Task: Analyze Source of Gripper break
Read More REVolution on ThingiverseBy Abhi
Task: Publish REVolution Parts
Tired of slipping set screws? Want a rigid drive shaft as long or tall as your robot? Have a bunch of REV Rail lying around? Have we got a solution for you...
Turn your REV Rail into a beater-bar, a drive shaft or a heavy duty hinge with our Spintastic Axializer System … The REVolution System
Iron reign has developed these parts over the course of this...
Read More Relic ArmBy Karina and Evan
Task: To have a working relic arm in time for Worlds
For weeks now, Team 6832 has been working hard to have a functional relic arm designed and mounted on the robot. We feel that it is absolutely necessary to be able to complete relic recovery at Worlds if we do not want to be crushed by the competition. Well, fear not, our relic arm is here!
Read More Upgrading KrakenBy Abhi
Task: Update CAD model
With FIRST Champs right around the corner, we needed to update our CAD model to match our current Kraken. After all, Kraken can't be lackin' any features. I decided to reopen Creo and make some modifications.
One of the most important things I needed to put on was the Relic arm. After planning on it for the whole season, we finally finished it recently. I...
Read More Build Kraken 2By Janavi and Kenna
Task: Build a Pushbot (Kraken 2)
Building. It seems so simple but alas I was wrong, so wrong. During our post mortem, when we discussed our roles on the road to worlds, Kenna and I volunteered for building a pushbot. We both wanted to get more experience in building and thought this would be a perfect way to becoming well-versed in building. Our task was to create a drive base that, when placed on...
Read More Elastics TestingBy Ethan
Task: Test wear and tear on our robot's bungees
This is the fifth or so article in our series on robotics testing. Today's spotlight will be on the constants of our robot's bungees, and how they're affected by various wear and tear. So, we took three bungees from the same set as the ones on our robot, and placed them in various places: stretched outside, stretched inside, and a control sitting in the...
Read More The Cost of MistakesBy Abhi
Task: Analyze Failures
Two words describe the picture above: "Oh dear". The wires shown above are connected to our jewel thief on the bottom of our robot. The reason the wires are so shredded and torn is because the chain on our grippers would rub against the wires when the lift was in the lower position. However, it was not always like this.
This piece used to be on...
Read More Engineering the Flag HolderBy Abhi
Task: Find a place to put the flag
When we went to Super Regionals, we forgot about where to put our flag with the new design. That led us to strapping a zip tie to a side shield, ruining the aluminum aesthetic. We decided we need a specially designed part to put our flag in since duct tape didn't look nice (we're classy like that). I embarked on a mission to create a...
Read More Kraken LED InstallationBy Ethan, Austin, Evan, and Abhi
Task: Install LEDs on our robot
This has been a low-priority task for the robot throughout the season. We wanted to be able to a) look cool and b) signal team color and problems with the robot with LEDs. And, at Supers, we just happened to have access to a Fender switch, servo, and a roll of LEDs, so in our downtime we decided to take advantage of it. If we knew...
Read More Relic Arm DesignBy Ethan, Abhi, and Shaggy
Task: Design and implement a new Relic Arm mechanism
At the North Texas regionals, we realized that if we really want to go further in the robot game, we need to significantly improve. Part of this is designing the new grabber-flipper system detailed in a later post, but another good way to score points is to score the Relic. So, we designed v1 of the Relic Arms, as detailed in this post....
Read More Grabber V5. Diagrams and PicturesBy Austin
Task: Implement the new grabber system and record how it works
So, we've been talking about our new gripper system for a while - we've made prior 3D models and started it, hoping that we'd have it done by the Oklahoma Regional, since that was sort of a low stakes tournament for us. Unfortunately, we didn't get it just in time, so we had to go back to the basic...
Read More Last Minute Robot FixesBy Ethan and Evan
Task: Add last-minute design changes to the robot
It was a temperate night. The waning moon shone overhead, a blazing reminder of the continuity of time, for as the moon dipped lower in the sky, our precious little time until the tournament dripped away. Under this oppressive, singular symbol, we labored, trying to outpace the continual march of time.
Over the past week, we had worked tirelessly on the robot. In...
Read More Robot Drive TeamBy Charlotte, Tycho, Karina, and Evan
Task: Build a solid drive team.
One of the leading problems Iron Reign faces is our ability to allot time to effective driving practice. Driving practice is essential for our success in the robot game, but it is sometimes difficult to find time to practice due to other team members working on various robot improvements. We have created two different drive teams, a main team and a backup team, so that despite...
Read More Conveyor Belt V2By Abhi
Task: Develop Conveyor System 2
After analyzing the lack of speed from our last competition, we decided to continue the journey of attaching the gripper arms to a conveyor belt as previously designed. To do so, we realized that we needed to utilize the REVolution system to make the grippers work better. Also, we needed two points of attachment for our robot after seeing that one didn't work with the first version of the...
Read More Building a new chassisBy Karina and Janavi
Janavi and I have started to build a new chassis for Kraken 2.0., modelled after Kraken’s current chassis.
First, we had to measure the chassis of Kraken, then cut REV rails to these measurements. Lastly, we assembled the pieces to look as it does above.
With this being the first build project Janavi and I have taken the lead on, we had to have some help...
Read More Flipper+By Evan, Abhi, and Janavi
Task: Build a new glyph scoring system
As the season wears on, the robot game looms over Iron Reign since the bot we built scores only a fifth of the world record. To lessen the gap, we continue to invest in the flipper system I contrived earlier on in the season. As of late, we’ve furthered the project by building a chassis for it to rest in. It’s a slightly modified version of the one...
Read More Creo Parametric, a Learning JourneyBy Abhi
Task: Learn Creo Over Time
Over the course of this past season, I have been learning how to use Creo Parametric to learn 3-D modeling. Since this is Tycho's last year on the team (so far he has been our main modeler), I decided to learn from him so the modeling legacy would continue.
The first project I was tasked to design was the wheel guard on the robot....
Read More The Grabber V. KrakenBy Austin and Evan
Task: Build a new version of the grabber
One of our issues with the previous iteration of the gripper was the fact that the material that coated the actual pincers weren't even and would often lead to blocks slipping from the bottom of the gripper and falling out. Our solution to this was to retest materials and in this process we decided to try our hand at 3D printing...
Read More Fixing the Robot ChassisBy Austin
Task: Redesign the robot chassis, fix issues
When we designed our new grabber with the octopuckers, one of the variables we neglected was the width of the new grabber once assembled and resting. After the grabber was completed it’s width was actually greater than that of the housing bay we had built into the current drive train, so to get the grabber to fit we actually had to widen the bay....
Read More Flipper PrototypeBy Evan
Task: Build an alternate glyph-placing mechanism
The world advances on innovation. We strive to make the most efficient devices and aparati to complete jobs for us. There’s a hundred different ways to work a task, but only one will be the best at functioning in the areas of efficiency and timeliness. Just as America runs on Dunkin, advancement runs on efficiency. That’s why the robot must be outfitted with a flipper system...
Read More Jewel ThiefBy Austin and Evan
Task: Build a Functional Jewel Thief
The jewel thief we built before *worked* but that was about it. More often than not, it failed or, even worse, knocking off the wrong jewel due to instability. And, in the Greenhill Qualifier, we lost several rounds because of a problem that could've been easily fixed. So, we had to redesign it.
The jewel thief was initially intended to be simple. It...
Read More Gripper v4, OctopuckersBy Tycho and Abhi
Task: Design a new piece for intake
Version 2 of our gripper arms worked much better than our original. Due to their silicone material and trianglular shape, we definitely had more control over the glyphs than our one degree of freedom grabber arms. However, we still had issues we needed to address. When glyphs were taken in, since the silicone surface did not have much mobility and compressibility, glyphs would often fall. Due to slight...
Read More Grabber Arms v3By Abhi and Karina
Task:Develop a More Efficient System
At the Oklahoma qualifier, we saw numerous teams with similar systems to that of ours. However, since we had the mobilized gripper arms to stack with auto alignment, we were able to collect glyphs easier. In spite of that, after observing other teams in action, we realized our current gripper method had the issue of not being ready by the time we got back to the cryptobox. This is...
Read More Intake Grippers Pt2By Evan
Task: Attach the new intake grippers
The basters are here and in full swing. We spent a late night putting together the two intake columns. They were attached to a backing by previously, allowing to finish it by attaching the final servo and tieing it to the two columns. Since the new intake needed new code, we whipped up some code to allow us to have control. Upon doing this he realized...
Read More How to Assemble parts in PTC CreoBy Abhi
Task: Learn how to Assemble parts in Creo Parametric
In addition to making parts to print in Creo, it is sometimes useful to combine multiple parts to make a model. For example, we can make a robot model by assembling parts in Creo. We have conducted a video on how to do so.
For this tutorial, we first created two simple parts...
Read More Drive PracticeBy Karina, Charlotte, and Abhi
Task: Become experts at driving the robot and scoring glyphs
Iron Reign’s robot drivers Abhi, Charlotte, and I, have been working hard to decrease our team’s glyph-scoring time. The past few meets, we have spent many hours practicing maneuvering on the field and around blocks, something that is crucial if we want to go far this competition season. When we first started driving the robot, we took approximately 4 minutes to complete a single...
Read More Gripper Part 2By Evan
The task today was simple. We replicated the prior work with the first gripper, as stated in the prior post, so we can begin connecting them. The biggest problem was finding all the parts to make it. We are hoping we can connect and mount them in the next couple days so it will be ready for the qualifier in Oklahoma. The improvement over last post was the addition of the rubber gripping material, as...
Read More Designing the Jewel ThiefBy Evan
Task: Design a part to remove the jewel
The jewel thief, the mechanism for knocking off one of the jewels, was going to be one of the tougher parts of our bot to integrate, based on the chassis we began with. But, with a little engineering and some long thought, we came up with a few ways to implement it. First, we began with a side mount, and it was alright...
Read More Wheel Protector CorrectionBy Abhi
Problem: Wheel Guard Innacuracy
Refering back to the design of the wheel guard, we decided it was time to actually mount it on the robot. At first, it seemed like the part was perfect for the robot since it fit just snug with the screws on the wheel. However, upon mounting, we discovered the following:
Turns out that the part is acutely shorter than the real height of wheel relative to the horizontal axis superimposed upon the vertical plane. As a...
Read More Stopping Glyph DamageBy Abhi
Task: Stop Destroying Glyphs
Since damaging field elements is a huge no-no, we needed to fix this, we decided to create a 3-D part to protect the glyphs from our wheels
During the first attempt, I had just self taught Creo hours prior to construction. As a result, I was not very precise nor efficient in my design. Nevertheless, we recognized that there were some basic shapes we could use for construction such as a semicircle for the bottom half and two rectangles on the...
Read More Chassis UpgradesBy Austin
Task: Upgrade our chassis
Because our robot at this point has merely become a collage of prototypes that we compete with, there are often subtle improvements that need to be made. Starting with the wheelbase, Abhi has written a blog about the shields we printed to protect the glyphs from the gnashing bolts of our mechanum wheels, and we also tensioned all our set screws and motor mounts to make sure that our...
Read More Oh No! Dying GlyphsBy Abhi
Problem: Glyph Damge due to Robot Design
We were tearing up our glyphs like this because our wheels had no guard for their screws:
More specifically, we had multiple issues with damaging the glyphs. First, the exposed screws on the mechanum wheels (Fig 1) tended to cut into the glyphs as seen in the above picture. As well, you can see relatively sharp edges on the wheels where the block could also be cut, and that the blocks could be pinched by the...
Read More Designing the GrabberBy Austin
Task: Work on the grabbers more
With our single degree of freedom lift fastened to the robot we focused on the appendage that would grip to within an inch of its life any glyph we fed it. We initially toyed with simple tetrix channels to form a make shift rail that would hold axels for pivoting points, however we found tetrix to be a bit too cumbersome and decided to use rev...
Read More Designing the Grabber FurtherBy Evan
Task: Design the grabber design and make future plans
The grabber has been evolving. A column made of a turkey baster and a wooden dowel attached to servo has come into fruition. The first drawings and designs are coming along, and some 3D printed parts have been thought up to allow the square dowel to become a hexagon. An adapter of sorts. The grabber and lift have been outfitted with a...
Read More Building Competition 2017By 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...
Read More Slide DesignsBy Austin
Task: Figure out slide mechanism
After determining that the treaded channel was much too buggy to perfect with the time we had, we shifted attention to other scoring systems like grabbers, however before finding the right grabber we decided we needed to get the track for it completed first. We’ve had experience in the past with all sorts of rails from Tetrix kits that convert their standard channels into lifts, to the newer...
Read More Narrowing Down the DesignsBy Evan and Austin
Task: Redesign our grabber systems
In an attempt to get a working lift system before the coaches meeting we will be presenting at, a linear slide has been attached to the robot, along with a pair of grabbing arms. They work surprisingly well and aren’t as complicated as my idea. Plus the importance of speed has really taken hold on me this year. We need to be as fast...
Read More Intake SystemsBy Austin
Task: Work on designs for the intake system
Over the past couple of days we’ve experimented with a horizontally mounted track system that we had hoped would serve to move blocks through the entire length of the robot and into the crypto box. Immediately we noticed a few issues, the primary one being that the tread was static in terms of mounting and therefore wasn’t accepting of blocks when feed at an odd...
Read More Further Design of the IntakeBy Evan and Austin
Task: Design the grabbing systems further
The sun came out and it was back to the field. We got started right away, both of us building our designs. Since the cryptoboxes were wider than the 18 inch sizing cube, we started by designing a fold out for the conveyor belt. This was entirely proof of concept, purely to see if it was at all aplicable in the game...
Read More Makeshift GlyphsBy Janavi, Abhi, and Evan
After the game reveal video was released we had some ideas on how to have our robot grip onto the blocks, but we couldn't test it without a makeshift glyph to hold onto. So we decided to upcycle some old cat and weather damaged field tiles by cutting them up into 6 X 6 squares and placing them in a cube formation. Attached below is an image of our handiwork and a image...
Read More Intake System CompetitionBy Evan and Austin
Task: Compare build designs for the cryptobox intake system
The block scoring system is going to be an integral part of the competition this year, and it will have to built sturdy. It’ll have to be reliable for us to have any shot of winning any matches. So we got to brainstorming. We spent a while at the whiteboard, drawing up various mechanisms and ways to pick up blocks. One idea was the idea...
Read More REV Robot RevealBy Tycho, Austin, Charlotte, Omar, Evan, and Janavi
Argos V2 - a REV Robot Reveal
This video was pulled from Argos visits to: The NSTA STEM Expo in Kissimmee FL, in the path of eclipse totality in Tennessee, and in North Texas at The Dallas Makerspace, The Southwest Center Mall, Southside on Lamar and the Frontiers of Flight Museum. We hope you find it interesting:...
Read More Editing the Reveal VideoBy Evan and Omar
One man's harrowing journey through copyright free music lists
The Robot Reveal video is underway. With most of the filming done, the sky grows dark and the day ends. A night time of editing sets in for the poor miscreant who volunteered for the task. Huddled in the corner with a raw fish and his precious computer, the boy opens premiere pro to begin. All is right with the world. The five hour...
Read More Inspire AwardBy 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...
Read More Backups and ShieldsBy Caitlin, Omar, Max, and Tycho
Task: Build a backup flywheel track and remount side shields
Previously, our side shields were zip-tied through 4 bolt holes on tetrix pieces per side, and we had taken one off to reach our drive system. When putting it back on to fine tune autonomous we took the time to cut out space for a wrench and bolt it on. The holes were already the correct size, we just had to line...
Read More Building the Fly Wheel LauncherBy Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Evan, Tycho, and Max
Task: Create a particle launcher with a higher scoring rate
The first particle launcher we saw by another FTC team was actually a crude flywheel and rail design back in October where the rail was a cut up PVC elbow. Back then we considered a number of different designs including impact launchers, catapults, flywheel + rail systems and dual flywheel shooters like our sister team built. We decided to go with a catapult design because Max...
Read More Robot Drive TeamBy Charlotte, Tycho, Karina, and Evan
Task: Build a solid drive team.
One of the leading problems Iron Reign faces is our ability to allot time to effective driving practice. Driving practice is essential for our success in the robot game, but it is sometimes difficult to find time to practice due to other team members working on various robot improvements. We have created two different drive teams, a main team and a backup...
Read More Motor Controller MountsBy Ethan, Darshan, Max, and Tycho
Task: Prevent static shocks to our robot
Throughout the year, we've dealt with static issues with our robot, as shown here and here. And, now that we've pretty much gotten autonomous and the lift out of the way, the static was our only remaining issue.
To prevent the static shocks, we needed to isolate the motor controllers and other...
Read More Cap Ball LiftBy Omar, Jayesh, Darshan, Evan, and Max
Task: Build a lift to try cap-ball scoring
Although we're confident in our robot's ability to shoot balls and press beacon buttons, we decided that in order to be competitive, we should try to score the cap ball. The lift would have to be strong enough to lift the surprisingly heavy ball, but also not take up too much space. Our robot, as like every year, is very close to the 18 inch size limit in all directions, so we...
Read More Mapping Out AutonomousBy Janavi, Tycho, Omar, Evan, and Darshan
Task: Mapping Out Autonomous
To tell the robot how far to move forward we had to calculate our motors RPM. We did this by telling the robot move to 10 rotations forward and calculating how far it travelled. After he RPM we created a model field upon which we designed a set path for the robot during autonomous. One path for red and then one for blue....
Read More Beginning the build for the Cap Ball TrapperBy Jayesh and Omar
Task: Give Deadshot flexibility in end game scoring by designing Cap ball launcher
One of the issues we saw in Arkansas was in the lack of flexibility we had in terms of the end game. We efficiently scored balls and beacons, but when our teammate for a specific match could do the same, we lost possible points scored. This led us to conclude that a Cap Ball Trapper,...
Read More Designing Button PusherBy Darshan and Omar
Task: Design potential beacon scoring mechanism
Up to this point, we hadn't given much attention to a beacon scoring mechanism that we could use in both autonomous and tele-op. At the scrimmage we learned that scoring the beacons was almost vital to winning the match, and we couldn't do that. We rigged up a short u-channel on a plate and attached it to our robot, hoping we could just ram...
Read More Robot Frame and RewiringBy Jayesh, Omar, and Evan
Task: Build a frame to increase available surface area on robot to rewire current configuration
The wiring, which had been on the robot, had been a constant issue. The wiring tangled, interfered with the scoring mechanism, and led to some inefficiencies in electrical output. In order to increase the available space to reconfigure the inner workings of the robot, we built a second testrix layer, which also conveniently serves as a handle.
The new level...
Read More Final CatapultBy Ethan, Evan, Omar, and Jayesh
Task: Finish up the catapult before Arkansas
Today marks six days until Doomsday (AKA Little Home, Arkansas), so we needed to finalize everything. For the catapult, Jayesh and Omar fixed my catapult "fixes". However, with the new fixes, the catapult was more powerful, and required recalibration. To adjust to the new fixes, we removed the old stop-mechanism, and replaced it with a wooden one that stops it on the 2nd level of...
Read More Catapult UnfixesBy Ethan
Task: To bring the catapult within size limits and improve it
What Actually Happened: Abject failures
So, the original catapult, when not stuck, performed pretty well at the scrimmage. However, since we opted not to measure our robot at the scrimmage, we didn't realize that our robot was not within the FTC size limits. When measured after the fact, it was 18x19x20 in x, y, and z axes respectively, due to the catapult's position on the robot. To rectify this, we decided to cut the catapult down,...
Read More Intake System ImprovementsBy Caitlin and Janavi
Task: Replace rubber bands with smaller versions and add wider intake area
New intake area is wider than before
At the Scrimmage we noticed that the rubber bands would get tangled as they rubbed against the underside of the catapult bowl, and so didn't reach as far down at the bottom. We untangled them before each match but decided to test out the smaller ones when we had the chance at...
Read More A Thank-You to TetrixBy 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:
Read More Launching Mechanisms Pt. 2By Ethan
Task: To improve upon launching mechanism designs
CatapultFirst and foremost, we now have one completely functional, terrifying, catapult. The motor mechanism is cannibalized from our sister team's attempt at a catapult, which broke apart on testing.
FlywheelSo, while we don't have a functional flywheel as of...
Read More Stabilizing Our Driving BaseBy Jayesh, Omar, Max, and Darshan
Task: Stablize Meccanum wheel base so the driving is more stable and consistent
Our Meccanum wheel base idea started off on a shaky note. While we had a good amount of success in the tass we wanted to complete, like driving right or let without turning the entire robot, including the basic driving functions. However, as we went on with testing, we found that over time, the force the meccanum wheels...
Read More Launching MechanismsBy Ethan
Task: To build a launching mechanism for the particles
For the 2016-2017 season, particle scoring is really important. During autonomous, balls that are launched into the center vortex earn 15 points each, and balls that are launched into the center vortex earn 5 points. If done quickly enough, the particle scoring can negate most of the advantages another team has - just 8 particles scored during the driver-controlled period is equivalent to scoring all 4 beacons. With a good scoring mechanism, the only thing that your team...
Read More 2016-2017 RobotBy Ethan, Omar, Jayesh, Evan, Tycho, and Max
Task: To build the robot for the 2016-2017 season
As much as we love our robot from last season, Geb, we need a robot that is better able to fit the season's challenges. Our needs for this year are:
For manuverability, we decided to use mecanum wheels. The cool thing...
- Manuverable and fast
- Able to play defensively
- Can support attachments such as an intake system
Read More Building the Robot BaseBy Jayesh, Omar, and Darshan
Task: Design and test implementation of a driving base
We have spent the last few practices formulating a new driving base for our robot this year. We went through various possibilities: tank-based drive using both tracks and the omni-regular system (both of which are systems that we have utilized in previous years). However, both systems showed inefficiencies with this year's competition. We decided to go to a system using mainly Mecanum...
Read More First Official Practice of the SeasonBy Omar, Caitlin, Jayesh, Darshan, Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Max, and Tycho
Task: Pull ourselves together for the new season
At this practice, our goal was to get everybody familliar with this year's game, Velocity Vortex, and to brainstorm some ideas for this year's robot. Some organization also needed to be done in terms of parts (everything is everywhere and nowhere at the same time) and also in terms of this year's meeting structure. Last year...
Read More Geb Fixes and AdjustmentsBy Jayesh, Omar, and Caitlin
Task: Prepare Geb for competition and get it into running condition
With all of the large projects and events that Iron Reign have been commiting to (with more still to come), we have unfortunately been neglecting Geb and as we came to find a few weeks ago, many of the running parts that give us the majority of points in competition were falling in disrepair. We found that the tape measure system...
Read More New tread material testBy Caitlin, Tycho, Max, and Evan
Task: Initial tests for new tread material
The standard Tetrix treads and tread inserts aren't nearly as sturdy as we would like. When they snap it's a real effort to put back together stretched over the idlers, and the inserts peel apart, bringing our traction down. The new material is a rubber conveyor belt material from Andymark, and the underside track chain is 3D printed in nylon to mesh with the...
Read More Sumobot Tips and TricksBy Tycho
Let's assume you are building a LEGO Mindstorms or Vex IQ based Sumobot, but you want to skip some of the basic mistakes beginners will make. Here are some tips and tricks.
- Know the rules. It's silly to get disqualified because you didn't pay attention to the rules. Know the size and weight limits. Know the allowed construction materials and techniques. Know the startup behaviors. For example, your robot must not move...
Read More Hoverboards and PIDBy Caitlin, Omar, Darshan, Tycho, and Max
Task: Continue with the Hoverboard and tweak PID
After the long weekend last week, today was a reasonably relaxed practice. We decided that we could work on anything, as long we stayed focused. The two main foci were the -Robot on a Hoverboard- and fine tuning our PID for autonomous.
We experimented with balancing the robot more evenly on the hoverboard to keep it on a straight path...
Read More Robot On a Hoverboard - Try 1By Caitlin, Max, Tycho, Darshan, Omar, Evan, Ethan, and Jayesh
Task: Try to drive the hoverboard with the competition bot
In the middle of Saturday's event we decided it would be a GREAT idea to put the competiton robot on the hoverboard and try to drive it around. Theoretically if we got it centered correctly it could only drive forward and backwards. We could extend...
Read More Fixing Up Our Climber and Trough AttachmentsBy Jayesh, Max, and Omar
Task: Replace servo on CliffHanger with a motor
At both competitions we've been to so far, we've noticed that the servo that controls the cliff hanger's elevation often stresses and heats up due to the strain being put on it, especially near the end of the match. It has already scorched quite a few of our fingers. To remedy this, we decided to replace it with a...
Read More Pushing my ButtonsBy Ethan and Max
Task: To build a button-pusher for the beacon
Today, we realized that the tape-measure attachment that's supposed to push the buttons on the beacon could have multiple functions instead So, we designed an attachment to the tape measure that can push any buttons, including people's. Max designed it in PTC and then printed it. We have yet to actually test it on the robot, but it works in-hand.
This is just our first design, and it has not...
Read More The Double-Wide ExperimentBy Jayesh, Max, Dylan, and Evan
Task: Strengthen our tape-measure climber against folding and sideways forces
Our tape measure is constantly under stress, which usually isn't a big problem if the driver is positioned with a straight 90 degree angle, but when twisted can result in cracks.
While our tape-measure design worked decently at our competition last week, with multiple mid zone scores and one high zone score, we are going to need more consistency to be a valuable ally in our matches. At...
Read More It's a BloodbathBy Ethan, Alisa, Max, Darshan, Jayesh, and Tycho
Task: To dye all our nylon parts red
Today, we took every single 3D-printed part off our robot to dye them. We used RIT clothes dye, which worked because our parts are nylon. The purpose of dying all our 3D-printed parts red was so that they would stand out from Tetrix parts while demonstrating the robot. It was a bloodbath. The color was the color of the Nile during the Plagues of Egypt. It seemed as if we...
Read More Conveyor beltBy Jayesh, Max, and Darshan
Task: Create continuous method of scoring blocks
Since we have a semi-reliable form of going up the ramp (which we are working on to make closer to 100% efficiency), a priority for our team robot-wise is to establish an effective method of scoring blocks. We've designed a preliminary model with our old plastic trough that uses a conveyor belt made of fabric and foam sewn together that we tried to use before but decided not to. The foamy...
Read More Cliff Hanger - Tape measure based climberBy Trace and Max
Task: Creating an attachment to climb the mountain
We have recently been working on a new approach to climbing the mountain. Our strategy so far was to have one system customized for climbing the mid and upper mountain (Churro Climber), and a separate system for climbing the cliff (Crossbow Grapple). The Churro climber system was beginning to work but it was floppy and we were thinking about stiffening the nylon extensions with...
Read More A Presentation for the AgesBy Ethan, Jayesh, Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Omar, Evan, Alisa
Task: Work on our presentation to the judges
Our main weakness in previous years had been our presentation. This year, we plan to change that. When our team was solely FLL, we practiced our presentations beforehand, so, we're applying that to this year. We've done 2-3 presentations so far and it seems it really helps us. As well, we're making a powerpoint presentation to assist us, giving us information we might forget and providing a visual...
Read More Slide Trigger (Revisited)By Max
Task: Remodel the slide trigger mechanism to compensate for mechanical problems
Read More Prototyping and Making the FlipperBy Jayesh, Omar, Darshan
Task: Design an apparatus to deposit the climbers in the beacon bucket.
One of the methods to score in this year's competition is depositing the two climbers in the bucket behind the beacon. This being relatively simple, we decided to concentrate this practice on creating something to get us these easy points. We discussed possible ways to deposit the climbers and came up with a design that used some of the scoring mechanism we already had on our robot. The idea was to...
Read More Rebuilding the Churro Climber SystemBy Omar, Darshan, Max
Task: Fix bending axle on churro climber permanently
After further testing of the churro climbers, we noticed that the axle the gear is rotating on had been bent severely due to the strain on it of the arms pulling. If we left the axle as it was, it might wreck something else later and become unusable, so we tried to figure out a way of creating something that served the same function as the axle but wouldn't bend as easily. We decided...
Read More Slide LockBy Max
Task: Model a part to keep the slide from going too far forward
Since we mounted the beater bars on a slide, we have been keeping them from going too far and falling off their rails either by obstructing them with a couple of bolts or with a bent piece of steel wire, but neither method is fool proof. The wire can get bent out of shape as the slide moves forward and collides with it, and...
Read More Climber RestraintBy Max
Task: Model a part to keep the churro climber cable ties on path
As we continued to work on the churro climber mechanism today, we decided that the cable ties bowing out would be a big issue that needed fixing. By making a small guide piece, we could ensure that the cable tie actually extends from the front of the robot instead of flopping around like overcooked spaghetti on the other side. So, I've made a rather...
Read More Improvements to Churro Catcher and RampBy Jayesh, Caitlin, Omar
Task: Make improvements to Churro Catcher and Ramp and make blog more accessible
Iron Reign held our first of two meetings before the New Year season to concentrate on improving our main designs to ensure they worked as expected. Starting with our Churro Catcher, we found that as the motor moved the two arms down, the tension in the two churro climbers was two low to actually push out the latches forward from the robot. We built two small metal segments...
Read More Optimizing the Churro CatcherBy Jayesh, Omar, Darshan
Task: Improve and fix our Churro Catcher + finalize design for trough
The team met up on Sunday and we focused our meeting on finalizing our trough design and making our churro catchers usable. Beginning with our trough prototype, we put in an angled metal piece to the main box compartment and shortened the height of the box. This height was specific to the height of the blocks, allowing us to shave off blocks that become stacked upon those that we've already collected and...
Read More Churro HookBy Max
Task: Model a part to help the robot climb the churros on the mountains
Most of the big-value items in terms of points have to do with the mountains, so climbing mechanisms are a must have. Since the tank treads have problems scaling the churros on the middle and upper mountains, we need another way to pull the robot higher. Our solution was to put hooks on the ends of long, heavy-duty cable ties that we could...
Read More Prototyping the TroughBy Jayesh, Omar, Darshan
Task: Prototype the trough using materials such as cardboard to give us a baseline'
The team had a meet before the busy Christmas period to focus on the main part of of our scoring mechanism: the trough. We discussed possible courses that would be easiest for us to score points and code at the same time. We went through multiple ideas of how the trough would work. One idea was to have our trough consist of rotatable base to account for...
Read More Improving the Catcher DesignBy Dylan, Darshan, Omar, Jayesh, Evan, Alisa
Task: Add Improvements to the Catcher Design
Today our team worked on improving the methods of capturing and holding blocks and balls. Our first design involving zip ties had major difficulties including that it had little strength to pull objects in. For this reason, we redesigned the beater bar using a 3-D printer that had stronger materials to capture materials along with frictionless tape which did not cause the blocks to become stuck. Through our tests we can see that...
Read More General ImprovementsBy Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, Caitlin
Task: Perfect and improve multiple of our main characteristics of our robot
Iron Reign held its first Christmas break parade today and we decided to focus our time on making multiple small improvements, rather than adding one big part on our robot. Omar, Darshan, and I spent our time on rewiring and fixing our side motors. We found that one side was greatly lagging behind the other, so we tested to see which motor was failing, and rewiring the system fixed our driving system....
Read More Slide TriggerBy Max
Task: Model a part that lets us hold back the slide with a trigger to release it
The beater bar mechanism was put on a slide so that we could restrain it until some point during the match, but we had yet to actually build a restraint and trigger to serve this purpose until now. Since the mechanism would likely include rubbing pieces and need customized parts, we chose to model and 3D print the part in...
Read More Scrimmage at GreenhillBy Darshan, Alisa, Omar, Caitlin, Max, Tycho, Evan
Task: Practice with other teams and see
This past Friday, the team tried to get the robot working in a small scrimmage with seven or so other teams. At the scrimmage, we managed to get our cow-catcher working, even though we nearly burned out our servo. During the process of finding the right positioning and testing it while driving we managed to tear up quite a few rubber inserts on our treads. Even though the scrim was scheduled to...
Read More Design and prototype a churro latch mechanismBy Caitlin, Darshan
Task: Design an alternative churro climber mechanism
Currently Max and Tycho are working on a beater bar 3D part that is stiff enough to pull in blocks, and will hopefully double as a churro catcher when spinning. However, since the parts take 4 hours per set to print, and are harder to rapid-fire test and change and tweak relative to some other options we're going for other options till they're tested. The churro catchers help us to secure holding up the ramp but...
Read More Why we should measure twice, and cut onceBy Ethan, Evan
Task: To redo our bumpers
"Measure nonce, cut twice," is Iron Reign's unofficial slogan, as hidden in our html.
We especially learned the error of cutting hastily today, as we errored in the production of our bumpers.
Evan and I spent multiple practices on working on the front and back bumpers. We easily took ten hours cutting them into their perfect shape. However, after we...
Read More Prototyping the ramp for the intake systemBy Jayesh, Omar, Ethan, Evan
Task: Make a physical prototype to plan out the next step in our ball/block intake system
We held a post-Thanksgiving meet to focus on the mechanical side of our robot, as we had been devoting a majority of our time to software and other such things. The problem we faced with our beater bar being installed on two sliding extrusions is that we had to have an incline adjusted to going up two levels and not...
Read More Hell On ReelsBy Max
Task: Make a prototype grappling hook of doom.
As the point values make clear, managing to get the robot to hang on the end of the "cliff" is likely worth the effort. As such, we've worked on making a strange grappling-hook type contraption to pull the robot up. This first version works rather like a crossbow. A telescoping fishing pole has its largest loop hooked up to a long "bolt" which extends beyond the pole to a bungee cord tied to a pair of arms on...
Read More Driving That RobotBy Evan, Darshan
Task: To try out the robot in a competition setting
Last weekend Darshan and I tried to drive the robot in a small scrimmage with eight other teams. Even though we hit a few bumps along the competition we were able see how the robot drove and handled. We also saw what we could do easily and what was hard for us. Among the bumps was an incident involving a tread falling off the track because we hit...
Read More Bumper ShieldsBy Ethan and Evan
Task: To create bumper shields for the robot.
We needed to create bumper shields because the debris on the field interfered with the tread. We had a prototype on the left,
Evan and I cut the bumper shields out of polycarbonate with two made for the front and two for the back. To do this, we were trained how to use a bandsaw. We cut them down so that they will be moveable.
Evan and I will attach the bumpers,...
Read More Beater Bar Launch Mechanismby Omar, Darshan, Evan, Max
Task: Design deployment mechanism for beater bar
Similarly to last year, the beater bar on our robot needs to be deployed in order to stay within the size limit. Using motors would make the robot heavier, and potentially too heavy to go up the ramp anymore. Bungee cords are something that we've always resorted to in order to save weight, so we decided to use them once again. By tying them to the back of the beater bar sliders...
Read More Meeting other Teams at the ScrimmageBy 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.
Many teams had treads like ours, with different arrangements of idlers, while...
Read More Addition of Beater Bar to RobotBy Omar, Ethan, Darshan, Caitlin
Task: Fix and alter robot to include sliding beater bar
Since the robot's last run, several fixes and adjustments had to be made in order to make the robot operational again. All we had to do was tighten a couple of bolts, so it wasn't that big of a deal. We'll probably have to do a quick check from now on to make sure nothing's falling off. Afterward, we set to using the same beater bar we used last year (the first...
Read More Rocker Boogie TankBy Trace
Task: Design and build a basic rocker boogie tank
A few weeks back, I designed a new chassis. It was a combination of the rocker bogey and a tank to make the rocker boogie tank! With the advantage of sturdiness from a tank and the ability to adjust to surfaces from the rocker boogie. This combination is unstoppable!!!
The task proved to be easy (just added tank treads to a rocker boogie) but worked. After I tested the prototype on a number of surfaces, it...
Read More Before Scrimmage basic testsBy Caitlin, Tycho, Omar, Max, Darshan
Task: make sure the robot can run
There's a scrimmage next Saturday that we may or may not be going to based on Dallasisd technicalities with our team. Our goals for today were to get a basic autonomous going to dump climbers and maybe some mountain climbing tests. However, the controller apps needed to be updated and we got a lot of errors when connecting.
If the controller gives an error mentioning "USB UART" apparently the only fix is to...
Read More Video IdeasBy Alisa, Dylan, Ethan
Task: Watching videos to get ideas for our robot
Dylan, Ethan, and I decided to watch videos to see what other teams were doing to build and improve their robots during the Circle Meeting outside. We wanted to see if any of the designs were successful so we could learn from them. The videos included Robot in Three Days, RiTD Explained, and Trojan Robotics .
Every video we watched was ahead of us; we have a...
Read More IMU Case V2By Tycho
Task: Improve our 3D Printable case for the Adafruit BNO055 IMU
Last week I designed a case for our IMU sensor in Creo and wrote up how it could be improved. I've fixed most of those issues and we are ready to share the results. There is one version with Tetrix hole spacing and another that works for Actobotics channels. Either can be used with aluminum extrusions though you might have to drill out the mounting holes depending on your bolt size.
Read More IMU CaseBy Tycho
Task: Make a 3D Printable case for the Adafruit BNO055 IMU
We're used to having gyros to help maintain heading, but we've never been fans of the Hitechnic gyro sensor. Now we have more options and the BNO055 looks pretty good. But our testing has been off robot so far and we need a way to securely attach the sensor to our robot which bounces around like crazy when climbing the mountains. So in PTC Creo, I'm designing a 3D printable case for this sensor that we...
Read More Arrangement and Rearrangement of Motor ControllersBy Omar, Darshan
Task: Find better configuration of motor/servo controllers and power distribution module on the robot
Today, we tried to figure out the best possible way to stick all the motor controllers and the PDM together to minimize the amount of space they take up on the robot. Fitting the finished product into the gap on the back end of our robot would also be a bonus. We had previously thought of one way of doing it: When placed on the robot,...
Read More Driving up the mountain - test 2By Caitlin, Darshan, Jayesh, Omar, Max, Tycho, Evan
Task: Test how the condition of the mountain changes robot performance
After last week's fail we decided that we should change a couple of variables of the environment. The first and easiest to fix being the condition and cleanliness of the mountain ramp. Having dust on the ramp would severely lessen the friction holding the robot in place, so we wiped it down with glass cleaner and started up the robot.
Read More Circle TimeBy Jayesh, Ethan, Omar, Darshan, Evan
Task:Discuss multiple possible solutions to climb steep incline on field
We held a team meeting outside on the field discussing multiple possible solutions to the problem of the robot ascending to the top of the ramp. While we are already able to climb the ramp, the robot strafes significantly as it climbs above each rung on the ramp. This can be accounted for during the driver-controlled period, but the strafing can't be accounted for during autonomous, unless we have each side of the...
Read More Building the Field: Part IIIBy Ethan, Trace, Alisa, and Evan
Task: Building the field for the third week in a row!
Today, for the third time, we worked on setting up the field. We finished the mountains and the climber setup. We made several mistakes along the way. Firstly, we screwed the mountain climber mounts in wrong, not one or two times, but three times. Then, we realized that the mountains couldn't even fit inside the tent and the wooden boundaries. So, we had to dissasemble it,...
Read More Building the 2015 FieldBy Evan, Dylan, Alisa, Trace, Ethan
Task: Cleaning and building the Field
Today we were charged with the task of building the FTC field. There was one problem. The tent we were setting it up in was in a state of decay. We cleaned out the area to make space while others put together the field. It was changed comletely from when it started. When cleaning we discovered many cool things like cassettes and floppy disks. The mat of the field was a little old but...
Read More I Hate Tread InsertsBy Omar
Task: Insert grips into alternating treads to boost traction of driving system
I am so done with these treads. For the past three hours I have worked to soak the treads and tread inserts in dish soap. *takes deep breath* The process is painstakingly slow and also literally painful. The process itself seems simple but after soaking both pieces the insert must be pushed in with a considerable amount of force. This is not user friendly and is not what the company...
Read More Tank Drive ModelBy Tycho
Task: Design a new build platform more suited to this year's challenge
Since the robot game for this year came out about a week ago, we were thinking about which kind of drive system would work best for the challenge, which mostly involves climbing. Some of the concept we came up with were rocker bogies, rubber-banded tires and a tank drive with treads. Since we already had the preliminary design started for a tank drive, I started modeling that.
Read More Meeting After Game RevealBy Dylan, Darshan, Alisa, Ethan, Evan, Caitlin, Tycho, Max, Trace
Task: Discuss robot design
Now that the game has been released, we as a group discussed the different amount of points per each possible game strategy that would give us the most ample amount of points during the given time limit. We also discussed the different ideas on the tracks and wheels that are possible for our design. The arm attachment was discussed for the grabbing of the highest mount of the mountain which would give us the...
Read More Overview of new hardware and softwareBy Max,Tycho,Caitlin,Alisa,Ethan,Trace
Task: Getting a first glimpse at the new motors and controllers with Imperial robotics
We continued our meeting at the Dallas Makerspace after the GitHub tutorial. We unpackaged the new motors and motor controllers for the first time and took out the phones to scan the hardware configuration. We added Anderson Power poles to some of the motors. Caitlin taught Alisa and Ethan how to crimp wires and attach the power poles.
Scanning the hardware configuration was very troublesome...
Read More Argos the ChromovoreBy Max and Tycho
Task: Get some pre-season experience with Android controlled robots
We've been experimenting with Android controlled robots while we wait for our ModernRobotics modules. Argos is a chromovore - it seeks an identified color using OpenCV4Android machine vision processing. It tries to maintain a given distance from the colored object and follow it around. It's built using the IOIO-OTG for low level interface with the motor control electronics. The ZTE Speed phone is mounted on pan/tilt hardware from ServoCity...
Read More Semi-Final RobotBy Jayesh
Task:Finalize robot design for competitionWith the scissor lift elevating with the screw-motor system, and the drive chain-claw system for scoring the balls all in place, our robot is now officially ready for competition next week. Our advantages lie in the stable,continuous driving chain of the robot and also our ability to maintain a constant stream of scoring balls in a mostly stationary position.
Reflections:Driving practice is now our main object of concern. We also need to put the finishing touched on the...
Read More Scissor LiftBy Jayesh
Task: Scissor Lift for New Scoring mechanismOur method for elevating the platform for optimum height has been decided. A simple scissor-based design with support on either side seems the best option. Supporting each opposite side and also lifting the platform, the scissor lift is efficient, and with the added support of the center beam, should stay stable long enough for the robot to score each consequent ball. The "scissor" has been measured to have an optimal angle (For the greatest stability). During...
Read More New Design!By Jayesh
Task: Make emergency scoring mechanism for competitionWith competition only a week away, the team has decided that the rolling tube will not be able to be completed by the competition. We are now switching to a elevator based design with a drive chain. This decision has opened up a multitiude of new builds and with a scissor- wedge design(elaborated in later posts), we believe the final version will help us in the qualifier(atleast more than an incomplete scoring tube).
Reflections:This change has...
Read More 3D Modeling Kibosh, pt 2By Tycho
Task: Continue Build of Kibosh in Creo
After finishing about 2/3 of the drive train, I came across the first custom part. We sliced a small chunk off of the inner beam so we could install our goal catcher. Getting the alignment on the model to be accurate for the real robot was a challenge, as the robot was in another room, and I'm pretty sure we just eyeballed the cut in the first place, which meant there were no real recorded measurements I...
Read More Solution to Tube PlacementBy Jayesh
Task: Place Scoring Tube
A Solution we have produced for the placement of the tube was to place to long beams to opposite sides of the robot and connect with a third beam. This addition grants us more surface area to place our extra components such as the NXT brick and motor controllers. With these components gone, we now have adequate space for the tube mount. However, we encountered a problem as we found that the mount's base was a...
Read More Placing the lift tube for elevating the ballsBy Jayesh
Task:Place lift tube
Now that our rolling goal clamp system is working, we have the task of placing the lift tube to elevate the balls to the correct position. First we have to reconstruct the back end of the robot to accommodate for the extra size and girth of the tube. With our rearranging, we also now have to connect the rolling goals to the tube and complete our scoring mechanism. As soon as we complete this, we are...
Read More 3D Modeling Kibosh 1By Tycho
Task:Start Building Kibosh in CreoToday I started building the model of the Robot in an assembly in Creo. As I only had some experience with parts, which is not the proper tool for this job, I decided to watch some videos on the basics of assemblies. After that I downloaded the models of the Tetrix parts off of the FTC website. So far, I have built one half of the right drive train.
Reflections:Watching the how-to videos is important. ...
Read More Toggle for Capturing Rolling GoalsBy Jayesh
Task: Code the servo for the toggle + finalize remote settings
While our scoring tube mechanism for the balls to be placed in the rolling goals is being finalized, our simple task of capturing the rolling goals has finally been coded and physically placed on the robot. Through the use of a simple if/else statement within a while loop, we toggle the open/closed positions of the servo controlling the capture mechanism and now we can easily maneuver the rolling goals into position...
Read More Initial robot drivingBy Jayesh
Task: Test the controller connection with Samantha
With the scoring mechanism gradually coming together, today was devoted to the testing of the sync between Samantha and our robot. The drive control system has given us a weird bug, where on startup, the robot starts moving only one side of the wheels without any input from our side. While the other programmed code still works, such as the drive control and simple toggle, the constant turning of the left wheels makes it difficult for the other methods...
Read More Ball captureBy Jayesh
Task: Create mechanism to capture Rolling GoalsOur main mechanism for capturing the balls for scoring are now in place. A simple 3D printing of two triangle-shaped items are nailed opposite each other, allowing for a perfect diameter to contain both the balls and a snug fit for the rolling goals. We now also have the mechanical design for the servo toggle. A simple little push-based method allows for the tubes to pop up in a very small space of time. This allows...
Read More Spring based design(Scoring)By Jayesh
Task: Design a way to lift the ball tube
The ideas we have come up with for scoring the balls in the rolling goals have undergone many changes throughout the year. The basic plan was to somehow stack adjacent tubes on top of one another and raise the balls to maximum height and score in the highest tube. Today, we came up with the actual design:springs. Utilyzing springs, one will be attached to each tube and a simple servo with a toggle will push each attached...
Read More Trapping Rolling GoalsBy Caitlin
Task: Build a mechanism to hold a rolling goal so we can drive with it
Since we've already cut away part of the beams making up the robot's base to accommodate a rolling goal's shape, we now have to put down a hook to hold it as we drive.
We experimented with rotating down flat pieces, but found that when we applied any force the part was just pulled up and didn't do much in holding anything. The holes cut into the base...
Read More Tube Positioning - Where will they go?By Omar
Task: Mount the Tubes on the Robot
For a long time now, one of our problems has been to figure out how to mount the tubes that will function as the lift system onto the robot, and where to mount them. Today, we tackled this question with the highest possible efficiency. We used a small piece of tube that was serving as an example to get an idea of how big the mechanism should be. After trying a few things, we decided...
Read More 3D Printing TroublesBy Jayesh
Task: Print Spool/Pulleys for Lift StrapToday we visited the Dallas Makerspace. They have moved their building though, and now have much more space. Their facility has great tools for us to use in future endeavours. Also, they are very capable people here who listen to our ideas and contribute as well. They have helped us so much, we are going to start considering them to be sponsors. One of our tasks today is to 3D print the spools...
Read More SEM Open HouseBy Jayesh
Task: Showcase robot to possible future engineers and scientistsOn Tuesday we presented our Team's accomplishments, future goals, and basic robotics knowledge in a room full of kids and parents thinking of attending a school of Science and Engineering. We talked about engineering, the benefits of participating in FTC, and the overall affect robotics has had on our lives. The crowd was very responsive and seemed to get excited over how high school sophomores are accomplishing...
Read More Spool JointBy Max
Task: Leverage synergies as a team so as to look towards the horizon in the new tomorrow by implementing binomial+ access
Today we 3D-printed a new version of the tube joint made to hold a spool (which we also made and printed) to put on the very ends of the SVAU (Spheroid Vertical Acceleration Unit) that are not connected to other segments by the normal joint. The piece that attaches directly to...
Read More Creating a SocketBy Omar
Task: Ease transportation of rolling goals
While looking around on the internet, we found that some teams were trying to grab the bottom of the Rolling Goal to pull it around. This, however, is not what we plan to do right now. What our idea is is to create a sort of socket to put the rolling goal into to facilitate travel even further, then, using this, we will grab the base of the rolling goal with a couple of sticks or something. The back of...
Read More William B. Travis High School NightBy Omar
Most of our team went to a middle school named William B. Travis, so when we heard that we had the opportunity to visit our old school again, we jumped on the chance. The school placed us in our 4th grade math teacher's, Mrs. B's, classroom. Our current math teacher, Mr. Newton, was also with us to talk about SEM and why kids would want to go there. The first group of children and parents came in around 7 PM. Mr. Newton introduced himself...
Read More Intake Mechanism Completed!By Jayesh
Task: Finalize ball collector
This week we finished updating the ball collector. This is a major accomplishment, since this is a very important part of the machine, and is the first step towards the ability to score. Our finishing the collector now allows us to concentrate on the tube joint and figure out how to finish the entire scoring mechanism to have it ready for the competition. We are thinking about making a whole new robot that is...
Read More Beater Bar V3 ImprovementsBy Darshan
Task: Improve BeaterBar V3
Today we came up with a new attack angle for the beater bar. This new angle allows for greater accuracy for picking up the the large balls but missing the small ones. We also added a temporary mounting area for our NXT and wired up the beater bar motor so it would not get snared when the ramp deploys.
We have also finalized our plan to not pick up the smaller balls and have a large amount of...
Read More Almost Working Intake SystemBy Jayesh
Task: Finalize ball intake systemThe ball intake mechanism of the robot has finally been given a mostly working design. The plastic ramp and the dual-row system of twist ties has been pretty effective with moderate power driving both rows. Reoccurring tests were created to observe what would function best; higher power in the first +lower in the second, lower in first+ higher in the second, or equal power for both. So far it is hard to tell which combination...
Read More Fitting the Tube JointsBy Tycho
Task: Mount the Tube Joints onto the Tube
Today we attempted to fit our tubes into our newly-printed Tube Joints. The tube joints, however, were at least 2 mm too small in the inside diameter, so we had to spend quite a bit of time sanding them down. We decided that this would be a good time to use the drum sanding attachment on our new Dremel. This helped speed up the process quite a bit.
Read More Beater Bar V3By Tycho
Task: Build Better Beater Bar
Today we set out to build an upgraded version of the beater bar. We used square dowels from home depot to prevent the twist-ties from changing their orientation on the bar. We down the twist-ties and made a design that intakes the balls with 100% efficiency
With the 100% efficiency we can now move onto the tube mechanism to finally finish our scoring system. Our robot is approaching completition and with...
Read More Making the Intake RampBy Max
Task: Make the intake ramp out of polycarbonate
Last night we went to the Dallas Makerspace to build our ramp for our capture and intake system. Caitlin had already done the mockup in cardboard and the rest of the team had tested it with the beater bar assembly, but that was too fragile to test on a moving robot. So I took the mockup to the Makerspace to reproduce it in Lexan.
I drew the shape from the...
Read More 3D Printing the Tube JointBy Max
Task: 3D Print Tube Joint
Last night we went to the Makerspace to 3D print our second version of the Tube Joint (link in the related articles section). We arrived with a Sketchup file on a flashdrive, but needed to export it as an STL file so that the slicing program (we used Kisslicer) could convert it to g-code, which the 3D printer uses. There were a few issues that we found and fixed in the...
Read More Tube Joint V2By Tycho and Max
Task: Improve Tube Joint
Today we published an updated version of our tube joint on Thingiverse. This version of the tube joint added a third tab for extra durability, and a gradual slope was added leading up from the base to the hinge tabs to allow it to print w/o structural support.
We asked for feedback from the 3D Fab(rication) Group at the Dallas Makerspace. They were the ones who told us that the...
Read More First 3D Printable Part PublishedBy Max
Task: Create joint for tubeToday we published our first 3D printable part on Thingiverse. This part is meant to create a joint in our lift tube so that it can be folded into the 18" sizing cube. The lift tube is responsible for bringing the balls up to the deposit height. The part was designed so that if you took two and flipped one over, you could put them together and the hinge tabs would interlock....