Workshops
Ohio FRC Championship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Nahhas   
Saturday, 19 October 2013 16:04

On September 28th we held a smaller and more personalized version of our Build a Better Bot workshop at the Ohio FRC State Championship for rookie FTC teams. During this time we presented some of our key design principles, and from there we started working on any topic that these rookies teams had questions on or wanted to improve about their robot. After the relatively short presentation we wheeled in our robot and asked if they had any questions about our robot design for the Ring It Up! season. Finally we split up into programming and mechanical/design groups to handle any more specialized questions the rookie teams might have.

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 October 2013 16:05
 
Ohio FRC Championship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sean Morehart   
Saturday, 19 October 2013 15:49

On September 28th we held a smaller and more personalized version of our Build a Better Bot workshop at the Ohio FRC State Championship for rookie FTC teams. During this time we presented some of our key design principles, and from there we started working on any topic that these rookies teams had questions on or wanted to improve about their robot. After the relatively short presentation we wheeled in our robot and asked if they had any questions about our robot design for the Ring It Up! season. Finally we split up into programming and mechanical/design groups to handle any more specialized questions the rookie teams might have.

 

 

 
Build a Better Bot Workshop with Patronum Bots PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 08:33

On August 31st we got together with the Patronum Bots at their home base in East Troy, Wisconsin to put on our Build a Better Bot workshop. It was an all day event, and 12 teams attended, coming from Wisconsin and surrounding states. Throughout the day, we discussed topics such as game and robot analysis, mechanical and wiring practices, and static electricity. Along with topics about the robot, we also went over scouting and showed teams how we pick teams at tournaments. Near the end of the day, we held an “open work time” with several stations of hands-on activities. These included double drilling channel, creating static spray, switching from tamiya connections to anderson powerpoles, and making static detectors.

Check out the videos in the Build a Better Bot workshop playlist created by the Patronum Bots. 

 

 

Attachments:
Download this file (FTC Workshop Wisconsin.pptx)FTC Workshop Wisconsin.pptx[The slide deck from our Build a Better Bot workshop, August 31 2013, in East Troy WI]96876 Kb13/09/13 08:38
Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 07:48
 
Plastics (choices, gluing, bending) PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:03

We use 4 plastics: Polycarb, PETG, IMA, and Delrin. Our favorites are PETG and Delrin.

  • Polycarb (Polycarbonate, aka Lexan & Markrolon) - this is the strongest plastic we use on our robot.  It's got great impact resistance.  However it's hard to bend with a heat gun and in general you shouldn't cut it on a laser-cutter.  It may be cut on a sheet metal shear and bent on a sheet metal brake. It cuts nicely on a CNC machine.
  • PETG ((Polyethylene Terephtalate Glycol-modified) - this is our favorite plastic. It's strong. It's shatter resistant. It cuts easily on the laser cutter (although it leaves ugly brown edges) . It bends easily with a heat gun. And it doesn't shatter when cut on a sheet metal shear.
  • IMA (Impact Modified Acrylic) - this is the plastic for pretty stuff and fine work.  It cuts & etches beautifully on the laser. You'll see our Samantha mounts made out of this.
  • Delrin (Polyoxymethylene) - our favorite plastic for moving parts. We make gears, pulleys, bearings, and winch drums out of this. It cuts wonderfully on the laser, machines nicely on a mill or lathe, and self lubricates when used as gears.
Glues
  • Weld-On 3 - we use Weld-On 3 from McMaster-Carr for most of our plastic gluing.  It will glue Polycarb, PETG, or IMA to themselves but not to each other. 
  • Weld-On 4052 - we use Weld-On 4052 when we need to glue 2 different plastics to each other.
  • Don't attempt to glue Delrin unless you purchase special, expensive cement.
Bending
  • We use a Harbor Freight Heat Gun to bend all of our plastic. The most common bend is a 90° bend. The easy way to do this is to take a piece of aluminum stock that already has the bend or angle you want.  We then clamp our PETG down to the aluminum using a strip of wood.  We then start heating the part of the plastic we want to bend. We then use a 2nd piece of wood to force the whole sheet of plastic to bend at once over the entire length of the bend. When it's where you want it turn off the heat and hold your wood in place for about 60 seconds. You're done. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:47
 
Build a Better Bot workshop handouts & useful info PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Diamond   
Monday, 16 September 2013 22:31

Attachments:
Download this file (HiTechnic Motor Controller Brief v1.3.pdf)HiTechnic Motor Controller Brief v1.3.pdf[ ]194 Kb16/09/13 22:36
Download this file (HiTechnic Servo Controller Brief v1.2.pdf)HiTechnic Servo Controller Brief v1.2.pdf[ ]168 Kb16/09/13 22:36
Download this file (HiTechnic Servo Controller Power Limits.pdf)HiTechnic Servo Controller Power Limits.pdf[ ]115 Kb16/09/13 22:36
Download this file (HS-485HB Servo - A.pdf)HS-485HB Servo - A.pdf[ ]182 Kb16/09/13 22:37
Download this file (HS-485HB Servo - B.pdf)HS-485HB Servo - B.pdf[ ]829 Kb16/09/13 22:41
Download this file (Motor Power Chart.pdf)Motor Power Chart.pdf[ ]29 Kb16/09/13 22:37
Download this file (TETRIX DC Motor Specs.pdf)TETRIX DC Motor Specs.pdf[ ]122 Kb16/09/13 22:37
Last Updated on Monday, 16 September 2013 22:41
 
Build a Better Bot Workshops at iSPACE FTC Kickoff PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Friday, 13 September 2013 09:42

On September 7th we helped out with the kickoff at iSPACE in Cincinnati. In the morning before the game reveal, we held a series of Build a Better Bot workshops to help new and returning teams improve their reliability on the field. Around 25 teams attended each of the three sessions.

The first workshop focused on autonomous programming and how teams could better structure their code. Some of these ideas included displays on the brick, modularization, user friendly code, and multi-threaded programming. We hope that through this workshop we can help newer teams gain a better understanding of how to make a reliable autonomous program that will give them a head start in the new season.

The second workshop was centered around general practices that we consider crucial to a successful season. Some of these include important design practices such as how to ensure a stable connection to the Samantha module, or why it is important to switch to the more reliable Powerpole™ connections. The main purpose of these modifications is to improve standard FTC systems on a robot that have a high percentage of failure.

The third and final workshop was an overview of mechanical strategies and techniques that we often use to improve our robot. Most of these revolved around the main chassis and how the frame of the robot could be improved. We also briefly touched upon static electricity and how to prevent it from interfering with a robot’s connection. This was a very popular topic, and after the presentation many teams wanted more information on how our team prevents static.

After the three workshops the game was revealed, which led into a free-build/teaching time. We set up three tables where we helped teams make the modifications we described in our presentations. Additionally, some of our team wandered through the venue and attempted to help other groups with modifying or designing a new robot.

Attachments:
Download this file (Autonomous Programming.pptx)Autonomous Programming.pptx[Build A Better Bot - Autonomous Programming]47209 Kb13/09/13 12:24
Download this file (General Material.pptx)General Material.pptx[Build a Better Bot - General Session]8704 Kb13/09/13 12:25
Download this file (Mechanical.pptx)Mechanical.pptx[Build a Better Bot - Mechanical Session slide deck]932 Kb13/09/13 09:45
Download this file (Programming Workshop.pptx)Programming Workshop.pptx[Build a Better Bot - Programming Session]20781 Kb13/09/13 09:46
Download this file (Scouting Workshop.pptx)Scouting Workshop.pptx[Build a Better Bot - Scouting Session]66784 Kb13/09/13 09:47
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 17:53
 
NXT-G Advanced Programming Workshop at iSPACE PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

On September 12 we partnered with iSpace Cincinnati to put on another one of our Advanced NXT-G programming workshop. It was an all-day event, and around 20 teams attended, mostly from Ohio but a few from surrounding states. Throughout the day, we discussed topics ranging from standard practices to multithreaded programming. In a workshop of mostly rookie FLL teams it was great to see the kids go from having very little knowledge about using NXT-G to becoming fairly proficient throughout the course of a single day. Unfortunately, with the introduction of the new EV3 software this will most likely be our last FLL workshop at iSpace.  

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:47
 
Build a Better Bot - Sydney Australia PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Cougars   
Monday, 15 July 2013 00:00

Thursday July 4

We debuted our FTC workshops in a small sense at the API in Sydney, Australia. We were asked to share with teams how we made our robot and condense it into an hour... not an easy task. Here is what we came up with. Later in the summer, we expanded our material to a more full featured, 8 hour, interactive workshop that we gave at the Build-A-Better-Bot workshop with the Patronum Bots. In our short workshops, however, we broke it up into 3 sections: mechanical, programming, and general. We had probably 40 people watch our presentation and we gave every team at API one of our custom Samantha Mounting brackets. We also met a great FLL team Franco Droid. They were really excited to meet our team and were a lot of fun to talk to! Overall, API was a great experience for us and we hope all of the other teams had as much fun there as we did!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 15:22
 


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