Workshops
Joey Explains Magnetic Attachments PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 18:37

Question

Quick question about the magnets.  I'm a 2nd year coach but this is the first I've heard of them.  I see how and what to order, but exactly how did your team use them?  Are they used to attach attachments to the robot instead of "clicking" Legos together?  Did you ever have problems with attachments falling off their magnets, or are they pretty strong?

Answer

Magnets:  Don't over-rate their usefulness.  They are 1 means to an end.  There are multiple ways to do what we are doing with magnets.  The logic-stream goes like this.

1 - Highly specialized tools are more effective at performing specific tasks with simple programming.
2 - Time is the most limiting resource in an FLL round.
3 - If we can make attachment switching both very fast and reliable then we can utilize highly specialized tools without running out of time.
4 - We used magnets.  We have seen other teams use a girder in hole kind of method, one team had a standard slot under the robot and pushed tools out and left them on the field, and one other team used a remove tools only kind of process.  The goal is the same.  To make the in base transitions quick, reliable, and easy for the kids to do.

This year we had 3 different tools that attached in the same way to the front of the robot, with magnets, and 1 more tool that snapped over the arm and attached with magnets.  This year our robot had a flat front made out of girders.  That flat front had 2 one pip spots in it where the girders left a hole.  The tools had flat backs (to mesh with the robots flat front) except where the robot had a hole, the tools had a girder sticking out 1 pip (we used an "L" girder to accomplish it), that would fit in the hole in the front of the robot.  So the tool, if held against the front of the robot, was generally stable and would not slide around if held against the front of the robot.  The magnets were then used to "hold" the tool against the front of the robot.  The magnets weren't needed to keep the tool from getting too close to the robot.  The magnets weren't needed to keep the tool from sliding around on the front of the robot.  The magnets were only needed to keep the tool from pulling away from the front of the robot.
 
And yes, the magnets are pretty strong. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 October 2010 21:04
 
Slide deck from our 2010 Advanced Programming Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:47
Here's the 2010 Slide Deck
Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2010 08:28
 
Cougar Workshop Bot PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 06:50

We've designed a Cougar Workshop Bot. And the Incredibots have designed an EV3 version.  It's a simple robot designed just for the workshop.  So If you don't already have a robot for the workshop try this one.  You should be able to build it in about 1/2 an hour.  It's the simplest robot we could come up with that could do ALL of the labs.  It's only got 79 parts plus 6 wires.  With 2 light and 2 touch sensors appropriately located you can try out the back-to-wall and advance-to-line programs.

The LEGO Digital Designer file is attached to this article and the printed building instructions are here
And a new EV3 version of the printed building instructions are here.

 

Wire as follows:

Left Motor -> B

Right Motor -> C

Left-Front Light Sensor -> 1

Right-Front Light Sensor -> 4

Left-Rear Touch Sensor -> 2

Right-Rear Touch Sensor -> 3

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Workshop Bot.lxf)Cougar Workshop Bot.lxf[ ]16 Kb07/09/10 07:00
Download this file (EV3 Robot.lxf)EV3 Cougar Workshop Bot[ ]14 Kb15/09/14 19:57
Download this file (EV3_Workshop_Robot.pdf)EV3_Workshop_Robot.pdf[ ]4298 Kb17/09/14 07:57
Download this file (NXT_Workshop_Robot.pdf)NXT_Workshop_Robot.pdf[ ]1575 Kb17/09/14 07:57
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 07:58
 
Bionic Baracudas Decision Table PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Friday, 08 October 2010 16:13
The Bionic Baracudas gave a great demonstration on how to use decision tables to make better, more objective decisions.
Attachments:
Download this file (BionicB_DecisionTable_2010Sep19.odp)Bionic Baracudas Decision Table.odp[ ]311 Kb08/10/10 16:17
Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 16:17
 
The Magnets We Use PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 07:29
We get asked pretty often about the magnets we use for quick tool attachment and switching.  We buy them on BrickLink or ebay.  We use mostly the Magnet Holder 2 x 3, part #2607 and the Magnet Cylindrical, part #73092.
 
Calibrate Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 21:16

UPDATED 10/17/2009 at 10:37pm  - Revised code to remove use of Mini-Blocks 

This is our Cougar Calibrate program.  It is set up to use the light sensor on port 1.

  1. Start the program.
  2. Move your robot around until the light sensor is reading the lowest value you can easily find on the field (darkest spot).
  3. Press the left button.
  4. Suddenly it will be reading 0 for that dark value.
  5. Move the robot around until the light sensor is reading the brightest value you can find.
  6. Press the right button.
  7. Suddenly it will be reading about 100 for that light value.
  8. Move the robot around checking to see that the light values are ranging from 0 to 100.
  9. Stop the program.
  10. Do not run it again unless you want to recalibrate again.  The first step of the program resets the light sensor calibration.

 

Attachments:
Download this file (Cougar Calibrate.rbt)Cougar Calibrate.rbt[ ]1080 Kb28/08/10 17:56
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:56
 
Advance To Line program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 22:53

This is our Cougar Advance To Line program.  It is used to line up perpendicular to a line.  We used it a lot last year to re-align mid run out on the field.  

This program is based on our 2008 robot, "CA White".  Motor C is on the left side of the robot. Motor B is on the right side of the robot. Light sensor 1 is on the left side of the robot. Light sensor 4 is on the right side of the robot.

It will, in two threads:

  1. Run motor C at 90% power, 2 degrees per loop, checking light sensor 1 to see if the light level has gone below 50
  2. Run motor B at 90% power, 2 degrees per loop, checking light sensor 4 to see if the light level has gone below 50.
  3. Each motor will stop when the light sensor associated with them drops below 50, causing the robot to align perpendicular to a line

 

Attachments:
Download this file (AdvanceToLine.rbt)AdvanceToLine.rbt[ ]401 Kb28/08/10 17:57
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:57
 
Mission Select - LB or EB or RB PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Sunday, 11 October 2009 16:38
Our Mission Select program.  This program detects which button is pressed and sets a corresponding variable (LB, EB, or RB) to true based on that choice.  If EB or RB are chosen it also sets the variable "Exit Loop" to true.  These values control the execution path of our master program.
Attachments:
Download this file (lb or eb or rb.rbt)lb or eb or rb.rbt[ ]818 Kb28/08/10 17:58
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 August 2010 17:58
 


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