By |2023-05-02T19:09:14-07:00May 1st, 2023|

The end of the 2023 season marks a new era of outstanding potential for team Iron Claw Robotics. Throughout the season, each competition we competed in has helped us pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of our robot, allowing us to improve our robot more and more in preparation for the World Championships. Our hard work paid off as our team celebrated our victory in the Archimedes Division, setting the bar at unprecedented heights. Our first competition, Hueneme Port Regional, was a great way for our team to test our robot early on in the season and enabled us to learn from the innovative designs of other teams. We were able to test and improve our autonomous routines, as well as score a cone in the high node by extending the elevator and the 4-bar arm. One of our most memorable matches in this competition was Quals 75, when our team got a world record score with team 1678, Citrus Circuits, and team 498, The Cobra Commanders. On the second day of competition, we made it to the playoffs, ending in 5th place, and picked team 687, the Nerd Herds, and team 2429, La Cañada Engineering Club, to be in our alliance. Although we lost in match 7 of the playoffs, we learned how we could improve the design [...]

By |2023-04-26T14:26:57-07:00April 24th, 2023|

Last week, our team competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship in Houston from Wednesday April 19 to Saturday April 22. In the George R. Brown Convention Center Out of the over 3250 teams in the world who participate in FRC, only 620 qualify for Houston, where the best of the best compete to see who will become world champions of FIRST. Teams compete in 8 divisions of about 77 teams. Our team was in the Archimedes Division, which included several of the best teams in the world, including defending world champions 254 and 1619, several Hall of Fame teams, and other high-ranking teams such as 2056, 6036, 111, 1577, and 2468. Our robot in the pits after unloading Before competing with the best teams in the world, our team made sure that our robot (“Vertigo”) was at its peak condition. Prior to the competition, we had been testing and perfecting several autonomous routines for our matches, mainly three-piece auto and over-the-charge-station auto engage. On the mechanical side of things, the electrical team hot glued all the electrical connections to make sure no disconnections would happen mid-match, and we had also added LEDs to our robot for better communication with our team members and human player during teleop routines. Furthermore, our drive team had also practiced relentlessly before [...]

By |2023-04-17T22:23:07-07:00April 17th, 2023|

With the World Championship just a few days away, our team is busy making a few last minute changes that will hopefully further boost our robot’s performance at Houston.  After the Silicon Valley Regional, extra spares will be required for Houston, and that has been a focus for our mechanical team for much of the week. They’ve also worked on re-tensioning the elevator and cleaning out our swerve drivetrain as part of a maintenance routine on our robot. Additionally, to prevent any connection issues during matches, the electrical subteam has hot-glued the robot’s connectors in the electrical board to ensure that loose wires won’t be a problem. The most noticeable change to our robot is the new LEDs running down on either side of the elevator, which are useful for many things during a match, such as indicating the alliance color and signaling to our teammates about getting a cone or cube based on the color. Our programming subteam is hard at work fine-tuning the elevator and intake to make our scoring more reliable and efficient. Most of their efforts have been on improving our autonomous routine during autonomous mode during our matches. They’vebeen trying different auto routines, such as three-piece auto and acquiring a piece by going over the charge station. Since we will be facing the top [...]

By |2023-04-10T23:58:50-07:00April 10th, 2023|

This past week, on Friday and Saturday, our team competed in the Silicon Valley Regional in San Jose. We were able to load in one day early and due to this, we were able to completely dedicate the practice day to playing as many practice matches as we could. During our practice matches we tested out new autonomous routines that were developed and evaluated the limits of the robot.  Silicon Valley Regional was a great competition for our team to demonstrate the new changes made to our robot. At the San Francisco Regional, we would usually deposit a single game piece onto the grid and balance on the charge station during autonomous. However, we tested out the new autonomous routines, which consisted of both two-piece and three-piece routines at this competition. The three-piece routine was able to run when the robot started in a certain position. We were able to score game pieces quicker and more accurately, and we had the same game piece configuration as we did in the San Francisco Regional. Ultimately, our team ended up in 9th place after the qualification matches. During alliance selections, the captain of alliance #3, team 604, Quixilver, invited us along with team 5171, Deus Ex Machina, to join their alliance. Our alliance fought hard against opposing teams, eventually making [...]

By |2023-04-03T23:49:00-07:00April 3rd, 2023|

As we are approaching Silicon Valley Regional and the Houston Championships, the team has been working hard to prepare for the competition, and we are¥ continuing to make some small revisions on our robot.  Operations plays a vital role in our ability to attend Houston. This past week, the team has continued to write emails reaching out to parents, friends, and other relatives for funds. We have also contacted local and big businesses, seeking corporate matchings for grants. So far, we have been able to raise around 60% of the fundraising goal of $45,000, and we are working hard to reach the full amount needed to fund the competition. Please help us reach our goal by donating on our website! Any help is greatly appreciated, and would help our team attend Houston.  The Mechanical team is finishing creating spares for the robot, including a spare wrist, elevator and intake. Additionally, we shifted to a new bumper mounting solution and moved the bumpers higher to make engaging in auto more reliable.  The Programming team wrote code for a two piece autonomous and engage, and are working up the speeds for a three piece auto in the final days leading up to the Silicon Valley Regional. The team is also working on programming multiple autonomous routines to increase our flexibility and [...]

By |2023-03-29T14:57:36-07:00March 27th, 2023|

Coming back from the San Francisco Regional, our team was motivated and inspired. This past week, our team focused on not only improvements for our next competition, the Silicon Valley Regional, but for the Houston Championships as well. Some of our goals for the upcoming competitions are to create more high-scoring autonomous routines, implement the vision system, and to fix some mechanical issues. During the San Francisco Regional, our team witnessed the full potential of what a strong autonomous routine can be. Our winning alliance partner, 971, had an incredible autonomous routine consisting of scoring three game pieces. This consistently brought our alliance into a strong position before the teleoperated section. While we were unable to execute such an ambitious auto routine, we are optimistic about the prospects of what our programming team can accomplish.  This year’s vision system includes the addition of the April Tags. April Tags are squares with unique patterns that are placed at significant positions on the field. We were hoping to have vision fully functional by the San Francisco Regional, but after realizing the limited amount of testing that our vision code went through, the team came to the consensus that it was not ready. Once it becomes integrated, however, it will greatly benefit the autonomous routines, driver control, and intake and outtake [...]

By |2023-03-27T20:29:46-07:00March 20th, 2023|

This past weekend, our team competed in the San Francisco Regional. Placing the robot on the field at the beginning of a match After setting up the pit and making minor mechanical adjustments to the robot, we focused on cycling practice matches to get as much driver practice as possible. During our practice matches we focused on playing with top teams such as 581, the Blazing Bulldogs, 971, Spartan Robotics, and 649, MSET Fish to gauge our robot and driver’s synergy with other teams. Walkthrough of electrical board during inspection With our new roller intake/outtake and wrist, which we designed once we returned from the Hueneme Port Regional in week 1, we greatly improved our performance. Our new roller intake/outtake allowed for quick alignment and acquisition from the single substation, dramatically decreasing our cycle times, driving up our point scoring during TeleOP. Additionally, we worked on refining our Auto routines to allow for improved charge station engaging. Our robot scored well with fast cycle times from the single substation, and we were able to get our autonomous routine, consisting of one cone being placed onto the top node and then engaging on the charge station, working consistently. We ended the day on an optimistic note and were ready for the qualification matches on Saturday. Systems check and elevator [...]

By |2023-03-27T20:28:42-07:00March 13th, 2023|

Coming back from Hueneme Port Regionals last week, our team was given the opportunity to observe and learn from other teams by attending an earlier competition. This past week, our team focused on what went well during the competition, as well as how we could improve our robot. After thoughtful consideration and an in-depth discussion, we decided that we would redesign our intake and four bar arm while making minor changes to the elevator. Some of our goals for the upcoming competition are to create faster cycle times for the robot, refine the scouting app, create a more organized pit, fix the bumpers and robot cart, and reconsider our strategy during matches. For the intake, we aimed to create a larger acquisition zone and more reliable cone storage and intake. The team created a horizontal roller design similar to the one used by team 1678 Citrus Circuits, which would increase the acquisition area and carry the game piece more securely. In addition we changed the motors for the wrist and intake to Falcon 500s to reduce wiring clutter. The intake uses two 2” dead axle intake rollers and a polycord gear reversal to intake both cones and cubes consistently. We are wrapping the rollers with self sealing silicone tape to ensure that the intake can grip the game pieces. [...]

By |2023-03-27T20:28:50-07:00March 6th, 2023|

Last weekend, our team competed in our first competition at Hueneme Port Regional (also known as HPR) in Ventura Country, California. We chose to attend this Week 1 competition for the opportunity to test our robot early in the season and to learn from other teams’ designs. During the week leading up to the competition, the team focused on creating spares for the 4-bar arm and energy chain of the robot, and tested its auto routine in order to get ready for the competition. On the first day of competition, which was practice match day, we practiced driving our swerve drivetrain and controlling the superstructure mechanisms as well as tested several autonomous routines, including one which automatically balances the robot on the charge station. Meanwhile, the rest of our team toured the pits to scout other robots and collect data on unique and efficient designs. Additionally, several mechanical changes were made such as adding chain tensioners to reduce the four bar’s backlash. Another thing being worked on was the autonomous routine, we were trying to get a cone on the high node during auto. Within the first few practice matches, our drivers confirmed that although our robot could score cones, we could pick up and place cubes much more efficiently; this led us to revise our strategy to [...]

By |2023-03-27T20:29:03-07:00February 27th, 2023|

As February comes to an end, students have been hard at work during their break. We are putting the finishing touches on our robot, and are preparing for our first competition in the upcoming week. This week, the elevator, 4-bar arm, and intake have been mounted onto our robot. This has allowed our electrical team to wire around the superstructure. The wires for the encoders have been mounted on the side of the elevator, and we braided the wires for the sparkmax and NEOs motors to prevent them from becoming tangled. The team has taken careful consideration to ensure that the wiring is as organized as possible. We also wired an e-chain cable carrier, which allows the elevator to extend to the maximum height. The electrical team is using mesh cable shrouds to protect the motor cables for the elevator, to the virtual 4-Bar, and intake/outtake. As our first competition approaches in the upcoming week, our team is working many hours to ensure that our robot is ready. The robot is very close to being finished, and we only have to mount the extending arm to complete the superstructure. The electrical team finished all of the wiring and they are working on organizing the wires to end at one point, creating an efficient modular design. The machining team [...]

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