Monday, January 8, 2018

Day 2: Field Building, design ideas, and strategy convergence.

First Sunday is always a little weird, lots of field building mixed with some some impromptu strategy discussion. We make sure we have any critical parts ordered for prototyping (this year that was WCP silicone compliance wheels).

We should have most of our field elements made up tomorrow for the scale, fence (we don't a see-saw in the middle of it), and the half exchange zone. We'll build up a platform next weekend most likely. Thank you to all the parents and team members that have been working on this over the weekend.

Some of the key points from today's discussions.

Basics of Power Up
  1. Score cubes fast, some games are just that simple. Last year if you scored gears fast and climbed you won, this game might be pretty similar.
  2. Ramps are hard, don’t think they are easy. You can build them but they are hard to build and hard to climb. They are also heavy and take up a ton of room you could be using to score cubes faster. Will there be successful ramps of course? Will there be more unsuccessful ramps, probably? If your ramp is steeper than the field platform be prepared for some teams not to be able to climb it. 
  3. The scale isn't that high, it's basically half the height of the 2011 high goals. Is it a challenge? Yes. Is it as hard as other year's challenges? Probably not. (Adam Heard of 973 has a great video series on how to build an elevator, it's pretty amazing. Also VEXpro sales a linear motion gusset kit with detailed drawing on how to assemble it.)
  4. Careful with the cube covers, many teams are starting to rip their cube covers with intake prototypes. These aren't as durable a game pieces as the gears or the fuel last year.
  5. A simple climber just takes a couple poles, a hook and winch. Just get the hook to the bar(motor, springs, pneumatics, etc) and winch yourself up. It's harder than last year's climb but nut orders of magnitude harder. Doing that with multiple robots gets tougher but it should still work if you're patient with each other. 

To Seed First in Power Up

  1. Ninja Squad (Robowranglers help squad) style team to get your partners an auto program that drives them across the line. 
  2. Auto: cube in to your switch 
    1. Needed for the Auto ranking point 
    2. at a minimum, probably a cube or two after that during auto for the elite teams 
    3. Requires good auton driving and control 
  3. Climb and lift one partner with you 
    1. you can’t count on two teammates getting up a ramp or even on being able to climb along side you. 
  4. Control the Scale 
    1. wins any match where your opponents can’t go high 
    2. needed to win matches where they can

Random thoughts, notes and questions, from this weekends meetings
  • Careful not to extend past the tower or outrigger walls when climbing, you won’t be able to break the extension limit if you do because part of your robot would technically leave the platform zone. It's bonded by the walls of the outrigger and the wall. 
  • How do you find the exchange zone autonomously? 
  • How do you find the scale autonomously? 
  • Vision tracking cubes? 
  • Outriggers to prevent tipping forward? Outriggers to grab your partners by the bumpers and drag them across the auto line? 
  • Camera on the 2nd stage of the elevator looking down to see the scale plates? 
  • If your missing a robot from your alliance (no show, not inspected, or broken) can they be levitated?

- Spectrum

"If you want to make the right decision for the future, fear is not a very good consultant." --Markus Dohle

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