Innovative Prototyping and Robot Design Team 40 Speaker Dan Larochelle CTO - intelitek FRC and VRC team #40 - Trinity HS 15 years FRC experience Overview Prototyping Platforms Mini FRC video Prototyping tips Bench testing motors and electronics Purchasing sources Team 40 Frame design Prototyping Platforms Vex IFI – Vex Robotic Competition (VRC) Savage Soccer easyC and REC robotic training tools Lego NXT FLL FTC – Tetrix Cardboard and 2x4s Popsicle sticks Team 40 Pre-season Training REC ACS I and II – Trinity HS REC Vex robotic curriculum to teach robotic fundamentals and concepts Robot Competitions Savage Soccer Vex Robotic Competition Practice Iteration Build confidence Learn how to iterate design ideas What is Mini FRC? 2007 2008 Mini FRC Goals Enhance current brainstorming techniques with the Vex platform. Rapid prototype 6 mini robots for to prove out the validity of our ideas from our initial brainstorming session in week 1. Limit the build to 2-3 days. Compete the various designs against each other and see what happens. 2006 Aim High Mini FRC Video This video can be downloaded from the intelitek website at www.intelitekdownloads.com/MiniFRC What did we learn about the game? Winning autonomous was a big advantage, it put the losing team in catch up mode. Good shooting robots are hard to beat. Shooters missed a lot more than they got in. Ramp points weighed heavy in low scoring matches. The field was littered with balls after the first few periods, picking up balls from the floor was key. A good defensive robot can nullify a good offensive robot, especially while a shooter is shooting! Mobility was important, the field was crowded and there were lots of places the robot could be pinned How did it affect our team? First project in 15 years that involved every single member of an FRC team. Leveled the playing field enabling younger students to learn and share their ideas with their more experienced teammates. Higher level of thinking about the game. Game strategies could be played out in real time. Students were challenged to show their ideas It made believers out of the skeptics that felt that MiniFRC project was a waste of time. Team bonded together and had a lot of fun. How did it affect our FRC robot? Focused our design on being effective in autonomous A rapid fire shooter Mobility traded off for strength – Mechanum wheels Use the camera to aim shooter to avoid wasting balls Dual conveyors to harvest balls from both sides Educated decisions were made early in the design process. Reduced guessing! What did the students learn? Working in smaller groups allowed more ideas to be developed and tested. Students not intimidated by the hardware, permitting greater experimentation and innovation. The competitive element of the competition drove them to keep making their robots better. The engineering design process was dramatically reinforced through competition, especially the concept of design iterations Making minirobots is FUN! What did the mentors learn? Mentors became facilitators, empowering the students. The students had to understand the Rules of the game. This led to a better informed team. Leveled the playing field between the boys and the girls. Robustness of the Vex platform allowed for a direct correlation of concepts and ideas to our FRC robot. Team spent time testing ideas and strategies in week 1 and 2 rather than week 6 when it is typically too late! Increased comfort level with trying out new ideas. Training prior to kickoff with Vex, easyC and REC made the project run smoothly. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Increased comfort level with final design Great team building exercise. Increased student knowledge and awareness Surprise! – Regional competition confirmed most of our Mini FRC findings Would we do it again? Yes! - We have done this process the past 3 years. Set firm dates for mini completion – know when to end the mini robots and start the big one. Integrate more sensors and programming into the mini designs Prototyping Tips Assemble the Kit Bot Keep prototypes simple Use materials you have on hand to test your ideas Plywood and Cardboard work great! Do not try to reinvent the wheel, literally! Use premade gearboxes and wheels to meet the needs of your design (www.AndyMark.biz) 80/20 Aluminum extrusion Testing your Motors and Electronics It is very important to test all of your control system components and motors early. This can be done in parallel with the main robot design. Allow electrical people and programmers access to the hardware early instead of 5 minutes before it has to ship out the door! Purchasing Sources Grainger www.grainger.com MSC www.mscdirect.com McMaster Carr www.mcmaster.com IFI www.ifirobotics.com AndyMark www.AndyMark.biz Home Depot/Lowes Team 40 Frame Design 1”x1” 1/8” square tubing 1”x1” angle brackets used for mounting frame members together 10-32 hole pattern easy to drill and tap into frame members ½” holes can be drilled into frame members to reduce weight after design is finalized Team 40 Frame Design The angle brackets allow us to quickly assemble and test the frame This bracket system allows for quick modifications to the frame. The brackets also make perfect fixtures for welding. Thank You! Good Luck this year!
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