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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rebound Rumble Day 2

The build season is off and running! We spent most of yesterday (Kickoff) discussing strategy for this year's game with our partner team, the ERRORs. Nothing was really decided for sure, but we had a great time discussing the rules and intricacies of Rebound Rumble. Out of it we got some great guidelines for the game this year. For one, if there was ever a year to figure out the vision system, this is it. We hope to use the Kinect onboard the bot this year to help track and autotarget the hoops.

We've had a lot of ideas flying around for the last two days. The majority of the debate has been centered around the scoring method. (Shooter? Dumper? Air cannon?) The air cannon idea really didn't work, for a variety of reasons. Dumper is low on our list as well, due to the fact that we'd still have trouble getting it in the second level of hoops, and also due to the fact that it's really boring. On the shooter front, we managed to get a nice prototype working with some CIM motors, Toughboxes, and two traction wheels. It managed to shoot the balls 10 feet without any upward angle, which is not too shabby for a day 2 prototype! It's still a proof of concept at this point, but this is probably where our focus will be when it comes to scoring.

Unfortunately, no one seemed to have a camera. And the video I took with a phone got lost in cyberspace. Ah, well. I'll make sure to get some footage up within the next few days.

The other subject of debate has been the drivetrain. We still don't have any clear idea of where we're going with that, but we ruled out slide drive, tread drive, and "jump drive". Tank drive is looking very feasible this year since we would like to have a rotating turret on top to target the hoops. Due to that, the robot base itself shouldn't have to be quite so maneuverable. And with some good driving practice (please!) inaccuracy shouldn't be a huge issue anyway.

Still to discuss are things like picking up balls and safely navigating the ramps. More updates will be posted throughout the build season! (Hopefully daily!) It's gonna be a great season!

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