We are 15th in the district after our first event

The team earns district points at each of the first two districts we attend.  The top 60 teams in the district after week 5 will be invited to attend the district championship.  As long as we perform at the same level or better at our next event things look good for us to be invited to the district championships….No Pressure, No pressure at all.

You can find the official district rankings here.

At the first district we learned we can defeat the following defenses

  • Low bar
  • A defenses
    • Cheval De Frise
    • Portcullis
  • B defenses
    • Ramparts
  • D defenses
    • Rough Terrain
    • Rock Wall

We also learned that we can score 4 low goal cycles pretty consistently if we can see. We did as many as 6 in practice, but it is way easier to see.  In addition, we learned we can shoot high goals consistently from the batter in practice, but were unable to demonstrate that on the field. Lastly, we learned getting 10 points in autonomous was fairly easy for us.

Next we looked at the data from the first 3 district events to see what we should focus on that could have the biggest impact.

CHS District – Northern Virginia Event 2016

Qualification

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 131 156 83.97%
A Cheval De Frise 42 86 48.84%
Portcullis 39 70 55.71%
B Ramparts 65 90 72.22%
Moat 47 66 71.21%
C Sally Port 22 97 22.68%
Drawbridge 11 59 18.64%
D Rough Terrain 54 60 90.00%
Rock Wall 65 96 67.71%
Total Breaches 72 156 46.15%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 210 468 44.87%
Scales 15 468 3.21%
Captures 0 156 0.00%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 1.31
Average High Goals 0.19
High Score 94 in Q57
Average Match Score 53.12
Average Winning Score 63.45
Average Win Margin 20.67
Average Auto Score 12.11
Average Teleop Crossing Score 27.79
Average Teleop Boulder Score 3.51
Average Teleop Tower Score 8.17
Average Foul Score 1.54

Playoff

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 31 32 96.88%
A Cheval De Frise 23 24 95.83%
Portcullis 8 8 100.00%
B Ramparts 13 13 100.00%
Moat 18 19 94.74%
C Sally Port 11 27 40.74%
Drawbridge 1 5 20.00%
D Rough Terrain 6 6 100.00%
Rock Wall 26 26 100.00%
Total Breaches 30 32 93.75%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 64 96 66.67%
Scales 9 96 9.38%
Captures 3 32 9.38%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 3.69
Average High Goals 0.88
High Score 164 in SF1-2
Average Match Score 107.41
Average Winning Score 117.12
Average Win Margin 19.44
Average Auto Score 21.47
Average Teleop Crossing Score 34.22
Average Teleop Boulder Score 11.69
Average Teleop Tower Score 14.22
Average Foul Score 4.69

 

CHS District – Greater DC Event 2016

Qualification

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 114 130 87.69%
A Cheval De Frise 33 87 37.93%
Portcullis 25 43 58.14%
B Ramparts 56 68 82.35%
Moat 39 62 62.90%
C Sally Port 27 76 35.53%
Drawbridge 8 54 14.81%
D Rough Terrain 21 22 95.45%
Rock Wall 78 108 72.22%
Total Breaches 65 130 50.00%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 181 390 46.41%
Scales 10 390 2.56%
Captures 1 130 0.77%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 1.11
Average High Goals 0.18
High Score 121 in Q20
Average Match Score 55.18
Average Winning Score 67.14
Average Win Margin 23.92
Average Auto Score 14.45
Average Teleop Crossing Score 27.04
Average Teleop Boulder Score 2.99
Average Teleop Tower Score 8.12
Average Foul Score 2.58

Playoff

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 33 34 97.06%
A Cheval De Frise 20 27 74.07%
Portcullis 6 7 85.71%
B Ramparts 15 16 93.75%
Moat 17 18 94.44%
C Sally Port 12 21 57.14%
Drawbridge 4 13 30.77%
D Rough Terrain 8 8 100.00%
Rock Wall 25 26 96.15%
Total Breaches 30 34 88.24%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 75 102 73.53%
Scales 5 102 4.90%
Captures 2 34 5.88%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 4.26
Average High Goals 0.26
High Score 155 in F2
Average Match Score 100.59
Average Winning Score 113.59
Average Win Margin 26.00
Average Auto Score 26.32
Average Teleop Crossing Score 30.00
Average Teleop Boulder Score 9.56
Average Teleop Tower Score 13.24
Average Foul Score 2.35

 

CHS District – Southwest Virginia Event 2016

Qualification

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 123 136 90.44%
A Cheval De Frise 50 93 53.76%
Portcullis 29 43 67.44%
B Ramparts 55 72 76.39%
Moat 52 64 81.25%
C Sally Port 27 92 29.35%
Drawbridge 10 44 22.73%
D Rough Terrain 33 36 91.67%
Rock Wall 87 100 87.00%
Total Breaches 87 136 63.97%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 224 408 54.90%
Scales 4 408 0.98%
Captures 1 136 0.74%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 1.28
Average High Goals 1.05
High Score 127 in Q38
Average Match Score 64.78
Average Winning Score 76.25
Average Win Margin 22.94
Average Auto Score 17.96
Average Teleop Crossing Score 28.31
Average Teleop Boulder Score 7.56
Average Teleop Tower Score 8.68
Average Foul Score 2.28

Playoff

Defense Statistics

Defense # Damaged # Opportunities % Success
Low Bar 31 32 96.88%
A Cheval De Frise 21 21 100.00%
Portcullis 11 11 100.00%
B Ramparts 14 14 100.00%
Moat 18 18 100.00%
C Sally Port 9 29 31.03%
Drawbridge 1 3 33.33%
D Rough Terrain 1 1 100.00%
Rock Wall 30 31 96.77%
Total Breaches 31 32 96.88%

Tower Statistics

Item Count # Opportunities % Success
Challenges 71 96 73.96%
Scales 6 96 6.25%
Captures 3 32 9.38%

Match Statistics

Average Low Goals 2.84
Average High Goals 2.06
High Score 148 in QF1-1
Average Match Score 109.34
Average Winning Score 117.06
Average Win Margin 15.44
Average Auto Score 25.38
Average Teleop Crossing Score 30.78
Average Teleop Boulder Score 15.69
Average Teleop Tower Score 13.91
Average Foul Score 1.88

 

Our big take aways from all off of this data;

  • If you can increase your average qualification match score by 15 pts you will be guaranteed to win every match
    • We plan to add low goal scoring to our auton
    • We plan to try and hit2 high goal shots per match
  • If we can find a fast way to beat the Cheval De Frise and Sally Port defenses we will make breaching easier in most matches and leave us more time as an alliance to score boulders
    • We plan to add a light to the front of the robot to align with the Sally Port
    • We plan on using more cameras to help us align combined with more practice to get faster at completing the Cheval De Frise faster
  • Don’t ever pick the drawbridge as one of your defenses it hurts both alliances significantly
    • We plan to never pick the drawbridge
  • Capturing the tower in playoff is critical
    • We plan add a camera to help us align with the tower for both high goal and low goal shots
    • We plan to practice low and high goal cycles significantly in our open back time.
  • Scaling is worth the points
    • We plan to renew our efforts to add a climber to the robot by district championship
      • This may mean we remove the turret from the robot

A new arm is in the works

The first arm the team built this season took 3 weeks. For arm number two we have a week.  But we are smarter about a lot of things including compression rates, weight distribution, strength requirements and best way to intake.  We are also taking a page out of 118’s 2016 bot and switching to mecanum wheels on our intake. Here are all of the design we considered.

 

 

On Saturday we then went through all of the requirements for the new are am evaluated each option and selected the go forward arm.  Here are the detailed designs of the new arm.

Our awards team has also been hard at work and turned in the final award of the season.   This is a first for us and has definitely taught us a lot about how our team works and made us think about how we want our team to work ion the future.

We are planning a team 1389 field trip to see the FRC Stronghold event happening this Saturday 3/5, in Haymarket, VA. This will give us a chance to really understand the challenges of this year’s game and scout some of the teams that we’ll be playing in our upcoming tournaments.

And of course our event is coming up in less than two weeks.  Are you planning on stopping by Walt Whitman Highschool on March 12-13 to see robots play capture the flag?

Here is what the team has left to do;

  • Drive train – done
  • Bumpers – done
    • Red – done
    • Blue – done
  • Electrical board – done
  • Turret arm prototype – done
  • Turret arm – done
  • Turntable – done
  • Shooter – done
  • Vision – started
  • Main code – started
  • Strategy – done
  • Scouting system – done
  • Awards – started
    • Chairman’s – done
    • Wood Flowers – done
    • Entrepreneurship – done
    • Dean’s – done
    • Chairman’s video – started
    • Media award –  done
  • Competition documents started
    • Tech Journal started
    • Judges Packet started
    • 1 sheeter started
    • Safety Binder started
    • Pit Video started
    • Chairman’s presentation started
    • Bill of Materials – started
  • Pre-competition scouting – started
  • Inviting local leaders to events – done
  • Bellypan – done
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey – started
  • Reveal video started
  • Climber – not started
  • Defensive Cheescake – started
  • Wiring installation – done
  • Driver Selection done
  • Team Standard – started
  • T-shirt – started
  • Battery cart refurbish – not started
  • Refurbish battery leads started
  • Refurbish robot cart – not started
  • Paint Pit – not started
  • Alpha turret and arm – started

 

 

4 Defenses done

Another busy day in the lab last night.  We are done with 4 defenses and should be done with 6 of them by tomorrow.  The Sally Door, Drawbridge, Portcullis, tower and hanging device will be done Friday.  Our prototype team was hard at work last night starting to build a free wheel shooter that should be ready for test by Thursday.

The electrical and code teams have started prototyping code that will allow us to drive strait over bumps.  Should have more to report on once we have a big wheeled drive train available.

 

 

Here is the first of our build season videos where we asked everyone what they were working on.

Strategy Selection

Every game has rules, and in early January thousands of FRC teams around the world get see the rules for the new game and kick off their season. But before you dig in to the rules and get going your needs to do two very important things. Set goals and identify the team’s realistic capabilities.

 

Create Team Goals for the Season

Your team needs to know what is trying to accomplish as a team. Are you trying to inspire the most kids, teach kids how to try or win an event. All of these goals should be documented so that the team can use them to drive priorities during the strategy discussion. Here are some examples of competition goals that will have a big impact on your strategy.

  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick at districts
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick at districts
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain at districts
  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain at super regional
  • Make it to elimination as a 2nd pick in a CMP division
  • Make it to elimination as a 1st pick in a CMP division
  • Make it to elimination as an alliance captain in a CMP division
  • Win a district event
  • Win two district events
  • Win a super regional
  • Win a CMP division
  • Win CMP

Here are some examples of team goals that will have a big impact on your strategy:

  • Build 1 robot
  • Build 1.5 robots
  • Build 2 robots
  • Build 3+ robots
  • Robot needs to fit easily into a mini van

 

Identify your Strengths & Weaknesses

Every team has limitation has strengths and weaknesses that need to be well understood to make good decisions about strategy. We really recommend teams use the SWOT tool break down the team and its resources prior to kickoff every year so that the team can select a strategy that has a high chance of being realized. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. You can learn how to use the SWOT tool here. Let’s walk through an example SWOT analysis so we can demonstrate how it impacts strategy selection.

  • Strengths
    • Have and know how to use drill press
    • Have and know how to use band saw
    • Have and know how to use a variety of hand tools
    • Know how to CAD and have 1 robot’s worth of experience
    • Have $6,000 to spend on a robot
    • Have 2 very good technical mentors
  • Weaknesses
    • Do not have access to CNC mill
    • Do not have access to lathe
    • Do not have access to supplier who can do sheet metal
    • Do not have access to supplier who can weld
    • Can locate drill and cut features within .2 by hand
    • Have not done CAD during a build season
    • Will only be able to get into workshop 2 times a week for 3 hours a piece
    • Have a student to mentor ratio of 20:1
    • Team has not used pneumatics on several years
  • Opportunities
    • Maximize use of versa frame
    • Pre-select and pre-order parts for drive train
    • Standerdize fasteners
    • Standerdize motor controllers
    • Use pneumatics to keep weight low
    • Be very organized and maximize limited lab time
    • We may get additional mentors
  • Threats
    • Versa frame is heavy
    • Versa frame is expensive
    • Snow days – last year the team had 6
    • School usage costs could go up
    • Several sub team’s have members with low attendance

 

Read the Rules

  • READ THE RULES!!!!!
  • Understand how teams will be measured at competition
  • Understand how teams will advance
  • Understand limitations defined in the rules

 

Break the game down

  • Identify every way to get points
    • In 2015 we had the periodic of the stack
      • 64NrPJU
      • This was a great example of all of the possible ways to score. The same needs to be created for each year’s game
  • Identify every way to win
    • Start running game simulations in your head or on the board to create scoring scoring solutions
    • Watch the 3 day builds
    • Read chief delphi to see if you missed any and then add them to the list
  • Identify the every type of robot task needed to get every point and execute every way to win
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during auton.
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during teleop.
    • List all of the the ways a robot could play the game during coopertition.
  • Identify what percentage of teams at a district, regional, CMP division, CMP championships will be able to perform each capability
    • We use the common, uncommon, rare or impossible method. Refer to your team’s goals for which level you do this for. The numbers below are for a regional. The should change based on the event type and level.
      • Common 25-50 teams could do it
      • Uncommon 10-25 could do it.
      • Rare 2-10 team could do it
      • Impossible 1-2 teams could do it.
  • List everything your team could do based on its SWOT
  • Go through and pick which strategies your team should design for
    • For most teams limit yourselves to 1 rare or 2 uncommon or 3 commons
  • Start brain storming ways to make your strategy a reality
  • List all of the mechanisms you need
    • Looked at past robots
  • Put together a baseline solution based on your team’s risk level

 

Sub Pages

 

Additional Resources

 

Equations of Motion

We are starting a collection of equations, white papers and calculators that team’s can use to build better systems and robots. Please feel free to recommend something we should add.

Forces

  • force force
  • mass mass
  • accelerationacceleration

 

Equations & Calculators

 

Additional Resources

Vex Pro Has Some Great Example Bots

We were recently starting to do our team’s season pre order of parts and noticed the following images on the Vex Pro Site.  Last year the team was extremely grateful for the build blitz blog they posted that had a lot of good examples of how to lift and maneuver totes.  So needless to say, we were really impressed by the example they showed and explored the site farther to see what else they have made available.

Mash up of team 781, the Kinetic Knights’s and team 2016, the Mighty Monkey Wrenches’ 2011 robots

vexproexample1

Remake of team 254, the Cheesy Poof‘s 2014 robot

vexproexample2

 

Here is what else we found that could be useful to teams as they get ready for the 2016 FRC season

 

 

Drive Systems

Drive Systems come in all shapes and sizes with lots of different strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. Below we go over some of the major FRC drive trains and will focus on several key factors of each; turning radius, directions of travel, efficiency, number if motors needed, weight and complexity.

The major drive trains include;

  • Inline 4, 6 or 8
    inline

    • The image above assumes all solid wheels are powered
    • Inline drives are very simple to assemble
    • Inline drive trains are very efficient when going strait
    • Inline drive trains skip and waste a lot of energy turning because they drag wheels
      • Changing the outer wheels to Omani wheels is a way to increase the efficiency of the tank drive while turning
    • Inline drive trains have the maximum amount of friction in all directions with solid wheels
  • Drop center 6 or 8
    drop center

    • The image above assumes all solid wheels are powered
    • The center wheel(s) is below the outer wheels by 1/8″ to 1/4″
    • The center or rotation changes based on the center of gravity at the moment the turn in initiated
      • The center of gravity will allow only 4 of the wheels to be part of the turn
    • Drop center drive trains are very efficient when going strait
    • Drop center drive trains are very fairly efficient when turning
  • Mecanum 3 or 4
    mecanum

    • The image above assumes all mecanum wheels are powered
    • The center or rotation changes based on the power and direction of rotation of each wheel
    • Significant energy is lost when driving in any direction due to the mecanum rollers being at 45 degrees
    • Mecanum drive trains need more advanced programming to be effective
  • Omni 3 or 4
    omni

    • The image above assumes all mecanum wheels are powered
    • 3 wheel omni is also known as kiwi drive
      • Significant energy is lost when driving in any direction due to the omni rollers pushing against each other
      • Kiwi drive trains need more advanced programming to be effective
    • 4 wheel omni with the wheels at 45 deg to the frame is also known as holonomic drive
      • Significant energy is lost when driving in any direction due to the omni rollers pushing against each other
      • Holonomic drive trains need more advanced programming to be effective
    • 4 wheel omni drive has no resistance to being pushed from the sides due to the omni rollers
  • H
    hdrive

    • The image above assumes all mecanum wheels are powered
    • The center of rotation changes based on the power and direction of each wheel
    • H wheel(s) are recommended to be spring loaded
  • Swerve synced or un-synced
  • Octicanum or Butterfly

Now that we know what some of the major drive systems can do, we will go over the key component of a drive system in greater detail.

The two FRC drive trains that are used the most are the Andymark drive and the West coast drive. Below are some details on each of these systems.

Calculators

Here are some great drive system resources to learn more

Monday We Went Over Electrical Systems

The electrical system is the Most Important System on your robot. It is the system that moves the mechanical system around. Getting your electrical system right is critical to your team’s success.

We went through the complete 2015 electrical system diagram from FIRST and here is sample of some of the things we talked about;

  • The difference between power and control
  • How many cells are in an FRC battery: 6
  • How many volts should a good FRC battery have: near or over 13 volts
  • What the main breaker protects: wires
  • What are wires: resisters
  • What protects the electrical components: the gauge of the wire and the fuse on the power distribution board
  • We talked about digital power curves vs analog power curves: the top is analog
    power
  • What is a spike: a electrical switch controlled by code
  • What is a solenoid: a fluid switch controlled by code
  • The voltage regulation module is a transformer: it converts DC to AC
  • The Power distribution board distributes: power
  • The RoboRio distributes and collects: control signals
  • There are five types of motor controllers available to the team: Victor, Jaguar, Talon, Talon SRX and Victor SP
  • The team will be using which of the motor controllers for the 2016 season: Vistor SP
  • What does the light do: keep you safe
  • What can a motor do: change electrical energy to mechanical energy and vice versa
  • The pneumatic control module regulates: solenoids
  • What is the maximum amperage the CIM motor can consume: 40 amps
  • Anderson connectors: critical
  • Connectors and wiring: need to be done very well
  • The radio look like ht only: new electrical component for 2016

After going through all of the components of the electrical system we went through how these components are used in an FRC robot. We studied our 2015 robot and as well as other team’s robots to look for things we have done well, things we are not doing and places where we can improve.

Below are some great electrical resources student can use to get to know more about this critical system.

Here are some great electrical systems to emulate.

 

Next Monday we go over drive trains

We Have a Low Cost Plan for the Fall

Last night we talked about how we would break up the team this fall to maximize learning. Here are the small projects we came up with;

  • 10 people – Coding
  • 10 people – CAD
  • 10 people – Drive train
  • 10 people – Driving
  • 10 people – Pneumatics
  • 10 people – Electrical

Here are what the various projects are

Coding

  • The coding team will focus on learning how to code in Java, how the team’s git hub works and how to program some of the 2015’s robot’s simpler functions
  • The published code from other teams and analyze the way in which it was organized, and how it performed.
  • The coding team will then break down into two sub teams. one working on linear driving and the other working on target tracking.

CAD

  • The CAD team will work on CADing a 6 wheel drop center west coast drive base, identifying all of the gear box ratio to Feet Per Second (FPS) options and create a Bill Of Materials (BOM) with suppliers.
  • The CAD team will then review CAD from models from other teams from past years and make a list of findings to share with the whole team.
  • The CAD team will then CAD a west coast 6 wheel drop center H-drive west coast drive base, identifying all of the gear box ratio to Feet Per Second (FPS) options and create a Bill Of Materials (BOM) with suppliers.

Drive train

  • The drive train team will look at the drive trains from the Einstein finalists from the last 3 years and make a list of findings to share with the whole team.
  • The drive train team will disassemble and then reassemble the 2014 Kit of Parts base. The drive team will measure its acceleration, velocity and torque.
  • The drive train team will then change the gear ratio and again measure its acceleration, velocity and torque.
  • Lastly, the drive train team will change the wheel type and sizes while recording and calculating the acceleration, velocity and torque for each configuration.

Driving

  • The driving team will reach out to the 2015 drive team to document lessons learned that can be shared with the whole team.
  • The driving team will practice driving once a week focusing on different skills; turning, going over objects, aligning and speed transitioning.
  • The driving team will host a driving test to select our 2016 drivers.

Pneumatics

  • The pneumatics team will watch training videos and read FRC pneumatics materials
  • The Pneumatics team will assemble a pnuemtaics board with everything an FRC robot would need to control 2 double acting and 2 single acting cylinders.
  • The pneumatics team will work with the coding and electrical teams to wire and code the board to test.

Electrical

  • The electrical will look at the electrical systems from the Einstein finalists from the last 3 years and make a list of findings to share with the whole team.
  • The electrical team will assemble a complete electrical test board with 6 motors, 2 gear boxes, 2 encoders, 2 limit switches, 2 ir sensors and 2 ultrasonic sensors.
  • The electrical team will CAD up a mobile electrical system and create a Bill Of Materials (BOM) with suppliers for system with 4 pneumatic cylinders and 10 motors.

Every team will be attending the BAA Education Day (Training workshops) and focus on their speciality.

Who: MD and DC FIRST FRC Teams
What: Engineering and non-engineering workshops to prepare mentors and students for the upcoming FIRST FRC season
When: Saturday, October 24, 2015 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Why: Learn best practices from FRC veterans for having a fun and successful FIRST FRC team!

 

In addition, every person on the team shall watch all of the video’s in Simbot’s Seminar Series. This will give you a big leg up with the tasks above.

Please get your paperwork in and check the schedule for the next meeting.