Blog

2018 World Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful week, we attended the 2018 FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas from April 18th to April 21st. Assigned to the Hopper Division, we won the Division Championship Award and the the Autonomous Award sponsored by Ford, for our 4 cube scale autonomous program and scale detection software. After becoming the Hopper Division Champions, we executed a well-planned strategy alongside FRC Team 148 Robowranglers, FRC Team 2976 Spartabots, and FRC Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team, allowing us to win our 4th world championship and finish with an undefeated season!

Team 254 poses for a picture after winning at the 2018 FIRST Championship in Minute Maid Park

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches (Hopper Division)

Throughout our qualification matches, we wanted to make sure that we secured 4 ranking points during every match, while still gaining control of our scale for as long as possible. In order to do this, we ran our scale autonomous program, which placed 3-4 cubes on our alliance’s scale or, when we were not confident with our alliance partners’ ability to place cubes on the switch, we executed our autonomous program which placed cubes on the switch and scale.

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period in the Hopper Division, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 148 Robowranglers, FRC Team 2976 Spartabots, and FRC Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team.

Team 254 representative, Weston White, poses with our chosen alliance partners

Elimination Matches (Hopper Division)

During the elimination matches in the Hopper Division, we maintained our undefeated record for the entire tournament. From a strategic perspective, we aimed to always have possession of the scale and our own switch while also placing cubes on our opponent’s switch. This strategy allowed us to gain a significant lead during each match and stopped the opposing alliance from being able to score from their own switch. We would also like to thank Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team for helping our alliance during Finals Match 2 in the Hopper Division, while Team 2976’s robot was undergoing some repairs. Through the efforts of our alliance partners, we were able to win the Hopper Division. We also won the Autonomous Award sponsored by Ford, for our unique 4 cube scale autonomous program and scale detection software!

Lockdown hangs with alliance partner, Team 2976, at the end of a match

On the Einstein Field

We generally maintained a similar strategy during the Einstein matches as in the Hopper Division elimination round, by placing cubes on both switches and keeping possession of the scale. Team 2976 Spartabots played awesome defense on the portals to slow down the opposing alliance’s cube flow after they used all the cubes from their switch fence. Team 148 Robowranglers attacked the opposing alliance’s switch to force them to cover their switch before attacking our switch or the scale. Our drive team chose not to prioritize powerups, by placing only 3-4 cubes in our exchange for the levitate or boost powerup. With this strategy, we placed first during the round robin matches, allowing us to move on to Finals, with the Carver Division winners. We would like to shout out FRC Team 2910 Jack In The Bot, FRC Team 4911 Cyberknights, FRC Team 4499 The Highlanders, and FRC Team 5006 Apophis, the Carver Division winners, for executing a great strategy while playing against us on the Einstein Field.

Lockdown works to place a cube on the opposing alliance’s switch

A Special Thanks

At the 2018 FIRST World Championship in Houston, we would not have been able to be so successful without the amazing teams that we were able to work with during our matches. Also a special shout out to our pit crew and drive team for properly maintaining our robot during the tournament. We would also like to highlight the efforts of our alliance readiness crew to keep our alliance partners ready throughout the tournament. Team 254 would also like to thank all the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience, and all of our mentors, teachers, and parents who supported us and helped us succeed in this tournament.

Members of the Team 254 Pit Crew repair Lockdown before an upcoming match

Members of the Team 254, 148, 2976, and 3075 drive team strategize before an upcoming match

Our drive team poses for a picture on the Einstein Field

Members of the Team 254 Alliance Readiness Crew assist Team 6014

2018 Silicon Valley Regional Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful weekend, we attended the the 20th Silicon Valley Regional, in San Jose, CA. We had a great time at our second tournament of the FIRST Power Up Season with our robot, Lockdown. We won the Innovation In Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation for our autonomous code. Congratulations to one of our mentors, Nick Hammes, for winning the Volunteer of the Year award, for his hard work emceeing and in planning this wonderful event! Alongside FRC Team 973 The Greybots and FRC Team 2367 Lancer Robotics, we were able to win the tournament, earning our 50th Blue Banner!

Team 254 poses for a picture with Lockdown after winning at the 2018 Silicon Valley Regional

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches

Throughout our qualification matches, we executed a variety of autonomous programs to ensure we were prepared for various situations. This allowed us to either place 3 cubes in the switch or place 3 cubes on the scale. When on an alliance with robots that were good at placing cubes on the scale, we had to make sure we maintained ownership of the scale before placing cubes on ours’ or our opponent’s switch. We always tried to position ourselves on the scale platform to have enough time for hanging. During the qualification match period, we gained 4 ranking points in each match.

Team 254 places a cube on the scale during the autonomous period

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 973 The Greybots, FRC Team 2367 Lancer Robotics.

Team 254 representative, Weston White, stands with Team 973 and Team 2367 as they agree to join our alliance

Elimination Matches

By choosing Team 973, a great scale robot, and Team 2367, a great switch and exchange robot, we were able to follow a more flexible strategy. During the elimination matches, Team 973 worked with us to lock down the scale, while Team 2367 focused on keeping ownership of our switch and delivering cubes to our exchange station. To create a head start on scoring cubes onto the scale, we used our 3 cube scale autonomous program. If our opponents were good scoring on the scale, we joined 973 in maintaining ownership of the scale. When our autonomous program was successful, we worked on maintaining ownership of our opponent’s switch, using cubes from our portal. Team 2367 executed flawless and well-timed defense against the opposing alliance. With an organized strategy and great alliance partners, we remained undefeated for the season, allowing us to become the first-place alliance at the tournament and win our 50th blue banner!

Team 254 and alliance partners Team 973 and Team 2367 stand together during Semifinals Match 1

Helping Other Teams

The Alliance Readiness Crew worked hard throughout the tournament to assist Team 6688 West Valley Middle College Robotics and Team 7317 Crusader Crew. Our crew helped improve the design of Team 6688’s exhaust system, used for delivering cubes to the switch, safely wire their control system, fix their pneumatics so that there were no leaks, and write an auto that could put cubes into the correct side switch. When Team 7317 needed help, our crew worked to create a new and improved intake system to collect and deliver cubes to the exchange. Through this experience, students were able to make friends and get more hands on with designing an actual robot.

Our alliance readiness crew assists Team 7317 in mounting hardstops for a newly designed intake

A Special Thanks

At the Silicon Valley Regional, we would not have been able to be so successful without the amazing teams that we were able to work with during our qualification and elimination matches. Also a special thanks for our pit crew and drive team for properly maintaining our robot during the tournament. A big thank you to the chairman’s presentation team for handling our team’s Chairman’s Presentation in front of a panel of FIRST Judges. Team 254 would also like to thank all the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience, and all of our mentors, teachers, and parents who helped us succeed in this regional.

Members of the Team 254 Drive Team repair Lockdown with a mentor before an upcoming match

Our drive team discusses a possible strategy before a tense eliminations match

Excited Team 254 members receive the team’s 50th blue banner

2018 Arizona North Regional Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful weekend, we attended the Arizona North Regional, for the very first time, in Flagstaff, AZ. We had a great time starting off the FIRST Power Up Season with our robot, Lockdown. Alongside FRC Team 842 Falcon Robotics and FRC Team 2403 Plasma Robotics, we were able to win the tournament!

Team 254 poses for a picture with Lockdown after winning at the 2018 Arizona North Regional

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches

Throughout our qualification matches, we used an experimental strategy by testing out which of our autonomous programs worked best during a match. From this experimentation, we concluded that it would be best to use our autonomous program, which scored 2-3 cubes on the scale, to establish an early lead in a match. This autonomous program helped us gain ownership of the scale, but we had to focus more on maintaining ownership of the switches rather than the scale. Whenever we had alliance partners who could not secure the switch consistently, we ran our autonomous program for the switch to help our alliance partners before the tele-op period. During every match, we hung with our partners and used the levitate power up for an extra ranking point. By the end of the qualification match period, we were seeded first and had a undefeated record.

Team 254 and alliance partner Team 1011 work together to hang during Qualification Match 86

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 842 Falcon Robotics, FRC Team 2403 Plasma Robotics.

Team 254 representative, Brandon Chuang, greets Team 842 as they agree to join our alliance

Elimination Matches

During the elimination matches, we maintained our undefeated record for the entire tournament. Our autonomous program and Team 842’s robot, worked to score on the scale during each match. This allowed us to score on switches, while Team 842 covered the scale during the tele-op period. We also focused on stopping our opponents from gaining ownership of their own switch. If we had spare time during a match, we passed cubes through the exchange. Team 2403’s robot worked to gain ownership of our own switch and we also helped with scoring cubes in our switch. During finals, Team 2403 focused on switch, exchange, and defense against opponents who tried to take ownership of our switch. With an organized strategy and great alliance partners, we scored an all-time high of 594 points in Finals Match 2, allowing us to become the first-place alliance at the tournament!

Helping Other Teams

The Alliance Readiness Crew worked hard throughout the tournament to assist Team 6585 Hózhóogo Naasháa Doo and Team 6656 Ryu Botics. When Team 6656 needed an intake, our crew searched for the necessary parts and mounted a simple 2-wheel intake onto their robot. In addition, we helped them write an autonomous mode that crossed the auto line consistently. When Team 6585 needed a robot, our crew worked for 3 days to build and wire a drivebase, 2-wheel intake, and a polycarbonate box for collecting cubes from the portal. Through this experience, students were able to make friends and get more hands on with designing an actual robot.

Our alliance readiness crew assists Team 6585 in mounting a newly designed intake

A Special Thanks

At the Arizona North Regional, we would not have been able to be so successful without the amazing teams that we were able to work with during our qualification and elimination matches. Also a special thanks for our pit crew and drive team for properly maintaining our robot during the tournament. A big thank you to the chairman’s presentation team for handling our team’s Chairman’s Presentation in front of a panel of FIRST Judges. Team 254 would also like to thank all the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience, and all of our mentors, teachers, and parents who helped us succeed in this regional.

Members of the Team 254 Pit Crew repair Lockdown before an upcoming match

Our drive team works together during a tense eliminations match

Spirited Team 254 members cheer excitedly for their alliance

Lockdown Reveal

Team 254 presents our 2018 entry into the FIRST Robotics Competition: Lockdown. Lockdown will be competing at the Arizona North Regional, followed by the Silicon Valley Regional and the FIRST Championship in Houston. More information on the robot.

Stanford Outreach Event

Shockwave Shows Off Some Mad Skills!

A Brief Summary

WHAT: Shockwave launched t-shirts into a crowd of excited Stanford Basketball Fans
WHEN: Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
WHERE: Stanford University in Stanford, CA

Team 254 Members Griffin Soule, Shruthik Musukula, Mubashir Hussain, and Jack Gnibus work together to prepare Shockwave before the game

As part of an eventful weekend, we participated in a successful outreach event at Stanford, CA. Due to the efforts of students on our outreach subteam, Team 254 students were excited to have the opportunity to present Shockwave at the Stanford Basketball Game, where Stanford played against the Oregon Ducks from the University of Oregon. During a timeout in the first half of the game, Team 254 students Yusuf Halabi, Shruthik Musukula, Jack Gnibus, Griffin Soule, and Mubashir Hussain worked together to operate Shockwave and launch several Stanford t-shirts into a crowd of approximately 8,000 people. We are extremely grateful to have such an opportunity and would love to support Stanford University in the future!

Shockwave launches t-shirts towards excited audience members

Game Analysis, Scouting, and Strategy Workshop

On Thursday, December 7th, we hosted a Game Analysis, Scouting, and Strategy Workshop to help acquaint new team members with an important aspect of the robot game. The workshop by led by a member of Team 254’s drive team, Brandon Chuang. During the workshop, we taught new members about the importance of pit scouting and match scouting and how we use the data that we collect in order to form great alliances. In order to give our members a realistic experience, we helped them analyze a 2016 FRC Match Video and track the number of points scored by each team during the autonomous and teleoperated periods. Members were introduced to the team’s scouting database and how it is used at tournaments to organize collected data. Our drive coach, Kevin Sheridan, and FRC Technical Lead, Ashwin Adulla, also helped provide examples of some hardships that Team 254 went through when forming alliances at tournaments. We also emphasized the importance of working together with other teams and how that plays a role in an alliance’s performance. Overall, we strategically prepared our new members for kickoff!

Discovery Day 2017

Event Summary

On November 11th, Team 254 appeared at the Bay Area Science Festival Discovery Day to demonstrate our 2017 season robot Misfire. At the event, we used a few game elements like wiffle balls, gears, and a makeshift wooden hopper to show over 2000 people the capabilities of our robot. In addition, we spoke about our experiences during 2017 FRC season and the challenges we faced. We collaborated with other FRC teams including Team 1868: The Space Cookies and Team 5026: The Iron Panthers to convey the message of FIRST and STEM. This event allowed us to spread our knowledge and experience to our community in the Bay Area.

Team 254 Members showcase Misfire to the audience

Our Experiences

Our experience at Discovery Day not only spread awareness for STEM within our community, but also made an impact on our team. Outreach leader, Yusuf Halabi stated, “My Discovery Day experience this year allowed me to take a new perspective into 254 and our role as an organization. When I first joined robotics as a freshman, I was under the impression that 254 was only good for creating robots. However, my experience at Discovery Day allowed me to realize that serving and supporting the community is just as important as building robots.” Similarly, Team 254 Operator, Themis Hadjiioannou said, “My favorite part of Discovery Day was seeing the joy on children’s’ faces when they saw Misfire shoot into the high boiler. Watching the light in their eyes flash as they observed what a robotics team was capable of struck a chord with me. I thought back to when I was a kid and was inspired by drones and robotics. Discovery Day made me proud to be a part of an organization that strives to bring this inspiration to kids around the world.” Overall, Discovery Day was an outstanding outreach event and we wish to continue making such a profound impact in our community!

Team 254 Driver, Justin Ramirez, helps load up fuel before Misfire demonstrates its shooter

Bellarmine VEX Volunteer

The Bellarmine VEX tournament will be taking place on 11/18 & 11/19 this year. As this event is run by our team, we need both students and parents to volunteer. We greatly appreciate any help!

Parent Volunteer Signups

Student Volunteer Signups

2017 Winners of Chezy Champs!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful weekend, we hosted Chezy Champs, our annually hosted offseason FRC tournament at Bellarmine College Preparatory, in our hometown of San Jose, CA. We had a great time jumping back into action with our robot, Misfire, before the start of the 2018 FRC Season. Alongside, FRC Team 1011 Team CRUSH, FRC Team 696, Circuit Breakers, and FRC Team 5104 BreakerBots, we were able to win the tournament!

Team 254 Members pose for a picture with Misfire after winning at Chezy Champs 2017

Event Highlights

General Highlights

Check out this great highlight reel made by RoboSports Network (RSN)!

Exhibition Match

At the tournament, we hosted an exhilarating exhibition match, which included the several teams with highly skilled shooting robots. The standard rule for this match was that the only way to score points was to shoot fuel into each alliance’s respective boiler. The teams which participated in the exhibition match:

The Blue Alliance

  • Team 971 Spartan Robotics
  • Team 973 Greybots
  • Team 1678 Citrus Circuits

The Red Alliance

  • Team 254 The Cheesy Poofs
  • Team 1323 Madtown Robotics
  • Team 3309 Friarbots

Team 1323, Team 3309, and Team 254 work together to gather fuel to shoot into the boiler

The Red Alliance started off with a significant lead by scoring 50 fuel balls into the boiler, making it an amazing show for the audience to see 3 robots scoring fuel into one boiler at once! Eventually, the Blue Alliance slowly started catching up with the Red Alliance by consistently scoring their collected fuel into their boiler. With a minute left in the match, the our friends from Team 973 displayed their true defensive skill by blocking Team 1323’s path across the field. Though the Blue Alliance’s efforts were equal to that of the Red Alliance, the Blue Alliance was unable to keep up with the pace of the Red Alliance. After the great efforts shown by both alliances, the Red Alliance came out to be the winner scoring 203 kPa compared to the 97 kPa scored by the Blue alliance. The Exhibition Match Video can be viewed here.

A Special Thanks

Chezy Champs was very special this year due to the efforts of so many people and organizations. Team 254 would like to thank our friends from RoboSports Network (RSN) for providing our audience with such a great analysis of each match and team at the tournament. We would also like to thank all the volunteers, who helped make Chezy Champs possible. It was truly an incredible experience to host an offseason tournament attended by so many talented teams, even those who chose to attend from out of state, and to make new friends and catch up with old ones too!

Robot Performance

Throughout the qualification matches, we encountered a few mechanical problems with our gear grabber, hopper, and drivetrain and a few problems with Misfire’s autonomous performance. After some careful observation, we realized that our gear grabber’s knife-edge was worn out, so we replaced it with a new piece of polycarb. Our stationary hopper panel kept colliding with the field hoppers, which tore our hopper wall. We replaced the broken hopper panel to solve this problem. We also noticed a crimp lodged between our chain and sprocket on our drivetrain, so we removed it to make our drivetrain function normally. Overtime, our autonomous performance improved after our mechanical changes. Thus, we were able to seed first for alliance selection after having a qualification match record of 7 wins and 3 losses.

Misfire successfully hangs within the last few seconds of a Qualification Match

During elims, we faced some fierce competition during our Semifinal and Final Matches. We ended up having to compete in a third tiebreaker match in semifinals and finals. In Semifinals Match 2, the opposing alliance of Team 973 Greybots, Team 1538 The Holy Cows, Team 604 Quixilver, and Team 2135 Presentation Invasion, scored a large amount of kPa during auton and kept their lead up by activating all 4 rotors! In Finals Match 2, the opposing alliance of Team 1323 Madtown Robotics, Team 3309 Friarbots, Team 5026 Iron Panthers, and Team 2073 EagleForce, displayed their true skill, by keeping a consistent lead, from the start of the match. By the end of our elimination matches, we won all of our tie breaking matches, allowing us to win the event with our alliance. We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish such a victory if it weren’t for our amazing alliance partners – Team 1011 CRUSH, Team 696 Circuit Breakers, and Team 5104 BreakerBots.

Members of the Team 254 Pit Crew repair Misfire before an upcoming Finals Match

2017-2018 Team 254 Roster

Congratulations to all who were accepted on to the team. Hope you all have a good school year and a great season! Here is the list of accepted students, displayed using ID numbers.

New Members:

221077

221376

221094

221117

221258

221426

221245

221161

221008

221407

221374

221193

220315

221427

220074

221120

221085

221419

221290

221416

221057

220152

220010

219135

221205

220096

221356

221139

220331

220278

220435

221131

221147

221147

221169

221200

221037

218390

221035

221288

221151

221241

221072

221138

220183

218377

221425

221381

221107

221096

221418

220254

221176

221198

220235

218270

221417

221352

218338

219130

220073

221350

221285

221056

221422

219298

Fall Project 2017

Team 254 is kicking off the school year with a Fall Project. This year students will be building a gear robot for the 2017 FIRST Steamworks challenge. The goal of this year’s Fall Project is to provide students with the opportunity to pursue whichever aspect of FRC they want to in a stress free environment, in order to prepare them for build season in January, and to have fun! Team 254’s Fall Project robot will be competing in Madtown Throwdown this coming November.

2017 Technical Resources Release

Team 254 is proud to present the Technical Binder, Code Release, and Blog Release for our 2017 World Champion winning robot, Misfire. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the Chief Delphi thread for our code release and our technical binder release.

Festival of Champions

2017 FRC Class of FIRST Champions

Recently, we attended the first ever FIRST Festival of Champions in Manchester, NH. After winning the St. Louis Championship with our extraordinary alliance partners, we faced the Houston Championship winning alliance in an intense series of 5 matches. Alongside Team 2767 Stryke Force, Team 862 Lightning Robotics, and Team 1676 The Pascack PI-oneers, we were able to win the Festival of Champions Event. We enjoyed a tour of DEKA and a great potluck at Dean Kamen’s home. We would like to say thank you to FIRST for giving us the amazing opportunity to participate in this event!

“Thanks to the phenomenal performance by our alliance partners!”

Championship Matches

In the most intense games we’ve played all season, the Houston alliance won the first two matches. Our alliance won the third and fourth to stay in the game. In Match 4, our alliance partners helped us win against the Houston alliance by a margin of only 16 points. In the final match, our alliance capped a great season with one last win. We won the match, and the festival championship, setting a record high score for this year’s game of 588. We’ll let the video speak for itself, as our last finals match was certainly one of Team 254’s best performance of the season.

We would like to honor our alliance partners because of how far we all came, from St. Louis to Festival of Champions. We would also like to thank Team 973 Greybots, Team 5499 The Bay Orangutans, Team 1011 CRUSH, and Team 2928 Viking Robotics from the Houston Alliance for setting the bar high and making all our matches an intense, and great experience. We’re excited to meet other FRC teams at our annual offseason event, Chezy Champs, and to kick off next year’s season!

2017 World Champions!

This past week, we attended the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in St. Louis. With two Championship events this year, it was hard to decide which to compete at, but we had a great time facing off against teams from the east coast, Canada, and more. Alongside, Team 2767 Stryke Force, Team 862 Lightning Robotics, and Team 1676 The Pascack PI-oneers, we were able to win the Daly Subdivision finals before continuing on to win the Championship at Einstein.

Daly

In our qualification matches, we went 7-3 overall and seeded second, with Team 2767 holding first seed. The improvements we made since the Silicon Valley Regional payed off as we hit over 100 kPa during our second qualification game and managed an average of about 381 points per match. Throughout qualifications, we were also regularly able to achieve 40 kPa and activate 4 rotors, giving us enough ranking points to propel us into a high seed.

Moving into alliance selection, we joined Team 2767 alongside Team 862 and Team 1676. With a balance of gear and fuel scoring ability, we planned to maximize our points by hopefully achieving 40+ kPa and activating 4 rotors every match. Throughout the Daly finals, we remained undefeated and won against incredibly fierce competition. In our first semifinals match, we managed to score a personal record of 550 points! We were also very grateful to have received the Innovation in Control Award, an award we had also received back at the San Francisco Regional. After winning Daly with some very close matches, we were anxious to see how we would perform at Einstein.

Einstein

In a round robin style tournament, we competed against every other subdivision champion throughout 5 matches. We ended up going 3-2 here and seeded second, giving us the opportunity to compete in the grand finals as the blue alliance against the Darwin champions, who had beaten us in the round robin tournament.

In the most intense games we’ve played all season, our alliance pulled ahead in the finals, winning the second match by only 3 points. We’ll let the video speak for itself, as the second finals match was certainly many on 254’s favorite game of the season:

We are so grateful to our alliance partners for playing such a huge role in our success, and to every team that attended the Championship for competing with us and making it such an amazing experience. Special mention to the Einstein teams for going all the way and challenging us in ways we hadn’t previously been. We’re looking forward to facing off against the Houston alliance at the Festival of Champions!

“Thanks to our mentors for such a great season!”

“Post-Einstein excitement”

FRC Day 42 Build Blog

Day 42: Preparing for World Championships

Quick Summary

Everything that we need at competition, which includes the pit, was packed and prepared for being shipped to St. Louis.

Robot Progress

Shooter

We worked on some hood geometry and started to look at the placement of the hanger tube and different sizes. We also finished the design of the new hood and CNCed the new hood plates. We laser-cut a new center divider for the hood. Everything was assembled at on Monday’s build.

Hopper/Intake Ramp

The old hopper broke on the practice bot, so we laser cut new plates and assembled them onto the robot. We also cut spare hopper plates and spare intake ramps in case we need them during champs.

Driver Practice

We started practicing a new kind of gear cycle called the check mark cycle, which we plan will probably use from here on out.

Image uploaded from iOS (3)-min.jpg

Programming

Today, we worked on shooter tuning and semi-automated gear placement in teleop using an ultrasonic sensor.  For shooter tuning, we worked on fixing a problem where our stream will begin to walk backwards over long periods of time.  We believe this is a result of the system becoming more efficient over time as the bearings on our flywheel heat up.  To solve this problem, we tried compensating for the increased flywheel speed over time by taking an average speed of the flywheel between shots and using it to adjust our voltage..  For teleop gear placement, we tried to use the ultrasonic sensor to limit the amount the robot can drive backwards when scoring gears to prevent it from driving too far back and bending the spring.  However, we found that the ultrasonic sensor updates far too slowly for this to actually work right now, so we are investigating ways to speed up the ultrasonic sensor and use our drivebase encoders to compensate for this lag.

FRC Day 41 Build Blog

Day 41: Improving Gear Scoring


Gear Grabber

Today we worked on the Cow Catcher, or an assembly that prevents balls from getting stuck in the Gear Grabber and pushes balls out of the way. We began with prototyping with two delrin side plates and a 3/8" standoff, and while the results were promising, balls still got caught in the general vicinity, affecting its performance. To solve this issue, we prototyped the cow catcher with a longer standoff, which prevented balls from getting caught.

Inline image 1

Having determined the relative effectiveness of the Gear Grabber, we began to design a deployment mechanism such that the cow catcher fits in the framer perimeter at the start of the match. We came up with the use of a torsion spring and hardstop to deploy the cow catcher at the start of the match. Due to the limited availability of springs at the lab, we used rubber bands instead, but the deployable cow catcher was ultimately too weak. Thus, we added standoffs and reinforcing plates to increase rigidity.

Inline image 2

Robot Progress

We worked on fixing up our practice bot, making a new intake ramp and straightening out our hopper flanges. We also did a lot of shooter testing and were able to significantly improve the accuracy of our shots.

Silicon Valley Regional Tournament

This past weekend, we competed at the Silicon Valley Regional at San Jose State University.

Qualifications

Throughout the qualification matches, Misfire performed very well, despite bearing one loss, going 8-1 overall and scoring an average of about 300 points. We focused on a strategy of reaching 40kPa along with delivering a couple gears to maximize the amount of ranking points we would receive, which worked out as we were seeded first heading into eliminations



Eliminations & Awards

In our alliance, we picked Team 604 “Quixilver Robotics” and Team 4990 “Gryphon Robotics.” With this alliance, we aimed to focus both on fuel and gears, hoping to reach 40kPa+ in the boiler, 4 rotors spinning, and all robots hanging in an ideal game. During quarterfinals, we beat the prior record of 506 points with no penalties by scoring 507 points and later in semifinals we scored 509 points. During finals we finished off with scoring 522 points (517 without penalties)!



Through the eliminations, we ended up winning the tournament after an exciting final match! We won the Quality Award and were recognized for being captain of the winning alliance. It was a great experience playing against all these teams and we hope to see some of them again at World Championships in St. Louis.



FRC Day 40 Build Blog

Day 40: Improvements for SVR



Driving Improvements

We added additions to our robot in order to create an easier and more efficient driving environment. We have placed a blue LED strip on the back of the hood to let drivers know whether or not they are in a good shooting proximity. To do so, we wired up MOSFETS to control the LED strip, which will plug into the DIO port on the roborio.

Inline image 3


CamerasfAutono

At SFR, we found that installing “back-up cameras” would help with gear placement. Therefore, we worked on optimizing the camera placement, as well as finding a way to widen the narrow field of view (currently 70 degrees) to better capture the gear’s location.

Inline image 2

Autonomous

After the post-mortem we worked to improve the robot's turning during autonomous. We prototyped small Delrin sliders that didn't quite work when sliding on carpet. We anticipate that the best solution will be to try to implement drop-down omni wheels that we can turn on. However, if that does not work either we will resort to changing the autonomous routine itself.

Inline image 1


San Francisco Regional Tournament

This past weekend, we competed at the San Francisco Regional at St. Ignatius College Preparatory.

Qualifications

Throughout the qualification matches, Misfire performed strongly, going 10-0 overall and scoring an average of about 277 points. We focused on a strategy of reaching 40kpa to maximize the amount of ranking points we would receive, which worked out as we were seeded first heading into eliminations.



Eliminations & Awards

In our alliance, we picked Team 971 “Spartan Robotics” and Team 4990 “Gryphon Robotics.” With this alliance, we aimed to focus heavily on the high goals, hoping to get 40kpa+ in the boiler, 2 rotors spinning, and all robots hanging in an ideal game. We also planned to use defense, having one of our robots block the chokepoint near the gear loading station, hopefully making it impossible to for other teams to score 4 gears.



Throughout several exciting rounds, we ended up winning winning the tournament after an intense final match. We also won the Innovation in Control Award and Griffin Soule, our team president, won a Dean’s List Finalist Award. It was a great experience playing against all these teams and we hope to see some of them again at SVR.



Misfire Reveal

Team 254 presents our 2017 entry into the FIRST Robotics Competition: Misfire. Misfire will be competing at the inaugural San Francisco Regional, followed by the Silicon Valley Regional and the St. Louis FIRST Championship. More information on the robot.