As the end of the build season is approaching, we have been contemplating which shooter to use: Linear accelerator or a catapult. Both have their ups and downs, but it seems as we are leaning towards using a catapult. We have also made the shooting mechanism modualr, so if we wanted to change how we played the game, or if we needed to replace/repair a part, we could do it in a timely manner. We just finished off the bumpers today, and working on sewing them together.
Today, we brainstormed ideas for different drive trains and shooting mechanisms. We discussed having the freshmen help design a wench and motor structure in their Intro to Engineering and Design class. They use programs such as CAD to make various designs based on dimensions given from the teacher. Lauren also brought up a great idea of having a wearable controller, so that the driver of the robot can do hand actions, or hand signals to give instructions to the robot (shooting, moving etc) Kyle brought a prototype launcher for the ball, and it worked surprisingly well for only using a few 5 pound continuous spring. I'd say that the only real concern for the launcher was how much force it would output, and how much friction it was having. Given that the prototype was made in a few hours, it did its job fairly well.
Just back from the first UAA session. We had a productive 2 hours of strategy talk and preliminary design brainstorming. Curry had some simulation information and tried to prevent the everything bot. This was seconded by Jeremy and Mike and then pretty much everyone agreed. Roach was still wanting to shoot for the 10 pt goal so we compromised on getting rid of catching (much to Charley's dismay).
So in summary: 25 pt auto, grabber to hold the ball, throw over bar and shoot into high or low goal. Be fast and maneuverable with a 4 wheel tank drive.
There was still some concern that this is not the best strategy given our capabilities. We think more simulation is needed to look at what happens if bots are playing defense.
In the situation where bots are playing defense scores will not be as high.
Playing the role of the passer and handing off to other robots may be the better option.
Upon seeing the kickoff video for the 2014 season, everyone got into groups to discuss what kind of robot we wanted, and what it could accomplish. We wanted to know what roles our robot could potentially do. The game of 2014 is called Aerial Assist, and is played by two competing Alliances of three robots each. The field is straddled by a truss suspended 5 feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in the goals as possible during a 2 minute 30 second match.
We also noticed that their are more award opportunities this year than last, such as the FIRST 3D Printed Award. We believe that teams will be more encouraged to print some of their own parts, which brings more diversity to the game.
Some of the main ideas that we outlined is for our robot to be able to:
Have a way to score
- Have a robot capable of multiple roles