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Northeastern University Day Robotics Presentations.

Started by Laksh V, December 31, 2017, 06:45:19 PM

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Laksh V

Several weeks ago, a few of us(Matthew S, Mentor Steve N, Vignesh and I) from our team attended a day long seminar at Northeastern, during their University day.
Presentation was done by Nutrons team members, FRC 125.

As someone new to FRC I personally felt it was very useful. I'd like to share some notes I took and some links to original content (at the bottom).
I think it might be useful, especially to new members and might even be a good rehash for the veteran members.

Some repeated themes:

  • Strategy comes first, it should dictate everything else; robot design, competition, scouting etc
  • Strategy is key to success;  Good strategy + mediocre robot  any day better than Bad strategy + good robot!
  • Understand your team's limits
  • Understand what your robot can and cannot do
  • Make Design sacrifices: being very good at one thing better than being 'ok' at 3.
  • Design your robot for simplicity and reliability.(aka: "cooler" isn't always the best option.)

(some) Ingredients of Success during competition day:

    Success at competition comes down to Drive team cohesion (drivers + drive coach + pit crew) executing the 'playbook' and communicating really well.

    • Need to practice driving with the robot well,
    • Know what their robot can and cannot do,
    • Be consistent: Same two people bring robot on to the field, set it up consistently, 3rd person moves cart away, 4th person sets up the Driver Station.
    • Stay calm, do your job and stick to the strategy but be open to adapting to changing conditions during match
    • Work with the Drive coach they are your eyes and ears on the field, while you are focused on your robot.
    Post match:

    • DEBRIEF! what happened? good or bad? What ways to improve?
    • Record autonomous run and review with programming team.
    • Recording can be from the on-robot-camera feed plus some video game recording software (bandicam etc) and/or team members with video cams
    Pit Crew:

    • Pit crew can make or break an event!
    • Every robot breaks down, better teams know how to fix it. (know thy robot well!)
    • Have a Pre-match Checklist to ensure robot functions well.
    • Be organized: Plan pit layout, know where things are.
    Come prepared:

First 2-3 days of build season: (aka how to breakdown a game?)

  • Understand the RULEBOOK!

    • Be rule experts
    • Rule out strategies that are illegal, unproductive or ill conceived
    • Read the rulebook, note questions and discuss as a team.
  • Detailed scoring analysis:

    • Understand HOW TO SCORE! (by reading the manual)
    • List clearly ALL the ways you can score in google docs or spreadsheet etc.
    • Outline Robot skills needed. (e.g. traverse field, pick up game piece from ground, shoot, climb, balance etc)
  • Do Detailed time-based analysis.

    • How many seconds does it take per robot move?
    • Estimate based on previous experience (e.g. robot drives 10ft/sec top) 
    • Based on the estimates of time and robot moves, estimate What is the Actual point threshold we can get realistically?
    • Strategize: How to use all match time most effectively?
    • Try not to focus on how the robot is designed yet, focus only on capabilities needed..
  • Strategize for alliance:

    • What types of Robots can exist out in the field?  Decide What approach your team will take.
    • This step anticipates your alliance strategy and bots that might have complementary capability to yours.
  • Build Spec sheet based on your capabilities

    • Build a spec sheet of robot capabilities (e.g. pick up gear off ground).
    • Goal here is to align to your team's abilities, what it can and cannot do
    • BE AWARE Of NUDD (New, Unique, Different and Difficult) Robot features for your team.
    • Don't build your Robot spec sheet full of NUDDs!!!
    • Prioritize robot features based on: Must haves, Wants and Nice to haves.
  • Real work begins:

    • Validate Key strategic choices with time-bound prototypes if necessary. (time-bound: day/two for prototypes)
    • Have basic schedule to track progress.

Nutrons downloadable presentations are here: https://www.nutrons.com/seminars/:

Youtube archives of the stream: (pl. note recording may be of marginal quality)

Game-breaking: How to Breakdown an FRC Game

Strategic Decisions for team success

Pneumatics 101:

The Neverending Arms Race: FRC Drivetrains

FRC Sensors and Software with WPILib 

more at: Nutrons page in youtube