, plus overhead view of a navigation sequence)
  • Autonomous - high speed of entire sequence - replace with machine vision version when available
  • Autonomous - machine vision localization of beacon targets - phone camera capture
  • Autonomous - beacon isolation and analysis - phone camera capture

Connect Reveal Video - Shot List

  • MXP Crane Shot Opening Sequence - what if? theme
  • MXP Walk through - adjusted BT script
  • MXP construction effort
  • MXP outreach event visual scrap book

Connect Reveal Video - Team

  • Who is on this team? Evan leads?
  • Script Team
  • Voiceovers
  • Existing Video Review
  • New shots and slides
  • Editing

  • Inspire Award

    25 Feb 2017
    Inspire Award By Tycho, Jayesh, Caitlin, Omar, Max, Darshan, Evan, Ethan, Janavi, and Charlotte

    1st Place at North Texas Regional Championship

    Iron Reign members left to right are Ethan Helfman (Build, Communications), Janavi Chada (Programming, Communications), Tycho Virani (Programming Lead, Main Driver), Jayesh Sharma (Business Lead, Build, Communications), Darshan Patel (Build), Caitlin Rogers (Communications Lead, Logistics, Business) and Charlotte Leakey (Programming, Logistics), with Evan Daane (from BTW, Build, Photography) in repose. Not shown: Max Virani (Design Lead, Programming), Omar Ramirez (Build Lead) and Rohit Shankar (Programming).

    Wow, we did it. I mean, we were going for it, but wow - we did it! Out of 118 teams competing in our region, we got 1st Place Inspire (Top Award) at our regional championship! We finally earned the coveted Inspire Banner. We've been building toward this for 7 years! Ever since we started as an FLL team.

    Our total awards included Inspire 1st, Finalist Alliance 2nd, Motivate 2nd, Connect 3rd, Innovate 3rd.

    Not going to Disney World yet

    We are now qualified for the Texas State UIL Robotics Championship and the 12 State South Super Regionals. And we are preparing with the goal of making it to the World Championship. We have an extended season and while some of us have been to super regionals before, this is the first time the whole team gets to go. Our coffers are empty, we need a whole new round of fundraising to keep up the progress for the extended season. We need your help! Please consider contributing to support our extended season and help us represent North Texas at Supers.

    In case you don't know how the game works, it's broken into a 30 second autonomous phase followed by a 2 minute driver controlled period. Two alliances of two robots each compete in each match. Here is our division winning match with alliance mates Technibots. Autonomous:

    And Tele-Op:

    Super Regionals Booth Design

    04 Mar 2017
    Super Regionals Booth Design By Caitlin, Austin, and Omar

    Task: Design a theme and layout for super regional pits

    A year or two ago Imperial advanced to Super Regionals, bringing along a few Iron Reign members. While teams get excited and have a lot of fun at Regionals, it's nothing compared to the displays found at super regionals. We've grown into our cyber-Roman theme this season, and Omar is currently working on a logo to match our new color and feel. Hats won't be enough at this level though, we've got to step it up a notch! Austin and I first looked for a base image, first looking up Roman forts, then moving to campsites. The forts weren't as recognizable, and the tents could be set up much easier. We drew most of our inspiration for the booth theme from the image above, credit to Gaius Hibernicus on Flickr.

    Having a recognizable theme is important on two points: scouting and sponsors. Sponsors are more likely to be generous if we can point to a display and show them that people will look at our setup and see their names on it. It's the way to thank them for their generosity in the season. When scouting, you want to be remembered. A forgettable team isn't chosen. Super Regionals usually has teams that have already made alliances over the season, so if you aren't one of those, you've got to stand out in both the game and in the pits.

    Reflections

    Oddly, this competition has a pit size of 9'x9', not the usual 10'x10', so we will be designing to that measurement, and hopefully expanding it later. Austin designed a base frame structure in SketchUp and I started making models of our carts, banners, and tables to be arranged after. We need enough sign space to display our Inspire banner, sponsors, school banner, and team aquila. The robot cart needs a clear path to the workspace area, and we need space up front for pins, a display with our outreach and robot reveal running, and a trophy display. I've made models for these because we already have them, and have begun the shuffling and brainstorming.

    Austin created a Roman style shield in a record time, using old field mats as the core and sawed off broom handles (left over from the hats) to keep them stiff. We ran out of daylight to scrub them clean of dirt, but did that this practice. When we were sure the tape would adhere he covered the front in red duct tape with a gold border. He also mounted an IKEA bowl to the front as decoration, and is planning to round the corners off so he can mount a LED strip along the edge. It already looks really impressive, and we have more materials to make a second if we keep the pace up.

    The structural design of the tent was adjusted for simplicity's sake; we're making a cube as large as the competition allows, and hanging tan fabric/ripstop nylon along the different sides to create the tent shape. The PVC supports are going to be wrapped in a worn/tea-stained look material to keep it unified. Our two smaller rolling carts will have our front displays, and since they have shelving, they can serve as storage for the boxes that don't need to get pulled out as often during the competition. We can mount a shield to the front if we want to cover them up. The Inspire banner is bright enough that it can likely be seen easily from the back or side of the tent, the school banner will go across the top above everything, and the aquila will likely go in the front on the left, beside the displays.

    To Do List

    10 Mar 2017
    To Do List By Janavi, Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Omar, Caitlin, Austin, and Darshan

    Task: Update our To Do List

    Sensors

    • CDIM #2 on right side
    • color and distance sensors on right side -done
    • ultrasonic sensors
    • can we get rid of distance sensors?-done
    • omnidirectional travel sensor based on trackball- not high priority
    • omnidirectional travel sensor based on I2c mouse- not high priority

    Autonomous

    • simplify beacon detection
    • second beacon
    • compute distance before slowing down
    • alt config to bypass a non-working beacon if it's the first
    • pointed at gap between beacons, drive until touching, square with imu, check / adjust distance with ultrasonic

    Authonomous with Vision

    • More team members than Tycho study Fixit3491 videos 4 thru 7
    • Integrate OpenCV 3.2 back into app-done
    • Integrate Vuforia sample -done
    • Get image from Vuforia into OpenCV -done
    • Camera mount tweaking to get best vision line
    • test + upgrade to faster phones for better video processing - done
    • Does wide angle work with Vuforia configuration
    • Real Vuforia based auto navigation
    • OpenCV beacon analysis from Vuforia beacon localization

    Particle Launcher / Flywheel + Rail Type

    • New grippy custom printed flywheel design
    • complete
    • Custom flywheel printed and assembled
    • done
    • 3 versions
    • nylon, open ninjaflex, dense ninjaflex
    • Rail design - done
    • Rail print - done
    • High speed motors - aquired
    • Frame and mount rails, flywheel and motor - done
    • Particle Release Gate and Servo mounting- done
    • Presentation narrative and blog updates - done

    Cap Ball Fork Lift

    • Replace lift spool with double lift+retract spool made from Tetrix track guide wheels- done
    • Add slides for fork support- done
    • Add pulleys for retract spool- done
    • Add deployment servo
    • Fabricate folding fork
    • Figure out fork release by hyperextension- done
    • Can we retract cleanly? -done
    • Can we refold? CR servo reeling in a refold line might do the trick.
    • Code to support these capabilities

    Journal / Blog Improvements -

    • lift and improving it
    • making the new side guards
    • assembling the canopy
    • robot reveal

      Awards Guidance Sheets

    • control award
    • fire beats cd

      Presentation - ADD STUFF HERE

    • pratice it!!!
    • increase info- mabye???
    • add charlotte and austin to the presentation

      Robot Reveal Video V1 - Shot List

      • Intro Sequence - half second shots of robot driving into frame from overhead, right side, front d
      • Mecanum Freedom - high overhead shot of robot going forward, strafing, diagonal, turning d
      • Particle Collector - close up short shots of collector running from side and from front d
      • Particle Collector - Pulling in a particle - muliple angles (can one of these be done with a dolly shot of moving particle?) d
      • Particle POV - camera on mat - robot strafes into view, engages collector and drives over camera until camera is at accumulator lift d
      • Particle Collector - shot from under the robot sitting on polycarb, camera under the polycarb at the rear of the robot lookup up, seeing a particle pulled in, guided by funnel and loaded into accumulator
      • Particle Collector - Automatic Opposing Alliance Particle Rejection
      • Particle Collector - Machine Vision Based Automatic Tracking and Collecting Behavior
      • Particle POV - running up accumulator lift - not sure if this is possible without animation
      • Shooting - with flywheel - wide shot of 4 balls coming out
      • Shooting - close up of Particle Release Gate d
      • Shooting - close up of Particles cycling through Launcher while off of robot
      • Shooting - close up of Particles landing in the vortex or on an accuracy marker
      • Cap Ball Lift Deployment
      • Cap Ball Lift Capture
      • Cap Ball Lift Raising
      • Cap Ball Lift Depositing
      • Cap Ball Lift Retracting
      • IMU Close up + 90 degree turn + station keeping behavior(on black turntable; make shot from above)
      • Navigation - Calibrated Odometry in both normal drive and strafing
      • Combined high accuracy Heading and Odometry with Trig = absolute field position (close up of telemetry, plus overhead view of a navigation sequence)
      • Autonomous - high speed of entire sequence - replace with machine vision version when available
      • Autonomous - machine vision localization of beacon targets - phone camera capture
      • Autonomous - beacon isolation and analysis - phone camera capture

      Connect Reveal Video - Shot List

      • MXP Crane Shot Opening Sequence - what if? theme
      • MXP Walk through - adjusted BT script
      • MXP construction effort
      • MXP outreach event visual scrap book

      Connect Reveal Video - Team

    • Who is on this team? Evan leads?
    • Script Team
    • Voiceovers
    • Existing Video Review
    • New shots and slides
    • Editing

    Building Competition 2017

    25 Sep 2017
    Building Competition 2017 By Evan and Austin

    Task: Find the best robot design

    The games have begun and it’s time to build. So that’s what Austin and I did. A war had been declared. Legions of the indentured collided on the battlefield. Millions were slaughtered during this new age armageddon. Austin had his army. I had mine. Two different ideas to do the same task: lift glyphs into their correct positions. A simple job but one that caused a rift in Iron Reign, an incurable rift between the forces of light and darkness. But then I decided to stop because his design had more speed than mine and speed is more necessary this year. My idea had been a lift that could move the glyphs back and forth but I realized that it would be a little too slow for the competition. My solution would have had a side to side conveyor belt that moved glyphs back and forth to arrange them in the correct order, and then push them into the slots. This movement would have been separate from the four mecanum wheels that we are using in the chasis. His idea was simpler than mine, a conveyor belt that ran through the middle of the robot to bring the glyphs to the keybox, where they could be slotted in with the side to side movement provided by the mecanum wheels. So, like an outnumbered Supreme Court judge, I decided to join the winner so I could have a say in the early design. Once he got a prototype ofhis contraption working, it was able to pick up blocks effectively but it still needs improvement. It has issues with blocks at an angle, and it has trouble slotting the blocks into the keybox, but it's a nice step toward a working block system. We are currently planning to use the mecanum wheel base we used last year but this could change anytime. We left practice with a direction and that's better than nothing.

    Reflections

    MXP at UTA

    14 Oct 2017
    MXP at UTA By Kenna, Abhi, Austin, Charlotte, Ethan, and Janavi

    MXP at UTA

    Today, we brought the Dallas City of Learning MXP (Mobile Learning Lab) to 4H’s Youth Technology Explosion in coordination with the Black Society of Engineers. Our role in this event was to offer a hands on experience for those interested in a career in engineering. We usually have three different activities: MinecraftEDU, Sumo Robotics, and CAD Keychains. MinecraftEDU runs on three computers for younger kids while six computers run LEGO Mindstorms EV3. We use Mindstorms to help people code their own robot which, once coded, will battle other robots in a sumo ring.

    Unlike most events we attend, the participants were mostly high schoolers so there was a much greater interest in the 3D modeling software (as opposed to MinecraftEDU or sumo robotics). Only about 80 people came into the MXP but in very large groups at once so we switched from helping everyone individually to presenting on the TV. We walked them through designing their own keychain on SketchUp, then printed it using FlashForge 3D Printers donated to us by BestBuy. Helping people learn CAD gives us the unique opportunity to foster interest in a valuable skill on a program that anyone with internet has access to. The best part by far is giving people their printed keychains, as seen above.

    Strategies for Relic Recovery

    14 Oct 2017
    Strategies for Relic Recovery By Evan, Austin, and Abhi

    Getting Started

    We began our thinking process by isolating the various mechanisms which we believed would provide equally beneficial amounts of control, speed between intake of glyphs, and low weight to keep our robot agile. Preliminary discussions devolved into partially heated arguments about various designs implications and fesability. While "faction" may be to strong of a word for the groups that formed to prototype the various designs, there was an easily noticable division of team effort. The design that was finished first was the repurposed tank drive of an older robot (geb) mounted horizontally on to a sheet of plywood, with the intention of having the treads grip and accelerate the blocks through a channel. We discovered that not only would it move glyphs up an incline, but it could grab them and move them completely vertically:

    Contact Us

    E-Mail: ironreignrobotics@gmail.com Website: In the address bar