This week we accomplished quite a lot! We fixed the intake system and it is now fully functioning with only minor dead-zones and jamming that we are going to fix with aluminum strapping guides. One of our team members made and attached an electronics plate on Tuesday and then made and attached the simple color wheel manipulation mechanism on top of the robot on Wednesday. The building team then continued to build a battery shelf. Our machine parts came in on Wednesday and turned out perfectly! With some sanding and drilling they were put unto the bot. The electronics were laid out, wired temporarily until wire connectors are delivered and received on Monday and then permanently attached and connected. The electronics team was able to get basic code to run all the mechanisms and then shooter assembly began on Friday and completely finished on Saturday. Winding down to the end of the week, the shooter was mounted on the robot and tested. It is extremely powerful and it is expected to perform well once all the bugs are worked out. Bumper backings were measured, cut, and the front and back of the robot frame was resized so a guard rail is able to be ran on the sides, keeping the wheels from being completely exposed. The bot was then weighed and is 115 pounds out of the 125 pound weight limit. A lot of work had been done on the field element as well, and our partial field is almost complete. Decisions were finally made on shooting on the back of the robot instead of the front, and we will NOT be having a turret as we realize it will not be feasible, and limelight is still to be determined. Good Luck with us and everyone else as we continue into next week!
The majority of the first half of the week was solving problems. There have been lots of issues figuring out how to drive the climbing mechanism. We are currently using chain to drive, but due to the shape of the mechanism, slack builds up once the climber is halfway extended until the chain is so loose that it just skips on the sprocket instead of doing any work. We also ran out of vital parts that had been ordered that should be here by the end of the week. On Thursday, we managed to build a solution to slack in our climbing mechanism. The building crew also mounted our full intake to the robot and are working on welding belts to use in the intake, though there were several significant issues that may or may not be problematic in the long run. Friday, progress was made on the second and third stages of the intake, attaching motors and welding belts. Progress is also definitely being made on the climber and is coming along, but we are still working on getting hooks and the crossbeam in place. By Saturday, a lot of catching up was done and the intake was completely finished being assembled. It was tested, though it did not work the first time, parts were 3D printed that should fix all of our problems. Our climber only needs hooks, which we should be able to retrieve off of Amazon, but in the mean time, our color-wheel manipulator has been cut and painted and should be ready to put on the bot by next week along with possibly laying out a plexiglass case on the "top shelf" of the robot to house all the electronics and the battery. A lot of small changes had been made
From starting to prototype the intake system to finishing the Peanut Bot, we have been able to accomplish so much and are starting to get farther ahead of where we usually are in development, but that does not stop us from continuing to push ourselves continuously when it comes to getting even more done whether on the building aspect, programming, or whatever needs to get done! Thursday, the team was able to add some finishing touches to our intake prototype, then cut pieces and began painting them, as seen below. We continued assembly of the intake, and also made some design decisions on the shooter and the hopper. Coming to a close of the week, we did a test with our shooter prototype after adding foam backing and a 5 pound flywheel, which shot a good 35 feet! In other news, Peanut Bot , Test Bot, and the 2019 competition bot have all been reprogrammed to use for demonstration purposes. Great things heading into next week!
Starting off in the beginning of the week, we hooked up our shooting prototype to a bag motor to test if it would shoot the ball. We were able to launch it about 15 feet which is a good start, but that still leaves 15 to go. We were then able to test the shooting mechanism with a Neo motor, which worked wonderful! When it comes to our chassis, we were able to get it fully painted black (as pictured below) and assembled the four quarters of the drivetrain and run it at full speed! Getting into the middle of the week, Wednesday we spent most of the day finding and ordering certain parts that we had trouble finding for previous orders. Work was then done on our peanut bot trying to drive the front wheels with a chain rather than belts. This is a bot being built as a side project for when we have local events here in Buchanan! Thursday, more work was done on button and shirt designs, and we have our seasons bot almost completely assembled! Finishing off, we hooked up the Demo Board to the robot, then tested the drivetrain against a "boundary" and inch tall, and it drove over perfectly! There was much progress that was made, but there is still a long way to go!
Starting off with the beginning of the week, the team got together and configured design ideas and came up with this year's design of the robot. We took into consideration the different types of strategies we may possibly be able to use to help us aim for the win! With step one checked off the list, that leads us into being able to start ordering parts as we think about what we need to buy according to what our bot should accomplish for the 2020 Infinite Recharge season. On Wednesday, members of the team sat around and thought of gifts we could hand out to other teams! Closing in on the second half of the week, we continued to order parts, the build team built the drivetrain, started on the chassis, and started prototyping the lift. Great start to the beginning of the season!
Recognition in all that we do. It’s not just building robots.
At each event, two teams are selected for the Pit Safety award which recognizes through the FIRST Safety Advisors an exemplary safety program. The safety team must go through an interview process and have the Safety advisors visit their pit. There are 40 teams at an event. Only two teams are chosen for this honor. I am very proud to announce that our safety teams beginning with Autumne in 2017, Erin in 2018 and now Erin and Serena in 2019 have received the Pit Safety award at not just our local event, but BOTH events for each of the last three years. Congratulations ladies, and thank you for keeping the team safe!
It was a rough starting to our first competition this season. We won our first match. Lost our second. We won our third and lost the fourth. We won the fifth, but lost the sixth. The team was getting frustrated. It was obvious we had a strong bot. We were leading with total cargo scoring, but we just were not getting enough ranking points to stay on top. Then, everything changed. We won match seven, then eight, then nine! We continued to win every match we played all the way through to match 12. By the time qualification rounds were complete, MegaHurtz had earned the ninth ranking position out of 40 teams and were placed as the captain of the number seven alliance going into the quarter finals.
Unfortunately, the good news ends there. We were eliminated in the second round of the quarter finals. While we were toe to toe with scoring the the match, none of the bots on our alliance could climb the third hab level. Without that end game boost in points, we simply could not win the match and the better alliance prevailed.
Even with losing, we proved we have a superior bot in many ways. We did not have a single mechanical breakdown during the entire competition. The team did an excellent job working together and we earned a captain's position during alliance selection. We had one of the highest cargo scoring bots during qualification. We have a lot to be proud of.
A sneak peak at our 2019 Robot
WEEK 4 -
Most of the country was hit hard with snow this week, and we lost precious time to snow days. However, we made the best of it and have still gotten a lot done.This week we focused on our lift and gripper mechanisms. Our lift is coming along well and is able to go up and down with a great deal of weight on it. However, we are having issues with binding, where the lift gets stuck coming back down. We have redesigned our cargo gripper and it works significantly better than our prototype. We have started work on an articulating arm that will give our robot greater maneuverability with picking up and placing game pieces. Our robot is starting to take shape, but there is a long way to go.
WEEK 5 -
Our robot is almost complete! After several prototypes, our robot's articulating arm is now fully functional and attached to the robot. We have also added our cargo gripper and a hatch manipulator onto the arm. In a few days, the robot was wired up and made fully controllable. The only thing left to do is to add sensors and cameras. We have done lots of driving, including driver tryouts.
WEEK 6 -
It is now time to put our robot in a giant plastic bag (for the last year ever until bagging is no longer a rule) and focus on other things. This week, we added two cameras and sensors, including limit switches and a gyroscope, to our robot. We were invited to join several other teams at Team 2959 CW Tech Robotarians' workshop for a day of practice on their annually built field. This was an amazing opportunity and we would like to thank them again for inviting us. We were able to work out bugs in our design and code that would have caused issues at our first competition. Now we must focus on other things, like constructing our new pit setup.This has been a great build season, and we are all excited for our first competition in St. Joe on March 7-9.
The Chassis is built. The drivetrain installed. We have a drivable robot and are well on our way with the ball gripper system. We have also redesigned the lift (elevator) system we used for last year's bot. The gripper/ball intake will mount to that so we can reach up the nearly 7' to the highest hatch.
MegaHurtz Team Blog