This Week in FRC - Jan 31, 2023
We’re three weeks into the build season, and Quarry Lane’s robotics team 7419 Tech Support is rapidly making progress for this season of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Presented by Haas, the 2023 game “Charged Up” challenges us to construct a robot that can intake cubes and cones, place them into a grid, and balance on a seesaw-like structure all within a 3 minute period. For this 2023 build season, our team is working on two different robots: 7419 and The EveryBot. Here are a few updates for this week!
One of the major components for the 2023 Charged Up challenge is our cube intake, which is powered by two motors. Currently, this prototype is made specifically for cubes and there are plans in the works to rebuild this prototype with more optimal dimensions.
Our vacuum prototype works for both cube and cones and utilizes a pneumatics-powered solenoid along with suction cups. The suction cups will be able release on command and hold cubes and cones in the air for as long as necessary.
Our gripper prototype consists of 2 versions: static and claw. The static prototype has motorized wheels to intake both cubes and cones, with outer wheels for cubes and inner wheels for cones. On the other hand, the claw prototype has static wheels with arms that open to grasp both cubes and cones. While both have been made and tested, we are currently leaning towards the static version.
Additionally, our arm mechanism is currently complete and functional and has been programmed to be controlled with a joystick. We have fabricated two pairs of arms, an upper and a lower arm, out of aluminum; mounts for the arm are made out of wood. Our design for the arm is currently being updated to be made on the CNC router.
Our software team has integrated vision-based odometry, enabling us to track the location of our robot on the field and make constant corrections using the fixed locations of fiducial targets on the field as reference points.
We have also been working on path planning, where we can define paths for our robot to follow during the autonomous period of the match. We can also generate on-the-fly paths to automate actions such as scoring and intaking game pieces.
This year’s game features a seesaw-like structure that the robot has to balance on, so we’ve utilized an advanced gyroscope to track the robot’s rotation and angle relative to the ground. We can continuously use the gyroscope to tell us which way the robot has tipped over and adjust accordingly until we are fully balanced.
Lastly, we programmed a controller’s buttons to precisely raise the robot’s arms to a specified angle, while accounting for external factors such as gravity and friction. Automatically positioning the arm through software allows more efficiency and accuracy as compared to having a driver manually adjust the arm.
We have been working to win the FRC Impact Award, an award given to teams that distinguish themselves within their community by promoting outreach. To be eligible to win the award, teams must submit 13 summary questions, 1 essay, and a video. Currently, we have finished the summary questions and have mapped out rough drafts for the essay and video. We have also been working on new T-shirts and hoodies for the new season, so keep an eye out for that!
As part of our team's outreach efforts, members of the Village of Dreams club have been visiting Shepherd's Gate, a local charity, every Tuesday after school to teach STEM principles to underprivileged girls and women. To teach these principles, we have been using a course we made called Project STEAMBOT that we released on Udemy. Several members have also been dedicated to teaching this course to underserved children in India.
We also have been continuing to mentor our school’s FTC and FLL teams after school, assisting them with the engineering process and offering any guidance needed.
The EveryBot is made by Team 118 The Robonauts and is an affordable robot-building-kit that is intended to play the FIRST Robotics Competition challenge. This year, we have let newer members work on the EveryBot to familiarize themselves with the competition and develop their skills in robotics. The aim of the EveryBot is to have a fully functioning robot made with budget materials and simpler mechanisms as part of the Robonauts effort to make the FIRST Robotics competition more affordable and achievable by rookie teams-typically, the FRC budget is over $15,000!
After a tumultuous period of continuously building and dismantling the EveryBot chassis, we have completed the drivetrain which features dimensions of 22” x 28” and Venom motors. The EveryBot is built to be compact:there are 6 wheels with the center wheels set ⅛” below the other wheels to allow for minimal friction during turns.
We have been hard at work for the past few weeks and we will keep you updated with our progress throughout the build season!