On January 10, 2016, we went to Temple University after school. People who were on the inspection team left 1 period before school ended and took all of the materials + the robot to Temple. The mechanical subgroup added a mechanism to press a lever on the field but it ended up passing the 16x16x16 inch size limit. We tried to drive it but only 1 motor worked. We worked with Jim to figure out what was wrong with it again.
It turned out that the wires weren’t crimped properly so we had to fix the 3 wires connected to the 3 motors that didn’t work. At first, we thought it was a programming error but then we noticed a faulty wire connecting the battery to the motor control turning on and off. It would turn off every time someone touched it so we checked if the other wires had the same problem. After we fixed it, we had the majority of the wheels working but it was about time to leave so we had a last minute scrimmage with our counterpart, Crimson. We scored 5 points while they scored 47. Our phone on the robot ran out of power and died 40 seconds into the scrimmage. Blocks also got stuck under the robot.
We packed up and came back the next day at the same time. This time, we fixed all of the wires and the phones were charged. The robot wasn’t driving properly. It was reversed and we couldn’t turn properly because the motors weren’t programmed to the right ports. To reverse the wheels, we just reversed the wires in the ports so that the – wire went into the + port and vis-versa.
We were in 2 scrimmages. In 1 scrimmage, we had to hold the controller upside down because the robot’s controls were reversed. The turning still wasn’t working. We almost got up to mid-zone in that scrimmage. In the second one, we quickly reversed the controls so we would be able to to hold the controller properly but that caused us to not be able to turn at all. We stopped moving for approximately a minute but we couldn’t get onto the climbing zone.
After that, we worked on the program until it was time to leave. Overall, it was a good experience. It taught us to be more prepared and to plan head.
On January 14th, we had our second competition at Temple today. It was, like the last, extremely nerve-wracking. However, unlike the last, we modified the manipulator arm so that it can actually cohesively work with the code. We attached strings on the sides of the arm so it would not drag on the floor. Not only that, our tele-op code also works! In addition, a big lesson learned from last competition was that our batteries kept dying. This time, we walked into Temple without worrying about any battery problems.
When we stepped into the field, there was an obvious improvement on the robot from the other teams. They scored better than last time and seemed to have planned things out more meticulously. Our strategy was to score points during Autonomous mode by moving down the ramp. We also wanted to move our robot up the ramp now that we are no longer as back-heavy as the last time. Furthermore, we also wanted to bring a rolling up the ramp during the last 30 seconds, since it promised more points.
Although we planned better than last time, we still placed only 8th. I think the factors that contributed to our placing include the penalty from accidentally touching the rolling goal as we maneuvered it, the shocking improvement from the other teams, and the autonomous code that can only score us 30 points. Walking out of Temple, our team came up with a lot of ideas for the robot. This include feeders with two rows instead of one, better motors that were faster in speed, a pulley based robot instead of a lever based robot, and so on. We also that believe if we make a code that can knock off the kickstand, we can do much better next time. With all these things we can improve on in mind, we went home and sketched up ideas inspired from the competition.
We had our First Tech Competition today and it was extremely nerve-wracking. Firstly, the day before competition, we noticed that the design of the robot did not match up with the programming. The reason being is because when the robot moves during the tele-op phase, the manipulator drags on the floor and impedes the robot from accurately moving. Another reason is because the manipulator moves backwards a little too much and the heaviness of the robot’s back causes it to fall backwards.
In conclusion, our team as a whole decided to take off the manipulator for this competition and focus on defending. Another problem arose when the two female driver, Raina and I, were not comfortable with the controllers because during practice, the battery kept dying. However, we were too excited in the moment and neglected the fact that our robot’s back was too heavy. And so, we tipped over when we moved backwards on the ramp.
Not only that, we were also penalized for touching the rolling goal’s tube during the autonomous phase. Aside from the exciting and nerve-wracking atmosphere of our First Tech competition, a lot of problems were identified.The things we need to work on includes our autonomous code, balancing the weight of the robot, charging the batteries (which is a silly mistake), and utilizing our practice field so the drivers can get comfortable.
There were many regretful things about the competition, knowing that we can definitely do better, but overall, it was a meaningful experience where we could find our mistakes and work on it.