Today was another very productive day for us, we continued to build the field setup, and began wiring and figuring out the software for out robot.
Isabella and Adelaide began assembling the top portion of the mountain, and with many technical difficulties it was completed today. At first, a churro did not fit through the hole provided in the middle of the mountain. In order to solve this problem, we used a drill and got rid of part of the metal around the hole in order to fix it.
Rachel worked on programming the software, and began wiring the robot. First, we wired everything on the floor, so that we could make sure that the controllers would be able to control the motors. It turns out that that was very useful, because when we moved the motors, they would not spin. Also, the Robot Controller phone was not picking up a lot of the signals from the motor controller and servo controller. To solve that problem, we unplugged each of the connections from the power distribution module and added them in one at a time. After a lot of time trying to figure out why the motor was not spinning, we finally realized that it was because we needed to update the driver station app! We found this out because we were watching a video of another team setting up their robot when we realized that their app looked different. That solved the problem. Finally, we put everything onto the robot and we got the arm, servo, and right motor to work. Although the left motor had issues, we decided that we would save that for the next meeting.
We set two goals for today's meeting, building the mountain and beginning to download software onto the robot.
Izzie and Ava began to work on the mountain, with the assembly arriving from Andy Mark. They went to the website online, and pulled up a video of how to assemble the mountain. Following the instructions step by step, they eventually assembled the lower part of the mountain, with quite a few difficulties along the way. First, they had issues locating on of the parts, the lower mountain wall, but eventually found it hidden in the box. Later, the whole team got involved when assembling the floors with the walls had difficulties, due to a bend in the lower wall, and our lack of a rubber mallet. Eventually Vaseline was used, and with much difficulty the base was bent back, and the assembly nearly finished as the day came to an end.
While this was taking place, Rachel was working on downloading the software, and Isabella worked on beginning to organize the engineering notebook. Rachel downloading the Java version, and the Android studios, both of which took a large amount of time to download. Rachel installed almost all of the software, and got the computer ready to program in the future. As well, she downloaded the apps to each phone, and assigned each phone the role of either the Driver Station phone, or the Robot Controller phone.
After Sunday's meeting we have all of the robot parts assembled individually and were attempting to put them together. Today we met from 6 to 8 pm to continue assembling the robot and installing the motors. Going into tonight's meeting we had six pages remaining in the instruction booklet, not counting software. We set our goals to installing the motors/completing assembly and working on the engineering notebook.
From the beginning of the meeting we were motivated and prepared, after seeing the challenge video we are ready to start programming and driving and wish to get to that point as quickly as possible. There were many issues again at today's meeting with figuring out from the pictures where individual assemblies went due to the fact that they were zoomed in and difficult to see where on the robot they belonged. Another challenge was with mounting the motors in their homes, because it was difficult to fit them into their places, and we had to unscrew the assemblies to put them into place.
We also looked online at team costumes and decided to go to a local t-shirt shop to produce our shirt, in order to lower the cost.
Today we all met to discuss our plans for this season from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. Everybody made it, so we got a lot done.
First, we talked about what the game was this year, and re-watched the game video (link in the previous post). We talked about what kind of things we were interested in doing (design, engineering notebook, programming, and building), and then Adelaide and Rachel worked on building the robot while Izzie, Isabella and Ava worked on our team outfits for about an hour.
Once we had come to a general conclusion on what type of things we wanted to wear, we all joined and worked on building. This section of the building instructions (pages 34 through 44), was by far the most challenging part of building the robot. Although the pictures were relatively well taken compared to other parts of the booklet, putting the pieces taught proved a challenge. Izzie, we found, was remarkably good a putting in the screws in from awkward positions, such as having an inches worth of room to screw it into the keep nut.
By far the most difficult part of this whole process was attaching the arm to the robot, pictured below.
Today was the FTC kickoff!
Adelaide, Isabella, and Rachel all came, and we had a lot of fun! We decided to primarily follow the rookie team track, which consisted of three classes by other teams.
The first class was called Building Your First Robot which team EPIC covered. They talked about everything from picking Tetrix vs Matrix, to what way to design the robot, and even a bit of what an engineering notebook should include.
It was a great class, and certainly the easiest to understand, but we had already done most of the things that they talked about (if you have been following the blog, you know that we are mostly done building our robot). The brief part of their talk about the engineering notebook was interesting, and Isabella has volunteered to do most of the engineering notebook, such as compiling all of these blog posts, a description of our team etc.
The second class was the only one we split up on. Adelaide and Isabella went to Making your Robot Move presented by the Motorbolts, while Rachel went to Java Programming presented by the Ponytail Posse.
Java Programming was a bit confusing as a rookie team, although it was on the veteran track, so we expected that. After reading over the presentation a second time when we got back home, it made more sense, although a lot of the presentation was talking about RobotC (the programming software used in previous years) compared to Java, which is what we will use this year.
One thing that we learned was to use Source Code control so that we don't have to re-do our code multiple times.
Making Your Robot Move was a very educational class, especially to learn how to download and access programs, as well as good websites to use to begin learning Java. While this class had a lot of good information for us, a large amount of it was new information which caused a fair amount of confusion among us and others in the class. However, after going home and researching the topic a little more, it all began to make sense.
The final class, which we all went to, was called What to Expect at Your First Competition presented by the Motorbolts. This was a mixture of a few things that we already knew, as well as some new information that was very helpful, such as what type of things you do when scouting, and how to present your team to the judges.
After we had done all three of the classes, it was time for the game reveal! This years theme is RES-Q. It entails putting debris into goals of various heights, climbing up a steep ramp covered in bars, releasing people from a zip line, pressing a light color of your alliance, and showing and "all clear" signal at the end of the game. For more details, watch the full video here.
Next, we picked up the sample pieces (debris and a person model), and headed over for the game demonstration. There were a lot of questions, but it was very useful to see it in person.
Finally, we headed back and discussed our plans in the car.
We are all super excited to start the FTC 2015-2016 season! Although it seems challenging, it'll be a great learning experience for everyone.
Today Isabella and Rachel met from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and built the left and right chassis. We are excited that we are almost done with the individual pieces of the basic pushbot, but we still had many challenges.
For example, while building the left chassis, we realized that many of the pictures in the instructions were taken from angles and zooms in which you could see some things well, but not a lot of it. We would put something, such as a wheel or a rail, on the way it looked like in the photo graph, and then go to the next step and realize we put it on wrong, and so we would have to re-do it. This took up most of the time, but we eventually learned to look ahead several pictures/pages. This way, the construction would be viewed either from a better perspective for what we were trying to accomplish, or multiple angles, which allowed us to get the full picture more often than not.
For example, in the picture above, from step 1 of the right chassis rail assembly, it is difficult to tell the rail farthest to the right has the "gap side" facing towards the wall, or towards the ground. We solved this by looking at step 3 of the right chassis rail assembly.
Bushings were also difficult to tell where they were needed, but we solved this by spinning a the axle/wheel. If it was spinning fine, it did not need a bushing in the controversial area.. If metal was rubbing against metal and the wheel was inconsistently moving, we would add a bushing or spacer.
By the end of the session, we had completed all of the individual parts. We are super excited for the kickoff this Saturday!!!
Today Isabella and Rachel met at 6:00 pm to build the robot. We built the right and left chassis today.
When we started building the left chassis, we had trouble understanding which direction the channels and wheels would go, because the pictures in the instructions were zoomed in and taken from certain angles that didn't show the full perspective. We learned to look ahead several pictures so that we can see the pieces from multiple angles.
Another thing that we had problems with is knowing whether or not to put bushings and spacers in. It was sometimes difficult to tell, but we ended up learning a lot from this because we now know how to build something without necessarily needing exact pictures.
We, by the end of the meeting, finished a large amount of the robot individually.
We are super excited for the kickoff!
We finally got to build today!
We met from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm and decided to begin to build the basic Push bot robot. Adelaide, Rachel, and Isabella were at the meeting. None of us had ever built something like that before, so it was a learning experience for all of us. For example, we spent a long time trying to get the axle hub to fit in. First, the screw that holds the axle in place was in the wrong way, and then we put the axle hub in the wrong way. However, we learned from that and now remember what we have to do next time. We also discovered that sometimes the instructions in the booklet are not very specific, and some of the details are off. It allowed us to be able to learn in a hands-on way to experiment a little bit and to learn more about the pieces and what they do.
All in all, we ended up building somewhere around 1/4 of the robot.
This blog covers details about our outreach events and other events that are important to our team, and our season.
Hi, we are the Rubies, FTC team 9890. To learn more about us, visit the "About Us" page