2017 Season kicked off on Saturday, January 7th. The team went to WCTC to meet up with other teams for the FIRST game kick-off event.
This year’s challenge Steamworks is a steampunk themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by picking up and placing a 13″ gear, shooting fuel (whiffle balls) into a boiler, and climbing a rope to board the airship. Keeping with the steampunk theme of the game, the field had an airship that was to be board by the alliance. The full game explanation and animation can be found at here.
Week 1: Strategy and Design
During week 1, we had to develop goals and needs for our robot. We decided that we should develop a robot capable of getting gears from the gear slot, pick up fuel from the field, place gears on the peg, shoot fuel into the boiler and climb the rope. We started building out the playing field items that will be needed to test and practice with the robot. The CAD (computer-aided design) team started designing the the robot components before we start building the robot. The programming team loaded new software and test code that will be used during the season.
Week 2 – Design and Prototype
Design work continued, the team started to prototype different ideas for ball collection and chassis design. Different ideas were considered for wheels to use. The control team is experimenting with different auto-align codes using the 2015 practice chassis.
Week 3- CAD and Fabrication
Design was continued this week, however physical building took place in the form of creating supports and cross members. Milling and cutting of the these parts started this week. In addition to this, the Computer Aided Design team continued working with the climbing and a high shooting mechanisms while the programming team worked on code for the tank drive and the ball sucker. The team also worked on gearbox selection and worked out the math concerning the strategy. We sent some of our CAD files to our sponsors to be laser cut. The programming team attached our woodbox prototype to last years practice chassis and developed code for ball pick up and shooting.
Week 4 – Fabrication and assembly
This week we received our side panels and other parts from GenMet. We started to bore holes to fit for bearings and tap screw holes. Our chassis is now starting to come together. Many parts are being assembled. The bot is starting to take shape. Control team is still practicing with the previous bot and starting to write code to deploy to this bot.
Week 5 – Control Assembly and Testing
This week the control team was able to install electrical components such as motor controllers, roborio, power distribution panel and radio. The robot came to life this week. We were able to connect the robot to the driver station on the laptop drive it around the shop. This was a very exciting time! The robot is alive!
Week 6 – Last week! Testing and Tuning
This is our last week to work on our competition bot. We are finishing up the wiring and programming of our bot. We were able to to take our bot to the Mini Regional in Sussex, WI. We were only able to run 2 matches there. Bad news was that we had mechanical failure both matches. We had some weak points with our key stock and sprockets. Good news is that we were able to fix that back at the shop and did not figure this out at an actual competition.
First time going over defense!
Bag Day! – 2/23/17 11:59 pm
The final day to work on our robot. After this we will put it in a bag until our Wisconsin Regional Competition.