Hello Blue Twilight! This past Tuesday, our Chairman’s team turned in our Chairman’s submission items. A huge thank you to the students and mentors that helped put all of those
Week four of the build season has begun, and Team 2220 has already completed many of their goals from last week. Our three subteams have been working in unison to make our build season as safe and entertaining as possible. The subteams have constantly been communicating between each other so everyone knows the status of the robot.
Our mechanical subteam has been busy working with the control subteam while expecting machined parts from sponsors. Co-lead Maggie Swanson said “we already have most of [the parts], and hopefully the rest of them will be getting here Tuesday.” This week, they created prototypes for the high goal shooter and lifting mechanism. So far, they have both been successful.
The control subteam has been making the electronic board for our robot, creating classes for our code, and using a website called GitHub so the code can be easily classified. Each class is meant for a specific area of the robot so, for example, there’s a class for driving and a separate class for the talons. Co-Lead Arunima Bhattacharya says, “we have a design ready for the electronics board that should be completed by the end of Saturday.”
The MTR subteam has been working on our Chairman’s requirements and also has been continuing their weekly series on Twitter in which they give tips for providing our insight to new and old teams. “We started the 2220 tips series to provide other teams and our community with important things we’ve learned,” says Co-Lead Morgan Davies. Along with these things, the website is in the process of being updated to include a new page dedicated specifically to safety.
For this upcoming week, the mechanical subteams hopes to have completed the first drive train. The control subteam hopes to simplify their code so it’s less complicated and it’s smoother, finish up their electronics board, and get everyone to use GitHub so they know when code was made and who it was made by. The MTR subteam is going to be finishing up Chairman’s, making safety videos, updating social media and the blog, and updating the website.
Now that we are in the third week of the build season, Team 2220 has been developing our robot for optimum performance in the 2016 game FIRST Stronghold. There has been continuous cooperation between MTR, Control, and Mechanical sub teams to certify that the team is firing on all cylinders.
The mechanical subteam is getting a head start by ordering the custom motors and controllers for the robot through our generous sponsors. This week, they have focused on building our FrankenDrive, our test drivetrain for the beginning build weeks. Through mentor guidance, mechanical has worked through three versions of this drivetrain to ensure a functional design. For this upcoming week, the mechanical team will be working with the parts we receive back from our sponsors to construct our first drive train as well as finalizing the FrankenDrive.
The control subteam has been developing the electronic board to then mount onto our drivetrain. A great thing about our current electronic board is that it’s modular, meaning it can removed and worked on at home which will make it easier to be improved. For this upcoming week the team is to work on organizing the code into classes and then mounting the board onto the drivetrain. In past years, our control subteam has struggled to work efficiently with the code due to the coding structure. As Arunima B. explained, to then fix this problem “[they] have created specific classes that deal with specific parts of the code to try to eliminate using so many different segments of code.” So far, this system has worked smoothly!
The MTR (More Than Robots) has been working on a new series of tweets titled #2220tips, where we give pieces of advice to both rookie and veteran teams that we have learned throughout our ten years of being a team. For this upcoming week, we are planning to update and finalize the Team 2220 and BlueDevil websites. In terms of safety, our Safety Captain has focused on getting everyone their newly personalized safety glasses that have been decorated with puffy paint, duct tape, and sharpies.
As we work on their individual subteam goals, our whole team has been working hard to ensure that this year’s game FIRST Stronghold will be the best one yet. We also are looking forward to the Eagan Week Zero tournament which will take place on February 20, 2016.
With the game release of FIRST Stronghold, the robotics community is buzzing, and Team 2220 is no exception! Blue Twilight is eager to get to competition despite it only being Week 2.
Team 2220’s goal for Week 1 was to focus on strategy first so we could build our best robot. The mechanical subteam explained that recent meetings have been very effective in making progress with strategy. Through much collaboration and discussion between members, both old and new, ideas are being refined into a plan that will carry us successfully into competition. Differing from last year, we’ve implemented a 5-step strategy deciding plan. As the mechanical leads expressed, while it takes more time to decide on a strategy, it makes sure we all pay attention to the small details. Co-lead Maggie Swanson stated that, “We want to keep our decisions transparent, but still timely.”
One challenge of FIRST Stronghold is that once the robot is past a certain point on the field, it is out of view for the rest of the game. This will be a major obstacle for teams, but with our careful planning Blue Twilight, and specifically our control subteam, hopes to eliminate that issue. Design Board/C.A.D.advisor, Adam Trebesch, explained that one of control’s long term goals is to be able to successfully drive the robot without actually looking at the field, specifically by “having [the field] completely mapped out on [a] screen”. This goal also encompasses “track[ing] where you are on the screen, balls, [and] other robots.”
The MTR subteam has been working hard as well this week to keep up-to-date coverage on all aspects of the team. With lots of guidance and support from student leadership, new members are able to grasp a better feel for that ins-and-outs of what goes into the upkeep of media and publicity. MTR’s goal for the upcoming week is to submit a grant to the Eagan Foundation. We are planning on using this money to build a replica of the field for FIRST Stronghold. While this replica greatly benefits our team, it will also benefit teams attending our Week Zero practice competition.
Looking at next week, the mechanical subteam aims to have the C.A.D. done by Sunday, and therefore, have the first version of the drivetrain completed and driving by next Saturday night. The control subteam is hoping to finalize their plan for the electronics board. The MTR subteam is currently working on a grant to help fund the field that we’re building. While it’s only Week 1, we’ve already accomplished a lot.
For the past few months, Team 2220 has been working hard, attending outreach events such as Eagan Streets Alive and the MN State Fair to spread awareness of the FIRST program. Our MTR team spearheaded our preseason safety training, teaching team members how to safely use hand tools, power tools, and larger shop machines. We strengthened the bonds between our leads, students, and mentors as we prepared for the six-week-long build season with fun activities such as attending the MN Splash event and hosting team socials.
Since the kickoff, our whole team has been working hard to come up with new and effective ideas for our robot. For the coming weeks, we’ve decided to approach FIRST Stronghold with a structured plan to define our strategy. During full-team meetings, we have veteran students, rookies, and mentors collaboratively discuss ideas; we weigh the virtues of offensive and defensive strategies in order to ascertain a method for scoring the most points in the shortest amount of time. We have also spread the word about the FIRST Stronghold kick-off to the rest of Eagan High School through the school’s student broadcast, Eagan AM. As we continue our outreach and our strategizing, our collaboration as a team will allow us to gather everyone’s input, devise an effective plan for our robot, and move forward into the season expeditiously and confidently.
It has been a difficult but constructive week for Team 2220, especially the Manipulator subteam. After our robot design was discovered to have a flaw, manipulator was on the scene making immediate changes. Last weekend they constructed the primary lifter and discovered that they were unable to lift how they were supposed to. This caused them to scrap that idea and come up with a new and improved one. This design already has its supports and secondary lifters built, and they hope to finish building the clasping system and installing the motors on the robot. This week is looking promising!
This week programming has been experiencing the software Github, a code sharing software. This has allowed them to look at other forms of code and learn firsthand how that code works. Programming has also started testing and improving the gyro code. This code is essential to the function of the robot, and testing it in various ways multiple times will ensure that we’ve got it right.
After the switch up of robot designs, Drivetrain has been working around the clock to make sure that the design is constructed right. They’ve been working hand-in-hand with Manipulator and CAD in creating and constructing our newest robot design. They’ve been working so hard these past few days that it’s been hard to catch them for a minute. There is a mystery behind the genius of these build subteams.
On and Off Robot Electronics:
On Robot Electronics has also had their hands full with this new robot design. Because of the new shape of the robot, the program boards from the previous design no longer fit the new design. It’s a tedious task, but an important one to rewire the boards to fit. Off Robot Electronics has continued to represent Team 2220 Blue Twilight astoundingly! Continuing to work on our team badges, this week they were able to install the LED lights in a few badges. We’ll be lighting up the arena this year!!
A major task this week for the programmers was to come up with different tactics in the autonomous period. This week they have come up with 4 different codes that vary depending on the variables presented during that specific round. The programmers are creating these 4 different codes to make sure they are able to collaborate with the alliance partner, avoid collisions with them, and make sure that there are back up methods in case something goes wrong. Preparedness is key here!
On and Off Robot Electronics:
This past week On and Off Robot Electronics have made the CAD design for the electronics board for the competition robot. They also advanced and made a light-up hat to show even more team spirit! They are planning on finishing wiring the 1st electronic board and attaching that to the robot. Then they plan on wiring the 2nd board as well.
Drivetrain has finished up their first version of their drivetrain. Today they are planning on putting version one through tests to make sure it is completely reliable. A few people are working on polishing it off while the rest of the team focuses on version two. Version two is supposed to be lighter, tighter, and easier to change wheels with. With the great concentration and amount of time Drivetrain has been putting into their work, there is complete confidence in both designs.
This week CAD has revised their design multiple times. They have lightened the frame, calculated the weight, and adjusted different parts. With the new perspectives and ideas the frame seems to constantly be under revision. CAD has also been working along side Drivetrain in creating version two of their design.
A major goal of Manipulator this past week was to finish building the collection parts and the lift parts, and they have been perfectly on schedule. After receiving parts back from Skyline, the subteam has been working hard on completing the collection parts first. Thursday night, they wrapped up the final touches on the collection and started on the lift. By the end of tonight’s practice, Manipulator hopes to have assembled the robot, both with the collection and lift pieces, perfectly on schedule!
This past week programming has been successful with their test code. However, they had had some troubles understanding and implementing the mecanum wheels. After they fixed this though, they moved on to some more complicated code, proving difficult but not impossible. They have also established a means of teaching their new and unexperienced coders. Some bumps along the way are sometimes the perfect teaching method for these new members. Next week they plan on creating the manipulator code and making sure that it is reliable for those to use.
Drivetrain, CAD, and Manipulator:
Drivetrain this year has proven to be very efficient. Even though their tasks this year are more complicated than last years, they are working efficiently. Like last week, they are working on gear boxes. Last week it was taking them apart and reassembling them, but this week they are finishing and cleaning them. Drivetrain has also been getting welding practice in by assembling end and gear box plates as well as the end plugs. CAD has been working with Drivetrain in their wielding practice and have completed the drivetrain CAD. Manipulator has also been working with Drivetrain in the building process, they have helped them build the recycle bin and clasp.
On and Off Robot Electronics:
With only 30% of last year’s budget, On and Off Electronics have been trying to work efficiently while still having room for invention. They have been slow overall because of some delays in getting parts, but with major pre-planning and a lot of dedication, they are ready to roll when the parts arrive. The new team badges are planned to be stars made out of plexiglass. They will have surface mounted LED’s and copper tape, they’ll be thinner, bigger, and brighter for our team!
Since last week, the programmers have finished working on the CAN ID and have moved on to programming controls. Currently, the programmers are using a test bot to work on. The CAN ID has successfully been communicating through the test bot, and is expected to do the same in this year’s final robot. Now that communication works, the team is programming code for some very basic movements. This is proving to be a slow and tedious process, but a very important one.
Drivetrain and CAD:
Like last week, Drivetrain and CAD are working together. Drivetrain has been doing some simple work of disabling old gear boxes. By doing this, they will be able to reassemble new and more efficient gear boxes. They have also been assembling aluminum plugs for the recreation of these gear boxes. CAD has been working along side them by trying to find the right size for a cartridge for Drivetrain.
On and Off Electronics:
Making progress on the new way to display our logo, On and Off Electronics have been working hard this week. Off Elections have been working on designing the outside of the new robot. It has been important for them to take their time doing this so that they accurately represent Team 2220 for all that it is. On Electronics has been working on communication in the robot and have been waiting for measurements to finish creating the test boards for the programmers. They have also added their desired lights to the robot; we’ll definitely light up the world now!
Earlier this week, Manipulator had sent in their designs to some of our sponsors to start being made. After deciding last week on a design for our robot, the team is eager to start working on it! In the mean time, they have been coming up with ideas on how to mount the collections system to the robot once it is built.
Recently this week, the media subteam got in contact with the Duluth East team in terms of the BlueDevil Press. Already writing articles for the newspaper, Media has had their hands full with writing. This Saturday was team picture day, and Media has been sifting through those photos to post to the team’s shutterfly, expect pictures soon!
The programmers are working on an old robot to develop the CAN ID, or the Component Area Network ID. The CAN ID helps with communication, communicating with the robot itself and with other robots. For example, it can give the programmers feedback on the power usage. The programmers are also working on what they call a test bot program. This week, their primary focus in this program is to get the wheels working using an octocanum drivetrain. Mentored by former member and captain, Nathan Conroy, on Thursday night, the programmers were trying to get the wheels on the robot to pivot, and so far this is proving to be more of challenge than they had thought.
Drivetrain and CAD:
Drivetrain and CAD are working together this week to try to accomplish a variety of goals. Earlier this week, Drivetrain was trying to resolve an issue with some maintenance holes. This issue is important to resolve because the holes will be used to attach the adjustable center bar, a much needed part in the build season robot. Along with that issue, they are trying to resolve an issue with the cim motor; this part is essential because it is used for gear backspacing. Throughout the week, some separate Drivetrain members have been working on one of Blue Twilight’s old robots, Scorpio, to improve it for use in future outreach demos. One of these lator improvements is trying to get the wheel belt to work properly. Drivetrain and CAD have set goals that are carefully, but efficiently, being completed.
On and Off Robot Electronics:
On and Off Robotic Electronics have been working together this week on coming up with a new way to display our logo. The donation of chibitronics sticker circuits systems from Chibitronics has allowed the Electronics team to improve their logo by using stickers and LED’s, helping Team 2220 light up even more! Along with working with Off-Robot Electronics, On-Robot Electronics is working on building roboRIO test boards for the programmers. These test boards have an essential part called the roboRIO, the brain of the robot. Even though On and Off Robot Electronics have their hands full, they’re making wonderful progress.
Manipulator has been working extremely hard this week with designing robot models, and on Saturday, the subteam leads chose which model to build this season. The first model proposed was a 6 foot 6 inch, the maximum height, robot that stacks bins and crates vertically. By hooking the first trash bin and lifting it, you can then stack two more crates under it. The robot then releases everything at once, making it easy to back away. The second model proposed was shorter and could stack more crates than the previous model, 6 crates and 1 trash bin stacked vertically. The model also had long arms that extended 3 feet out to round up and then push crates and bins to a desired spot. The model also has an arm on the back of it to place a trash bin on top of the crates, or to carry another crate or bin. Both models were wonderful candidates and both were worthy of building, but in the end the elected choice was the second model. The Manipulator subteam worked extremely hard this past week, and their ideas are now going to be applied throughout the build season.
Drive Train is working hard to meet the deadlines of week four. We now have two fully-welded chassis, and are almost finished assembling the first drive train. The second chassis will also be assembled this week.
We are learning how to improve our assembly process, keeping in mind that we will need to work quickly in the pit if repairs are needed in a match. We are now working to create a better belt system, as our current system does not run as efficiently as we would like.
Skyline has been extremely generous and has powder-coated one frame in “Brushed Steel.” It looks professional and ready for nationals!
We have high hopes for this year’s robot, as everything is coming together nicely.