Final Recap 2021 Season

We are excited to announce that we have released our robot reveal video! With the robot reveal video, we wanted to provide one final recap to cover everything we accomplished. If you are interested in our intermediate recaps, you can find them under our blog as Day 1 Recap, Day 2 Recap, and Day 3 Recap.

Day 1

We started our event like most FIRST teams do, watching the live stream. After an exciting reveal, our onsite build team presented everything that was less than ideal with last year's robot, taking us through each item on the list. We then launched into a team-wide brainstorm in which we discussed what items on the issues list we needed to address, which items we wanted to address, and which items we decided would have to take a back seat to everything else.

To aid in this discussion we created the following wish list of items we wanted our robot to be able to do throughout the event:

Robot Capabilities Wish List:

  • Able to drive

  • Pick up power cells

    • Holding 3 power cells

  • Autonomous

    • Odometry based pathfinding if gyroscope is available

    • Spline following autonomous

  • High goal shooter

    • If time mess around with a rack and pinion

    • Use field lines as reference for shooter alignment

    • Flywheels as outtake

  • Repair & Modify intake

    • Moving support bar out by roller

    • Roller needs to be attached more securely

  • Transport system between intake and outtake

    • Sloping bottom to guide balls into the middle

    • Hood or cover that keeps the balls from jumping out of the robot

After discussing all the improvements that we would like to make, we decided that the highest priority was to redesign our outtake mechanism to allow us to shoot for the high goal. As a consequence, we also needed to redesign the transport mechanism that transitions the power cells from the intake to the outtake.

After evaluating our robot, we didn't change everything! Our drivetrain from last year gave us a great base. We chose to improve the intake by solidifying the roller mechanism and repairing the pneumatic system for our color wheel mechanism.

This brainstorming session took almost the entire first day. However, it produced clear cut goals for each of our two build sites, as well as our virtual programming and one-man CAD team.

Day 1/2

When we came in the next morning, we were ready to start work on cleaning up last year's robot as well as on our new high goal shooter. Our Robodogs site team worked closely with our CAD team member, Kavin, to get the correct dimensions for the shooter mechanism so that it would be easily integrated into the existing space. Over the course of Sunday, they were able to fully manufacture and assemble the shooter mechanism, leaving the only work for Monday morning to be installing the mounting hardware.

While the Robodogs team was working hard, our eGarage team was also plugging away, cleaning up the robot’s wiring, clearing out the old mechanisms that were on the robot, and making the necessary improvements to secure the existing intake. They did all of this while also being in almost a day-long call with Kavin and the Robodogs, helping to provide dimensions and other needed robot information to aid in the design and fabrication of the shooter mechanism.

On the virtual side of things, our programming team split into two groups. One worked on the code for the drivetrain as well as started on the code for the shooter mechanism, while the other worked on writing, editing, and filming a Git Tutorial.

Sunday was incredibly productive and exciting, at the end of the day each subteam presented their progress and gave some insight into the importance of what they did. We highly recommend you check out our Mid-point Recap Video to check out that presentation!

Day 2/3

Monday started off with our Robodogs site team putting the finishing touches on the mounting hardware, while the programming team had some time with the robot to test some of the code they had written. Repairing the pneumatics for the control panel mechanism took a little longer than we had anticipated. Luckily, in the meantime, our programming team was able to work on coding some autonomous paths as the build team worked on the pneumatics.

Then the people working at the Robodogs site brought the shooter over to the eGarage and worked with the team there to get the shooter mounted. Once it was mounted, the programming team started on the basics of the shooter code. Kavin worked with the in-person build team to get a design for the ravine/hopper. The ravine used gravity to catch the balls coming from the shooter and filter them down to be fed into the shooter.

Day 3

Our final day kicked off with a brief all-team meeting. After quickly discussing our goals, we worked hard to get everything accomplished before the 72 hours ended. The in-person build team worked on getting the ravine attached to the robot, as well as making final adjustments to the shooter shaft and fixing a pneumatic leak. The programming team waited for the build team to get the robot ready and then began testing the shooter code. We created a cardboard target for this practice testing. Since all the design decisions were complete, Kavin worked on cleaning up the CAD model and adding mounts for components to make sure the model matched the physical robot. Kavin also added our own custom bumpers to the model.

Everyone worked hard in the final stretch, and we were able to get our robot ready for the final day recap and reveal presentation. Over the course of Ri3D, we produced a variety of content that we hope is helpful to teams. All of the content can be found on our website and social media channels.

Overall, we had a great time and a very successful Ri3D event!