Here we provide an honest breakdown of our robots. For us, everything is a learning experience, so we discuss the highs and lows as without them it's just bragging.
Sandman - SteamWorks (2017)
Design and Planning
Our goal every competition is to optimize cycle-time. By getting more points per cycle
and performing more cycles per match, we are more successful. This year we analyzed
all the scoring methods of the game and picked the ones with the best gains vs.
effort. We weighed our options: low-boiler gives very few points, not worth our time;
high-boiler seemed point efficient if we could get a shooter which is both accurate
and rapid-fire, which seemed unrealistic at the time; climbing is merely a free 50
points, we could throw it on essentially any robot we made; gears were easy to score
with and very point efficient. We decided on a robot which focused on gears and
climbing. Since many teams added these as an afterthought, our well thought out
system made us desireable.
This year offered another opportunity for us. We discovered it at Destination Einstein
in Columbus, a place we can test our robot on an mock field. Our drive team decided
to practice playing defense with
Columbus Space Program, Team #4188,
we realized that defense was significantly more valuable than it was the year before. To
account for this, we overhauled our drive-train to use 6 CIMs (the maximum) instead of the
normal 4, giving us extra horsepower. This gave us massive amounts of speed and pushing
power. This is best exemplified by one of our matches where because one of our alliance
members was slower than us, we got behind them and shoved them across the field so we could
both get gears with less delay.
The sponsors panel doubles as a way for us to guard our electronics from gears and fuel
which could be flying around. In addition, if a gear were caught on us we wouldn't be
able to get more due to the rules. Our winch is strong, quick, and consistent. We also
have a camera to help us get the winch aligned. By focusing our time and resources, we
have created something we are truly satisfied with, but of course will continue to improve.
Why it's so Successful
This year's robot is practically built for our drive team. They're both speed demons, and
we've optimized our robot in several ways to accomodate this. Because of our agressive
drivers, the robot is tough as nails. It's a perfect match.
Something that Weijie (scouting team) noticed was that many teams were trying to do too
much, the things built to function independently didn't seem to function well as a
whole. Different parts of the robot seem to get in the way of each other, and there's
too much for the driver to keep track of and control. By keeping our design simple, but
optimized, we are able to succeed without being a swiss-army knife sort of robot.
6 CIM drive train, very powerful, very fast
Sturdy build with protected electrical board
Frame and electrical:
Sponsor board protected internals and opened for convenient access
Electrionics secured in place with tape
Wires wound together for durability
Grippy, quick, and consistent climber
Modular climber which can be repaired quickly
We have a second one to add to our alliance members' robot (cheesecake)
If gear isn't properly alligned it could get jammed
Drivetrain veers to right when moving slowly
Wheels wear out quickly because of high speed
Sir Sophagus - StrongHold (2016)
Although our final product strayed massively from our planned design, in the end we had an effective bot which got the job done. We had a tough robot which was functional and did it's set of tasks well. We focused on low-goal and the defenses.
Big wheels (speed and versatility)
Good camera placement
Switching from LabVIEW to C++ opens doors
Ball sometimes gets jammed in shooter
Electrical and pneumatics unprotected and unorganized