Articles by tag: think

Articles by tag: think

    Project Management Post-Mortem

    Project Management Post-Mortem By Charlotte

    Task: Evaluate the Project Manager position

    This year, I started the role of project manager, and there have certainly been plenty of growing pains. Iron Reign had previously learned to embrace chaos, frequently pulling all nighters and fumbling to finish each part of the robot in a timely manner. In this post, I will discuss all of the different aspects to being a project manager on Iron Reign so that we can continue to improve on...

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    Control Hub First Impressions

    Control Hub First Impressions By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Test the REV Control Hub ahead of the REV trial

    Iron Reign was recently selected to attend a REV Control Hub trial along with select other teams in the region. We wanted to do this so that we could get a good look at the control system that FTC would likely be switching to in the near future, as well as get another chance to test our robot...

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    Final Gantt Chart

    Final Gantt Chart By think

    Task: Update the Gantt Chart

    Earlier in the year, we posted an early version of the Gantt chart as seen in (T-17, Project Management). Since then, the chart has seen many changes, which can be seen below:

    See finished Gantt chart at front of notebook in pocket.

    Since the last update, we have added a few groups, notably research and development. The Gantt chart, along with other higher-level planning is completely foreign...

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    Ninja Flex Intake V2

    Ninja Flex Intake V2 By Jose, BenB, Karina, Evan, Abhi, Ethan, Charlotte, and Aaron

    Task: Design, implement, and test a newer version of the ninja flex intake

    The new ninja flex intake is good, but it has room for improvement. One issue is that it is too big and minerals have some problems entering the intake tray, Another issue is that the spacing of intake gears is too much and cuases minerals to be intaked slower....

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    Machining Gears for Superman

    Machining Gears for Superman By Ethan and Justin

    Task: Machine replacement gears for Superman

    Shortly after creating the new Tetrix gear system, we got a response from one of the CNC shops we'd reached out to, offering to machine the 15 and 125-tooth REV gears from the STEP files. So, we took the Superman system off of our old robot, BigWheel, and sent some of the broken 15-tooth gears from UIL.

    In response, the...

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    Intake Update

    Intake Update By Ethan

    Task: Custom design an intake to improve intake times

    In testing, we found that the intake didn't perform adequately - the balls would slide back out in the inverse articulations. So, we designed attachments for the corn-cob intake out of ninjaflex, figuring that small tabs would hold the minerals in better. It failed - they were too compliant - but we found it was much easier to intake minerals than before due to...

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    New Superman Arm

    New Superman Arm By Ethan and Evan

    Task: Redesign the Superman arm to be more robust for Worlds

    In posts E-116, we found that we were putting pressure on the individual teeth of the Superman gears on the order of mPa. We designed gearkeepers to ensure that the gears would interlock and reduce pressure, and these worked for awhile. However, under tournament pressures at UIL, the teeth on the smaller gears broke entirely - between the teeth...

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    UIL 2019 Postmortem

    UIL 2019 Postmortem By Ethan, Charlotte, Evan, Janavi, Beno, Benb, Bhanaviya, Abhi, Arjun, Jose, Aaron, Paul, Cooper, and Justin

    Task: Reflect on what we did correctly and incorrectly at UIL

    Pit & Packing & Roles

    • Pack more robot parts - didn't have enough to repair Superman arm
    • Pack more tools - needed soldering iron to repair voltmeter
    • Better organizational system - we couldn't find tools easily
    • Need handouts - see tokens post
    • Need team visibility - get shirts for freshmen,...
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    UIL 2019

    UIL 2019 By Ethan, Charlotte, Evan, Janavi, Beno, Benb, Bhanaviya, Abhi, Arjun, Jose, Aaron, Paul, Cooper, and Justin

    Task: Compete at the Texas State Championship

    Today, we competed at the Texas State Championship, UIL Robotics, Division 5A-6A. We finished our robot earlier this week, so this served as a testing ground for our new robot and code.

    Judging and Awards

    There is no presentation at UIL - the judges appear at the pit ad-hoc to ask questions. And,...

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    Intake Flappers

    Intake Flappers By Jose, Evan, and Abhi

    Task: Design and test intake flappers to speed up mineral intake

    Due to our new intake articulation involving the superman wheel the ice cube tray intake is slightly too elevated to intake minerals. To fix this we designed small flappers out of ninja flex(the Iron Reign way) to help the intake reach further. Tests prove this intake to be quicker than the ice cube tray alone and it should...

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    Project Management Mentorship

    Project Management Mentorship By Charlotte

    Task: Ensure skills are passed to underclassmen

    Since our project manager is leaving for college next year, there has been an effort to teach the younger students on our team to take on this role and its many responsibilities. These responsibilities include updating the Gantt chart, writing meeting logs, gathering information for meeting logs when you are not able to make it to meetings, leading and helping writing post mortem and roads to, ensuring general organization...

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    Icarus' Arms

    Icarus' Arms By Evan, Aaron, and Ethan

    Task: Install intake arms

    Since the last post, in which we installed the Superman Arm, we've installed the second stage of the linear lift and the belt drive that accompanies it. We began by drilling two holes in the linear slides that were exactly the space between the holes on the carriages for the linear slides using a drilling template we printed on the Tazbot printer. We did this to...

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    Center of Gravity calculations

    Center of Gravity calculations By Arjun

    Task: Determine equations to find robot Center of Gravity

    Because our robot tends to tip over often, we decided to start working on a dynamic anti-tip algorithm. In order to do so, we needed to be able to find the center of gravity of the robot. We did this by modeling the robot as 5 separate components, finding the center of gravity of each, and then using that to...

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    Icarus' Superman Arm

    Icarus' Superman Arm By Evan, Aaron, and Ethan

    Task: Design and install a lifting arm for Icarus

    At the same time as the elbow joint was being done (which can be found in the article "Constructing Icarus' Elbow”) the Superman lift was being installed in the back half of the robot. The old superman system was difficult to install, but we designed it to be slightly easier. Mounting brackets were already pre-set in the robot so we...

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    Constructing Icarus' Elbow

    Constructing Icarus' Elbow By Evan, Aaron, and Ethan

    Task: Build the elbow for intake

    In the last Icarus' blog post, it was just getting the basic flat, support frame of the robot. The next step in the construction of Icarus' is the elbow joint that holds the intake. This time around, we simplified everything significantly as compared to BigWheel, reducing the excessive aluminum parts to two 3D printed parts. We attached these to the REV rail that...

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    Updated Meetinglog Template

    Updated Meetinglog Template By Charlotte

    Task: Update the meetinglog template to more accurately reflect efforts

    An essential part of the project management role is the meeting log, where the project manager records all progress made in each subteam during each session. It requires diverse knowledge of every part of the team, and is a very important part of our engineering journal, tracking the lower level progression of the team.

    The meeting logs were previously constructed in long form paragraphs,...

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    New Elbow

    New Elbow By Justin

    Task: Design an elbow for bigwheel that we can 3d print

    To speed up the build process of the new robot, we made a 3D printable part of the elbow joint. The design simplifies the complex assembly of the elbow mounting point and makes it a single printable part. The old elbow contains many different parts that would need to be spaced precisely in order for the gears to mesh properly, while...

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    Intake Speed

    Intake Speed By Karina

    Task: Analyze efficiency of our intake system

    A big part of our redesign is improving our intake system. To see where some of the errors may lie, we took detailed videos of our robot intaking silver and gold minerals from a side view, one mineral at a time. We measured the time between when the intake first made contact with the mineral, and when the mineral was directly underneath the rotating icecube tray, and therefore in our...

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    Bill of Materials

    Bill of Materials By Bhanaviya and Karina

    Task: Create a list of parts needed for the new robot

    To determine all the materials we need for the new robot, Karina and I started a Bill of Materials. To do this, we first analyzed Big Wheel sub-system by sub-system. We determined the parts used for each sub-system and placed it into a spreadsheet. Upon doing this, we needed to get each part's exact measurements so that we could...

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    Finishing Icarus' Base

    Finishing Icarus' Base By Evan, Aaron, and Ethan

    Task: Perform the final steps to complete Icarus' base

    Since we finished the polycarb base, our robot went through some major changes. We last left our robot in the post-bend stage, just a piece of polycarbonate. The first thing we did was to square the whole robot with side brackets. These cleanly ripped aluminum C channel side brackets now serve as the highly accurate frame of our robot, which...

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    New Robot Base - Icarus

    New Robot Base - Icarus By Evan, Justin, Aaron, and Ethan

    Task: Build the base for the new robot

    Since BigWheel was never intended to be a competition robot, we decided to build an entire new robot based off of it. This means that the base plate of the robot is going to have to be the most accurate part of the robot since everything after that has to be built upon it. To do this,...

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    Balancing Robot Updates

    Balancing Robot Updates By Abhi and Ben

    Updates on Balancing Robot

    Today we managed to get our robot to balance for 30 seconds after spending about an hour tuning the PID gains. We made significant progress, but there is a flaw in our algorithm that needs to be addressed. At the moment, we have a fixed pitch that we want the robot to balance at but due to the weight distribution of the robot, forcing it to balance at some fixed setpoint will not work well and...

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    VEX 393 Motor Testing

    VEX 393 Motor Testing By Jose, Cooper, Aaron, and Janavi

    Task: Test VEX Motor 393 as a faster servo for intake

    We need to speed up our intake to spend less time in the crater collecting minerals. We can accomplish this using VEX 393 Motors with high speed gears integrated, these motors are great since they count as servos, not motors. In terms of progress, this is what we did:

    • Tested VEX Motor 393 with servo...
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    Planning Sessions

    Planning Sessions By Charlotte

    Task: Outline new planning sessions

    Beyond the Gantt chart and meeting logs mentioned in (T-17, Project Management), another one of the biggest additions to the team with the project management role are planning sessions. Planning sessions are a seemingly simple concept, but the team has struggled with actually implementing them. The main purpose of these sessions are to set off each member with a game plan, one that will keep them productive, engaged, and helpful to the...

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    Issues with Driving

    Issues with Driving By Cooper, Jose, BenB, Bhanaviya, Karina, and Justin

    Task: Widen Superman's wheels and plan the new robot

    Since we just qualified, we have a lot to do. On the list for tonight, between the 6 of us, we have:

  • Teaching Cooper how to write a blog post
  • Work on the model of the new robot
  • Widen the superman wheel
  • Start the bill of materials'
  • Ben and Karina worked on widening the Superman wheels by adding 2...

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    Code Refactor

    Code Refactor By Abhi and Arjun

    Task: Code cleanup and season analysis

    At this point in the season, we have time to clean up our code before development for code. This is important to do now so that the code remains understandable as we make many changes for worlds.

    There aren't any new features that were added during these commits. In total, there were 12 files changed, 149 additions, and 253 deletions.

    Here...

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    Road to Worlds Document

    Road to Worlds Document By Ethan, Charlotte, Evan, Karina, Janavi, Jose, Ben, Justin, Arjun, and Abhi

    Task: Consider what we need to do in the coming months

    ROAD TO WORLDS - What we need to do

     

    OVERALL:

    • New social media manager (Janavi/Ben) and photographer (Ethan, Paul, and Charlotte)

     

    ENGINEERING JOURNAL: - Charlotte, Ethan, & all freshmen

     

    • Big one - freshmen get to start doing a lot more

     

      ...
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    North Texas Regional Postmortem

    North Texas Regional Postmortem By Ethan, Charlotte, Abhi, Janavi, Evan, Ben, Jose, Justin, Karina, Bhanaviya, and Arjun

    Task: Analyze what went wrong at North Texas Regionals

    We performed really well at Regionals; we actually won our first game of the season and ended 4-2 and were selected for an alliance. But, we still didn't do everything right. We were on the verge of not being chosen for Inspire, and we can't risk the same at Worlds.

    Problems:

    The Robot...
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    Wylie Regionals 2019

    Wylie Regionals 2019 By Ethan, Charlotte, Evan, Kenna, Karina, Abhi, Arjun, Bhanaviya, Ben, Justin, Jose, and Janavi

    Task: Compete at the North Texas Regional Tournament

    Preparation

    Unlike other tournaments, we started packing before morning. We packed as if we were going out of state, bringing a bandsaw, all-new charging box, every replacement part imaginable, and a printer which would ultimately come in handy later. We relied on a packing list created by Janavi, detailed below.

    ...

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    Up-to-Date Bigwheel Model

    Up-to-Date Bigwheel Model By Justin

    Task: Finish the Bigwheel model

    Updating the Bigwheel model to the robot’s current configuration was a challenge. The new linear slides are not standard parts, so we had to model them from scratch. There was some cleaning up that was needed on the drivetrain of the model. This was mainly attaching floating motors to motor mounts and axles to bearings. These were mainly cosmetic changes, but they help define the purpose of...

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    Cart Hack

    Cart Hack By Arjun

    Task: Tweaking ftc_app to allow us to drive robots without a Driver Station phone

    As you already know, Iron Reign has a mechanized cart called Cartbot that we bring to competitions. We used the FTC control system to build it, so we could gain experience. However, this has one issue: we can only use one pair of Robot Controller and Driver Station phones at a competition, because of WiFi interference problems.

    To avoid this pitfall, we...

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    Big Wheel Articulations

    Big Wheel Articulations By Abhi

    Task: Summary of all Big Wheel movements

    In our motion, our robot shifts multiple major subsystems (the elbow and Superman) that make it difficult to keep the robot from tipping. Therefore, through driver practice, we determined the 5 major deployment modes that would make it easier for the driver to transition from mode to mode. Each articulation is necessary to maintain the robot's center of gravity as its mode of...

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    Off-Schedule Meeting Log - Week before Regionals

    Off-Schedule Meeting Log - Week before Regionals February 19, 2019 By Ethan, Evan, Jose, Charlotte, Karina, and Justin

    Meeting Log February 19, 2019

    It's the week before Regionals, so the house is a flurry of activity - all hands are on deck for every possible facet of the team.

    Monday

    The week started out with three projects. Justin worked on the robot model, taking measurements for the...

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    Latch Designs - A Retrospective

    Latch Designs - A Retrospective By Ethan

    Task: Analyze past successes and failures in our latching system

    Version 1

    The first version of the latch worked decently. We started out with the idea of a one-way, passive latch. This idea involved mounting smaller bearings and gears between them, with a spring-like nylon piece that moved only when downward pressure was placed upon the gears. This design was only fully realized before the Wylie Qualifying tournament, and only...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log February 16, 2019 By Ethan, Janavi, Kenna, Justin, Bhanaviya, Ben, Abhi, and Arjun

    Meeting Log February 16, 2019

    So, its the last week before Regionals, so we have a lot of work to do, from robot work to presentation.

  • Linear slide arm repairs
  • We started off the day with working on the elbow for the arm. For the past week, we've been dealing with the...

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    Elbow Rebuild

    Elbow Rebuild By Ethan, Jose, Karina, and Ben

    Task: Rebuild the elbow after total gear annihilation

    In a previous post, we detailed the extent to which we had stripped our gears - they were missing teeth in several places and the black anodization layer had completely stripped away. So, we had to replace them. The first order of action was to design gearkeepers for them. We've designed gearkeepers before, for the Superman arm, but these have different...

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    Research Poster

    Research Poster By Janavi and Ethan

    Task:Create a Poster amalgamating all of our math

    Throughout this season our team has completed various calculations from the torque of our robotics arm, to the speed of the wheels. Since these calculations are spread throughout our journal, we decided to amalgamate them into a single poster that is easy for us to refer to. In this poster we have calculations for

    • Torque/ Gear Ratios
      • Intake Arm Torque
        • (Robot Manual)
        ...
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    Robot Issues - Gear Grinding

    Robot Issues - Gear Grinding By Ethan

    Task: Analyze the issues with the elbow arm of our robot

    The elbow arm of the robot is what allows us to rotate the arm of our robot - the linear slides what hold the intake. Recently, while doing some drive testing, we found that the elbow wasn't acting as it should. When we took a closer look at it, we realized that the metal gears had started to destroy...

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    Pulley Spacers

    Pulley Spacers By Ethan

    Task: Design and implement pulley spacers to prevent belt interference

    We had an issue where the belts that allowed our arm to slide upward were misaligned, resulting in the belts frequently slipping. We narrowed the slippage down to a single point, at this pulley.

    We had to create a new spacer to keep that section of the belt inline with the rest. As usual, we took...

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    BigWheel Upgrades

    BigWheel Upgrades By Evan

    Task: Fix some issues on BigWheel before the build freeze

    We made more secure way of activating our hook, so we switched our piece of wire attaching the servo to the hook with a much stronger and less likely to bend strip of polycarb, which greatly improved the reliability of the hook.

    As well, we limited the back and forth motion of our slides at their attaching points. I achieved this by inserting a small...

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    Bigwheel Model

    Bigwheel Model By Justin

    Task: Design and update the Bigwheel Model

    We are updating our bigwheel model to represent our current robot. We had a model of just the chassis from the chassis study, so we are currently adding all of the changes we made throughout the season.

    Completed Changes

  • Added current intake
  • Added sorting system
  • Modeled the linear slide lift
  • Modeled superman arm
  • Future Changes

    The lift has been changed recently...
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    Woodrow Wilson Scrimmage

    Woodrow Wilson Scrimmage By Bhanaviya, Charlotte, Janavi, Kenna, Karina, Evan, Abhi, Jose, Ben B, and Arjun

    Task: Compete at the Woodrow Wilson Scrimmage with Woodrow teams

    This past Saturday, Iron Reign competed in the Woodrow Wilson Scrimmage. To ensure that the wiring did not become tangled when the robot moved around, we added an ABS cable-carrier to the arm of the robot.

    Overall, Iron Reign was able to establish a semi-stable deposit scoring...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log By Charlotte, Evan, Ethan, Kenna, Karina, Abhi, Arjun, Ben, Jose, and Janavi
    Meeting Log February 09, 2019

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Today we participated at a scrimmage held at Woodrow Wilson High School. This was a fantastic opportunity to get some driver practice in real, timed games and adjust for issues.

    Today's Meet Log

    • Hook implementation
    • Since we have made a few changes to the robot, such as adding a servo to our previously...
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    Latch 2.0 - Forged in Flame

    Latch 2.0 - Forged in Flame By Evan

    Task: Design a new latch for hanging

    Our latching system is too complicated to use quickly; it requires too much reliance on driver control and becomes jammed. So, we forged an iron hook to replace it. We started by taking an 8mm iron rod and placing it into the forge that we have, heating it up and bending it into shape over the course of an hour. We...

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    Drive Testing at STEM Expo

    Drive Testing at STEM Expo By Ben and Abhi

    Task: Test robot performance at the STEM Expo to inspire younger kids and practice

    An FLL team gathered around Iron Reign’s robot

    We had the privilege of being a vendor and representing SEM at DISD's STEM Expo this weekend. Thousands of people cycled throughout our area during the day, so we had the opportunity to show off our robot to many people. Some of these people...

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    Code Updates

    Code Updates By Abhi

    Task: DISD STEM EXPO

    The picture above is a representation of our work today. After making sure all the manual drive controls were working, Karina found the positions she preferred for intake, deposit, and latch. Taking these encoder values from telemetry, we created new methods for the robot to run to those positions. As a result, the robot was very functional. We could latch onto the lander in 10 seconds (a much faster endgame than...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log February 02, 2019 By Charlotte, Kenna, Ethan, Bhanaviya, Jose, Ben, Evan, and Janavi

    Meeting Log February 02, 2019

    Bhanaviya working on the blog

    Today's Meet Objectives

    The DISD STEM Expo took place today. While incredibly rewarding, the experience was tiring, so only a few members made it back for the meeting that took place afterwards. This log will include our objectives and accomplishments from the meetings we held throughout the week after school which include...

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    Fixing Mineral Dropper Components

    Fixing Mineral Dropper Components By Jose and Evan

    Task: Fix any issues with the mineral dropper

    At the STEM expo we saw a clear issue with the mineral dropper: it is very poorly geared and doesn't deposit minerals well. A quick look at the gear configuration revealed that the gears were attached in a poor manner such that there was a lot of gear skippage. To remedy this, we attached a gear-box to the dropper to keep the gears interlocked.

    ...
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    Latch V.3.5 Assembly

    Latch V.3.5 Assembly By Ben

    Task: Assemble the V.3.5 latch and attach to the robot

    We assembled the fourth version of the latch today. Some of the improvements on this latch include using bigger bearings and thrust bearings inside. This latch is designed to be stronger and more reliable. After cleaning the parts and trimming some edges, we assembled the pieces. Upon assembly, we discovered an issue: the gears required a different amount of pressure to catch the lock. If left...

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    Mechanical Depositing

    Mechanical Depositing By Evan

    Task: Create a mechanical deposit for our selective deposit

    To relieve driver stress, we decided to put a mechanical release mechanism that would drop the minerals into the passive sorter to then further deposit them. The lever that activated the release mechanism was made of thick wire attached to a small gearbox that reversed the direction of rotation for the release gate. The lever activated the gearbox when it was pushed into the...

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    Intake Omnis

    Intake Omnis By Ben

    Task: Add omnidirectional wheels to intake arm

    We need to add omniwheels to the intake arm to allow the arm to rest on the ground, while still maintaining the necessary height for collecting the minerals. If the height is too low, the minerals wouldn't be able to move through the intake. If the intake was too high, it wouldn't be able to grip onto the minerals and pull them through. We decided to use omnidirectional wheels as...

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    Gearkeepers

    Gearkeepers By Jose and Evan

    Task: Create and install gearkeepers to reduce slippage

    We need to install gearkeepers on the Superman arm to prevent gear skippage which damages gears over time. We designed a simple rectangle in PTC Creo and cut holes to fit bearings, 3D-printed them, and attached them.

    Now it was time to test for gear skippage. Unfortunately, we had one or two gear skips with every attempt of...

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    Superman Calculations

    Superman Calculations By Ethan

    Task: Calculate torque and other values of the Superman arm on our robot

    We want to have our robot completely replicable through the journal. So, we found it necessary to include the power calculations of various subsystems on our robot.

    Superman Arm

    The Superman arm uses two REV Core Hex motors to lift the robot upward, outputting a base 125 RPM and 6.4 Newton-meters of torque. Then, we have 15-tooth gears attached to...

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    Road to Regionals

    Road to Regionals By Ethan

    Task: Consider what needs to be done before regionals

    Engineering Notebook:

    • Read More

    Latch Updates

    Latch Updates By Justin, Abhi, and Ben

    Task: Update the latch

    Our first attempt at a latch was made out of flat metal L brackets that would slide into the hook, but they slid off under any stress. We decided to make a latch with a ratchet and sprocket system. The easiest way to accomplish this was to 3d print it. There are two sprockets and the lander hook will slide in between them. This causes...

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    Wylie East Postmortem

    Wylie East Postmortem By Ethan, Janavi, Charlotte, Karina, Abhi, Justin, Kenna, Arjun, and Bhanaviya

    Task: Analyze what went wrong at Wylie

    We performed well at Wylie, comparatively speaking. But, there's always room for improvement.

    Problems:

    The Robot & Code

    • Latch
    • So our first major issue was the latch. We had put together the latch the week before the tournament and tested it the night before, finding that the bearings fell out of the...
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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log January 26, 2019 By Charlotte, Kenna, Ethan, Justin, Arjun, Abhi, and Bhanaviya

    Meeting Log January 26, 2019

    Today's Meet Objectives

    We are going to use our experience from last week to guide our improvement until Regionals. Today we are going to discuss what these improvements exactly entail and outline a timeline for when we need to accomplish these improvements in order to allow adequate time to dedicate to autonomous code and drivers' practice.

    ...

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    Competition Day Code

    Competition Day Code By Abhi and Arjun

    Task: Update our code

    While at the Wylie quaiifier, we had to make many changes because our robot broke the night before.

    First thing that happened was that the belt code was added. Previously, we had relied on gravity and the polycarb locks we had on the slides but we quickly realized that the slides needed to articulate in order to preserve Superman. As a result, we added the belts into our...

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    Wylie East Qualifier 2019

    Wylie East Qualifier 2019 By Ethan, Charlotte, Janavi, Evan, Abhi, Arjun, Karina, and Justin

    Task: Compete at Wylie East

    Wylie East was Iron Reign's second qualifier of the year. Having qualified at the first one, we planned to use the tournament as an opportunity to practice the presentation and driver practice, as well as check up on other teams' progress. We didn't have a working robot going in - we had found that our latch was one-time-use...

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    Pool Noodle Intake

    Pool Noodle Intake By Evan

    Task: Design a quick intake for the robot before competition

    The night before our final qualifier, we decided that the intake system on the robot was not up to our standards. To fix this issue, we poked some holes in a pool noodle, and put surgical tubing through it. While this was a quick and semi effective fix, it did have some problems, mostly due to the rushed nature of its construction....

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    Selective Intake

    Selective Intake By Evan

    Task: Design a new sorting mechanism for gold and silver particles

    The differentiation between the different shapes of minerals has been something we’ve been thinking about since day one. At the time we designed a box that allowed us to sort out blocks and balls by size, but weren't able to implement it. Our original selective intake only accepted balls so we only have to go to the one loading area, but our...

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    Designing Side Shields

    Designing Side Shields By Ethan

    Task: Create side shields for BigWheel

    Iron Reign has access to an Epilog Mini laser-cutter through our school, so we decided to use it to create side shields to protect our robot during defensive play, display our team numbers, and prevent wire entanglement

    We created our original design in Illustrator. The canvas size was 12"x18", ensuring that our design stayed within the size limits. Then, we found the side height...

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    Belt Drive

    Belt Drive By Evan and Karina

    Task: Install a belt lift on our robot for depositing

    The most recent addition to BigWheel has been the addition of a belt drive lift on either side of the linear slides. We chose a belt lift over a string and pulley lift because it is a much more secure, closed system, and doesn’t require stringing. For these reasons, we switched to belt drive. While more complicated to build, it requires...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log January 12, 2019 By Charlotte, Kenna, Karina, Evan, Justin, Abhi, Ethan, Arjun, and Janavi

    Meeting Log January 12, 2019

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Today our goals include presentation practice, autonomous testing and fine tuning, and build changes from the newest update of the latch to replacing our REV rails with carbon fiber tubing.

    Presentation practice

    Today's Meet Log

    • Presentation practice
    • With the competition a week away, we are practicing our presentation frequently. Last time we...
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    Minor Code Change

    Minor Code Change By Karina

    Task: Save Bigwheel from self destruction

    The other day, when running through Bigwheel's controls, we came across an error in the code. The motors on the elbow did not have min and max values for its range of motion, causing the gears to grind in non-optimal conditions. Needless to say, Iron Reign has gone through a few gears already. Adding stops in the code was simple enough:

    Testing the code...

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    Vision Summary

    Vision Summary By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Reflect on our vision development

    One of our priorities this season was our autonomous, as a perfect autonomous could score us a considerable amount of points. A large portion of these points come from sampling, so that was one of our main focuses within autonomous. Throughout the season, we developed a few different approaches to sampling.

    Early on in the season, we began experimenting with using a Convolutional Neural Network to detect...

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    Latch Model

    Latch Model By Abhi and Justin

    Task: Model and print the Latch

    Early in the season, we made a hook, Although it was durable, it required a higher amount of precision than we would have liked to have, especially in the rushed last seconds of the endgame. As a result, we designed a latch that is completely 3D printed and placed it on the robot.

    This is the general model of it fit together (excluding left panel)....

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log By Bhanaviya, Charlotte, Kenna, Evan, Arjun, Ethan, Janavi, Karina, Austin, Lin, Jayesh, and Omar
    Meeting Log January 05, 2019 Today's Meet Objectives

    Today's goals include lowering the latch on Superman so that it becomes more hook-friendly, taking a team picture, and re-assigning presentation slides.

    Today's Meet Log

    • Fix latch system
    • On the robot, Evan lowered the latch system so that the system would be compatible for the hanging task. After the latch...
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    Modeling Slide Barriers

    Modeling Slide Barriers By Kenna

    Task: Create barriers to prevent the linear slide from falling

    Recently, we added polycarb barriers to our linear slide system. They were created as a temporary measure by bending the polycarb with a blow torch and are less exact than we would like.

    I originally tried to overlap 3 rectangles, and Creo didn't register it as an enclosed shape and wouldn't extrude. For any geometric shapes you want to extrude,...

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    Debug OpenCV Errors

    Debug OpenCV Errors By Arjun

    Task: Use black magic to fix errors in our code

    We implemented OpenCV support in our code, but we hadn’t tested it until now. Upon testing, we realized it didn't work.

    The first problem we found was that Vuforia wasn’t reading in our frames. The queue which holds Vuforia frames was always empty. After making lots of small changes, we realized that this was due to not initializing our Vuforia correctly. After fixing this,...

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    Off-Schedule Meeting Log, Winter Edition

    Off-Schedule Meeting Log, Winter Edition January 03, 2019 By Ethan, Evan, Karina, Abhi, and Arjun

    Meeting Log (Week of)January 03, 2019

    We have quite a few tasks this week, including:

    • Latch design

    • We've had an idea for a latch for a while. We started with the simple hook pictured below, but it was just that, a start. We want to move on to bigger and better things. So, we designed a new version, displayed below the hook.

      Read More

    Teammember Statistics Update

    Teammember Statistics Update By Ethan

    Task: Look at the commitment changes over time of our team

    It's a new year! And, with this new year comes new tournaments, new experiences, new projects, and more. But, to grow, one must reflect. Iron Reign's had a pretty big year, from going to Worlds to the prospect of a new MXP. And, while we can't analyze every possible aspect of the team, we can look at our stats page and differences from last year...

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    OpenCV Support

    OpenCV Support By Arjun

    Task: Add OpenCV support to vision pipeline

    We recently refactored our vision code to allow us to easily swap out vision implementations. We had already implemented TensorFlow, but we hadn't implemented code for using OpenCV instead of TensorFlow. Using the GRIP pipeline we designed earlier, we wrote a class called OpenCVIntegration, which implements VisionProvider. This new class allows us to use OpenCV instead of TensorFlow for our vision implementation.
    Our code for OpenCVIntegration is shown below....

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    Refactoring Vision Code

    Refactoring Vision Code By Arjun

    Task: Refactor Vision Code

    Iron Reign has been working on multiple vision pipelines, including TensorFlow, OpenCV, and a home-grown Convolutional Neural Network. Until now, all our code assumed that we only used TensorFlow, and we wanted to be able to switch out vision implementations quickly. As such, we decided to abstract away the actual vision pipeline used, which allows us to be able to choose between vision implementations at runtime.

    We did this by...

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    Meeting Log - Dec. 19, 2018

    Meeting Log - Dec. 19, 2018 December 29, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Karina, Abhi, and Arjun

    Meeting Log December 29, 2018

    Hello and welcome to the Iron Reign Holiday meet. We've got a few meet objectives today, namely:

    • Autonomous
    • BigWheel Side Plates
    • PowerPoint Revisions
    • Blog Post Backlog
    • Tent Cleanup
    These aren't all super-top priorities for us, but they all need to get done. And, as we're...
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    Creating Side-Latches

    Creating Side-Latches By Evan

    Task: Allow the robot's arms to stand on their own

    The issue with the lift is that many of the pieces that need to be made require specificity that’s hard to obtain using aluminum parts, so we chose polycarb. The key to making these specialized parts is a small butane torch held at just the right distance. Run the torch back and forth across the part where you want to bend, in the...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log December 22, 2018 By Charlotte, Ethan, Janavi, Bhanaviya, Evan, Arjun, and Abhi

    Meeting Log December 22, 2018

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Our goals for today include a battery box, repair and improvement of our intake system, and organization.

    Today's Meet Log

    • Intake redesign
    • On the robot, we are resizing the intake system as a whole so that it folds in completely and fits within the 18 by 18 sizing requirement. Our biggest focus today was on...
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    Scoring Mechanism

    Scoring Mechanism By Janavi and Abhi

    Task: Create a way to hold minerals

    We now have a lift and an intake system, but we're missing a way to hold onto and deposit the minerals after intake. To achieve this, we created a prototype.

    We wanted to create a box-like shape that can be attached to a moving axle to hold the minerals when lowered. When the lift is up in the air, the axle can rotate...

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    BigWheel Arm Locks

    BigWheel Arm Locks By Evan

    Task: Create locks to keep BigWheel's intake arms in an extended position

    An important part of this year's challenge is scoring minerals in the lander. Additionally, our upright elbow cannot raise the scoring mechanism to the lip of the lander alone. Thus, we had to create a way to get those additional inches to score.

    First, we tried a REV linear slide design. This worked, but...

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    The Return of BatteryBox

    The Return of BatteryBox By Ethan

    Task: Create a charging station for our phones and batteries

    A long time ago, in a land far, far away, Iron Reign once had a battery box. This was a fabled land, where all batteries remained charged and phones roamed the land, happy and content with their engorged batteries. But, this land was neglected, with the meadows of electricity growing dim, the plastic of the land cracking and scattering to the...

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    End of TIG Welding

    End of TIG Welding By Evan

    Task: Detail TIG welding plans and why they failed

    At the beginning of the season, we saw that our robot base was not as well crafted as we originally thought it to be. While we have worked to correct it over the season, it’s still not what we wish to see in a functional robot, and we came up with the idea of making the frame from light aluminum instead of...

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    Selecting Intake System

    Selecting Intake System By Janavi

    Objective: Determine the type of intake system that will allow us to efficiently obtain and deposit minerals within the lander

    In our post "Selecting Lift System" we decided that the linear slide system that we will use is the MGN12H rails also referenced to as the Ball-Bearing slides. These slides while heavy provide the smoothest option. now that we have chosen the Lift system we need to determine the intake system that will allow us to...

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    Rotational Nylon Wear Test

    Rotational Nylon Wear Test By Ethan

    Task: Test the amount of wear on a moving nylon part over time

    After our last tournament, we noticed several 3D-printed sprockets that had worn down significantly. So, we wanted to measure how much wear one of our nylon sprockets takes per second.

    First, we printed out a model of one of the REV sprockets, using the STEP file here. We printed it with ~45% infill, our average...

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    Arm Repairs

    Arm Repairs By Evan and Abhi

    Task: Fix elbow and Superman

    This is a follow up to Post E-64, Code Issues Break the Superman Arm. We made some hustles and got them fixed. We reinforced Superman by ganging up multiple gears (as seen above) and repeated a similar process with the elbow arms. Hopefully this will make BigWheel more secure, especially with software limits in the code.

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    Code Issues Break the Superman Arm

    Code Issues Break the Superman Arm By Abhi

    Task: Analyze the code issues that led to our robot breaking

    After constant use, our robot's Superman arm broke. At this point, it is important to analyze our failures. This error was not because of a build issue but rather a code and driver control issue.

    When testing, we always heard the gears grinding some times and we thought it wasn't an issue. There were instances like once when...

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    Linear Nylon Strength Test

    Linear Nylon Strength Test By Ethan

    Task: Measure linear nylon wear

    We've had some issues with our nylon sprockets, mainly through excessive wear and tear. So, we want to test what circumstances cause what deformation.

    Linear Deformation

    This one was simple. We printed this block with 60% infill (the highest infill we tend to use), measured its length (3.75") and hung one end from our deck. On the other end,...

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    Selecting Lift System

    Selecting Lift System By Janavi

    Objective: Determine the type of lift system will allow us to delatch and reach the lander

    In our past post Choosing Drive Train we decided that we will use the chassis BigWheel. After deciding the base we need to now think about the lift system that we want to use to allow us to both deposit into the lander and latch onto it. Evan and I have been experimenting with linear slides to use for our...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log December 01, 2018 By Charlotte, Ethan, Kenna, Evan, Abhi, Justin, and Bhanaviya

    Meeting Log December 01, 2018

    Today's Meet Objectives

    We plan to prepare for a few events coming up, the tournament we are going to host at Townview and our presentation to the Dallas Personal Robotics Group. As well, we plan to continue building our robot and improve on the superman arm in preparation for our next competition in January.

    Today's Meet Log

    • Hosting a qualifier
    • The...
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    Friction Coefficient and Energy

    Friction Coefficient and Energy By Ethan

    Task: Measure the coefficient of friction of our oven mitt intake

    We want to measure various constants of materials on our robot. Earlier this season, we found that a nylon-mitt collision on our intake sapped the rotational energy of our intake. But, that was just a build error, easily fixable. But now, we plan to measure the energy lost from particle-mitt collisions, and the first part of this is to find the coefficient of friction...

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    C.A.R.T. Bot Side Shields

    C.A.R.T. Bot Side Shields By Ethan

    Task: Design sideshields for the Townview Tournament

    Iron Reign takes pride in the Townview Tournament; we really enjoy making it a great experience for everyone. One small way we plan to improve the tournament is to turn our MXP into a robot repair shop for broken robots. In addition to this, we're turning CART Bot into an ambulance to carry broken bots that need repair. To do so, we're wiring a...

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    Conrad Qualifier Post Mortem - Long Term

    Conrad Qualifier Post Mortem - Long Term By Ethan

    What could have gone better?

    This is a document for analyzing what we can do better, not just what went wrong at the Conrad qualifier. The format of this will be in issue > solution format.

    Prep

    • Lack of tools and parts
      • Pack tools the week before - involves better organization overall
      • Bring failsafes & extra parts - prevents costly errors
    • Little presentation practice
      • Cut...
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    Chassis Mark Two Planning

    Chassis Mark Two Planning By Ethan

    Task: Plan a new BigWheel chassis

    Our next tournament is a while away, in about two months. So, we have a little bit of time to redesign. And, our current chassis has plenty of faults.

    Our original BigWheel base.

    First and foremost, our chassis was built for a testing competition, not to be a full fledged competition robot. As such, it's a little lacking in...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log November 17, 2018 By Charlotte, Karina, Kenna, Janavi, Evan, Justin, Ethan, Arjun, Bhanaviya, and Abhi

    Meeting Log November 17, 2018

    Evan working on the robot!

    Today's Meet Objectives

    We are going to discuss multiple facets of our team (presentation, engineering journal, organization, etc) with alumni Jayesh and Lin. What we hope to gain out of our conversation is an outside perspective. In addition to this conversation we wish to continue in our reflection of the...

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    Conrad Qualifier Post Mortem - Short Term

    Conrad Qualifier Post Mortem - Short Term By Ethan, Bhanaviya, Janavi, Charlotte, Kenna, Arjun, Justin, Janavi, Karina, and Abhi

    Task: Analyze what went wrong at Conrad

    Iron Reign didn't necessarily have the best time at Conrad. As shown in last week's tournament post, the day had its ups and downs. Even though it was a successful tournament overall, there's much that we could do better.

    Problems:

    The Robot

    First, the robot didn't perform well. So,...

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    Materials Testing Planning

    Materials Testing Planning By Ethan

    Task: Design a lab to test nylon properties

    So, Iron Reign is used to using off-the-shelf materials on our robot: silicone oven gloves, ice cube trays, nylon 3D-printed parts, and more. But, we've never actually done a thorough investigation on the durability and efficacy of these parts. Because of this, we've had some high-profile failures: our silicone blocks breaking on contact with beacons in RES-Q, our nylon sprockets wearing down in Relic Recovery, our gears grinding...

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    Code Post-Mortem after Conrad Qualifier

    Code Post-Mortem after Conrad Qualifier By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Analyze code failure at Conrad Qualifier

    Iron Reign has been working hard on our robot, but despite that, we did not perform well owing to our autonomous performance.

    Our autonomous plan was fairly simple: perform sampling, deploy the team marker, then drive to the crater to park. We planned to use the built-in TensorFlow object detection for our sampling, and thus assumed that our autonomous would be fairly easy.

    On Thursday, I worked on writing a...

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    Conrad Qualifier

    Conrad Qualifier By Ethan, Charlotte, Karina, Janavi, Bhanaviya, Abhi, Arjun, Evan, and Justin

    Task: Compete at the N. TX Conrad Qualifier

    Right off of a mortifying experience at the Hendricks MS Scrimmage, in which we got the worst score at the tournament (and in the one match we did participate in, our robot broke) we walked in on shaky ground. In the week leading up to the tournament, Iron Reign worked hard, with 35 commits to the...

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    BigWheel Upgrades

    BigWheel Upgrades By Evan

    Task: Get BigWheel ready for the tournament

    Today, we built mounts to attach both types of intake to the rack; the rack-and-pinion corncob intake and the red-flapped intake. We also created a new way of mounting the arm to the chassis. The idea is that since it’s attached to the rack and pinion track, it reaches high enough for the robot to put the minerals in the lander. We made the arm with a 12-86 gear ratio....

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    RIP CNN

    RIP CNN By Abhi

    Task: Farewell Iron Reign's CNN

    FTC released new code to support Tensorflow and automatically detect minerals with the model they trained. Unfortunately, all of our CNN work was undercut by this update. The silver lining is that we have done enough research into how CNN's work and it will allow us to understand the mind of the FTC app better. In addition, we may retrain this model if we feel it doesn't work well. But now, it...

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    Linear Slide Lift

    Linear Slide Lift By Janavi

    Task: Design a lift for MiniChassis

    For extension both into the crater and lifting our robot up to the crater we have decided test a linear slide system. We plan to utilize linear slide system for both vertical and horizontal extension on MiniMech.

    Horizontal Extension Goals

    • Long Enough to reach Crater from distance
    • We need to determine how many stages we need

    Vertical Extension Goals

    • Long Enough...
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    Torque Calculations

    Torque Calculations By Karina

    Task: Calculate the torque needed to lift chassis

    After seeing how well the robots that could latch onto the lander performed at the scrimmage, Iron Reign knew that we had to be able to score these points. We originally tried lifting with a linear slide system on MiniMech, but it was not strong or sturdy enough for the small chassis, and would definitely not be a functional system on BigWheel in time for competition. And so we...

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    Pose BigWheel

    Pose BigWheel By Abhi

    Task: New Pose for Big Wheel robot

    Historically, Iron Reign has used a class called "Pose" to control all the hardware mapping of our robot instead of putting it directly into our opmodes. This has created cleaner code and smoother integration with our crazy functions. However, we used the same Pose for the past two years since both had an almost identical drive base. Since there wasn't a viable differential drive Pose in...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log November 03, 2018 By Ethan, Charlotte, Evan, Janavi, Kenna, Karina, Justin, Arjun, Abhi, and Bhanaviya

    Meeting Log November 03, 2018

    Today's Meet Objectives

    So, we have one week before our first tournament. This isn't great. As you can see on our last blog post, we didn't do amazingly at the scrimmage. So, we have a lot of work to do.

    Today's Meet Log

    First and foremost, we have to work on our presentation. So, we...

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    Full Circle

    Full Circle By Evan

    A reflection on my time at Iron Reign

    In 2012 I began competing in FTC. That year our team built a robot with a giant central arm on top of a six wheeled drivetrain that sported a ring bucket that the rings would slot into one or two at a time. The idea was that we would go bit by bit, slowly moving the rings onto the rack in the middle. This was...

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    BigWheel Arm

    BigWheel Arm By Evan

    Task: Design an arm for BigWheel

    Bigwheel’s intake arm is one of the most important parts of the robot. Since our scrimmage, we have learned how to make this arm much more efficient, starting with some supports. The original intake arm was made of two scrap Tetrix rails. The result of this was that the two sides of the arm would be out of sync, creating a twist in the arm that caused...

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    DISD Scrimmage at Hedrick MS

    DISD Scrimmage at Hedrick MS By Charlotte, Janavi, Ethan, Evan, Justin, Karina, and Abhi

    Task: Compete at the Hedrick MS DISD Scrimmage

    Today, Iron Reign competed in the DISD scrimmage at Hedrick Middle School. This was the first scrimmage of the year, so experienced teams and rookie teams alike struggled to get a working robot on the field. We go to this scrimmage every year, and it helps us gage just how much needs to be done...

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    Off-Schedule Meeting Log

    Off-Schedule Meeting Log October-2 23-2, 2018-2 to October 23, 2018 By Ethan, Karina, Charlotte, Kenna, Arjun, and Evan

    Meeting Log October 21 to October 23, 2018

    Iron Reign will be attending a scrimmage on Saturday, but to attend a scrimmage, you usually have to have a working robot. As of Saturday, we did not. So, a few of our members elected to come in on Saturday to do some last minute robot additions.

    Sunday Tasks

    • Attached lift
    • We've had...
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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 20, 2018 By Charlotte, Kenna, Janavi, Ethan, Arjun, Justin, and Abhi

    Meeting Log October 20, 2018

    Juggling the minerals

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Our first scrimmage is next weekend, so we need to complete our chassis and some sort of intake system. Every member needs to take on their own portion of the robot so we can divide and conquer to end today's meeting with a working robot.

    Today's Meet Log

  • Mini-Mech chassis build
  • Finally,...
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    Intake Update

    Intake Update By Ethan, Abhi, Justin, and Kenna

    Task: Update the intake for the new robot size

    We created the corn-cob intake a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it was a little too big for the Minichassis, so we had to downsize. So, we designed Intake Two. Continuing our history of using kitchen materials to create robot parts, we attached two silicone oven mitts to a beater bar equipped with Iron Reign's REVolution system. Then, we attached a...

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    Rewriting CNN

    Rewriting CNN By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Begin rewriting the Convolutional Neural Network using Java and DL4J

    While we were using Python and TensorFlow to train our convolutional neural network, we decided to attempt writing this in Java, as the code for our robot is entirely in Java, and before we can use our neural network, it must be written in Java.

    We also decided to try using DL4J, a competing library to TensorFlow, to write our neural network,...

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    Mini Mecanum Chassis

    Mini Mecanum Chassis By Janavi and Justin

    Task:

    Over the summer, we designed many robots for the North Texas Chassis Project, including one based off of last year's Worlds robot, Kraken. The robot chassis had 6" mechanums. But, based on what we know about this years challenge we have decided that this chassis does not utilize the 18-inch cube effectively.

    We have chosen to design a chassis that is similar in function to Kraken, but smaller...
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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 13, 2018 By Charlotte, Janavi, Ethan, Arjun, Abhi, Justin, and Karina

    Meeting Log October 13, 2018

    Sumo bots at SEM STEM Spark

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Today we are taking part in a massive outreach event to teach STEM to girls all over North Dallas: SEM STEM Spark. However, we do have competitions/scrimmages coming up really soon, so we wish to get some substantial building done. See more about the event at (T-22, SEM STEM Spark).

    ...
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    Developing a CNN

    Developing a CNN By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Begin developing a Convolutional Neural Network using TensorFlow and Python

    Now that we have gathered and labeled our training data, we began writing our Convolutional Neural Network. Since Abhi had used Python and TensorFlow to write a neural network in the past during his visit to MIT over the summer, we decided to do the same now.

    After running our model, however, we noticed that it was not very accurate. Though...

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    BigWheel+

    BigWheel+ By Evan

    Task: Continue work on BigWheel

    BigWheel has gone through a few major changes. First and foremost, it now has a flipper arm, AKA Superman. Since the robot itself is the lift mechanism, we had to put a lot of work into Superman's design. Right now it is a 10 inch REV rail attached to two 125-tooth gears for redundancy, with a custom 3D printed mount housing an pair of omniwheels on the other...

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    Project Management

    Project Management By Charlotte

    Task: Improve Iron Reign's team organization and time management

    Iron Reign sometimes struggles with our team organization and time management. There have been many instances where we have fallen behind in different subteams due to this lack of organization. This year, in order to tackle this downfall, we are going to put an emphasis on project management.

    We started a project in a program called Team Gantt. We learned how to...

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    Mining Base 2.0

    Mining Base 2.0 By Ethan

    Task: Rethink our static robot idea

    So, our dream this year is to create a static robot. Last week, we found out about a rule change that would prevent our mining robot from staying within the crater. Naturally, we found a way around this, leading us to the Mining Base 2.0.

    The robot will be fixed under the lander's hooks, and have a horizontal and vertical linear slide attached to...

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    Upgrading to FTC SDK version 4.0

    Upgrading to FTC SDK version 4.0 By Arjun

    Task: Upgrade our code to the latest version of the FTC SDK

    FTC recently released version 4.0 of their SDK, with initial support for external cameras, better PIDF motor control, improved wireless connectivity, new sensors, and other general improvements. Our code was based on last year's SDK version 3.7, so we needed to merge the new SDK with our repository.

    The merge was slightly difficult, as there were some issues with...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 06, 2018 By Charlotte, Kenna, Janavi, Ethan, and Arjun

    Meeting Log October 06, 2018

    Code Testing with Arjun

    Today's Meet Objectives

    We set up some tables with FTC Starter Kits for our new recruits so we can give them an introduction to building with REV parts. We want to continue research & design and build for Iron Reign. There is a scrimmage coming up in a few weeks, so we want to have a...

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    Labelling Minerals - CNN

    Labelling Minerals - CNN By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Label training images to train a Neural Network

    Now that we have software to make labeling the training data easier, we have to actually use it to label the training images. Abhi and I split up our training data into two halves, and we each labeled one half. Then, when we had completed the labeling, we recombined the images. The images we labeled are publicly available at Read More

    Another Design Bites the Dust

    Another Design Bites the Dust By Ethan

    Task: Discuss a new rule change

    At one point, we were thinking about creating a "mining facility" robot that stays static within the crater and delivers the blocks into the mining depot. In our eyes, it was legal as it would hold as many blocks as possible inside the crater but only deliver two at a time outside. It would be super-efficient as we would be able to stay within the crater, and not...

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    Team Marker Fun

    Team Marker Fun By Karina

    Task: Create the Team Marker

    Last week, we decided to take up the task of creating the team marker, a simple project that would surely be overlooked, but can score a significant amount of points. We wanted the marker to be meaningful to the Iron Reign, but also follow the team marker rules. To start, we made a list of ideas:

    Last season, Ducky (as seen in idea #4) brought...

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    Corn-Cob Intake

    Corn-Cob Intake By Ethan and Abhi

    Task: Design an intake system unique for balls

    Right now, we're working on a static-deposit system. The first part of this system is having an intake mechanism that passively differentiates the balls and cubes, reducing complexity of other parts of the design. Thus, we created the corn-cob intake.

    First, we bought ice-cube trays. We wanted a compliant material that would grip the particles and be able to send them...

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    Designing the Corn Cob Aligner

    Designing the Corn Cob Aligner By Ethan and Abhi

    Task: Design an aligner for the beater bar intake

    The ice cube tray is 9 holes wide and each hole is 16.50mm wide and long. Using these measurements, we created an aligner that would cause the ice cube tray to roll into a cylinder.

    We're designing an intake that will allow the robot to intake particles, and this is a major portion. This will allow us...

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    Designing Wheel Mounts

    Designing Wheel Mounts By Justin

    Task: Create wheel mounts for our Mini-Mecanum chassis

    Today, we modeled two possible designs for mini-mecanum wheel mounts. The purpose of the mounts is to hold a churro or hex shaft in place to mount mecanum wheels to. The first design was a 6cm by 6cm square with rounded edges that was 5mm thick. A hexagon was removed from the center to hold the churro that supports the mecanum wheel. This design,...

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    Intake Sorter

    Intake Sorter By Abhi

    Task: Design a sorter for the balls and blocks

    To increase the efficiency of our robot, we looked into ways to passively sort minerals during intake and deposit. It is important to sort because it requires less precision under driver control allowing a faster and more efficient robot. Though bulky, we designed an initial design to sort the minerals.

    When this piece is mounted and both blocks and balls are...

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    CNN Training Program

    CNN Training Program By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Designing a program to label training data for our Convolutional Neural Network

    In order to use the captured training data, we need to label it by identifying the location of the gold mineral in it. We also need to normalize it by resizing the training images to a constant size, (320x240 pixels). While we could do this by hand, it would be a pain to do so. We would...

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    BigWheel Chassis

    BigWheel Chassis By Evan

    Task: Work on a possible chassis

    We've been toying around with the idea of using BigWheel, our Summer Chassis Research Project bot, in this year's competition with a few modifications. The idea for this robot is that it has a collection system that extends into the crater, and folds up on top of the robot. It reaches in with the collection arm, and grabs the blocks/glyphs, drives backwards and flips vertically using the drive wheels as a...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 28, 2018 By Charlotte, Karina, Kenna, Janavi, Evan, Abhi, Justin, Ethan, and Arjun

    Meeting Log September 28, 2018

    Coding lessons with new recruits

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Since our overflow of new recruits, we have opened up two other teams 15373 and 15375, which Iron Reign will mentor and lead along with our mentorship of 3732 Imperial Robotics, who has also received new recruits. Today we plan to continue integrating them into FTC; we will begin teaching...

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    Hanging Hook Prototype

    Hanging Hook Prototype By Abhi, Ethan, Justin, and Janavi

    Task: Design a hook for pulling the robot on the lander

    To get a head-start on latching and delatching from the lander during autonomous, we got a head start and made some hook prototypes. If your robot can just do these two things, you can score 80 points. When making this hook, it needs to be modular enough to not require much accuracy but also needs to be...

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    Autonomous Path Planning

    Autonomous Path Planning By Abhi

    Task: Map Autonomous paths

    With the high point potential available in this year's autonomous it is essential to create autonomous paths right now. This year's auto is more complicated due to potential collisions with alliance partners in addition to an unknown period of time spend delatching from the lander. To address both these concerns, I developed 4 autonomous paths we will investigate with to use during competition.

    When making auto...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 22, 2018 By Charlotte, Janavi, Evan, Abhi, Justin, Ethan, Arjun, Karina, and Kenna

    Meeting Log September 22, 2018

    Home Depot Trip!

    Today's Meet Objectives

    As we are starting to make more serious strides in our robot and strategy, we wish to start passing down knowledge to our new recruits. Today, we are going to continue prototyping with grabbers and various linear slide kits and we need to discuss strategy and organization for this season....

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    Chassis Brainstorming

    Chassis Brainstorming By Ethan and Evan

    Task: Brainstorm chassis designs

    At the moment, we've used the same chassis base for three years, a basic mechanum base with large wheels. However, we don't really want to do the same this year. At the time, it was impressive, and not many teams used mechanum wheels, but now, its a little overdone.

    Thus, we have BigWheel. We used this as a practice design, but we ended up really...

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    CNN Training

    CNN Training By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Capture training data for a Convolutional Neural Network

    In order to train a Convolutional Neural Network, we need a whole bunch of training images. So we got out into the field, and took 125 photos of the sampling setup in different positions and angles. Our next step is to label the gold minerals in all of these photos, so that we can train a Convolutional Neural Network to label the...

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    Vision Discussion

    Vision Discussion By Arjun and Abhi

    Task: Consider potential vision approaches for sampling

    Part of this year’s game requires us to be able to detect the location of minerals on the field. The main use for this is in sampling. During autonomous, we need to move only the gold mineral, without touching the silver minerals in order to earn points for sampling. There are a few ways we could be able to detect the location of the gold mineral.

    ...

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    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 15, 2018 By Charlotte, Karina, Kenna, Janavi, Evan, Abhi, Justin, and Ethan

    Meeting Log September 15, 2018

    Today Austin, an Iron Reign alumni, visited us from A&M! :)

    Today's Meet Objectives

    As our brainstorming and discussion continues, we are putting our ideas into action and making various prototypes and designs. We will continue to work with our new recruits and let them participate in a meaningful way with our building and in...

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    Brainstorming Two

    Brainstorming Two By Evan, Abhi, and Janavi

    Task: Have a 2nd brainstorming session

    We had another brainstorming session today, which allowed us to break down into some new building tasks.

    Intake System 3 - TSA Bag Scanner

    This part of our robot is inspired by the bag-scanning machine in TSA lines, more specifically the part at the end with the spinning tubes. The basic design would be like a section of that track that flips over the top of...

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    Selecting Wheels

    Selecting Wheels By Janavi

    Objective: Determine the type of wheel that best suits the chassis

    In the Choosing Drive Train E-16 we decided that we will use the chassis BigWheel. We know that our wheels need to be light weight but we need to determine the size of the wheel that will keep our robot far away enough from the ground for us to provide enough clearance to allow us to climb over the crater rim. But, if we choose wheels...

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    Choosing Drive Train

    Choosing Drive Train By Janavi

    Task: Analyze the game

    In our last post, we created a chart where we listed each task asked based on point value and the level of difficulty, separated by autonomous and teleop. Our goal is to find a drive train that will allow us to build a robot to accomplish all of these tasks efficiently and consistently, but this matrix will allow us to determine what to focus on first.

    Drivetrain Comparison

    This summer...

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    Rover Ruckus Strategy

    Rover Ruckus Strategy By Ethan, Kenna, Charlotte, Evan, Abhi, Justin, Karina, and Aaron

    Task: Determine the best Rover Ruckus strategies

    ... Read More

    Testing Intakes

    Testing Intakes By Ethan and Evan

    Task: Design a prototype intake system

    In our first practice, we brainstormed some intake and other robot ideas. To begin testing, we created a simple prototype of a one-way intake system. First, we attached two rubber bands to a length of wide PVC pipe. This worked pretty well, but the bands gave way a little too easily.

    For our next prototype, we attached a piece of cardboard with slits to...
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    Rover Ruckus Brainstorming & Initial Thoughts

    Rover Ruckus Brainstorming & Initial Thoughts By Ethan, Charlotte, Kenna, Evan, Abhi, Arjun, Karina, and Justin

    Task: Come up with ideas for the 2018-19 season

    So, today was the first meeting in the Rover Ruckus season! On top of that, we had our first round of new recruits (20!). So, it was an extremely hectic session, but we came up with a lot of new ideas.

    Building

    • A One-way Intake System

    • This suggestion uses a...
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    Post Kickoff Meeting

    Post Kickoff Meeting September 08, 2018 By Karina, Charlotte, Ethan, Evan, Kenna, and Abhi

    Meeting Log September 08, 2018

    Today Iron Reign attended the FTC 2018-2019 season kickoff at Williams High School. After the event, we gathered back at our coach's house to talk about how we might approach this season's challenge. We welcomed prospect team members as well. They joined us in reviewing the reveal video and the games manuals.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    We wanted...

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    Garchomp Presentation

    Garchomp Presentation By Janavi and Kenna

    Task: Present in the Inviational Presentation Series

    Today, we participated in the Chassis Presentation workshop for teams all around the North Texas region; the project was to design robots and perform various tests with them, then present findings. We presented our chassis, Garchomp, a mechanum wheel chassis as can be seen in the slide photos below.

    Presentation

    ...
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    Bigwheel Presentation

    Bigwheel Presentation By Arjun and Karina

    Task: Present about Garchomp

    As a new freshman on Iron Reign, I took on the responsibility of a robot we called Bigwheel. Karina and I worked on getting the robot into something that could be put through load tests, meaning tightening the chain, fixing misaligned sprockets, and getting the wiring together. We participated in the Chassis Presentation workshop hosted by technicbots for teams all around the North Texas region to work on one or more...

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    BigWheel CAD

    BigWheel CAD By Ethan

    Task: Create a mockup for BigWheel

    We've been working on a design for the chassis workshop for quite a while now. We already presented it at the first meeting, and now we need to work on the other components of our presentation: the weight testing, torque calculations, speed testing, and finally, a chassis model. To do the last one, we made a simple model in PTC Creo.

    ...

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    My Summer at MIT

    My Summer at MIT By Abhi

    Task: Spend a Summer at MIT

    Hello all! You might have been wondering where I went the entire summer while Iron Reign was busily working on tasks. Well for those of you interested, I was invited to spend a month at MIT as part of the Beaverworks program. I worked in the Medlytics course and analyzed medical data using machine learning methods. This seems distant from the work we do in FTC but...

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    Adjusting Garchomp's Chains

    Adjusting Garchomp's Chains By Janavi and Kenna

    Task: Build the Chassis

    In our last post, we thought that we had finished Garchomp. However, as we came back to the next practice, we realized that Garchomp's chains were incorrectly linked.

    So, we started to diagnose the problem. We noticed that the old REV rails we were using had dents in them, which caused the motors to shift, therefore causing the chains to come off the gears.

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    C.A.R.T. Bot Summer Project

    C.A.R.T. Bot Summer Project By Evan, Abhi, and Janavi

    Task: Enhance our robot-building skills

    At Iron Reign, we hate to waste the summer since it’s a great time to get all the ridiculous builds out of the way. Thus, we created C.A.R.T. Bot (Carry All our Robotics Tools). Our constant companion these last few seasons has been our trusty Rubbermaid utility cart which has been beaten and abused, competition after competition, as it carried all our tools...

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    Replay Autonomous

    Replay Autonomous By Arjun

    Task: Design a program to record and replay a driver run

    One of the difficulties in writing an autonomous program is the long development cycle. We have to unplug the robot controller, plug it into a computer, make a few changes to the code, recompile and download the code, and then retest our program. All this must be done over and over again, until the...

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    Summer Chassis Project - July Meeting

    Summer Chassis Project - July Meeting By Kenna, Ethan, Charlotte, Karina, Shaggy, and Abhi

    Task: Compare & Collaborate on Chassis

    At Big Thought's offices in downtown Dallas, three teams met. Technicbots (Team 8565), EFFoRT (Team 8114), Schim Robotics (12900), and Iron Reign are all part of the North Texas Chassis Project. The goal is for each team to create any number of chassis and improve their building skills by learning from the other teams.

    ...
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    Chassis Flyer

    Chassis Flyer By Ethan

    Kraken

    This is Iron Reign’s world-championship robot from last season. The basic rundown is this:

    • Weight - 42 lbs
    • Size - 18x17.8x17.5 inches
    • Drive - Mecanum
    • Main parts kit - REV

    Iron Reign uses two design processes in conjunction with each other to create efficient and reliable parts: iterative, continual improvement and competitive design.

    An example of these design processes working in conjunction is the process of...

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    Position Tracking

    Position Tracking By Abhi

    Task: Design a way to track the robot's location

    During Relic Recovery season, we had many problems with our autonomous due to slippage in the mecanum wheels and our need to align to the balancing stone, both of which created high error in our encoder feedback. To address this recurring issue, we searched for an alternative way to identify our position on the field. Upon researching online and discussing with other teams, we discovered an...

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    Big Wheel Ideas

    Big Wheel Ideas By Janavi

    Task: Create a Unique Chassis

    This summer, we're working on creating unique chassis that are outside of our comfort zone. Often we choose safe bases - opting for ones that we have tried in the past and know work. But, taking the opportunity to explore unique bases allows us to see their performance. One of our ideas is for a two-wheeled robot, with two large wheels and one, smaller, non-motorized omniwheel. We think that...

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    Swerve Drive Prototype

    Swerve Drive Prototype By Abhi and Christian

    Task: Build a Swerve Drive base

    Over the past week, I worked with Christian and another member of Imperial to prototype a drive train. Due to the limited resources. we decided to use Tetrix parts since we had an abundance of those. We decided to make the swerve such that a servo would turn a swerve module and the motors would be attached directly to the wheels.

    Immediately we noticed it was...

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    Swerve Drive Experiment

    Swerve Drive Experiment By Abhi

    Task: Consider a Swerve Drive base

    Last season, we saw many robots that utilized a swerve drive rather than the mecanum drive for omnidirectional movement. To further expand Iron Reign's repertoire of drive bases, I wanted to further investigate this chassis. Swerve was considered as an alternative to swerve because of its increased speed in addition to the maneuverability of the drive base to allow for quick scoring due to its use of traction wheels at...

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    UIL 2018

    UIL 2018 By Abhi, Karina, Evan, Janavi, Austin, Justin, and Shaggy

    Task: Attend the 2018 UIL Robotics Competition

    Background

    For those who don't know, UIL Robotics is the premier state robotics competition for Texas. Iron Reign has been a beta-testing partner since its inception, and this year was the event's first year as a full-fledged program.

    To participate in UIL, a team must win at a Regional level, and have a good overall showing. This...

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    Finishing the Chassis

    Finishing the Chassis By Kenna and Janavi

    Task: Build a Chassis

    We have been working on this chassis for over 3+. In out last post, we had thought the wheels were ready to go. However, various parts, such as wheel mounts, had been put on backwards or were unusable so we had to do everything over again.
    Now that the robot has wheels, we started on attaching the REV expansion hub and battery....

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    2018 Worlds Day Three

    2018 Worlds Day Three By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Austin, Charlotte, Abhi, Tycho, Karina, Justin, Janavi, and Shaggy

    Task: Compete in robot game

    It was the beginning of Day 3. We awoke, covered in metal parts and broken servos, took our sleeping-caps off, and went off to the Houston Convention Center.

    Game 82
    We won this game, 467-442. This was personally, our best game. We went against the BLUE CREW and won, which was no small...
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    2018 Worlds Day Two

    2018 Worlds Day Two By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Austin, Charlotte, Abhi, Tycho, Karina, Justin, Janavi, and Shaggy

    Task: Compete in robot game

    It was the beginning of Day 2. Our members rolled out of bed, covered in old Fiesta receipts and Chipotle wrappers. One by one, they stumbled onto their charter bus, unprepared for the new day.

    Game 26
    We lost this match, 213-401. Our robot wasn't working reliably on the field and we were...
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    2018 Worlds Day One

    2018 Worlds Day One By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Austin, Charlotte, Abhi, Tycho, Karina, Justin, Janavi, and Shaggy

    Task: Present and play first match

    It was a dark, surprisingly non-humid, Houston morning. Tarballs blew through the parking lot from dusty, abandoned oil refineries down by the bay. One by one, phones went off in the hotel looming above the lot, waking up their inhabitants. In these rooms, their occupants dusted off their Bucees wrappers and Iron Reign shirts and stumbled to the...

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    Relic Recovery Reveal Video

    Relic Recovery Reveal Video By Abhi and Austin

    Task: Publish Robot Reveal

    After a season of work, Iron Reign has the final version of Kraken ready for Championships. With it comes a video showing off its features. We filmed it moving in all sorts of ways. We also found pictures from this season of the team's design growth and outreach events, including having fun. You can view it here below!

    ...
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    REVolution on Thingiverse

    REVolution on Thingiverse By 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...

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    Robot Video Analysis

    Robot Video Analysis By Charlotte

    Task: Determine the acceleration and max velocity experimentally

    To find the acceleration and maximum velocity of our robot we decided to use a method we have learned in our physics class at school: video analysis with Logger Pro. The procedure is like so: Take a video of the robot head on with a still camera. In the video, in the same frame of movement as the robot, hold a known measuring device (ruler/meter stick). Insert the...

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    Importance of Documentation

    Importance of Documentation By Abhi and Tycho

    Task: Explain commits

    As explained in a previous post, we were having many issues with git commits and fixing our errors in it. After a lot of the merging conflicts, we had to fix all the commits without exactly knowing what was being changed in the code. Part of the reason this was so hard was our lack of good naming conventions. Though we always try to make a title and good...

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    Elastics Testing

    Elastics Testing By 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...

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    The Cost of Mistakes

    The Cost of Mistakes By 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...

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    Lab Planning

    Lab Planning By Ethan

    Task: Design labs to find more physical properties of our robot

    Lab #1: Batteries

    Procedure

    1. Obtain a fully charged REV battery - should say ~13V on our battery charger
    2. Record the voltage upon being plugged in to the robot
    3. Start a timer at the same time as drivers practice starts - this should be intensive practice
    4. When done driving, stop the timer and record the final voltage

    Data

    Challenge Game Timing Points Level of Difficulty (1 - 3 [hard]) Priority Idea
    Landing Autonomous 30 2 Medium Latch attached to linear slides that allows us to descend rapidly
    Claiming Autonomous 15 1 High Autonomous, easy as bumping into wall
    Parking Autonomous 10 1 High Autonomous, just need to move
    ... Read More

    Motor Constants and Future Plans

    Motor Constants and Future Plans By Ethan

    Task: Find constants for the motors for future calculations

    In order to better predict how our robot will work, we first need to find a few constants to do calculations. Luckily, our school has an engineering class, so many of us have the skillset to do these calculations.

    The base data we needed was:

    NeverRest 40s:
    &tab;160 rpm\16.755 rad/sec
    &tab;369 oz-in\2.6057 Nm

    NeverRest 60s:
    &tab;105 rpm\10.996 rad/sec
    &tab;593 oz-in\4.188 Nm

    REV Servos:...

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    South Super Regionals 2018 Postmortem

    South Super Regionals 2018 Postmortem By Charlotte, Ethan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Abhi, Karina, Kenna, and Evan

    Task: Reflect on our accomplishments in South Super Regionals

    Judging

    Strengths
    In previous presentations, we have had difficulty with timing and conveying everything we have to in the allotted time. This time, we got all of our information across and had enough extra time for some questions and good discussion with the judges.

    Weaknesses
    Although we did improve our...

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    Engineering the Flag Holder

    Engineering the Flag Holder By 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...

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    Gripper Physics Diagrams

    Gripper Physics Diagrams By Ethan

    Task: Describe the physics of the gripper

    We always struggle a little with describing our robot to the judges. So, this post will be the third in a series of posts describing the physics of our robot (four if you count the coefficients of friction). First, we have the free body diagrams of the gripper.

    Next, to further describe this, we created an expiriment in which we determined the maximum...

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    Which Cipher?

    Which Cipher? By Abhi

    Task: Find which cipher works best

    By this stage of Relic Recovery, we have finally discovered an efficient strategy for the glyph game. At this point, it is important to get consistent driver practice. While doing so, it is important to think of the cipher patterns. Seeing that world records are being set by teams who can double cipher efficiently, it is important that we can complete ciphers at Worlds. But which pattern should we...

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    Kraken LED Installation

    Kraken LED Installation By 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...

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    South Super Regionals Day Three, 2018

    South Super Regionals Day Three, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Charlotte, Austin, Karina, Janavi, Abhi, Tycho, Justin, and Christian

    Task: Finish SSR and attend awards ceremony

    It was the final day. Tumbleweeds drifted over the land, rolling and turning through the abandoned Athens streets. Over the horizon, a dust cloud rose, brown and shifting and twisting, speckled with the detritus of an abandoned city, flashing and siezing, lighting up the city through its inky blackness, devoid of...

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    South Super Regionals Day Two, 2018

    South Super Regionals Day Two, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Charlotte, Austin, Karina, Janavi, Abhi, Tycho, Justin, and Christian

    Task: Complete the first day of competition at SSR

    After finishing judging and setup, all we had left to do was the entire robot game. Knowing this, we stayed until 12, tattooing pictures of Minions™ on each other. Thus, we were perfectly prepared for the tournament the next day.

    Match 5
    We...
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    South Super Regionals Day One, 2018

    South Super Regionals Day One, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Kenna, Charlotte, Austin, Karina, Janavi, Abhi, Tycho, Justin, and Christian

    Task: Set up and present at SSR 2018

    A placid stillness hung over the dark, cold room. The early sun flashed through the pale window curtains, ineffective against the onslaught of light. Outside, birds started to chirp and sing, starting off the new day. All over the city, teams were waking up, walking to the Classic Center (the...

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    Designing the Tent

    Designing the Tent By Janavi and Kenna

    Task:

    So, its Supers time again! And that means its time to design our tents and pick a theme for ourselves. Last year, when Iron Reign went to Supers for the first time, we got to see all of the other teams' displays; before, we had only been to regional level competitions and weren't ready for the displays at Supers. We saw the coolest tents and got some really cool trinkets. For example, one...

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    Progress of the Octopuckers Over Time

    Progress of the Octopuckers Over Time By Ethan and Tycho

    Task: Chart the progress of the octopuckers over time


    This design was too rigid, we overlooked the fact that triangles tend to be the strongest shape, and therefore this octopucker wasn't as compliant as we wanted, damaging the blocks.

    This design was really good, and we used it for 3-4 tournaments. Our initial design of these wouldn't damage the blocks significantly at the levels...

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    Poster Designs

    Poster Designs By Ethan

    Task: Make team informational posters for South Super Regionals

    Last year, we didn't spend that much time on the poster/aesthetic side of things for Supers, and we ended up getting the Judges' Award. While we can't really prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the two, we want to improve in all aspects so we don't repeat last years performance. So, this year, we're going to try to convey more information to the judges so that we can bolster...

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    Promote Award 2018

    Promote Award 2018 By Kenna, Austin, and Ethan

    image coming ASAP

    With SuperRegionals just around the corner, everyone is going into overdrive and we almost forgot about our video for the Promote Award. We got lucky with the due date being extended for the South, so we had two extra days to make ours.

    We wanted to this year's Promote Award video to be a little different from last year's....

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    Polycarb Deformation

    Polycarb Deformation By Ethan

    Task: Find a constant for polycarb deformation

    Recently, we've been having an issue with our gripper in that the shielding for the sides of the intake have been bending torsionally, so that they deform and interfere with our glyph take-up. So, we created a lab to find the torque required to cause this deformation.

    We cut a length of polycarb with a similar width but different length to test this (thickness...

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    Relic Arm Design

    Relic Arm Design By 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....

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    Oklahoma State Regionals 2018 Postmortem

    Oklahoma State Regionals 2018 Postmortem By Charlotte, Ethan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Abhi, Karina, Kenna, and Evan

    Task: Evaluate our strengths and downfalls at Oklahoma State Regionals

    It wasn't a great regional, but it wasn't a bad one either, it was an OK Regional.

    Preparation

    Strengths
    Because we had already been to North Texas Regionals, we were one step ahead of the teams in OK that hadn’t been to a regional yet this year in that sense....

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    Revolution Flyer

    Revolution Flyer By Tycho

    Task: Create a flyer for our Revolution system

    We've talked to REV before about our unique REVolution system that we've detailed in other posts, but for those who are unaware, its a system that we've personally designed to turn REV extrusions into axles, which enable us to have more flexibility in design. But now, we've designed a flyer to get people on board with the system.




    ...

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    Designing our Wheel Mounts

    Designing our Wheel Mounts By Tycho

    Recall the discussion and design strategy regarding our wheel mounts

    The side shield design process involved much thought and discussion. We have experienced difficulty with the wheel mounts we have been using, which are the ones from last year. These are made of a composite of nylon and aluminum, but they are too thick and consume a lot of space on our already large robot. Also, the our new Mecanum wheels are thicker...

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    Grabber V5. Diagrams and Pictures

    Grabber V5. Diagrams and Pictures By 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...

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    Preparing for South Super Regionals

    Preparing for South Super Regionals By Ethan

    Task: Prepare for the South Super Regionals in Athens, Georgia

    We currently have a bit over two weeks to get ready for the South Super Regionals, and we're not quite ready. Actually, if we want to get competition-ready, we've got a long way to go. From prior experience, we're currently 55% on awards and 45% on robot game for advancement, but we want to get both to 60-70+%. So, we created a list so...

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    Intake Stars

    Intake Stars By Tycho

    Task: Improve the functionality of the gripper

    Our grabber is good, but it isn't achieving 100% of the potential it could. One thing we're doing is creating the Grabber V.5 previously blogged about, but we also want to increase the speed of the grabber in other ways, in order to get every single bit of performance out of our robot, since we want to really impress at Supers. So, we designed star-grabbers. The purpose of...

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    Oklahoma Regionals, 2018

    Oklahoma Regionals, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Charlotte, Abhi, Tycho, Austin, Karina, Kenna, Shaggy, and Justin

    Task: Compete at the Oklahoma Regional

    In November, we went to a Oklahoman qualifier in Mustang. The reason for this was purely strategic - by competing in multiple regions, we have more chances of advancing, as well as having more in-tournament experience overall. There, we got 2nd-place Inspire and advanced to the Oklahoma Regionals. Then, when we came back to Dallas,...

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    North Texas Regionals 2018 Postmortem

    North Texas Regionals 2018 Postmortem By Charlotte, Ethan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Abhi, Karina, Kenna, and Evan

    Task: Reflect on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of our performance at North Texas Regionals

    Preparation

    Strengths
    Some of our team members put in a lot of hours of work the night before the competition and we were able to successfully prepare the robot for the robot games.

    Weaknesses
    Though it proved very necessary, the fact that people had...

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    North Texas Regionals, 2018

    North Texas Regionals, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Abhi, Tycho, Janavi, Charlotte, Austin, Karina, and Kenna

    Task: Win at the North Texas Regionals

    Introduction
    All over the city, lights turned on. In each house, a member departed, on their way to a secretive location, Iron Reign headquarters. Each member entered the HQ, took a parcel, and boarded the equally secretive Iron Reign Mystery Bus, on our way to an even more undisclosed location, the North Texas...
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    Last Minute Robot Fixes

    Last Minute Robot Fixes By 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...

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    Designing Grabber V. 4.5

    Designing Grabber V. 4.5 By Ethan, Evan, and Austin

    Task: Build an Updated Grabber System

    So, we probably won't finish both the Grabber V.5 and the Flipper designs by the North Texas Regional this Saturday, but we really need to improve our grabber system so that we have a chance of doing well in the robot game. From our last post-mortem, we decided that while our grabber performed *well*, it obviously could have been better. So, in...

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    Conveyor Belt V2

    Conveyor Belt V2 By 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...

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    Building a new chassis

    Building a new chassis By Karina and Janavi

    Task:

    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+

    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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log January 27, 2018 By Ethan, Karina, Charlotte, Abhi, Tycho, Austin, Kenna, Evan, and Janavi

    Meeting Log January 27, 2018

    We are very behind on updating our engineering journal and discussing our performance in Wylie. This was the main focus of the day.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • STEM Expo Post
    • Chassis Post
    • Driving Post
    • Wylie Postmortem
    • Create poster

    Build / Modelling

    • Work on new chassis
    • Attempt to update...
    Read More

    Wylie East Qualifier Postmortem

    Wylie East Qualifier Postmortem By Ethan, Kenna, Janavi, Karina, Evan, Abhi, and Charlotte

    Task: Analyze our successes and failures in the Wylie East Competition

    We have a new format for our postmortems. We start by asking a series of questions to figure out our problems, and we cover 4 catagories to do so.

    STRENGTHS

    • What are our strengths?
    • What do we do better than other teams?
    • What unique capabilities and resources do we possess?
    • What do...
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    Friction Coefficients of Various Materials

    Friction Coefficients of Various Materials By Ethan

    Task: Test Friction Coefficients of Various Materials

    Introduction:

    Iron Reign has used many different materials in years past. In those years, we usually preferred materials which were more durable. We started with ABS, but while hard, it was relatively brittle. We attempted to use Filoflex and Ninjaflex, and they were more durable, but too soft. Finally, we had used nylon for the past seasons, as it was extremely durable but...

    Read More

    Wylie East Qualifier 2018

    Wylie East Qualifier 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Charlotte, Janavi, Karina, Tycho, Austin, Abhi, and Kenna

    Task: Compete at the Wylie East Qualifier

    Introduction

    It was a cold and dark morning. The howling winds of a cold front rushed through the grass. Under this cover of darkness, one car after another pulled up to a house, dimly lit. A car door would open for a second, letting a child out into the cold night. Under these auspicous conditions,...

    Read More

    Prepping for Wiley

    Prepping for Wiley By Janavi, Karina, Ethan, Charlotte, Kenna, Abhi, Austin, Tycho, and Evan

    Task:

    It was countdown time before the competition, we had to practice driving our robot, pack the MXP, and practice our presentation. So we decided to split up into smaller groups to accomplish more. Tycho, Charlotte, and Evan drove together to practice communicating quickly and effectively. They also played against our sister team so both teams could get practice with other robots...

    Read More

    Creo Parametric, a Learning Journey

    Creo Parametric, a Learning Journey By 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. Kraken

    The Grabber V. Kraken By 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 Chassis

    Fixing the Robot Chassis By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log January 06, 2018 By Ethan, Evan, Charlotte, Kenna, Tycho, Austin, Abhi, Karina, and Janavi

    Meeting Log January 06, 2018

    So, today's the last Saturday before the Wylie Qualifier, and we're pretty unprepared. We're a little behind on our blog posts by about a week, we still haven't added our octopucker attachment, and we need to finish our 3D model of our robot.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review...
    Read More

    Chassis Model

    Chassis Model By Abhi and Janavi

    Task: Use Creo Parametric to CAD the chassis

    After making significant development on our robot, we decided to model it. So far, we have developed the chassis of the robot seen below

    To develop this, many types of contraints were used.

    The entire model is dependent on this tetrix bar. The bar was constrainted using the Default feature since it was the base of the model. To this, the lift...

    Read More

    Introducing Kraken

    Introducing Kraken By Abhi and Tycho

    Task:Design the robot model

    We have finally completed assembly modeling Kraken, Iron Reign's Relic Recovery robot. Named after the sea creature due to the robot's OCTOPUCKERS, Kraken stands as a fierce competitor in FTC.

    To the chassis, we added the glyph system mounting. We first designed a linear slide replica and constrained that to a small TETRIX U connector piece which attached to the REV rail base. On the other side...

    Read More

    Flipper Prototype

    Flipper Prototype By 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

    REVolution Narrow Bearing Washer

    REVolution Narrow Bearing Washer By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    Washers can be used as spacers. They are also used to smooth out the rough top layers. Keep the bed very clean and smooth and the bottom surface of parts should be very slippery against other nylon. Put these in between the rough top bearing surface of one part (with rough surface facing rough) and the smooth bottom surface of the next part, and the friction...

    Read More

    REVolution Custom Dual Rail Plate

    REVolution Custom Dual Rail Plate By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This shows customized version of the Dual Rail Plate. This is for our 4th generation rolling gripper system. The small ears are designed to hold a long M3 bolt that have a stack of mini ball bearings on them. These ball bearings squeeze our timing belts together, forcing them into a more oval shape, but still allowing them to glide. This reduces friction quite a...

    Read More

    REVolution Rail Stop

    REVolution Rail Stop By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This stop can be placed anywhere on a REVrail to trap mounting plates inside bearings. They are usually used in pairs.

    Read More

    REVolution Thin Bearing

    REVolution Thin Bearing By Tycho

    Task:Build an Army Worthy of Mordor

    This is the standard bearing / bushing that allows a REVrail to rotate inside a plate. It is typically coupled with a glide washer and two stops to bind it to an attachment plate or pillow block.

    Read More

    REVolution Rail End Cap

    REVolution Rail End Cap By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    End caps are stops placed at the end of a REVrail. Five of the holes are for M3 bolts that can be screwed into the standard holes in the cross section of the extrusion. We highly recommend tapping these holes and then using threadlock to retain the bolts. So far we’ve only had to use a single bolt since we haven’t experienced very large forces The...

    Read More

    REVolution 15x20 Tooth Sprocket

    REVolution 15x20 Tooth Sprocket By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This is our REV0lution 20 tooth sprocket for #25 chain. This took a lot of trial and error to get right, because it was the component most sensitive to our print settings. We had to inset the tooth profile quite a bit because any extra material created by perimeter settings would cause the gaps between teeth to be too small for the chain to fully engage,...

    Read More

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log December 23, 2017 By Abhi, Karina, Austin, Tycho, Kenna, Ethan, Charlotte, Janavi, Darshan, Jayesh, and Omar

    Meeting Log December 23, 2017

    Our team alumni visited practice today. They imparted their knowledge to us in terms of the blog and our build plans.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Use alumni reccomendations with number and content of blog posts.
    ...
    Read More

    Jewel Thief

    Jewel Thief By 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

    REVolution Pillow Block

    REVolution Pillow Block By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This is a standard pillow block. We had to add adhesion pads to the ends because the nylon would curl away from the print bed. But these are easily cut off with a hobby knife.

    Read More

    REVolution Thick HingePlate

    REVolution Thick HingePlate By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This is our most used hinge plate. The 4 holes can take M3 screws to attach to a REVrail on one side at the end.

    Read More

    REVolution Narrow Inside Washer

    REVolution Narrow Inside Washer By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This washer is a stackable spacer that can be used to adapt standard bearings/sprockets/pulleys to thinned base plates.

    Read More

    REVolution Basic HingePlate

    REVolution Basic HingePlate By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    This is our most used hinge plate. The 4 holes can take M3 screws to attach to a REVrail on one side at the end.

    Read More

    REVolution Simple Dual Rail Plate

    REVolution Simple Dual Rail Plate By Tycho

    Task: Power to the REVolution

    The dual rail plate allows you to couple the rotation of two REVrails together. The distance between the holes should be based on how you are coupling them together. This model is designed to use GT2 5mm pulleys and a 46 gap timing belt.

    Read More

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log December 09, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Charlotte, and Abhi

    Meeting Log December 09, 2017

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Write post-mortem
    • Update past MeetLogs

    Build / Modelling

    • 3D-model
    • Work on robot flipper

    Service / Outreach

    • Build 2nd field

    Today's Work Log

    Vi Vf
    ... Read More

    REVolution Pulley

    REVolution Pulley By Tycho

    Task:Build an Army Worthy of Mordor

    This GT2 pulley has rounded teeth that engage nicely. GT2 pulleys and timing belts are the most common in use with 3D printers - but those are usually of the 2mm pitch variety. We didn’t think our printer would be able achieve the fine detail accuracy needed to print at that size, so we went for the 5mm pitch belts. On our printer we can take this...

    Read More

    Gripper v4, Octopuckers

    Gripper v4, Octopuckers By 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

    Oklahoma 2017 Post-Mortem

    Oklahoma 2017 Post-Mortem By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Kenna, Abhi, Charlotte, and Karina

    Task: Recap what went right and wrong in Oklahoma

    Even though we did very well in the Oklahoma qualifier, we still encountered several problems, that if not addressed, could lower our chances of getting to Super-Regionals. So, we had a team discussion on what to do differently in the next tournament, and what to keep constant.

    Problems

    Time management
    Our time...
    Read More

    Grabber Arms v3

    Grabber Arms v3 By 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

    Spring Cleaning in the RoboDojo

    Spring Cleaning in the RoboDojo By Janavi, Evan, Ethan, Austin, Tycho, Karina, Charlotte, Kenna, and Abhi

    Task:

    A few weeks leaving for our Oklahoma competition we assembled a large garage tent upon the pool deck and moved our field inside the tent to shield it from the weather. The night before the competition we moved in a projector so we could project see the code on the wall and left it there when we went to Oklahoma. We were very surprised...

    Read More

    Oklahoma Qualifier Recap

    Oklahoma Qualifier Recap By Ethan, Evan, Austin, Janavi, Charlotte, Kenna, Tycho, Karina, and Abhi
    Task: Compete at the Oklahoma Qualifier

    Once done, our postmortem post will be here.

    On Nov. 17, we went to the Oklahoma Mustang HS qualifier. Our strategy for this tournament was to attempt to qualify in multiple regions so that we have more chances to get to the South Super Regionals. For...

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    Intake Grippers Pt2

    Intake Grippers Pt2 By 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 Creo

    How to Assemble parts in PTC Creo By 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

    Gripper Part 2

    Gripper Part 2 By Evan

    Update:

    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

    Driving Struggles

    Driving Struggles By Abhi

    Task: Drive the Robot

    Today we tried to drive the robot on the practice field for the first time since the qualifier last Saturday. However, we couldn't get in very much quality drive practice because the robot kept breaking down. We decided to dig a bit deeper and found some issues.

    As seen above, the first thing that was wrong was that the lift was tilted. Due to the cantilever orientation of the...

    Read More

    Greenhill FTC Qualifier

    Greenhill FTC Qualifier By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Charlotte, Austin, Abhi, Tycho, Karina, and Kenna

    Task: Compete at our first FTC qualifier

    So, we were absolute failures. There's no way to get around that. We got 14th place out of 14, and our presentation flopped. But, its not the end of the world, even if it may feel like it. We have another qualifier in Oklahome in one week, and we need to analyze what we did wrong...

    Read More

    Business and Strategic Plan Pt. 1

    Business and Strategic Plan Pt. 1 By Ethan

    Download PDF here

    Intro

    Iron Reign has existed, in one form or another, for the past eight years. We have competed in FLL, Google Lunar X Prize Challenge, and now, FTC.

    While our team originated at WB Travis Vanguard and Academy, we are now hosted by the School of Science and Engineering at Townview, in DISD. Despite our school being 66% economically disadvantaged and being...

    Read More

    Relic Recovery Strategy Part 1

    Relic Recovery Strategy Part 1 By Austin

    Task: Determine building strategy for Relic Recovery

    Any well-versed team understands that, depending on the competition for the year, a robot will either be modified to compete or be built from the ground up. In any case, however, a robot often starts at its chassis, and teams have multiple companies that provide solutions to the common robot chassis’ needs and specifications. To name a few: AndyMark® has its standard kits that include all the...

    Read More

    Designing the Jewel Thief

    Designing the Jewel Thief By 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

    How to make a part in PTC Creo Parametric

    How to make a part in PTC Creo Parametric By Abhi

    Problem: How to Make a Part in Creo Parametric

    PTC Creo Parametric is one of the best software to 3-D model tools that we can print out. I will detail how to create a part in Creo for both our team and any other teams who need help creating a piece. For this demo, Creo Parametric Academic Edition was used along with a pre designed model of the part.

    To...

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    Gripper Construction

    Gripper Construction By Tycho

    Task: Making the Gripper

    Standard parts were used to create the backbone. Then, we bent some tetrix parts to connect the backbone to the servos. We used continuous rotation cervos to solve the issue mentioned earlier. This was a fairly easy build but we still have a ways to go before V2 is completed.

    This gripper will be far superior to our prior designs in that it will be...

    Read More

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log November 03, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Tycho. Austin, Charlotte, Karina, Janavi, Kenna, and Abhi

    Meeting Log November 03, 2017

    Today is one of the last full meetings until our tournament, so we need to get everything ready for judging. This post also includes the objectives for the next week.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • 3 posts from each member
    • ...
    Read More

    Wheel Protector Correction

    Wheel Protector Correction By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 21, 2017 By Ethan, Tycho, Evan, Abhi, Charlotte, and Karina

    Meeting Log October 21, 2017

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Travis blog post
    • Work on presentation

    Software

    • Work on openCV integration
    • Test out RoboRealm

    Build / Modelling

    • Robot drive practice
    • Learn PTC
    • Jewel thief mockup

    Today's Work Log

    Team MembersTaskStart TimeDuration
    AllPlanning Meeting2:10pm.25
    EvanFlipper2:004
    AustinFlipper2:004
    Abhi3D Model2:004
    Team MembersTaskStart TimeDuration
    AllPlanning... Read More

    Stopping Glyph Damage

    Stopping Glyph Damage By 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

    Model:

    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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 14, 2017 By Ethan, Kenna, Abhi, Austin, Janavi, Evan, Charlotte, and Tycho

    Meeting Log October 14, 2017

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Learn to blog
    • UTA post
    • Teach how to blog
    • Strategy post

    Software

    • IMU testing
    • Autonomous

    Build / Modelling

    • Install wheel mounts
    • Test string for lift

    Service / Outreach

    • UTA volunteering
    • ...
    Read More

    Chassis Upgrades

    Chassis Upgrades By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log October 07, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Austin, Tycho, and Charlotte

    Meeting Log October 07, 2017

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • DISD post
    • Fix old post formatting
    • Stockard MS

    Software

    • Begin autonomous

    Build / Modelling

    • Fix robot - was dropped
    • REV hub relign 2
    • Realign square base

    Today's Work Log

    Team MembersTaskStart TimeDuration
    AllPlanning... Read More

    V2 Hexifier and Parts

    V2 Hexifier and Parts By Tycho and Abhi

    Task: Creating the Parts for V2

    Today we continued our work on the second grippers. We talked about this in another post, but the gist is that we iterated through various materials to find something that would securely grip the block, without damaging it. At the beginning, that got rid of most of our options, but we tested various sprays, materials, and pressures to find the right material. The baking pan liner was...

    Read More

    Designing the Grabber

    Designing the Grabber By 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 Further

    Designing the Grabber Further By 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

    Testing Materials

    Testing Materials By Austin, Evan, and and Tycho

    Task: Test Materials for V2 Gripper

    Though our current gripper is working sufficiently, there are some issues we would like to improve in our second version. The mounting system is unstable and easily comes out of alignment because the rev rail keeps bending. Another issue we've encountered is the cervo pulling the grippers so that they begin to cave inwards, releasing any blocks being held at the bottom. By far the biggest problem is...

    Read More

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 30, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Austin, Kenna, Karina, Austin, and Abhi

    Meeting Log September 30, 2017

    Today was based around prepping for our meeting with DISD adminmistrators, getting our robots in working order, and organizing parts for the season.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Fix stats page
    • Strategy

    Software

    • Program lift
    • Program grabber

    Build...

    Read More

    Building Competition 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...

    Read More

    Slide Designs

    Slide Designs By 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 Designs

    Narrowing Down the Designs By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 23, 2017 By Charlotte, Kenna, Tycho, Austin, and Evan

    Meeting Log September 23, 2017

    We started the day by volunteering at LV Stockard MS, another DISD event. During our practice, we planned to work on robot design, blog updates, and code testing.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • About page updates
    • Stockard blog post

    Software

    • Controller mapping
    • ...
    Read More

    Intake Systems

    Intake Systems By 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 Intake

    Further Design of the Intake By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 16, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Karina, Tycho, Austin, Charlotte, and Kenna

    Meeting Log September 16, 2017

    Today we had a major outreach event at Conrad HS in DISD which served around 450 people. We also planned on continuing our building competition, working on strategy, the blog, and the robot teardown.

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Conrad post
    • About...
    Read More

    Intake System Competition

    Intake System Competition By 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

    Meeting Log

    Meeting Log September 09, 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Abhi, Tycho, Austin, Karina, and Kenna

    Meeting Log September 09, 2017

    Today was the first meeting of the Relic Recovery season. Our main focus today was strategy, then organization and getting the robot ready for this year's challenges

    Today's Meet Objectives

    Organization / Documentation / Competition Prep

    • Review Journal
    • Write blog post for Kickoff
    • Fix dates for indexPrintable
    • Blog...
    Read More

    So, You're Writing a Blog Post

    So, You're Writing a Blog Post By Ethan

    Frontmatter

    layout: Do not touch.
    title: Title of your article (you can't use hyphens or colons.) tags: Enter as comma seperated list, case insensitive. Try to use one award and one normal tag

    • Tips - tips and tricks for other teams.
    • Journal - working on the journal, blog, and posts like this one.
    • Outreach - volunteering and special events. Ex. Moonday, NSTA
    • Mechanical - work on the robot, parts, building,...
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    UIL Robotics 2017

    UIL Robotics 2017 By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Charlotte, Austin, Omar, and Janavi

    Task: Compete in the UIL Robotics 2017 State Tournament

    The UIL Robotics State Tournament is a Texas-only invitational based upon a team's performance in Texas qualifiers and regionals. Since we preformed so well in the North Texas Regionals, winning the first place Inspire Award, we qualified for UIL as well as Super Regionals.

    While the tournament is planned with FIRST's help, it differs...

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    South Superregional - Day Three

    South Superregional - Day Three By Jayesh, Tycho, Omar, Max, Darshan, Austin, Charlotte, Lin, Evan, Ethan, and Janavi

    Task: Reminisce on our last three Superregionals matches

    Our final competition day began with the driver team rushing to the pits because of a warning given by the game officials for the first match's teams to reach the pits earlier than expected. We reached in time, in fact about an hour before the match actually began. This mild inconvenience did give us time to formulate a strategy against our opponents, the...

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    South Superregionals Day Two

    South Superregionals Day Two By Max, Tycho, Omar, Jayesh, Darshan, Austin, Charlotte, Lin, Evan, Ethan, and Janavi

    Task: Reminisce on our first six Superregionals matches

    After a decent night's rest, we began Day Two at around 7 AM. A lot of our tools and materials were still on our RV, so we first moved them over to our pit. Our match schedule said that we'd have nine matches beginning with Match #1 (just our luck). After the...interesting Pokemon-themed opening ceremonies, we began the day with our first match.

    ...
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    Super Regionals - The First Day

    Super Regionals - The First Day By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Janavi, Lin, Darshan, Omar, Charlotte, and Austin

    Task: Go to super regionals, set up, and present

    Way too early in the morning, on March 22nd, the Iron Reign team gathered in darkness. It was approximately 65 Farenheit and gusts around 12 mph were blowing in from the South. Under this cover of darkness, a bus pulled into our school. As the trees shivered in the wind and the stray...

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    Editing the Reveal Video

    Editing the Reveal Video By 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...

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    Practice Laps

    Practice Laps By Omar, Jayesh, Tycho, Darshan, and Evan

    Task: Get some organized driving practice in before Supers

    With Superregionals drawing near, we thought it prudent to better organize ourselves in terms of driving teams. We've never felt that we were 100% solid, with people not knowing what to do at certain times in the match. For example, our "Coach" position was almost entirely dedicated to yelling out the match time in 10 second intervals. Today, we talked about...

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    Dallas Women in STEM

    Dallas Women in STEM By Lin, Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Janavi, Omar, and Austin

    Task: Teach LEGO EV3 and 3D modelling to girls

    The Yale club of Dallas organized a STEM event for groups of girls in the city. We took the Mobile Tech XPerience out front for 3D modelling and set up 8 EV3s with laptops and a sumo field inside.

    Programming

    We led 6-8 girls at a time through...

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    Super Regionals Booth Design

    Super Regionals Booth Design By Lin, 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...

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    Judging and Awards

    Judging and Awards By Lin, Jayesh, Omar, Tycho, and Max

    Task: Increase chances to advance in judging

    In our competitions we really can't rely on our robot performing as well as it does in practice and our sparring matches with Imperial. If we're going to increase our chances of advancing from Regionals to Super-Regionals 90% of the time it's going to be from judging. We've always had rocky presentations in my opinion, but this year we're getting our energy...

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    Forester Field House Robotics Competition

    Forester Field House Robotics Competition By Janavi, Omar, Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Evan, Lin, and Darshan

    Task: Compete in the Forester Field House Robotics Competition

    We started off with our presentation pretty early, and everything was going pretty well until our robot had a static issue, and stopped working. We were able to cover it up pretty well without the judges noticing. One of the judges seemed to like our rap, and was interested in seeing the R.V. Our presentation ran a...

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    Wylie East Postmortem

    Wylie East Postmortem By Ethan

    Task: Analyze what we did wrong and right at Wylie

    At Wylie, we did decently. We were mildly surprised that we actually qualified for regionals, but we did, so that's pretty nice.

    Mechanical Problems

    • Static shocks
    • Catapult reliability
    • Program unpredictability
    • Autonomous issues

    Others

    • We need to be more motivated
    • We need to practice driving

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    Arkansas Analysis

    Arkansas Analysis By Lin, Omar, Darshan, Jayesh, Evan, Max, Tycho, Janavi, and Ethan

    Task: Analyze what went wrong and right at Arkansas

    We spent a good hour and a half analyzing what we needed to do differently at upcoming competitions, and how to better prepare in the upcoming school break.

    Notes

    Mechanical:

    • Anti static spray
    • Shorten wires and close wire ends
    • Stabilize USB connections to controllers
    • Cap Ball lift

    Competition:

    • Driver Practice!!
    • Organize sub...
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    Designing Button Pusher

    Designing Button Pusher By 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...

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    Intake System Improvements

    Intake System Improvements By Lin 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...

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    Launching Mechanisms Pt. 2

    Launching Mechanisms Pt. 2 By Ethan

    Task: To improve upon launching mechanism designs

    Catapult

    First 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.


    Flywheel
    So, while we don't have a functional flywheel as of...
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    Launching Mechanisms

    Launching Mechanisms By 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...

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    Programming our New Robot

    Programming our New Robot By Tycho, Lin, Ethan, and Jayesh

    Task: Program our new mecanum wheel driving platform

    Now that our new robot has been built with a mecanum wheel platform, we can start write our drive code and figure out how to make our robot preform three basic motions: forwards and backwards, side-to-side and to rotate. We decided that, in order to get the best understanding of our robot,...

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    MXP Transportation

    MXP Transportation By Darshan, Lin, 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...

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    Turn Up! at Frontiers of Flight with DCOL

    Turn Up! at Frontiers of Flight with DCOL By Janavi, Darshan, Jayesh, Lin, Max, Tycho, Omar, and Austin

    Inspiring 1,000 People to Turn Up with STEM

    Written by Janavi Chadha

    The Dallas City of Learning Organization held a Turn Up event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, where we staffed the Mobile XPerience (MXP) complete with laptops, 3D printers, and LEGO SumoBots. Outside the vehicle, Lin and I taught kids how to create 3D models...

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    Hoverboards and PID

    Hoverboards and PID By Lin, 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.

    Reflections

    We experimented with balancing the robot more evenly on the hoverboard to keep it on a straight path...

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    Day 2 of iMake

    Day 2 of iMake By Lin, Max, Tycho, and Omar

    Task: Continue presenting at iMake

    Day 1 was a huge success, and we carried that over into the Sunday presentations too. There were a lot of common questions we noticed from Saturday, including levels of robotics competitions and the LEGO EV3 system, and we were able to answer these with more clarity after hearing them so often. A few papers were set up on our table outlining the various FIRST competition...

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    Robot On a Hoverboard - Try 1

    Robot On a Hoverboard - Try 1 By Lin, 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...

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    Presentation Runthrough

    Presentation Runthrough By Lin, Max, Tycho, Darshan, Jayesh, Omar, Alisa, Ethan, and Evan

    Task: Go through presentation with Mr. Gilkes

    Our mentor Mr. Gilkes was kind enough to listen to us do a rough presentation run-through at practice. We hadn't looked at the presentation since the competition 2 weeks ago, and it was pretty obvious we were under-practiced. We swiped through the slides before starting to get our bearings.

    Reflections

    We started by making sure everyone knew their cues,...

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    Post Competition Goals

    Post Competition Goals By Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, Tycho, Lin, Ethan, Evan, Dylan, Alisa, and Trace

    Task: Discuss future goals and fixes needed to succeed at regionals and beyond

    In the week following the competition, a Google document was made to discuss sections of building the team can improve on before the regional tournament. There was an outline made where every team member applied to certain sections that they felt needed to be improved upon. The different sections included robot chassis, the presentation, and game strategy. Members voted on item...

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    Nolan Qualifier

    Nolan Qualifier By Ethan, Lin, Jayesh, Darshan, Max, Tycho, Evan, Alisa, Trace, and Dylan

    Task: To review our last tournament

    Beginnings

    Due to the team taking a bus with Imperial Robotics, we arrived to the competition a little late. However, due to an organizer running late, the competition itself was delayed, so we weren't significantly affected. Like last time, we had trouble finding a power outlet that we could set up our battery box near, but it turned out there were a couple nearby. We were once again set up...

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    Competition Post-Mortem

    Competition Post-Mortem By Lin, Jayesh, Darshan, Max, Tycho, Evan, Ethan, Alisa, Trace, and Dylan

    Task: Analyze our successes and failures in the previous competition

    After a rocky start and finish to our first qualifier yesterday we took today to have fun as a team and look at how we could improve for our next chance.

    Reflections

    Most of our -Need To Do's- are related to becoming more confident with the various tasks that we'll be doing in the...

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    I Still Won on the Inside… 2016 FTC Qualifier at Wylie

    I Still Won on the Inside… 2016 FTC Qualifier at Wylie By Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, Tycho, Evan, Ethan, Alisa, Lin, Trace, and Dylan

    Starting out

    Just as in previous years, Iron Reign set off about half an hour late. We REALLY need to get everything not directly on the robot printed, boxed up, and loaded the night before - at the latest. Now that we have 11 members, we needed another person to help carpool, and Jayesh’s dad was thankfully willing to help. (note from omar: we definitely did not...

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    Design and prototype a churro latch mechanism

    Design and prototype a churro latch mechanism By Lin, 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...

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    Intro to Gyros

    Intro to Gyros By Lin, 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...

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