2019 Robotics Season

The robotics season in finally over! Or rather, the off-season is beginning. This was my last year as a student on the team, so it’s bittersweet.

The Season

Wilsonville

Our first district event was Wilsonville, which was a really great start for us. We were alliance captains and made it to quarterfinals. Our main issue at that event was reliability. Our robot CAN bus was soldered together, so when we figured out that a motor controller had failed before a match we had to cut the CAN, swap the motor controller out, twist the CAN wires back together, and cross our fingers. It ended up not working (to nobody’s surprise). After that event, we prioritized reliability and serviceability for electronics. We used our 6 hours of RAP (robot access period) between competitions to completely rebuild the electronics. We went from a bundle of 22 AWG wires for our solenoids to a CAT6 cable, we used PWM crimps for our CAN bus, we put short cables with powerpole connectors in our WAGO connectors, and zip-tied all our powerpole connectors.

Lake Oswego

We had issues with our climber/ball intake gearboxes internally shearing, but we were still a first pick. We made it to quarters and got knocked out. After that event, we iterated on our climber. We went from 2 CIM motors with 80:1 CIM sport gearboxes to 2 NEO brushless motors with 30:1 CIM sport gearboxes and 4:1 chain reduction. We also joined the two sides of the climber together with a hex shaft so they would always turn in unison (rather than relying on programming). NEOs were lighter and smaller, and gave us more torque than CIMs. Using chains for the last stage of reduction put less strain on the gearboxes and provided an intentional point of failure compared to the gearboxes. We had the chain break once when we fell while climbing, which is better than the gearboxes breaking.

Climber

PNW District Championship (Tacoma, WA)

At district champs we did poorly, not because of any specific reason but because we had some poor luck with our randomly selected qualifiers, and because we weren’t in the top hatch cyclers, or good at defense. Even though we didn’t make it to finals at DCMP, we still got into worlds on merit. I had my qualms about going on merit, especially because I would miss 2 days of work and it would cost a lot to go, but decided to go since I didn’t want to screw over the team as there weren’t any other people that could drive the robot (well).

FIRST Championship (Houston, TX)

In Houston we did well in qualifiers and ended up getting first picked by Plasma Robotics, which was totally unexpected. We made our way through playoffs completely undefeated until we went against a complete powerhouse alliance: the Cheesy Poofs and Blackhawk. The Cheesy Poofs were undeafeated last year, so we didn’t really expect to win against them. We ended as Turing Division finalists, which was better than we ever expected to do.