MidKnight Mayhem was an interesting event for 5254. On one hand, some of the improvements were working extremely well: the three tote autonomous routine worked 5/5 times when used in qualification matches, and building a stack from the long ramp was incredibly fast and efficient.
However, there were also a number of problems that kept us from performing to the best of our ability. The first problem wasn’t entirely the team’s fault. When going to place a stack, the bottom tote would get caught on the lip between the slanted part of the scoring platform and the top. The platforms weren’t constructed as tight together as we’d have preferred at this event, and that lip messed up our ability to place a stack multiple times.
The second problem was with the new floating can stabilizer. It currently squeeze the cans too hard, and when the robot needs to move about to place a stack, the can gets squeezed out of the stabilizer, eventually falling off the stack.
The third was stack placement. The robot has a very difficult time driving over the scoring platform, especially with a stack, so when using the long ramp from the right side, where do we place our stacks such that we can place more and still move about the field.
The fourth was the robot’s inefficiency with tipped cans. When forced to use a tipped can, the robot struggles to right them. This was a known problem going in, but was far worse than anticipated.
Finally, the robot struggles to make uncapped stacks. The can stabilizer doesn’t push down well on stacks when no can is involved, and we dropped numerous uncapped stacks, especially during the eliminations rounds.
The next two weeks will be focused on remedying these problems in preparation for IRI.
The can stabilizer need to be redesigned such that it hold onto cans better, holds together uncapped stacks better, and can deal with tipped cans.
The ramp needs to be redesigned such that we have space to move about the field and place stacks meticulously.
Lastly, the “Team Indiana” style tabs for lifting the stacks need to be made more sturdy, as when the robot tries to lift a capped stack of 6, they get stressed and sometimes break.
The hope is that 5254 can make it to a practice field the weekend before IRI as well, possibly making the three hour trek to practice with Team 20 at our field to get the partially new drive team more practiced with the new features.
Overall, Midknight Mayhem was a fun event that was very educational about what we need to improve for IRI, and what our real shortcomings are. Thank you to the hosts, 1923, for being gracious and putting on such an exciting event during a difficult time.