The goal of this year's robot, Wynona, is to score low hatch covers and cargo in the cargo ship and to climb to the third level of the hab. We hope to have a successful year as well as all teams this season. Good luck!
The teaser for this year's final competition has been released in a painfully long live stream by the good people over at FIRST Robotics, which you can watch here.The theme of this year's competition is deep space.
We are also working on our entry for the annual Let's Solve Water competition. The Let's Solve Water competition involves our robotics team to design and build a machine that, this year, acts as a water cannon that shoots water in a laminar flow into a bucket. A laminar flow means that the water flows out in a perfect stream, like a tube of glass. We are doing this competition to put the prize money that we hope to win towards the expenses of running a robotics team, such as tools, parts, and fees for entering competitions. The prize money for the Let's Solve Water competition is $1,000, which should pay off half of what we need to get to finals. However, the school, as well as local businesses and other donars, also support us, and you can, too!
Our robot, named Tip Scales, was designed to reach the center scale and climb at the end of the match. Some of its features included a three tier lift with a hook on the second teir for ascending at the end of the match and a roller claw on the third teir for aquiring power cubes. This allowed us to consolidate our robot due to having both functions performed by the same mechanism.
The theme of this year's competition was hinted at in a 52-second competition trailer released in September. The trailer depicts a teenage girl walking into a basement and finding a game machine, much like Pac-Man machines found in arcades. The game powers up and prompts her to insert a coin. When she does, the machine scans her into the game and she transforms into a pixel-style version of her on the screen. No one really knows for sure what the game's rules will be or what it will be about, but we do know for sure is that the competition will be called POWER UP, and its theme will probably revolve around 80's or 90's vintage games or pixels.
The mecanum wheel is a wheel that can move in all directions due to the unique angle of its treads. Originally designed for use in military warehouses by cranes and similar machines, the mecanum is now often used in robots. For our robot design, we are using both mecanum wheels and smaller traction wheels. This compound design is called the Octocanum Drive. While not the most efficient of systems, we have found that it is the most reliable.
We chose to not participate in the Ra Cha Cha Ruckus this year due to unpreparedness. Instead the projects were changed to assemble a test drive train, participate in the Xylem Let's Solve Water competition, and to construct a telescope stand for the Earth Science teacher.
The Let's Solve Water this year had the toughest competition yet. Unfortunately, for the first time since the competition's creation, we did not win a prize.
The current projects for this off-season is to prepare for the Rah Cha Cha Ruckus this October and to come up with more efficient designs for storage.
Due to the outcome of the season the robot will be worked on for hopefully a better success at the ruckus. It will be a great learning experience for new members and practice for new drivers. Using the knowledge we learned from the season we will make a better robot for this off-season event.
We also want to develop a more efficient way to keep our batteries. The current design is dangerous, old, and confusing which is an old, flat-tired hand truck with an organizational box on it for the batteries. This design is unstable and unhelpful in keeping track of a battery's charge/condition.
The design for the robot was to have a high boiler shooter, rope climber, gear manipulator, and swerve drive. That design ended up being changed at competition slightly due to unknown problems.
After creating the swerve drive in the off-season, parts were easier to be tweaked and remade for the game season without as much testing in-season, but they did not work as tested in competition.
In the off-season, students developed a new drive train and worked on football manipulation.
Throughout the summer and into the school year, a group of students and mentors developed a new swerve drive to use in the upcoming competition. They mastered the design for the upcoming season.
Students also worked on football manipulation. Team members believed that the 2017 game would involve an american football due to the inclusion of dirigibles in the teaser. Students researched throwing and collecting techniques for the footballs and developed prototypes.
We also participated in the Let's Solve Water competition by Xylem and McQuaid High School. The competition was to build a water pump using a tiny given motor to pump water as high and as possible and to fill a gallon jug as fast as possible. Our centrifugal pump won the most ellegant design award.