First Bots of Independence attended two competitions this year, one in our local area of Kansas City and another in the great city of Chicago. Although both competitions were well fought, and our team was chosen to be on one of the top eight alliances in both competitions (the #1 seated alliance in KC and the #6 seated alliance in Chicago), we unfortunately did not make it to Worlds this year. Yet even though we were unable to bring home a blue banner for 2017, we worked hard and we were able to make great improvements in not only our robot, but team as well. This year, we learned how to work together more effectively in order to compete tasks in a more timely fashion and thus allowed us to be able to accomplish more than ever before.
Currently, we are preparing to head out to the FRC Missouri State Competition. The top 24 team are invited to go and since we ranked 27th out of all robotics teams in the state of Missouri, we were offered to attend due to a few teams declining the offer allowing us to move up. In our last competition, the claw on our robot, the ‘arms’ of the robot we used to pick up gears from the floor and hold gears in place, broke down, so we are currently working on trying to repair this crucial part of our robot before the state competition.
No matter the outcome of our prior competitions or our upcoming one, this year has made our team stronger and the skills we have learned this year will remain with us in seasons to follow. With every win and lose, we learn more about robots and what works and what doesn’t. We also learn more about ourselves and the best way to work together so that as we can become a more effective team.
During this week as the build season was coming to a close, PR was busy working on getting some cool videos of our robot for our weekly video and editing it down so it can be published. Work on scholarships continued as PR finished up putting state-specific scholarships on the list. Work on the Dean’s List Essays were finished and submitted. Work on this website continued as well as work on pit posters. A few members of the PR team began work on creating posters for the Midwestern Regional Poster Competition. Finally one of the last things we did this week was start choosing names for our practice and competition robot.
Of course, starting the last full week of build season, the B/D team was busy finished everything they could on the competition robot and field elements so that the robots could be tested. Several small adjustments were made this week in order to get everything to work perfectly such as moving the brush down half an inch and moving the plate for the electronics was moved up one inch. Organization and cleaning continued as always in order to prevent everything from getting out of hand. Bumpers were added to practice bot and support pieces for the front plate. Everyone worked hard to get everything assembled and added to the competition and the practice bots and get everything working properly.
Control worked hard this week in order to get the robot to have all the necessary instructions in order to work properly, such as getting the gyro turn to correct and getting it to line up with the gear peg. Work on getting the cameras on the robot to be able to recognize shape and color continued as well as the Bluetooth servers. As the week progressed more work was done to the vision of the robot and having it be able to recognize different things as well as creating the ability to toggle between two cameras as well as getting the robot to be able to drive straight and the gyros to turn right. Work was also done to get everything to work in harmony with each other.
Beginning this week, PR started off by taking several pictures for the Chairman’s Award and the badges that were designed this week. Since essays were due on Wednesday of this week, most of the work for the first couple of days was for the essays to get them ready to submit. After completing and submitting the essays, work continued to the weekly videos as well as the apparel PowerPoint. Brainstorming began for the Chairman’s video and some pictures and video was taken for that purpose. Work started on looking though scholarships for seniors and creating a document and spreadsheet in order to organize all of the scholarships to make it easier for our seniors to find and apply for those scholarships.
Build and Design:
Continuing from the previous week, B/D continued to get everything built and attached to the competition robot, and more organization in the tool room (aka Dungeon). The frame work for the competition robot was also completed this week in addition to the battery bracket. As the week progressed, the gear hopper, the front piece, the claw for getting gears from the floor, and the climber cactus were all installed on the competition bot and all were tested. Most were successful, but the cactus broke when B/D tried to remove the rope from it, so that had to be replaced with something stronger. By the end of the week B/D finished building and assembling the gear chute, and it was finally able to be attached to the competition robot. The frame was made ready for the bumpers.
Starting off the week Control attempted to get some practice driving with the robot, but strange things kept happening with communication. While a few people from Control attempted to figure this out, others continued to work with the robot and tested out the gyroscopes, and getting the robot to register gear switch and interface. After testing the robot, Control found that there was still more work that needed to be done with the raspberry pis and LEDs. Meanwhile work on the scouting app continued to allow us to scout out other teams more effectively. By the end of the week Control was able to start on the 2017 final code and get the gear sensors working.
To begin the fourth of week of build season, PR finally began polishing the essays for the awards and adding pictures to the essays. More work was put into the weekly video as footage was being taken and edited. PR also began work on looking through all of our photos to find the best ones for the yearbooks for all three of our schools. PR also finished price checking all of our apparel items and making sure we had pictures for everything as well as making sure everything was accurate. By the end of the week Coach Randolph had nearly all of the arrangements for the trip ready, we completed the Team T-shirt and have a solid idea for what it will look like, finished up the weekly video, and got close to finishing the essays for awards.
Build and Design:
To start off the week, B/D redesigned the chute for the gear pick up and made it out of more reliable materials and attached it to the practice bot. After many test runs found that the previously angle needed to be straight, so support pieces were added to help keep it straight and updated the CAD to the new model. Together everyone in the B/D team came together and made a list of every part needed to build and complete the actual competition robot. Continuing through the week, much work was done on properly mounting everything to the robot in order to prevent things from potentially coming loose and falling off during a match, as well as beginning to build the official versions of everything on the practice bot to be placed on the competition bot.
This week Control continued to work on getting all the computers to work together smoothly. Control also worked to get the infrared sensor to detect plexiglass in front of the robot so it can stop before running into it, and tried to get the robot to drive straight whereas before it wobbled back and forth. Continued work was done to the scouting app and a guide was created to make it easier to recreate in future years. Through the week Control also worked on hooking up ultrasonic sensors to the robot allowing it to be able to see with sound as well as with the infrared sensor. Another attempted project was to create a processor to allow the robot to be able to detect the gear peg, but it required too much data to run effectively.