FTC 2016 - 2017
2017's robot, Charlie, was built to compete in FIRST's challenge: VELOCITY VORTEX presented by Qualcomm. Our robot was able to collect particles (3.75'' wiffle balls) and shoot them into the center vortex (central scoring element). Our robot could press beacons to change them to our alliance color.
We modified a mecanum wheel AndyMark TileRunner as our drivetrain. We used the gearbox template as a support to hold our four motors for the drivetrain. We modified our side plates so that they would hold the wheels for more support. One of the characteristics that we were inspired by was the fact that our motors were facing inwards to power a chain that would then power the wheel. This construction was too wide for the robot if we didn’t adjust the parts that we had. To compensate for this, we drilled large holes for the motors to poke through. We used a 1.5 reduction or a 24 to 16 tooth gearing. This allowed us to go faster than if we used direct drive.
We made our robot with a wide collection system close to the ground which got narrower to feed one ball at a time into the flicker shooter. We changed the surgical tubing often to make sure the collection rate would stay the same. We also changed the surgical tubing to a thicker variant so the collector would be more firm. We saw that our robot’s collector was getting stuck on the center vortex. We implemented a LED light that would turn on and off to communicate to the driver that the intake was rotating. This also showed our maintenance team that the collector was getting power so we could conclude quickly if we were facing a mechanical or programming issue.
We went with a flicker shooter with a polycarbonate rectangle that would push against an axle to build up the pressure and then shoot the particles.