01.07.17 - 01.16.17
After watching the reveal video at Texas Instruments last Saturday, January 7th, we could hardly contain our excitement - there was so much to do, and so little time to do it! We got back to the school at 1:00 PM and immediately began to brainstorm. We divided into 5 brainstorm teams at random, each one with free reign on what they designed. When we came back together, we found each team had amazing ideas for every part of the game: gear, climber, and shooter/intake. With these ideas in our heads, we began the week with high spirits.
In our first meeting, we brainstormed two separate designs for the gear mechanism and chose one that fit best with the other teams' needs. In our second meeting, we began prototyping our previously brainstormed design and finalized our CAD drawing. In our third meeting, we assembled our prototype, constructed the ramp which the gears slide down to the gear slot, and tested our design. We were able to see our design work, as well as notice a few flaws we can fix for the final design. All in all, it was a successful week!
"One more inch!" -Quote of the Week
In our first meting, we brainstormed various ideas and decided to focus on shooting into the top goal. We also brainstormed and designed an intake system. In our second meeting, we began prototyping, which allowed us to notice some flaws that we were able to correct. In our third meeting, we worked on finding a distance between the wheel and the ground for the shooter prototype, started building a new mount, and worked on putting together the intake prototype.
"If we grease up the shooter with butter and use a flywheel, is that a butterfly?" -Quote of the Week
In our first meeting, we brainstormed several ideas and agreed on a winch system that has a catcher for the knot in the rope. After some rough sketches, we decided on a final design. In our second meeting, the team leads and captains met to determine a rough layout of the robot, which caused us to modify our climber design. In our third meeting, we realized our preferred motor was not available, so switched to another motor for the purpose of simply providing the necessary power to get the prototype functioning. We then began prototyping the climber mechanism.
"Don't use old drill bits on a CNC." -Quote of the Week
01.16.17 - 01.21.17
On Monday, the team decided to use the inner tubing of bicycle tires to wrap around the intake. On Wednesday, they realized that the friction from bicycle tubing was not going to be enough, so the supplemented it with surgical tubing and tread belts. On Thursday, the entire design was scrapped. The new and improved intake will take up much less space than the previous design, and will allow for many more balls to be taken in at one time. It will be a series of spaced out flywheels in the horseshoe at the front of the robot that will push balls through a S-shaped path up into the top of the hopper, and this will, hopefully, allow for more balls to be held at one time as well.
On Monday, after prototyping our first design, we realized that we needed guide weights to keep the rope straight as it climbs. Some weights were 3D printed on Wednesday which significantly helped. Then, we discovered that we needed a locking mechanism to allow the robot to remain suspended without power. We resolved this issue with a ratchet mechanism. The prototype lifted 40 lbs and was working excellently until disaster stuck! We accidentally reversed the motor without removing the ratchet which caused the combing axle to bend and the frame to fracture. Fortunately, after some repair and rehabilitation, it was able to lift up to 80 lbs.
On Monday, we brainstormed a more efficient slot for the gears. The earlier model, which featured a deep, rectangle, allowed the entire gear to fall into the slot and often times caused the gear to get stuck. We discovered that a tapered, shallower slot prevented this from occurring. Once we made a new CAD file for the updates design, we went to home Depot to purchase the ¼” acrylic we needed. On Wednesday, we marked the acrylic and began trying different ways to cut it. We discovered that the circular saw generated too much heat and melted the acrylic, creating fumes. Next, we tried a reciprocating saw, hand saw, and scoring blade to no avail. Finally, we settled on the Jig saw and used water to cool it down. We hope to finish the final design soon!
01.23.17 - 01.29.17
Gear team made some drastic changes this week - they finished what they thought would be their final gear hopper, but soon realized that they had to change the materials. They decided to remake the gear hopper out of aluminum instead, as well as to cut off around 2 inches on each side. However, they have made great progress, and soon can move on to start helping the other teams!
Intake/shooter team has been making great progress this week. They finished CADing the intake, shooter, and hopper, as well as prototyped, tested, and finalized the shooter design. They are now on the final build of the shooter. They also finished the intake system, and have completed the final build for that. FInally, they have designed the hopper and decided the materials they want to use, and are currently designing agitator.
The climber team has spent most of the week waiting for their fabricated parts to arrive. However, they have kept themselves busy by preparing what they will need for the final build, as well as assembling a motor with a 10:1 gearbox ratio. They also designed the 3D printed parts that they are going to need for their design. Once they get their fabricated parts this week, they can complete the build and start doing final testing!
01.30.17 - 02.11.17
In preparation for the First Dallas Regional Competition taking place on March 9 - March 11, our team has been hard at work putting together the final model of our robot. We have already finished assembling individual parts such as our shooter and drive train.
On February 11th, we were also visited by some special guests - a local Boy Scout Troop! We had a great time showing them the team's progress and explaining a little about the FIRST competition and the basics of robotics.
These past two weeks, our gear team completed the final build and attached the gear hopper to the robot. We also worked with the software team to figure out how we wanted the drivetrain to move while placing the gears.
Our shooter team worked to finish the final designs, bought materials, and started construction on the final hopper, intake, and shooter. We also finished the CAD and worked with the software team to figure out the logistics of the shooter and agitator speed.
The beginning of these past two weeks was slow for our climber team because we were waiting for parts, but we finished as much of the final build as possible without the motor. We also prototyped, worked on CAD, and assisted the other teams in the design and assembly of the robot.
02.11.17 - 02.18.17
With Bag and Tag coming up next Tuesday, February 21st, our whole team has been working extra hard all week to finish up the robot. Everything is in the final stages of construction and preparation.
Our Software team has been devoted to programming the robot’s camera and getting the camera’s data to be sent from the robot to the computer. Although this process has proved itself to be both challenging and time consuming, we are confident that we can resolve the issue before Bag and Tag.
With Bag and Tag coming up on Tuesday, March 21st, our whole team has been working extra hard all week to finish up the robot. Our Shooter/Intake and Climber teams wrapped up last minute adjustments and CADs early in the week, and the rest of the week was devoted to attaching the individual parts to the drivetrain.
Our Marketing team has been busy designing t-shirts, buttons, and banners for the upcoming competition. We hope that they will help promote our team and get our name out there.
In addition, we have arranged fundraisers at the Potbelly Sandwich Shop on 601 W 15th St. for February 24th and Jason’s Deli on 925 North Central Expressway on March 24th. Be sure to come out and support on those dates! Be sure to mention that you are there to support Chain Reaction Robotics
We were able to participate in three competitions over this FIRST Robotics Competition season. We started from Dallas Regionals to Brazos Valley Regionals to Houston Worlds. The members were able to create close bonds as well as learn about other bots at the competition. There was amazing growth for the team as well as inividually from each season and the each of the members enjoyed each competition.
All of our project teams came together and completed our changes on the robot. With the challenge of adding and changing parts, we were unable to participate in the early practice matches, but were able to see our bot on field for the first time.
The second day of regionals began the qualification matches. We were challenged with communication problems, but we were able to stay calm and continue troubleshooting. Dallas regionals was exciting and the team was able to bond as well as have a good first competition experience.
Brazos Valley Regionals
Changes and additions were completed by early afternoon. Our new drive team was able to practice in multiple practice matches, and the mechanical team and software team made changes and improve the bot.
The bot was successful with autonomous, static gear intake, and climbing. We participated in the semifinals as 5th Alliance Captain with teams 1817 and 3999. Additionaly, we won the Innovation in Control Award.
This regional was overall a success and allowed the team to bond. Members were able to learn about different mechanisms from other teams as well as learn about marketing information.
The team headed down to Houston together and bonded. The first day was more rushed as practice matches finished before noon; however, we were able to complete any changes and members were able to explore different competitions held by FIRST such as FTC and FLL.
We performed extraordinarily during our qualification matches and showed amazing consistency with autonomous, static gear intake, and climbing. Despite our high rank for OPR, we were unable to reach high enough in ranking points to get to finals.
Members were able to learn more about technology in the world with the Innovation Faire as well as talk to universities about scholarship and internship opportunities. Additionally, the team traveled together to watch Einstein matches in the Minute Maid Park.