By |2024-04-25T11:25:18-07:00April 25th, 2024|

Our team competed at East Bay Regional, a week six comp with 12 pre-qualified teams, including 254 Cheesy Poofs, 1678 Citrus Circuits, 5940 BREAD, 581 Blazing Bulldogs, 114 Eaglestrike, and more. In the days before, the team worked hard to maximize every ounce of ability our robot offered. After swapping the intake and several other hardware revisions, our software team was hard at work perfecting distance shooting. The Monday before competition, our robot, Vivace, shot consistently from the podium, scoring fifty times in a row. We then tuned our auto routines, focusing on our 5-piece and 3-piece routines. After running through them consistently, the team packed up and was ready to go.  During Friday’s practice sessions, we achieved many successful runs of our 5-piece, and used the 3-piece consistently-save for a mishap with placement. We maximized the potential of our drivetrain by increasing the current draw, which dramatically increased our speed. Shooting from distance worked well. Although one of the intake rollers broke, and a polycarb side piece cracked on the shooter, our pit crew swapped them out efficiently. By the end of the day, we were ready for qualification matches. On Saturday, we truly saw our hard work paying off, doing extremely well in qualifications. The only major issues we encountered were with the autonomous routines. The [...]

By |2024-03-29T15:29:51-07:00March 29th, 2024|

Last weekend, our team competed in the Central Valley Regional. The Wednesday before competition, team 2473, Goldstrikers, used our practice field for testing auto routines and driver practice. We hope that the time they had on our practice field helped strengthen their robot. In the future, we hope to accept more requests from teams who wish to use our practice field.  By Thursday, the Pit was packed in the trailer and our competition team headed to Fresno. During the competition practice day, we encountered an issue with the CANivore and RoboRio. The CANivore failed to communicate with the RoboRio, so the Hardware and Software pit crew ran many tests in hopes of fixing the issue. After swapping out the CANivore did not work, we attempted to swap out the RoboRio instead. Upon noticing that neither change yielded desired results, we replaced the CANivore and RoboRio, restoring communication between the two. We hope to conduct more testing of the two hardware pieces on our test beds. Additionally, during our first practice match, we realized that shooting from a distance no longer worked. This was an unresolved issue that we plan to look into more.  On Saturday, our pit crew got to work, re-tensioning the chains, checking the wires, and replacing the battery. We focused on software, as the issue [...]

By |2024-03-08T14:10:04-08:00March 8th, 2024|

Our team participated at the Silicon Valley Regional, March 1-3, 2024. We had about 45 students on the team attend the event which was held at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. The team had a slow start working through various issues before the lunch break on Saturday. During the afternoon session, the team's robot began to perform well on the field scoring notes reliably in the Amp, Speaker and getting on Stage during the end game; our human player was also able to score some high notes during our matches. The team ended the qualifications round in rank 16th. During the playoff alliance selection, we were the first pick for alliance captain 5, The Wildhats - team 100, the second alliance member selected was Eagleforce - team 2073. The alliance of team 100, 972, and 2073 worked their way through the playoffs to reach an equal 3rd place out of a field of 42 teams. The team was also awarded the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors. This award celebrates the team that demonstrates industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics. The judges highlighted the following when presenting the award - In the realm of robotics, where innovation meets functionality, one team has set the bar high with their exceptional approach to design. Embracing [...]

By |2024-02-26T22:58:21-08:00February 26th, 2024|

As February comes to a close, students have been hard at work during their break. Week seven has led our robot to progress nicely. All of our sub teams have been working hard to prepare for our first competition of the year, Silicon Valley Regional. This week, the arm, shooter, and intake have been mounted and wired onto our robot. Our subsystems were assembled separately and, when done, mounted on the drivetrain. We designed around serviceability and ease of understanding in preparation for competition. All power wires were labeled and routed separately from CAN and sensors for clarity in robot inspections, debugging, and replacing of parts. Wire connectors and extensions, for example, are all centralized in certain accessible locations to avoid having to access our protected upside-down control system board. The programming team has been successful in identifying the initial x and y velocities for shooting while moving (SWM). We can make various test cases, and make them work. We are now working on successfully integrating drivetrain into the test cases by setting drivetrain velocities and attempting to shoot at the actual pose of the speaker. The Vision team has been increasing the accuracy of our computer assisted game piece acquisition. This includes training better machine learning models and fixing the distortion of the camera. We have also [...]

By |2024-02-26T22:47:08-08:00February 19th, 2024|

Week 6 has ended on a high note, and our team has been hard at work as we continue to build our 2024 robot. As our first competition at Silicon Valley Regional approaches, we need all hands on deck in order to maximize our chances of success! Over the past two and a half days, the Machining team has made much progress with the intake and outtake. We have been busy machining many hex shafts for intake and outtake assembly. In addition, we used the CNC router to manufacture many plates for intake and have recently started manufacturing for the arm. The Machining team plans to CAM the arm plates, then use the CNC router, all for assembly on Wednesday. We have also been working on the bumpers, assembling and testing them for fit. The CAD has been finalized and ready for manufacturing. During the beginning of the week, hardware teams worked on finishing and approving the CAD of the intake for manufacturing, then assembling and testing the intake on the drivetrain. Additionally, the shooter has been assembled and will be tested on its own and then on the arm. The arm is currently being machined, and some key parts are still being shipped, so it will be assembled soon. The CADers are working on putting the finishing [...]

By |2024-02-13T15:41:38-08:00February 12th, 2024|

Week 5 is a busy one for team Iron Claw as we prepare for our upcoming competition. Our CADers have been working day-in-and-out, finalizing the designs of the intake, shooter, and arm. Last week, we decided to change the intake from over the bumper to under the bumper to provide adequate space for an object detection camera, as well as to make sure the intake is as robust as possible. With the addition of our under-the-bumper intake, we eliminated one degree of freedom from our robot. Additionally, we began assembling our prototype, and tested intaking as well as centering as it goes into the shooter. With the new intake, we tested out two centering mechanisms. The first was a set of polycarbonate plates that were bent to create ramps between the rollers. In our testing, we tried several types of surfaces including smooth polycarbonate, sanded polycarbonate, velcro loop, and masking tape. While sanded polycarbonate showed potential, we decided that none of the materials were successful enough as the note jammed on the side. Due to the failure of the plates, we decided to experiment with a pair of passive wheels that would direct the game piece toward our shooter. This seemed to work better, but we are transitioning to a powered wheel solution for the final design, using [...]

By |2024-02-05T23:39:11-08:00February 5th, 2024|

Week four has been another successful one for the team as our CAD team worked hard to complete our subsystem CADs. After the conclusion of week three, our DVC, the Decision Voting Council, has decided to implement a continuous intake, and a top-down shooter, combined with a hook to allow us to climb. For our shooter, first, we had to work out an accuracy issue with the original prototype. We determined that we needed to fix an RPM issue with the motors, then fixed and rewired the motors with our test bed. In terms of CAD, the pivot point for the shooter was changed. In addition, we updated the shooter to be more secure with polycarb plates on each side and better bearing security. The flywheel was also altered to have more rigidity than the original prototype. For the indexer, we plan to use polycarbonate tube rollers. Regarding the climber, the plan is to have hooks on the shooter which will hook the chain and pull our robot off the ground. Not much has been done in this regard so a more detailed update will come next week. Our design team also decided to switch from an over-the-bumper intake to an under-the-bumper intake due to issues with vision camera visibility and robustness of the original intake design. The [...]

By |2024-01-29T22:17:24-08:00January 29th, 2024|

Week three concluded with a DVC (Decision Voting Council) vote on our subsystems. As a team, we extended our prototyping process to ensure that our DVC could use the data and information collected to make an informed decision. We also created an integration team that is responsible for researching possible ways to package and integrate the subsystems onto our 26.5” x 26.5” swerve drivetrain. Below is an overview of how the final prototypes progressed and finished over the week. This year, when presenting the final subsystems, the prototyping teams ensured they validated the capabilities against the functional requirements that the team created in week one. The Fliptake team finished a CAD of the prototype and simulated the full range of motion. We also worked on mounting it to Phil, our off-season swerve robot, to test its ability to intake while driving. In its stowed position, the two rollers of the Fliptake are positioned halfway across the robot with a polycord infinity loop, allowing spin in opposite directions. Incorporating a self-centering board cements the note to flip back on the pivot and handoff to the shooter. However, we found that the self-centering board acted as more of a hardstop for the note. During data collection, we accomplished a 100% success rate during 25 trials from the center using the stationary [...]

By |2024-01-16T15:50:12-08:00January 15th, 2024|

After our most successful season yet, Iron Claw Robotics is feeling upbeat and ready for the 2024 Crescendo Build Season! On Saturday, January 6th, our team met over winter break for our annual kickoff day to watch the game release. This year’s 2024 game consists of a ring-shaped game piece called a note, which can be deposited into three field elements: the amp, speaker, and trap. Although the endgame is not a time constrained section, robots can choose to climb on a chain with other robots or score in traps. Over the weekend, the team focused on strategy, dividing into five groups to discuss the best ways to maximize points and create potential auto paths during matches. On Sunday, after the groups presented their strategies to the class followed by a team discussion, the DVC (Decision Voting Council) voted on our robot functional requirements. These requirements dictate our strategy and what the robot will or will not do, playing a crucial role in our design using specific metrics to follow. Devising a detailed plan for strategy is our first important step to ensure our robot’s success. Throughout the week, we spent several meetings split into five groups to research various designs that uphold our functional requirements and team goals. After designs were presented, the DVC filtered twenty six [...]

By |2024-01-13T21:45:53-08:00January 13th, 2024|

Team Iron Claw 972 is already one step ahead of the Crescendo game: our practice field is almost complete and ready to go. Thanks to the hard work from mentors Art Chan and Harrison Van Der Walt, having a practice field will not only be important for driver practice, but also for analyzing the accuracy of prototypes and designs when interacting with the field elements. Additionally, our mentor, Aaron Payne, has provided us with a large space in the wood shop to hold the practice field.             We had four out of the five practice field elements made just within the first 10 hours of Crescendo being published, including the speaker and subwoofer, the amp, and the source.  We are also planning to build the stage field element before the end of build season, but are currently waiting on the trap to arrive from Andymark on January 15th, as well as a vendor to sell us Trusses. All other parts of the stage are planned to be cut out using a CNC router, making the process of assembling the field elements a lot faster than the objects that were cut by hand. We look forward to observing how the creation of our field this early in the season will influence how we design [...]

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