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Bay State Brawl - general

Started by Shreya C, March 01, 2017, 08:17:48 PM

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Shreya C

All the most important information about BSB.

  • Came up with the name Bay State Brawl because we'll always be centered in Massachusetts, but may not necessarily be in Westborough.
  • Choose 10/29 partially because it was one of the only available dates and partially because it would provide us the opportunity to play with the Halloween theme.
  • For the Halloween theme, we had trick-or-treating in the pits and had all sorts of Halloween-related decor. We encouraged teams to dress up.
  • Once we decided a name and theme, we started to think about details like awards and the game twist.
  • While there are other off-season competitions in the same time range, these competitions are often out of reach from local teams. We wanted to provide other FIRST teams the opportunity to train their drive teams during pre-season and this factored into our decisions for awards and the game twist.
  • We had two awards judged by judges, which emphasized two essential facets of a team. One of them was the "Best Pitcher" award, given to the team who best presented one feature of their robot. The other award was "Robo-Ohana" award, given to the team that has the most familial atmosphere.
  • We also had two awards judged by the teams. One of them was the "Aficionado Award", given to the team who best exemplified the Halloween spirit [this was mainly to convince teams to dress up] and the latter was the "Driver's Ed Award", given to the team who was most professional both on and off the field. The Driver's Ed Award was our means of emphasizing the gracious professionalism and coopertition aspects of competition.
  • Our game-play twist also involved this aspect of training new drive teams—we offered drive teams where every member had not participated on any competition drive teams prior to June 1, 2016, a spare boulder that they could place anywhere they wished on the playing field.
  • One member of the drive team that was sometimes neglected during last year's game was the human player—especially if they were in the spy box. We added a twist where during the last 20 seconds of the match, the human player would get one orange ball, which they could shoot into the castle. Scoring in the high goal was worth 5 points; however, scoring in the low goal was worth 10 points, because it was a more difficult shot. If the human player didn't shoot, the robot could still play the ball for a normal amount of points.
  • Teams attending are on the BSB tab of the team website.
  • BSB wasn't just for the FIRST community, though; it was also for the public. We wanted to show the public what robotics was really like; a lot of people had heard about our team or visited our workshop or seen us at events, but they'd never seen a real competition. We wanted to bring all the excitement and energy of a robotics competition to our community to share FIRST with them and to get them to be more interested in our team.
  • We especially wanted to target younger children. We had activities geared toward younger students; for example, we had a Lego racecar building station and a track which kids could race their cars down. We also had an FLL demo; we tried to use BSB as a means of gaining interest for an FLL team in our community, which would be another means through which we could share FIRST with the community and help FIRST grow.
  • We also had a scavenger hunt that other teams and visitors could do, which challenged them to go to the pits or explore the competition fully. The scavenger hunt was presented in the form of riddles.
  • We worked with other teams and organizations to make BSB as great as it was. We worked with NHS to provide food and help set-up. A couple teachers were judges at BSB. We also worked with FRC Teams 178 and 467, who presented at BSB with tables about FIRST.

Pablo C

Arcadia Content

  • Climber - Our climber is a rotating drum that sticks to the velcro at the end of our rope. There is also a small arm at the bottom of our climber that extends after our climer starts rotating, which helps push on the touchpad.
  • Hopper - Our hopper is where the fuel is stored. The hopper can be filled from the top or from the field via the intake roller. It can hold up to 70 balls. A flap hinging in the back top edge lifts all the balls out of the hopper while a flap in the front drops down, dumping all the balls into the low boiler goal.
  • Drive Train & Chassis- [Insert robot name here] has a set of four swerve wheels which allow for fluid and fast movement across the field. Our chassis was custom-built to the short robot dimensions, as this gives more length to our intake.
  • Gear Mechanism - Our gear mechanism is a pocket which was designed to pick up gears from the feeding station. Two flaps controlled by servos can rotate panels which hold the gear in place, allowing them to be placed onto the lift. Two servos also control a metal piece which push the gear onto the lift.

Pablo C

Almost forgot:

Camera - [Inert robot name here]'s camera is mounted on a servo that rotates 180 degrees. Controlled by the driver, this can capture from the gear side to help putting gears on the lift or swivel around to help climbing at the end of the match.

Keelan B

Climber info:

The climber is a cylinder with Velcro along the surface area and then with a rope that has Velcro on in it will get a firm first grip. Then the cylinder will start turning and let a spring pop open with a piece of metal that once at the top of the rope will trigger the sensor at the top of the climb. Then the climber climbs up the rope to the top and will stop once a limit switch is triggered. To get the climber down the back drive stopper will be pushed back via a piece of metal bellow it.

Shreya C

Software highlights:
- Coded in Java & C++ mainly.
- Had to hard-code swerve drive - should we include equations and how we figured this out? Mention PID too.
- One of the main features of our software is an attempt to automate as much as possible. Most evident in our auto-gear-placement code.
- For the above: we use ultrasonic rangefinders and a camera called the Pixy Camera, which can detect objects of a certain color (once it's been trained to recognize that color). When Pixy detects an object, it returns a Pixy Packet of information about that object, like the height, width, center, etc., which we can use to determine whether we've properly detected the reflective tape.
- We use the rangefinders and gryoscope to be properly aligned with the lift.

Vanshika C

More on software:

  • This was our first year attempting swerve drive; it was challenging at first but we were pleasantly surprised at our quick success in getting it to work. I think including a diagram of swerve drive would be good. If a judge REALLY wants to know how the equations work, I can write up a "proof".
  • Gear placement: mention our initial choices. We experimented with using infrareds, but it didn't work out. We also tried to use only the Pixy and ultrasonics but the values were too unreliable so we switched to the gyro for angle calculations and control.
  • Include the automodes; they're found in the software section.