By Elizabeth Fernandes ’20 and Angela Zheng ’20
The Janksters kicked off the build season by gathering together to watch the FIRST live stream. Everyone was ecstatic to learn the new game challenge for this year. After watching the reveal video, mentors got busy to build a mock game playing field with the students. These games allowed the students to try out different strategies as well as to get a better understanding of the game. After analyzing this year’s game, the Janksters split up into groups to brainstorm ideas for the robot and started by coming up with a list of things the robot needs to accomplish as well as some possible mechanisms they can use to accomplish those tasks.
Mechanical split into the different subgroups based on this year’s game. The subgroups include: Chassis, In n’ Out, Many Projects, and Up and Down.
The chassis subgroup discussed with the Up n’ Down and In n’ Out groups about having an open or closed chassis and decided on having a closed one. They figured out the range of the gear ratio, approximately how much space each chassis element will take up and where the other mechanisms will fit, finalized the type of wheels. They finalized certain decisions regarding chassis and ordered the gearbox.
The In n’ Out group brainstormed various potential mechanisms to get the power cube off the ground and onto the scale, switch or exchange. After making a list of evaluation points for each idea, they narrowed down their options to using a claw or rollers. They completed prototyping the claw mechanism and began a prototype that uses rollers.
The Up n’ Down group researched various mechanisms that can be used to move the power cube up and down and decided on either sliding tracks or a jointed arm. They created a list of requirements for the mechanism and did the calculations for each idea. After making CAD drawings and prototypes, they decided that the sliding tracks are preferable because it is more simple and reliable.
This week, the Many Projects group focused on choosing which game components to build and how to construct them. After exploring the various options, they decided on building the exchange and its platform as well as modified versions of the switch and scale. Then they created a materials list of all the parts needed for each component with all of the measurements. They anticipated how much space is needed to store the game components and potential areas around campus that can accommodate them.
The programming committee installed the CTRE library and updated the 2018 Eclipse toolchains and plugins onto their personal laptops. They updated the team’s driver station laptops for this season. They fixed the CANTalon errors and started adjusting the syntax from previous code to accommodate the changes. They researched encoders, gyros and the USB camera and practiced programming limit switches. They discussed vision with mentors and concluded it would be beneficial due to the complex autonomous this year.
The electronics committee determined which sensors they could use, compiled a list of necessary sensors, which are touchless sensors, encoders, and sonar, and discussed limits on the vision tracking. They came up with new materials they need for this season and labeled and organized the new components in the Kit of Parts. They worked with the chassis group to figure out spacing and encoders and talked to the programming committee about gyros and sensors. They fixed issues on the driver station CAD and did a design review. They repaired the pneumatics board pole and battery mount and added final brackets onto the battery cart.
The business committee began brainstorming design ideas for the front and back of the shirt and buttons. They designed concept art that incorporates elements from the game challenge. They developed a concrete plan for the Chairman’s Award with deadlines and who will be involved in the writing and editing process. They began editing chairman’s and analyzed other teams’ techniques. They did further research on giveaways and narrowed down the list to screwdrivers, logoed tape, a mini first aid kit, post-it notes or a screw checker. They took photos and videos for social media and next week’s video update.