IRI Improvements

From 2013-2015, Team 20 was invited to the Indiana Robotics Invitational. We found that pursuing robot improvements during that time was a great way to get students involved in the off-season.

In 2013, Team 20 pursued aggressive improvements, with the goal of becoming a better cycling machine for the 2013 game, Ultimate Ascent. We installed a new, two-speed gearbox, which was something Team 20 had not pursued in years. We added an actuating pneumatic extension to the top of the shooter such that when it was extended, it deflected the frisbee downwards, allowing the robot to shoot from more places on the field, and we developed a 4-disc centerline autonomous routine to grab one of the frisbees from the middle of the field. This routine grabbed a frisbee from the middle before most teams had shot their first disc during auto.

Unfortunately, the dog gear in our new two-speed gearbox shattered during our first qualification match, and despite our best efforts and the assistance of numerous other, wonderful teams, we ended up not fielding the robot for most of our matches the first day of IRI and was not selected.

In 2014, we pursued less aggressive improvements for that year’s game, Aerial Assist, as we did not want to repeat our 2013 performance. We made improvements to the consistency of our shot, added an extra motor to the collector, such that we could collect balls regardless of inflation quickly without having to adjust it in the pits, and added cool flashy LED’s to the robot for the first time. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, our robot had a few incidents where the robot lost communication, as well as a dead ball situation, and our inconsistency left Team 20 unpicked again at IRI.

This year, Team 20 does not have as competitive a machine as our 2013 and 2014 robots were, and as such, our goals are different.
Priority #1 is to have fun and learn a lot. The students are motivated to repeat our 2013 and 2014 robot success next year, and eager to learn as much from the incredible teams at IRI as they can.
Priority #2 is to get picked for eliminations. We just want to be selected at IRI. Getting selected means we have more of a shot of winning the event than we had in 2013 or 2014.

Team 20 is pursuing two main improvements for our 2015 robot.
#1 is improvement at the human player station. Our innovative “tray” subsystem for catching totes from the human player station is too slow and inconsistent, so we’re tentatively bringing with us a “tote catcher” box, similar to the ones our Carson Divisional Championship alliance captain had, Team 1325- Inverse Paradox. The goal is be able to make 2-3 capped stacks of 6 from the human player station with this.
#2 is practice mining the landfill. We understand that since most teams at IRI are feeder station robots who are the best there is, we need to be able to do something when not given a feeder station. The inspiration here is from Team 225- TechFire, and the way they mine the landfill, grabbing 2 totes at a time.
Other hopeful improvements are re-vamping our 3 tote autonomous routine such that it’s much more consistent on the field, and adding cool flashy LED’s.

This is Team 5254’s first year qualifying for IRI, and with three finalist trophies being their main accomplishments thus far, they’re hungry for a win. Team 5254 does not have a practice robot, so any improvement they made during the season had to be during competitions. Now that we have the robot back, we’ve been making some aggressive changes.

Their improvements take a lot of inspiration from Team 254- The Cheesy Poofs, and Team 1114- Simbotics.
The key goal is to be able to make 4 stacks in a match from the feeder station during teleoperated mode. By using a long ramp sitting by the feeder station, we should be able to bypass the bottleneck of the chute door, like 1114 and 254 have done. But this is only effective if the robot can intake and stack totes fast enough.
We determined their collector needed to accept totes from a larger variance , and as such copied the geometry from 1114 and 254’s collectors as well. We also increased the speed of their elevator.
This had the side effect of making our landfill game much more effective as well, and we should be capable of 3 capped stacks of 6 from the landfill as well.
One problem 5254 had at championships was that if the team wanted to make a stack of less than 6 totes, they would often drop the container and mess up, since the robot needed to have the can held at the top when they went to place the stack to place it safely. With less than 5 totes, however, the can never made it to the top of the robot. To help with this problem, we’ve added a floating can stabiliser, similar to the one 1114 has been using all season.
The next goal for 5254 is to incorporate a Tote Stack Autonomous routine, as well as other minute improvements, such as can grabbing during teleop, and practice dealing with tipped cans.
Most of these improvements should be on display at MidKnight Mayhem this weekend, and they need all the practice they can get doing these new tasks.

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