8/16/10 Cougar Tweaking(again, again, again) PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 August 2010 20:50
So tonight, we worked on finishing up our routine rebuilding.  Basically, we made the robot go over walls in a more efficient way(which oddly enough is backwards!)  and from there we just made things work more towards the sweet spots.  well thats it for now, oh wait!  we timed our run.....can we have another minute please :D? -Philip
Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:18
 
Cougar v6 MoonBot Rover in Action PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. M. Judith Radin   
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:03

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The Cougar v6 MoonBot Rover takes on the first part of the MoonBots lunar course.  The v6 rover turns and maneuvers easily on the LEGO pip terrain.  It climbs walls, and locates its position on the lunar surface using the combined readouts of compass and proximity sensors.  Check out the home-made Omni wheels on the back.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 15:44
 
Cougar Omni Wheels - Our Secret Weapon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Thursday, 19 August 2010 08:30

Our first robot had great traction and could turn.  It had 4 wheel steering and 4 wheel drive.  But it was heavy, and it was not KISS.  It had an NXT brick, 3 NXT motors, a power-factors battery pack, and infrared link from the nxt, and 2 power factors motors.   

Our next 4 wheel drive tests showed that a robot with 4 wheel drive and good traction on all wheels doesn't like to turn.  And when it does turn it tends to warp the chassis while it's doing so.  It puts a lot of strain on everything.

What we really needed were Omni wheels like FRC & FTC sometimes use.  Too bad LEGO doesn't make omni wheels, right?

Well LEGO may not make omni wheels but the Cougars do.  These are our 2nd generation omni wheels.  The first ones were 2 pips smaller in diameter and didn't have rubber on the tires.  The were great for turning, and worked great if we were square to the pips on the field, where they could dig in.  But they didn't give us enough traction when climbing ridges or when at a diagonal to the pips on the field.  

These latest omni wheels are bigger, have rubber tread for great traction, and help us spin on a dime.  With these wheels the turns are predictable, because the front wheels pretty much control where we end up.  Yet with 4 wheel drive these wheels help us navigate the difficult terrain of the LEGO Moon. 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:17
 
The Evolution of the Cougar v6 Chassis PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:28

Here's our v3, v4 (what's left of them, v5, & v6 chassis.

Note the longer arms we've gone to on the v5 & v6 chassis. The v6 chassis also switches the drive-train from chain to gears. 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:16
 
8/16/10 Tweaking the Cougar v6 Rover PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:12
So, to all those who read this blog(not sure how many people that is Undecided) but here's what is new!:  We have for the most part finished our run!!!(HIP-HIP!)  This means that we can grab all but the southernmost yellow rings on the right side of the field.  We are tweaking the programming to make climbing out of craters easier to do, and more reliable.  Once we have that done, we will begin making timer programs as back up plans.  This means that the robot will keep track of the 3 minute run countdown, and if something should go wrong, leaving it with a short amount of time(too short to finish the run), it will head back to the starting ramp, so that we can at least double the points of the rings we already have.  Several of these back up plans will be programmed in to various points in the run as fail-safes.  Lastly, if the robot has enough time left, we may program it to decide based on time whether it thinks it should try to grab the last two yellow rings.  With not a lot of days left we are entering CRUNCH TIME!  It seems like our goals are now just within our grasp if we keep working as hard as we have been! :D
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:48
 
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FTC Blog

FIRST Tech Challenge
The official FTC Blog
  • Exciting Changes to Match Play
    Over the past decade, FIRST® Tech Challenge has continued to grow, serving the FIRST mission of creating excitement and exposing students to the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering and math. With growth, must come change, as most of our community has seen through our evolution of robot technology. We continue to work to make this program more accessible and affordable, while still engaging and challenging students of all skill levels.


    Since the 2015 season, FIRSTTech Challenge has moved away from a centralized control system to the Android based platform you see today. The increased reliability of the Android based/REV platform, is allowing us to improve the flow of the matches. We are making significant and exciting changes that teams and volunteers need to be aware of for the 2017-2018 season.



    Autonomous to Driver Controlled Transition

    Starting in the 2017-2018 season, there will no longer be a hard stop following the autonomous period to transition to the driver controlled period of the match. Once the autonomous portion of the match ends, the emcee/game announcer will tell the teams to pick up their driver station. As a visual cue, the scoring system will display to teams that they must pick up their driver station. Teams will only have 5 seconds to pick up their driver station, so they should make sure to pay close attention! After the 5 seconds, there will be a 3-2-1 countdown and the driver controlled period of the match will begin right away.

    Why make the change?
    • Since the reliability of our technology has come so far, the large gap between autonomous and driver controlled periods of the match is no longer necessary.
    • The game design doesn’t require field reset between the autonomous and driver controlled periods.
    • The shortened break between autonomous to driver controlled period increases engagement by keeping the excitement of the match going.
    • The shortened break will encourage teams to build smarter and create sturdier robots, that can move successfully from autonomous to driver controlled unhindered.
    What does this mean to teams?

    Teams must remember is to keep an eye on the match timer display, and listen for the cues from the Emcee or Game Announcer to pick up their driver stations. The transition will happen quickly, and the scoring system will automatically run the rest of the match. Since the robots are not tied directly to the scoring system, teams must make sure they are ready to run their driver controlled programs after the 3-2-1 countdown.

    How does this impact the number of matches played?

    This will not impact the number of matches played at an event. From League Meets to State Championships, teams will still be able to play between 5 and 6 matches, depending on the specific tournament. Teams will still receive a minimum of 7 minutes between each match. Super Regionals and World Championship events will have additional matches. The number of matches at these events will be announced at a later date.

    Up righting/Untangling/Reconnecting Robots

    Because of the shortened transition from autonomous to driver controlled period, field personnel will no longer enter the field to upright or untangle any robots. Robots that have lost connections will not be reconnected by the Field Technical Adviser. Teams should take this into consideration when building and designing their robot.

    If you have any questions about the new changes to our match play format please email ftcteams@firstinspires.org. Happy Relic Recovering!

    Click here to watch the New Changes to  Match Play video on YouTube!