2022 Season Blog
Welcome to our 2022 season! Follow us week by week as we document our progress this new season!
Swerve: This week, swerve is still making adjustments to the drivetrain CAD, making small changes to accommodate for the placement of the other robot features. As the prototyping of the shooter, intake, and climber is coming to an end, the integration of all the features onto the drivetrain is being discussed in more detail; a goal of ours this week is to have a final CAD of the drivetrain, with accurate dimensions and orientation of its elements, and have a design review with a mentor, then beginning fabrication. Also this week, we completed the assembly of the second bumper for the practice swerve. Implementing all the changes we decided on from the first bumper, assembly of this bumper flowed very efficiently. We utilized tips from a Chief Delphi post in regards to the folding of the bumper fabric and found many new techniques that we hope to implement when assembling our competition bumpers. A project started on Saturday was the replacement of the current swerve modules on the practice drivetrain with the new swerve modules, with the use of rivet nuts instead of rivets, and this will be carried on into the first day of the new week.
Shooter: This week, shooter intensely worked and problem-solved to make quality progress on our prototyping. We re-cut the polycarb because of some mix-ups with the type of gussets we use in the CAD, but all was solved with speed in preparation for real testing. We also had a great conversation about the prototyping process and outlining what specific questions we want to answer and what the most efficient order is to do so. Throughout the week, we went from roughly testing with a trash can in our Autoshop to imitating a real shot on the game field in our spacious Small Cafeteria with a fully built Upper Hub field element and secure, standardized, and easily adjustable shooter prototype. We’d hoped to finish up prototyping this week, but because of some delays and the learning curve that comes with attempting a more standardized prototyping process, gathering prototyping data will finish up at the beginning of Sprint 4. We’ve discovered that we can create a theoretically consistent shot with our range of speeds, compression, and angle, however, the interaction between the ball and the upper hub is quite unpredictable from farther ranges. Because of this, we will look to hone in on our Strategic Design Requirements along with our prototyping data to determine the best functionality for our team’s overall success.
Intake: This week, intake’s primary focus was assembling, testing, and analyzing data from our primary prototype. After we finished assembling our prototype last Saturday, we began testing our two-bar intake mechanism on our swerve robot [demo can be viewed here]. We had many questions we wanted to answer with this prototype, so we tested several variables, including an optimal bar extension, compression (distance from wheel to ground), various rolling angles, different height drops, varying velocity upon rolling, motor speed, and more. After watching back our footage and analyzing the data we recorded, we came to a conclusion about the most efficient motor speed, and we also decided that implementing a third bar would assist the mechanism in getting the cargo balls over the bumper more smoothly and make the system more sturdy. With this in mind, we took apart our prototype, added a third bar, reassembled, and conducted more tests with the same variables. We found that adding a third bar was indeed more effective, and after many additional tests, we were able to answer all of our testing questions. Our optimal bar extension came out to be 7.5” from the bumper, the best compression came out to be 7.5”,, and our most effective motor speed was 0.8 (on a scale from 0 to 1). [A demo video of our mechanism with these dimensions & our third bar can be viewed here]. Our next steps are to begin the design of our actual intake mechanism based on our footage, prototype tests, and conclusions. As a result, this week we plan to begin CADing our final mechanism while also collaborating with the other features as they begin a similar phase.
Climber: This week our team learned a lot about what the traversing process will look like and what factors specifically go into how fast we can complete the climb. We used CAD to visualize what our secondary mechanism hooks will be and we had a simple prototype made by the CNC subteam to test them. We hooked our 2020 robot, Luminara, onto the hangar that our mentors graciously built for us to test how the hooks would hold up against the weight of the robot and how the robot would swing when transferring the hold between the elevator and the secondary mechanism. After taking a couple videos of the drop test, we were able to do video analysis on them to determine how quickly we should deploy our elevator after transferring hold of the rung and how much flexibility we have with that. To determine how fast we can raise our elevator to the next rung, we used a public spreadsheet called JVN design calculator. We modified the linear mechanism page to display accurate times and current draw per motor for each step in the climb process. Using that information, we were able to determine tentative gear ratios for the elevator. We did run into an issue with spacing due to the limited amount that we have but were able to work around that by being more creative with how we used it. We are continuing to make a CAD model of the climber and are deciding many specifics now. For next week, we will be continuing the CAD model and hopefully will test a new secondary hook design that we made.
Mechanical: This week, mechanical continued to work with other subteams to finalize and collect data from prototypes. We have now started transitioning to creating final CADs for each subsystem.
Assembly: We are starting to have some very concrete data from all of our prototypes. We are hoping to have all testing done by this week and to allow us to start designing the final versions. Early this week we are hoping to have finished assembling the new swerve modules on our old drivetrain so software can start becoming comfortable with the software aspect of our new drivetrain.
CNC: Early in the week we finished cutting out parts for our final Field Element piece. We also continued to finish prototype parts for Climber, Drivetrain, and Intake. We got more practice with cutting out 2x1’s as the climber needed a part. Contrary to our preseason, cutting a 2x1 went extremely well. We also seemed to fix our depth issues that we were having when cutting wood on our ShopBot. All members have been doing very well in learning how to use the ShopBot this week and are progressing faster than anticipated. We also installed a table on our ShopBot to make running it easier. An image is linked below. Next week we will continue to do guided practices until all members can comfortably run a part file by themselves. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MDVDUSKYj7zPTpuw5ZGzhSidvpF-mOv1/view?usp=drivesdk
Machining: Early into the week we were working on finishing some final parts for prototyping. We got new members more comfortable with machines other than the mill. We went over the best way to cut parts depending on the number of people. For the rest of the week we had little to do other than some odd job parts here and there. We are waiting and preparing for more parts, later in the season.
Electrical: The electrical subteam is still in the board preparation phase. We’ve been planning out all of the components and wires we’ll need as specific as possible and starting to collect the parts we’ll use for the actual electrical board too. We have also prepared another huskyAdapt toy along with backup cam coders for swerve modules. We are also working towards better standardization and organization of our RSU where we keep all of our tools, components, and anything else electrical.
Software: Software has been working with prototypes throughout the week. We started by creating prototype code with the new RobotBuilder feature that we started exploring earlier in the season. Once the code was created it was only a matter of changing canId’s on the prototype motors and deploying the code. Swerve, which is our new Drivetrain, was our next priority, we started developing code while assembly is getting the new swerve modules on a frame so that we can start testing. While we wait for the Swerve, we are thinking about what features the Swerve may need such as a Field-relative drive, an x-stance, etc. So that we can be ready with code when we need to implement it.
Media: This week, Media has worked to complete all of our members’ personalized subteam buttons as well as buttons for our mentors and coaches. We have also been working on capturing more build season content through photos, videos, and interviews with members on what our team has been working on as we make it to week 4 of build season. Along with this, we continue to highlight subteams on our Instagram and Twitter. Check it out at @team3061! Media has also been working to promote our scouting app, SPOT as we get ready to present it to other FRC teams in the upcoming weeks and share it on our social media and at other events coming up!
Outreach: Outreach finalized two new events this week, a STEM event with the DuPage Children’s Museum and a virtual event with the Naper Public Library, and we are in the process of gathering volunteers for them. In addition to those two events, outreach is in the final stages of preparation for visiting some of the middle school PLTW classes in D203, and we are looking to get a sign up link out shortly. Outreach is still researching global events and has some local opportunities lined up that we will start working on next week.
Awards: Awards near finalized all 13 of our executive summaries, down to character count and updated statistics which passed through two rounds of revisions by our coaches and mentors. While we wait for a few finalized numbers to come through we have begun to revise our long essay combing through numbers and components that need to be altered regarding the topics that have been included in our short essays from our current season. We plan to first identify individual numbers/ subjects that are outdated alongside the theme of our essay for this year’s submission to determine how we will be constructing our long essay.
Strategic Management: This week in SM, we took a greater look into the field itself and the decisions we are going to make on it. We call this collection of different strategies the “Playbook” and we share it with the drive team before competition so that they can make the best decisions possible given different situations that will occur on the field during a match. One of our biggest accomplishments this week was we were able to design a possible 18 point auto that would put us way ahead of much of the other competition at our regionals if we were able to program it correctly and consistently. We also decided where the best places to collect cargo would be (the field’s side walls) and calculated the impact of various cycle times on our total robot’s performance.
Swerve: This week, we completed the assembly of the four swerve gearboxes, besides the attachment of the CAN coders, and shifted our focus to creating a bumper that could be mounted onto the practice swerve bot for intake to use for testing. We determined the appropriate bolt length and size necessary for the implementation of the tee nuts used to attach the L-channels to the bumpers. Adjustments were made to the orientation of the L-channels as well: the placement of bolts was shifted up so the L channels can be mounted with protruding side underneath the bolts attaching it to the wood rather than above. Changes were made to the placement of the corner gusset, attaching two short pieces of wood to the longest piece, as well; these gussets are now on the outward-facing side of the bumper, in between the wood and the stacked pool noodles. These gussets are screwed in with button head wood screws but we plan to use flathead screws for future bumpers. Once the bumper was assembled and the fabric was stapled on, the CAD was updated with all the changes we made. In this upcoming week, we hope to attach the CAN coders to the assembled swerve modules and further research latching mechanisms for our bumpers. We also aim to fabricate and program the drivetrain.
Shooter: This week the Shooter team diligently worked on finishing the CAD for our prototype, fabricating the rev extrusions, CNC cutting our polycarb, and beginning assembly. With our use of the new Rev Robotics prototyping kit that we bought, the prototyping process has become much more standardized and focused on answering specific questions with quality data, such as the ideal angle range for our adjustable hood and the compression on the ball, which we’ve made all very easily adjustable variables in our well thought out prototype. Unfortunately, towards the end of our assembly process, we realized our polycarb curve of the adjustable hood for the shooter was too short because of a mix-up of gusset parts, so we are working hard to re-document that work and begin the testing of the prototype very early into next week. Looking forward to finding out very useful information in the coming days in order to begin the tedious but satisfactory CAD official design process!
Intake: This week, the intake team continued the prototyping process and we hope to finish that during Week 3. We finished the CAD of our main prototype - a similar but significantly modified version of Kettering Universities’ Robot in 3 Days intake system - then sent off the parts to CNC and Machining to cut & make them. We then assembled the prototype and mounted it to our test robot. Our next steps are to test our prototype, which we will use to gather information on questions we have, such as how much the ball will compress with our system, the grip of the ball, whether this design will work for our actual intake, etc. These questions are important to answer because they could affect how our system operates and what materials we use significantly. We plan to continue the prototyping process through Week 3, with the goal of completing it mid-week and having a finalized design of our intake system by the end of the week. Video of our prototype in action to come this week!
Climber: This week we have decided to change our climber design to make the entire climb process quicker. The elevator and the rotary mechanism have been moved to the opposite side of the robot so that the robot is easier to tilt in the direction we want due to the force of gravity. Also, instead of using large gear ratios on our secondary mechanism, we are now using pneumatics to pivot the robot between two hard stops. We are now currently cadding the entire climber by dividing the work into 4 separate cad projects so we can work in parallel - the elevator, the rotary mechanism, the elevator hooks, and the rotary hooks. We have also tentatively begun testing how the robot will swing when attached to the rungs by hooking on our 2020 robot. The hope is that by the end of Week 3, we will have the first draft of the entire climber assembly done and a few parts fabricated and tested. Attached is a video of our 2020 robot swinging on the high rung of the hangar which we will collect data from and model the swing, timing, and angles wanted for a successful climb: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CMEBiSUWsPr-gCP6VQLhU8bWaXFiNUjA/view?usp=sharing
Assembly: We have been working with mechanical on CADding our 3 main features (Shooter, Intake, and Climber). We have started physically building prototypes to answer different questions about the features to let us make the best possible final product. We have also been finished assembling our new swerve drives (Our Swerves)
CNC: This week CNC worked on cutting out parts for prototyping for features mostly, as well as working with electrical on battery caps. We had a change in plans for one of our field elements design, so we had to recut some parts and our time was also dedicated to that'sWe had an issue with our spindle system on our ShopBot but it was identified and fixed quickly with the help of a coach. For next week we should be finishing up prototype parts and continuing from there.
Machining: This week was when our season really began to start. We started making parts and better figuring out how to quickly make parts. Most of the new members are comfortable with the mill and are ready for more parts. We found good ways to work when there are both many or very few of us. Technical difficulties summed up to the bandsaw creating too much heat and we had mechanical help make new covers for the bandsaw. For the next week, we are ready to cut any new parts that come our way as well as help in other areas we can.
Electrical: The electrical goal of this week was to prepare for when electrical has access to the robot. We ordered can cables through the Molex custom cable creator, we had training days for new members and mapped out tentative ideas for what the electrical board will look like. We wired up can coders which allowed us to help software test swerve modules. In association with software, we have a software computer and will be learning how we can test some of our electrical components and systems more independently.
Software: This week, software continued on the progress we made from our last sprint. We got a better understanding of the RobotBuilder and the code we can create from there. We realized that once we are able to create the code, we do not need to insert any more code that prints out our motor values to shuffleBoard(an application that allows us to see values such as speed, angle, etc). We can now take advantage of the test mode on the Driver Station, which shows us all motor powers, and angles without adding additional code! Using this we created code for the prototypes in progress such as Shooter, Intake, and Swerve. We also built on the testing we had completed the last sprint with limelight. With the values we found, we were able to accurately calculate the distance the robot was from the target, by interesting a value that the limelight calculates into a distance formula. This is a major step in our progress towards a vision in this year’s game.
Media: This week, the media has been working on creating personalized subteam buttons for every member of our team. Along with this, we have been capturing more content of our build season for Chairman’s and for our season recap video. In terms of social media, we have been working on our Subteam of the Week, where we highlight a subteam each week and all of the work they have accomplished through pictures, videos, and interviews with some of the members. Check it out at @team3061 on Instagram and Twitter! Media has also been working with our Strategic Software team to prepare for the launch of our scouting app, SPOT.
Outreach: This week, outreach has been working on communicating with the D203 PLTW teachers to organize Expo events for the middle schools, where we will be teaching the students more about FRC and Huskie Robotics. Parallel to that we finished fabricating FTC parts this week and sent them out to the team we are working with. We are still looking for more global and local events to potentially do while continuing to coordinate local events we currently have planned for February.
Awards: This week, awards has finished a preliminary draft of our short executive summaries for the Chairman’s Presentation. After meeting with our mentors, we came up with essential writing points and events for each prompt that we wanted to include in each summary. Using the points, we came up with rough drafts that we hope to bring under word count and solidify during this week. By the end of the week, we plan to have finalized our executive summaries and to begin looking at the long essay!
Strategic Software: This week, Strategic Software finished up the main features in the scouting app (SPOT) that Scouters would see, and started working on the analysis backend section. This includes data transformers and the general setup for the analysis side of the app. We also brainstormed new analysis metrics that we could use, including a movement and shot efficiency parameter for robots. Additionally, we worked with Media to create branding for SPOT and worked with mentors to help with the open-sourcing process of SPOT.
Strategic Management: This week, Strategic Management began researching what some of the other FRC teams were doing in order to get a better understanding of the kinds of robots we will encounter at the competition. It is crucial that our team knows the kinds of robots that other teams have, as that will allow us to plan accordingly and play as best we can at the regional. We also created some driver training drills this week. By the competition date, it is imperative that our driver has the skills to compete at the highest level possible. These drills aim to do just that; they make sure that our driver is able to drive around opponent robots and obstacles efficiently as well as use all of the robot mechanisms in a way similar to what they would have to do in a competitive match.
Swerve: This week we focused on fully assembling one swerve module and started working on the others. We disassembled the falcon motor in order to take out the shaft so that machining could lathe it to the desired length and then reassembled it. Using the annotated swerve gearbox workflow, we assembled both plates of the module and then screwed them together. After the module was fully assembled, software tested it and everything worked fine. We then started to take the shafts out of the other falcons and machining was able to cut down 2 more. When working on the modules, we encountered a couple of roadblocks such as a stripped screw and the top of a screw popping off, leaving the bottom stuck in one of the shafts. Luckily, we were able to solve both problems before the end of the Saturday meeting; going into the new week, we will again focus on fully assembling the four other swerve modules.
Shooter: This week was spent brainstorming shooter designs and then brainstorming possible prototypes. We decided on an adjustable hood shooter with an angle range from 60 to 85 degrees for easy parabolic trajectories from right up against the hub to 15 ft. away! We made an emphasis this season to make more standardized prototypes that answer specific questions, so we worked on CAD-ing a more sturdy model that will help us prepare for actual shooter designing. We will kick off next week by finishing up the prototype CAD, sending out parts for it, and assembling and testing it.
Intake: This week we worked on brainstorming and prototyping possible mechanisms for our intake system. We explored various initial prototypes to help answer some questions related to how our system would work in relation to this year’s game and game ball. We CADed a few prototype models and tested them, but recently found the CAD model of the Robot in 3 Days’ intake system from Kettering University, which we all seem to agree on as the best model. Since then we have started making some modifications to that CAD design. We have nearly finished CADing that model, and our next steps are to make the parts for it, assemble it, and test it out to see if we will be able to use it as our actual intake mechanism [prototype demo video to come next week].
Climber: This week we have brainstormed a feasible mechanism for the climber. Instead of building a physical prototype, we CADed a basic version of the climber to see how the robot will interact with the rungs in the hangar that we have to traverse. We have also begun CADing the first version of the actual climber by using and reworking our climber from the Infinite Recharge 2020 game. Mathematically, we are determining dimensions as well as gear ratios that will maximize our efficiency while also keeping our robot safe.
Mechanical: We have been working with each of the features to come up with design ideas and begin the prototyping process. We are primarily focused on the mechanical design of the prototypes and are the ones responsible for producing CAD models of each of the features.
Assembly: We have been working with mechanical and extra members on prototyping our 3 main features (Shooter, Intake, and Climber). This includes CADding (3D-Modeling) and physically building prototypes to answer different questions about the features to let us make the best possible final product. We have also been assembling our new swerve drives (Our Swerves)
CNC: CNC this week worked on cutting and creating our field elements. We are also currently working on a project for an FTC team which will be continued into next week. We ran into a few issues this week but nothing that couldn't be fixed in under half an hour or totally stopped production. This week we also continued to teach our new members more about how to run the ShopBot and safety precautions. Next week we are due to get parts for prototyping which is what we are mainly going to be doing.
Machining: Machining has been continuing to teach new members more about the mills with real parts. We have also been working on a project with an FTC team on making parts but on further notice, it would have been a job for CNC. The Bridgeport mills Y-DRO broke but luckily Mr. Girup was able to fix it. The Alliant mill’s brake lever broke making it completely unusable and will likely be down for weeks. We also cut motor shafts for assembly and are working on finishing more bumper parts.
Electrical: Electrical has had a focus on preparing for when our features are further along and require more assistance from electrical. There has been a lot of organization of our parts and how we store them. There has been an organization of our standardization of the parts and wires we deal with. We have been teaching new members what we do in electrical. Through the completion of an outreach turret from last year’s competition, they’ve seen how an actual electrical board is assembled. We have been able to test our new Power Distribution Hub, Pneumatic Hub, RoboRio, and Radio Power Controller. In association with software, we assisted in testing one of our swerve modules for the swerve feature. We have also assisted in creating a connector for our 3D printers that allow for easier maintenance.
Software: Software has been working on updating firmware on various features. This includes updating motors, radios, and other devices to make sure we are ready for the 2022 season. We have also started working on testing our vision by collecting data on distance, field of view, height, and other factors. We explored an improved Robot Builder built by WPILIB, which allows us to create sample code by inserting the types of motors and encoders we are using. This gives us a template to build off of, minimizing time spent coding from scratch.
Media: Media has been working on capturing photos and videos of our build season so we can create a recap video at the end of the season. We have also been working with Strategic Software to prepare our scouting app for other teams. In addition to this, we are preparing a presentation to publicly launch the app. Along with this, we have also been creating social media content for the public and preparing posts from past events. Finally, our 2021-22 Sit With Me video was finalized this week and can be viewed here.
Outreach: This week, outreach has been working on getting all of our upcoming outreach event dates finalized, as well as continuing to research global events we can potentially do. Events currently in the process of being planned include STEM events and robot demos at the Naperville Public Library and the Dupage Children's Museum. We are also working on putting together a presentation for the D203 Middle School PLTW Expo, where Huskie Robotics members will go to several D203 junior high schools and teach them about robotics to attract new members. This week also included a lot of communication with the FTC team that we’re fabricating parts for, as we finish up what they need.
Awards: This week we have been reviewing and familiarizing ourselves with the chairman’s essays. We are first focusing on the short executive essays as we know that we’ll be reworking those the most and are updating this year’s stats and eliminating the ones past the 3 yr. mark. We’ve individually completed rewrites of the 13 exec summaries and are currently comparing and organizing the information into the different prompts. We hope to finish the basic compartmentalization of all our info by the end of today and hope to review this with the mentors/ coaches before starting to formally rewrite on Wednesday- We hope to finish rewrites by Wednesday/ Early Next Saturday.