Beginning Competition Preparations

Preparations for Competition next week have begin. Numerous teams of students have been working hard to complete the Competition Robot’s superstructure, which will be carried in as part of the withholding allowance. Several students worked to complete a bill of materials and plan out the packing of the crate from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas. Batteries have been ordered.

Bill of Materials

Bumpers, and practice/development

Today the bumpers for team 254 were completed and are currently en-route.  The embroidery looks great.  The bumper tubes may need to be milled slightly in width, to account for thicker-than-expected fabric.  This would allow the attachment pins to insert into the robot further, if they do not quite reach.  A couple members from team 968 will be spending the weekend at the 254 lab, to install revised components, practice driving, and develop code.

More Autonomous Development

Here is the idea for SVR auto modes:

1) Far Zone – Shoot 3 Balls – Long Kicks
2) Far Zone – Shoot 3 Balls – Bounce kicks in middle zone (more accurate shots, but more chance of ball hitting partner)
3) Middle Zone – Shoot 2 Balls – Start touching tower and go in at angle
4) Close Zone – Shoot 1 Ball – Start touching tower and go in at angle

Number 2 is working as of tonight. It can consistently hit 2/3 shots, but with a bigger field I imagine this will be better.


We won. Woo!

We brought home the entire super structure/arm as part of our withholding allowance. We will be working on the kicker and tying to make it more consistent. There were some issues at SVR where a “Middle” distance kick would just kind of putt the ball forward. You can see that happen in this video at 1:50ish.

We will also be working on refining the arm, and making it hang faster. Yay for continuous improvement.

Possible causes for kicker inconsistencies:

1. Balls being grabbed too hard – When ramming balls into the wall, it is possible that the ball is being grapsed so hard that the kicker has trouble ejecting it from its grasp. After initial auton testing on Thursday, the code was changed to remove the slight roller pause during kicking, which likely was previously releasing the tight grasp on the ball, giving a more repeatable kick. When testing on the practice field, we were gingerly placing the ball into the roller before kicking. This differed greatly from on field interaction, as more often than not the ball was rammed into the wall or bump, forcing it further into the roller and causing it to grab very hard.

2. Who knows? I will put money on cause #1 – TC