Since HPR, we’ve been hard at work upgrading Marinus for our next competition: Monterey Bay Regional. On the mechanical side of things, we’ve redesigned our static and telescoping arm hooks to make it easier to latch onto the rungs in the hangar, aiding in our goal to have a fast, working traversal climb for MBR. For our cargo mechanism, we’ve added a small bump to better retain cargo in our claw as it moves around. There’s also been several minor mechanical fixes such as changing the drivetrain chain to 25H, adding sponsor plates, and improving camera mounts, but in general, it’s been fairly lax for the mechanical team. Our programmers have massively improved the code to take advantage of our robot’s full capabilities. For starters, we can now shoot from the back of our robot, reducing our cycle times and achieving a two-ball autonomous routine. Additionally, we’ve improved our limelight ball-tracking and shooting. Now, Marinus will automatically turn to approach cargo of the appropriate colour, and limelight will calculate distance from the hub to determine the appropriate shooting angle and speed. We’ve also automated our climb to the high rung. We can now climb to the high rung in about 20 seconds, and we’re aiming for a sub-35 second traversal climb at [...]
After 2 years without attending any competitions, Team Iron Claw is finally back for a proper FRC build season! On Saturday, January 8th, we gathered in the robotics classroom—with masks of course—to watch the FRC Kickoff Twitch Stream, expressing amusement at the blatant Ford advertising and surprise at the fact that human players can score during auto by throwing game pieces into the goal. The 2020 FRC game, Rapid React, consists of two main components: depositing cargo (oversized tennis balls) into the high or low “hub” and climbing the rungs in the hangar (similar to a set of monkey bars). And as mentioned, human players can score by throwing cargo into the hub during the autonomous period. Compared to 2019 and 2020, this year’s game is significantly simpler, allowing us to hopefully spend more time refining mechanisms and testing our programs. Over the next few days, we split into smaller groups to discuss game strategy and potential robot designs before reconvening and deciding on the general direction we want to take: prioritizing consistency and reliability over complexity. On Friday, we once again split into smaller teams to begin prototyping the designs we agreed on, work on the electrical board, and program basic drive code. We are a little behind schedule, but by next Friday, all designs should be [...]
It's 2021, and all of us are finally back in person! For the past several weeks, we've mostly been doing some organization, but we also hosted a weekend workshop for students to gain some technical experience. Outside and in the metal and wood shop, students learned about the use of power tools such as the jigsaw, drill, sawzall, circular saw, and the miter saw. After power tool demonstrations from our leads, we got to try them out for ourselves. We cut pieces of wood using the circular saw and drove wood screws into them to connect the pieces. We also learned to use the drill press and rivet gun. Inside the classroom, there were four stations: electrical basics, electrical components, robot demonstration, and CAD. At the first station, students learned to crimp wires and solder, and at the next, we learned about the various electrical components onboard the robot. Right after, we learned more about the functions of remote control software and drove around a robot. Finally, we used Onshape to create small designs and cutting them out using the laser cutter. With basic training finished, we'll be continuing with advanced training, where students will learn to specialize in a specific area of robotics. We're looking forward to later activities!
The end of the year is quickly approaching, and despite the circumstances, we were still able to do some robotics activities. Earlier this semester, we wrapped up our first Hackathon, where we gave small groups free rein over what they wanted to make. Currently, we're working on our second Hackathon, which involves building a robot to play a game where it earns points by moving and stacking blocks in a designated area. Now that many of us have returned to school, coordination have gotten much easier, and we're finally able to work on our projects as a group. Hopefully, we're able to finish assembling and programming the robots and play the actual game towards the end of this month. In other news, going back in person means that we've been able to resume some of our fundraising activities. On May 8, a group of students went cold calling, and on May 15, there will be another round with a separate group of team members. Student elections are also being held on May 10, and although we're a bit sad to see our treasured seniors go, many returning members are running for leadership positions.
The robotics team is holding a fundraiser at the Blossom Hill Chipotle! Support the team by going to 640 Blossom Hill Rd in Los Gatos on Monday, December 7th between 5:00pm and 9:00pm. When you order, show them the flyer or tell them you are supporting the team, and 33% of the proceeds will go to our team. Also, you can order online and using the promo code BMHKTMX.
Since last week, prototyping has been finalized along with the CAD of our superstructures. We are now moving onto finalizing as much of the entire robot CAD as we can. We had issues involving the general packaging of all of our components, but a few tweaks to some positioning has solved these conflicts. Since the CAD process is pretty much complete, our CAD team has continued making part drawings for our manual machinists to make using either a mill or a lathe. To maximize our efficiency and hone in on the most crucial parts to machine, we created a parts-to-machine list that sorts all of our manual parts by subsystem. We also kept to our organization system, ensuring no duplicate or lost parts. On top of our leaps in machining progress, we are excited to begin some of our assembly! While we have not finished the parts on our parts-to-machine list, we have given as much as we could to our assembly team in hopes that we will be able to test mechanisms separate from the entire robot. Our programmers have done a lot of work this week as well. We have tested our shooter and worked on adjusting motors and speeds. In regards to autonomous, we have compiled a list of tasks we hope to do during [...]
Week three was centered around prototyping, much like week two. To begin, we had two main indexing prototypes. One was shaped like a C, dubbed the reverse scorpion. Balls travel along a belt before being brought to a shooter. In the photo, our single flywheel shooter is pictured. The second indexing design was a rotating magazine of game pieces. Students were inspired by videos from other teams, one of which this prototype was directly inspired by. A rotating base brings balls to a spinning wheel in order to get the balls to eject into the shooter. By the end of the week, our DVC (Design Voting Council) decided on furthering the rotating indexing mechanism rather than the C indexer. The reasoning behind this was the issue with height. Since we had already decided on a shorter robot, the C indexer posed a disadvantage in regards to height, even though both designs were comparable in their vertical footprints. Students thought that the rotating indexer could be more easily shortened, while shortening the C indexer would affect the compression of the balls. The C indexer prototype was also shown to struggle with manipulating five balls, while the rotating indexer did not have the same issue. The laser cutter is still at work! Since we are in [...]
This week, we continued with prototyping by splitting into three main groups: indexing, shooter, and intake. For indexing, or ball manipulation inside the robot, we decided to CAD and prototype the c-index as well as a spiraling prototype. Furthermore, the shooter group prototyped a single-flywheel shooter, and they are making great progress on improving the precision and accuracy of it. They have started calculating the optimal angle and velocity at which to shoot the ball in regards to the outer port. The shooter group will also be prototyping a double flywheel shooter to see how it compares to the single flywheel. The intake group was also hard at work exploring different variations of a rolly grabber. Although we haven’t finished all the prototypes and finalized our design, we made some excellent progress this week and we hope to decide on a design next week. In addition, we finished assembling the chassis of our robot, the foundation for all of our mechanisms. We decided on a smaller size robot this year, being 26”by 30”, compared to last years’ 30” by 30” chassis. We believe that this smaller design will be beneficial during matches due to the fact that we can fit under the Control Panel. We decided to make a shorter, smaller robot because we [...]
Since we secured a finalist position at the Silicon Valley Regional, our team qualified for the World Championships in Houston, Texas, which took place from April 17th to April 20th. In the weeks leading up to the championship, we held a team-wide fundraising effort to meet the high cost of bringing 21 students and a robot across the country. We ended qualifications with a 5-5-0 record. Overall, we were very satisfied with our experience at the Houston Championship; it was a great opportunity to learn from and compete alongside the best teams in FRC. After Houston, we discussed the Championship as a class and listed some valuable lessons to apply in future years. After returning from Houston, our team held student leadership elections in order to choose our mechanical director (Brady Ankenbrandt), programming director (Holden Adamec), operations director (Daniel Stulski), and team captains (Cathy Wang and Charles Wang). After presentations from each candidate, a classwide election was held, and the votes were tallied up. Once the new captains and directors were confirmed, they met with the previous year’s captains and directors to decide on subteam leads. As the school year came to a close, we organized a list of potential summer projects to work on during the break. With the help of some alumni, we were able to get [...]