Day 25, Jan 31, 2017

We had about 4 students show up so not much progress was made but we did get some.

  1. The intake was put back on the robot
    1. The polycord is still really tight
    2. It will be interesting to see if it will pop off when we run it
    3. That is the next step.
  2. The Hanger V2 is being made
    1. One gearbox was mounted
    2. Now to mount gearbox 2 and the shaft inbetween
    3. We just got in the 1 inch hex (with 1/2 inch hex inside) for our roller
  3. Passive Hanger was worked on
    1. Since the intake was off the team cut the front plate to fit the passive mechanism
    2. Now its time to make cutouts for the rivets and mount it back
  4. 4 gearbox plates were cut.
    1. The CNC was not level so some of the holes look kind of bad but they still work and are better than the plasma.
    2. The next run will be tomorrow and we are going to add 0.02 to the thickness and start higher so that the leveling does not make a difference.
  5. CAD
    1. Started on getting the V2 of the robot made
    2. The sheetmetal intake and shooter were started
    3. The robot assembly V2 also started with the intake
      1. The sheetmetal parts give us easier mounting
      2. Also give us thinner parts so we can use more space for the hopper

Day 24, Jan 30, 2017

Well this is technically tomorrow but I am still posting as if it was today.

  1. Programming team worked on vision
    1. We borrowed an axis camera from our friends Discobots
    2. Grip was able to see it via router and the filters seemed to work.
    3. Now to test this in the actual Java program
    4. We will try turning to align with the target for now.
  2. The build team fixed several issues that we had at Pearland
    1. Polycord was tightened (on intake and shooter)
    2. Hood started getting fixed for the shooter (still needs work)
  3. Electronics team worked on the final layout
    1. It was created in CAD
    2. Looks like we need to add 2 more talons and compressor with solenoids
  4. Gear intake tested on robot
    1. The intake works well
    2. We were able to retain about 90 percent of the gears from the chute
      1. The only gears that did not fall in were the extreme errors by the human player.
      2. We are working on fixing that
  5. CAD team worked on compression
    1. Shooter intake and intake compressions were worked on
    2. Shooter was made smaller (will be shooting 1 at a time)
    3. This freed up space in the hopper
  6. Turret tested with a 1:1 miniCIM
    1. So… we tested the same wheel (just one instead of 4 colsons) with a minicim
    2. This worked really well
    3. I think we have several problems of our shooter
      1. The wheel system is heavy
      2. The motor needs more torque (minicim would work)
    4. We are going to swap our 775 on our regular shooter and test to see how it does.

Day 23, Jan 29, 2017

Today we went to Pearland to practice driving and autonomous. Thanks to FRC 5414 Pearadox!

  1. For the first couple of hours we were working on making a hopper and hood for our shooter.
    1. After this was done we had about 2 hours left
    2. The drivetrain chain was way too loose so we had to take a half link off on each side.
  2. When testing the shooter we found that even if the motors are going the same direction and are both controlled by PID they are fighting each other as the friction is different.
    1. This is where our issue of breaking the 775s is coming from most likely
  3. The intake and shooter intake seemed to work well (speed wise)
    1. The first problem was the fact that the polycord is too spersely distributed and we need to add more.
    2. The second is that it is too loose and there is no grip tape on the back so it slips on the lexan
    3. The back of the shooter intake needs to have a roller to get the ball from the hopper.
  4. Autonomous testing started with using NavX
    1. We were able to turn the robot 90
    2. We were also able to make the robot drive straight for a certain distance
    3. Now the goal will be to integrate that to make sure the robot is driving using speed as well as going straight and create commands to use in autonomous.
  5. Vision programming is at somewhat of a standstill
    1. Apparently RoboRealm does not support the Microsoft camera
    2. We are going to use the Microsoft for driver help and just to see on the driver station
    3. We are going to use an Axis camera with Grip, OpenCV or RoboRealm for vision processing to line up with the goals.
  6. Last but certainly not least
    1. We went to a Bar-b-q place after a long but productive day!

Day 22, Jan 28, 2017

Today we did not get a chance to go to Pearland to practice, but we are going tomorrow.

  1. Programming team worked on PID and Vision
    1. The breakers seem to be fine now
    2. The PID is somewhat tuned to the point where we can test and tweak more tomorrow
    3. Vision code is integrated and was tested.
      1. For some reason we are getting a black screeen on the roboRealm window when running it from the camera on the roboRIO
      2. Tomorrow we will debug
  2. Drivetrain worked on the floor for the balls
    1. The floor will just be a lexan plate over the electronics
    2. This was cut out and just needs to be attached with l brackets to the shooter back 2×1
  3. Shooter and Intake subsystems worked on putting -the shooter on the robot and making a ramp for the balls
    1. The shooter eventually was lifted higher as it was only at 19 inches high instead of 24.
    2. Little brackets were added to make sure the intake and shooter dont separate when a ball goes inbetween.
    3. The intake is now at the right height to let go of the ball right as it gets to the shooter
      1. It was too high before
  4. CAD team worked on the shooter, and hopper
    1. The shooter was misaligned so that was fixed
    2. The compression was fixed
    3. The hopper or “Fuel Tank” was edited to be max dimensions to the edge of the frame
  5. The passive gear intake team tried putting it on the robot
    1. They found several issues like that it was too wide
    2. Also after drilling the bearing holes too close to the bend that they can not fit the adapter
    3. They took it apart and marked where they need to change it for them to fix it.
  6. The CNC is ALIVE!
    1. The problem was the computer it would turn off the USB even though the “USB sleep” option was set to off.
    2. I used my laptop and the cut ran fine.
    3. The new rail in the upgrade kit makes the cuts a lot nicer and not oval now (we had that problem last year)
    4. The bearing holes are now perfect press fit!

Day 21, Jan 27, 2017

Almost there! Still some things to finish up though.

  1. Programming team figured out the PID
    1. They changed the speed to account for the reduction stage being taken out
    2. We had an issue of popping breakers as well though
      1. Going to see what to do about that
  2. The drivetrain team chained the drive
    1. The gearboxes were chained.
    2. They are very loose so we need to tighten them
    3. Other than that just plumbing the shifter is all that’s left
  3. The shooter team was able to put the back 2x1s together
    1. The pulleys printed overnight
    2. The back is assembled but the motor is out of dimensions
    3. For now we are going to leave it but that is going to have to change
  4. I finally got a chance to mess with the CNC
    1. Universal G-Code sender keeps crashing
    2. Easel seemed to work ok but it for some reason stops in the middle after what i guess is some lines of code….
    3. Still trying to figure out (didnt have much time so need to do it tomorrow)
  5. The passive gear intake is together
    1. It now needs to be attached to the front of the robot
      1. Meaning the bearing holes need to be drilled
    2. Inside there are stoppers which don’t let the gear fall through
      1. These need to be adjusted lower so that the top slot of the gear is at 13″

Day 20, Jan 26, 2017

1 day left to practice and we are extremely close

  1. Programming team tested code to control most subsystems
    1. Intake works
    2. Drivetrain works
    3. Shooter works but the reduction was taken out so we need to change the speed and PID (too slow now)
    4. Last thing to check is the shooter intake once that is mounted
  2. The intake team
    1. Put the intake on the robot and tested it.
    2. There needs to be a little bit more compression/polycord needs to be tighter
    3. Other than that it looks good
  3. The Shooter team mounted front shooter rails to the drive
    1. The back 2x1s are already made now just to get the rollers on
    2. Waiting for the polycord pulleys to get printed overnight and put them on
    3. Once that is done we will connect a motor and test that with the shooter together
  4. Passive gear intake is almost done
    1. It already looks like a carcass
    2. Now to mount the back and drill bearing holes
  5. The field elements are transported to our friends in Pearland
    1. We will be practicing there and testing our robot this weekend.

Day 19, Jan 25, 2017

Almost there! Two more days and a couple of things to have V1 ready!

  1. Programming team
    1. Not much progress was made as the electronics for the subsystems was being transferred to the V1 drivetrain
    2. NavX shows values, vision is almost ready only to figure out Network Tables
    3. New roboRIO is on the V1 so the re-imaging process and loading code was started
  2. Drivetrain sub team had to change placement of the gearboxes
    1. We found that there is not enough room for the shooter intake (it didnt match the CAD)
    2. The reason was that our gearboxes were too far into the drive
    3. They were moved to make more room by cutting a slot in the 3×4 and putting them over the back 2×1, as well as moving them as close to the chain sideways as possible.
  3. The electronics sub team was very productive today
    1. The talons were all connected via CAN
    2. New roboRio was put on the robot and everything connected
    3. The components were secured to the baseplate
    4. Turn on test was done and everything seemed to pass
    5. Next step is to mount the on switch on the 2×1 of the shooter (once that is installed)
  4. The Shooter team
    1. Put the lexan backing on the shooter
    2. Made the back plate with the intake rollers
    3. Now to mount that onto the baseplate and make sure we can intake the balls and shoot them
  5. The passive gear intake V1 is made out of lexan and sheet aluminum
    1. It is laid out and now just needs to be assembled
    2. Bearing holes need to be added to the metal pieces so we can put it on the intake shaft
    3. This will be the first test of it on the actual robot
  6. The Intake team
    1. Finished making the front plate with a lip to funnel balls into hopper
    2. Right now its aluminum but we need to get it out of lexan eventually
    3. The back plate is done so tomorrow we will mount it on the robot
  7. CNC is alive!
    1. Finally the CNC is back to life
    2. Now that we know the right settings only took the first try!
    3. Tomorrow we will start making the gearboxes on that.
  8. Turret prototype got a little work done on it
    1. The motor is attached
    2. The baseplate on which to attach the giant sprocket to turn the turret is made
    3. Our priority right now is to get the robot running and then we will focus more on the turret

Day 18, Jan 24, 2017

We are closer to meeting our goal of having a V1 robot done before Saturday.

  1. Programming team got the NavX to work
    1. We were able to see angular position of our robot on the smart dashboard.
    2. This will help us align to objects on the field
  2. Electronics team got all of the electronics on the V1 robot
    1. All electronics placed on the V1 robot
    2. Now to securely attach them
  3. The Dirvetrain team put together both of the gearboxes and mounted them to the drive train
    1. Now to chain them to the drive
    2. Also need to attach the pneumatics for the shifting gearboxes
  4.  The intake was finished
    1. The front part was made
    2. Lexan still needs to be attached
    3. The polycord was put on the back part of the intake.
    4. Tomorrow it will be attached to V1 drivetrain
  5. Shooter team
    1. Made progress on the back side of the shooter
    2. This is where the feeding in to the shooter will be
    3. Tomorrow should be able to get it together
  6. CAD team did a lot of tweaking
    1. CAD team did a lot of tweaking of the gearboxes to make the potential hanging mechanism fit into the shooter 2x1s
    2. The intake errors were fixed
    3. The shooter rollers added and worked on
  7. Turret prototype got a little bit of work
  8. Another idea is to use the drive to power the lift
    1. The idea is to use a dog gear shifter like we have in the gearbox for the hang
    2. This can be done using a coupler (to connect both sides of drive together) at the end of the dog shaft.
    3. When the hang is activated we will shift into the gear and winch ourselves up.

Day 17, Jan 23, 2017

Week 3 is well under way!

  1. Programming team worked on integrating the NavX code into the prototype drivetrain
    1. They were close to getting it to show values on smart dashboard
    2. But…. We had to leave
  2. Intake was assembled
    1. Now to attach the polycord and put it on the robot
    2. The standoffs make it crooked so we will have to redo those
  3. Shooter front was finished
    1. The wheels and motors are attached
    2. Now to make the back part with the rollers for the shooter intake
    3. Also add a lexan sheet on these 2x1s as a backing for the shooter intake.
    4. The 3:1 reduction also needs to be taken out as we had sped it up with the chain before but now its a 1:1 with the pulleys
  4.  The Drivetrain team worked on the gearboxes
    1. One was assembled and the other started
    2. It should be easy to copy the finished one tomorrow
    3. The plasma cutter did not do a great job at making the holes so we have to redo some
    4. Trying to set up our CNC so that we can cut the gearboxes on that.
  5. One prototype of a turret was started on the side
    1. We are going to see if we can build one (a couple of students)
    2. This will help aiming and shooting in autonomous
    3. Still low priority as it will be added to the V1 robot only if it is done and works off board
  6. The CAD team worked on packaging and shooter
    1. The intake rollers flipped sides and 2x1s added at the back.
    2. This will let us integrate the hanging mechanism on those 2x1s.
    3. The gearboxes need to move back by an inch so that the hanging shaft lines up with the center of the 2×1
    4. This will help if we decide to hang from the drivetrain

Day 15, Jan 21, 2017

Week 2 over, one month to end of build.


  1. Programming team spend most of the day tuning PID on the proto shooter
    1. They seemed to be able to get the PID tuned and are working on increasing rate of fire
    2. We need a working feeder (to the shooter for that
    3. After that is added we can see the consistency and the bpm
  2. The DriveTrain team got the V1 drivetrain chained
    1. From a mechanical perspective the drive train is complete
    2. Chain is attached on the inside
    3. Gearboxes need to be finished and attached onto the drivetrain
    4. We had some issues as the plasmacut holes did not match for some reason so we had to widen it
    5. It also took us a while to make the 3/8 hex shaft round on the end as we dont have a lathe
    6. But here is the shifting gearbox (we have a 23 ft/s high and a 13 ft/s low gears)
  3.  Intake side plates were redone
    1. The plates are now 2x4s and we are using a pulley to power the intake
    2. We just need to connect the polycord and get a backing installed
    3. This will go on the metal drivetrain when done
  4. The shooter V1 is on its way.
    1. It is almost ready
    2. Needs to have the other 775 pro attached
      1. Actually the gearboxes need to be changed to 1:1
      2. This way we have an overall 1:1 as the pulleys are the same
    3. Powered with pulleys from WCP
  5. The hanging prototype was changed to match the calculation
    1. It needed to grip the rope better (a roll of rubber tubing was added onto the shaft and secured with screws)
    2. The motor attachments were strengthened
    3. We like this version so we will go with making a V1 or a version out of metal now.
  6. The CAD team was able to get a lot done and get the entire robot somewhat together
    1. The only missing thing is the gear intake
    2. The intake needs to have a lip for the balls to fall into the hopper
    3. The hopper needs to have the cutout for the shooter and needs to be wider all the way to the edges of the drivetrain
    4. Right now the gearboxes for the drive (which could also be the hanger) have the hanger shaft going though the shooter intake
    5. Looks like the shooter intake rollers will need to be on the outside next to the bumper so that we can integrate the shaft for hanging into that shooter support
  7.  We finally made the hopper release mechanism and filled the hopper with 50 balls to see what it looks like
    1. This will be used to practice getting the balls in autonomous
    2. Theoretically we should be able to hold 75 balls in the robot hopper
    3. But if you consider packing and other factors we should be close to around 50.