Authors: Adhi K, Dylan C, Timothy M
Whew… We’ve been busy! These last few weeks talon has had tests, design pivots, and loads of fun. Enjoy!
With the deadline of February 20 set for the completion of our practice bot, we were hard at work to complete our major subsystems for the driver’s test the next day.
Although our drivetrain and electronics were mostly completed aside from a few small issues, we had not yet begun thinking about the electronics that would be routed through the most complicated part of our robot: the elevator. While members of the team were working on assembling the elevator and claw mechanism, others took it upon themselves to start wiring the motors that would extend up to 3 feet outside of our frame perimeter.
Usually, in previous years, we would put SparkMaxs, more commonly called Sparks on our team, near the motor itself, since the encoder wire was a preset distance and not detachable from the motor. However, after a multitude of CANBus issues last year, we decided to try and make all of our sparks localized this year. This meant we had to individually cut and solder the six wires that lead from the REV motor to the Spark, which in this case was over 4 feet long. Then, all the encoder wires were put into a snakeskin and secured in a way that all the soldiers were near the edges of the snakeskin so that troubleshooting would be convenient if we ever had issues.
Then, all the wires and snakeskin were put into a larger snakeskin, so that we would only have one large mass of wires extending outside the frame perimeter, which would decrease the chances of tangling.
We had scheduled our driver’s test today, where members of the team get to try out for the driver and operate our robot at events. Although the test was scheduled for 9 am, there were students in the room beforehand to make sure that the robot was in working order for the test. However, one of our batteries exploded while on the robot, causing battery acid to be expelled everywhere. We do not know the cause, since the robot had not taken any impacts, or was being driven at all when it exploded. It also wasn’t even enabled, even though it was powered on. That being said, the battery was a couple of years old and was also the first battery we had exploded everywhere. So, we anticipated that it would probably not happen again. When it came time for the team to have its test. Our scouting mentor Jon handed out tests with the rules and everyone got to work. The day slowly progressed and by the end of it, our driver, coach, and human player were picked. Our robot wasn’t wanting to function by the end of the testing day, so we weren’t able to decide on an operator.
Dannfoss Demo 🙂
While most of the team was testing the future of the drive team, a small group went over with Orion to present to Danfoss. The entire demo was a lot of fun as we got to see the offices of their company along with their testing and manufacturing facilities. After the amazing lunch that Danfoss provided, we got to show off our robot alongside UltraViolet and the RoboLobos. Everyone who went had a great time, our tour guides were very nice and helpful. Thanks, Danfoss for making it a great morning/Afternoon!
Tuesday came along and so did Minnesota’s weather. Being the second to last Tuesday before the team travels to Duluth; Talon didn’t have its weekly team meeting. The Snow decided to somewhat foil our plans, a huge blizzard was slowly approaching the entire state. Not everyone met in person, but the team was able to get the meeting done. Not much happened on Tuesday room but those who dared the blizzard were able to continue work on the comp bot and fix the damages the driver’s test gave.
Wednesday was the calm before the literal storm. A massive blizzard was bound to give the team up to 20 inches of snow. With our first competition coming in closer and closer we were able to sneak in the day even when school was closed. All day we managed to sneak in last-minute improvements and attempts to perfect the robot code. While a long day, not many students joined us as the weather was bad and the roads to the high school were slick.
Thursday was our biggest busiest day yet. With the snowstorm at its peak. Room was canceled…. Yeah pretty cool!
With the snow being clear from the roads, Talon was back to business. We started on last-minute preparations for KnightKrawlers Week 0 event. The entire day started out with a few members assembling the practice field. Once that was fully set up our robot got busy. The evening was filled with practicing robot cycles and trying out autos. We ended pretty late in the day but once our trailer arrived the robot along with our tool carts were loaded in and ready to go.
Friday was full of subteam meetings. Awards practiced its impact script and worked on finalizing it. Outreach had its weekly meeting where they discussed our summer camp’s curriculum. Fundraising also met to discuss its usual routine. Our culver’s fundraiser was a huge success thanks to everyone who came in to support us!
The team was divided into two on Saturday. One smaller group spent their early morning working on cutting plates and assembling the comp bot. The rest of the team was at Irondale High School to see our robot in action.
Practice Match 1
- Our first match of the day was an interesting start, to say the least. Our bot was loaded up and ready to go, however, our battery wasn’t. When the bell rang our robot didn’t want to function. We forgot to switch the batter that was used the previous night for practice. In turn, the robot was able to be used with a half charge. Our first match was spent sitting dead in the water.
Practice Match 2
- Our second wasn’t much better, our robot had a faulty spark onboard. This led to the spark pulling out all of the battery’s juice. This caused the battery to have no more power, so just like the last match, the team was left floating.
Practice Match 3
- On our third match, we finally started to turn ourselves around. While our auto didn’t perform as we wanted, our team tested our swerve drive and got a sense of our robot’s real issues. Of course, nothing gold can stay. Our robot ran itself into the wall and decided to stop working for the rest of that match. To top everything, off our indexer’s ploy carb plate snapped. We were able to fix our errors after our lunch break but the first three matches made all hope go into the last one.
Practice Match 4
- Our final match was an interesting one. This year’s robot was able to work, but not in the way we wanted it to. When the starting bell rang, our robot was able to drive out of the community scoring us three points. After that, we attempted to score a cone on the middle pole, and to our luck, we did it.
After the lucky scoring through our indexer, our driver Adhi tried to pick up a fallen cone that was in the middle of the field. But with our luck, our intake was bugging out. Being able to take advantage of the situation, our driver still managed to drag cones toward the lower goals by using our intake. We didn’t score that much during that match as our intake wasn’t working properly. We did end the game with a dock & engaged robot.
Talon ended our week 0 expedition somewhat early as we all wanted to get back to our room to continue work on the robot. We loaded our trailer and hopped on the bus. The rest of the day went on pretty late; as the team continued work during open room. Saturday was an eventful day but we learned a lot about the game. Talon is super excited for Duluth.
Sunday was a hectic day for the team. Having put the robot through its paces the day before there were lots of repairs to be done. Aedin Y and Adhi K remounted the elevator, the orientator was rebuilt by a multitude of people, and a new intake design was fabricated and attached by Riley L with some help from Timothy M. The pressure of Duluth loomed ahead of us as we went to work, and we got plenty done, to the point where the drivers could get a little bit of testing done before it was time to head home.
While the build team was hard at work on the robot the Impact presenters gathered to finish their script and create a wonderful poster.
After such an intense break some members of the team decided to take a relaxing break and went together to get some food and reflect on their progress. While we’ve seen issues our ever-present team is so excited for Duluth and is ready to show everyone the incredible robot we’ve built! We look forward to what’s ahead! See you in DULUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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