In retrospect, it seems we have. The 2015 season was good to Sab-BOT-age.
DEWBOT XI is designed to compete in the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition game, Recycle RushSM.
Notable events & accomplishments:
- 3rd seed and FINALIST at the Hatboro-Horsham MAR Qualifying Event
- 1st alliance captain and CHAMPION at the Seneca MAR Qualifying Event
- Received the Motorola Quality Award at both Hatboro-Horsham and Seneca
- 2nd seed alliance captain and FINALIST at MAR Championship
- Finished the MAR competition season as the 2nd ranked team in MAR (after friends 225 TechFire)
- Qualified for FRC Championships! (5th consecutive year)
- Archimedes Division 5th seed/4th alliance captain FINALIST at FRC Championship
- During the FRC Season Competitions, we finished qualifications in the top 5; finished eliminations as either Finalist or Winner
- We've become a role model within the MAR community evidenced by two peer awards (from 1647 & 5113)
- Matt completed our IRI Application Video, which was submitted
- ...and we made the cut! We're going to IRI for the 6th consecutive year.
- Matt followed up the IRI application video with an awesome 2015 Season Wrap-up Video
- 1st alliance captain and FINALIST at Midknight Mayhem
- FINALIST at the Indiana Robotics Invitational
- 1st alliance captain at Duel on the Delaware
- 1st alliance captain at Ramp Riot
This is the time of the year that all good roboteers and mentors most love and fear.
I love build season. It is the very heart and soul of the robotics year. I love the challenge, the close team work (yes, even the friction resulting from teams working hard under pressure), the prototyping and testing, the false starts and finally finding resolutions to tough design problems. The hard work. The tough decisions. The pressure. The building itself; bringing everthing together and getting all of it working just right. Build season is my favorite time.
I hate build season. The sleep depravation. The angst born of trying endlessly to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable design demands. The fear that this year's robot will not live up to expectations; that we will not be worthy. The parts that just don't come together and the systems that refuse to work reliably. Why do I do this to myself every year?
An old wise guy once said to me: Nothing difficult is ever easy.
- We made the decision to stay with swerve drive for the 2015 robot. In view of the fact that blazing speed and acceleration seems to be detriments in this year's game, concepts to increase speed were not adopted and Mini-CIMs were used in lieu of CIMs to drive the robot.
- With the departures of Ben Kellom as mentor and Edgetech as sponsor, we redesigned our swerve module to significantly reduce the machine time requirements and to bring as much of the machining in-house as practical. New sponsor AMS Filling Systems provided the parts we could not produce in-house.
- Our main scoring system allows us to build stacks of up to six Totes under a Recycle Container and to score these. This stack is built inside the robot chassis and we score by simply dropping the stack and backing up. This led us to design a U-chassis, the scariest design element of DEWBOT XI.
- Pulls Totes into the robot and automatically aligns them for stacking. No fuss, no muss. When open, presents a 23.75" Tote Acquisition width. When closed, the pointy ends match the Landfill spacing.
- Recycle Containers (RCs) were the key to scoring big in Recycle Rush, and an alliance of solid stackers would win if they were able to control the majority of RCs on the step at the match start. This made a fast RC Burglar which grabbed RCs at the very start of autonomous an essential accessory for a victory-seeking robot.
- We expected a lot of robot, RC and Tote sets in autonomous. We had our own routine for this (Plain Vanila Autonomous). Turns out we were mistaken. The only worthwhile alternative to autonomous RC Burglars is 3-Tote Autonomous. The ideal alliance (ours during Archimedes Eliminations, for example) possesses two robots with fast double RC Burglars and one with a reliable 3-Tote Autonomous. That's all she wrote.
Robot don't tip! software
- DEWBOT XI tipped over twice at Hatboro; once during Finals (resulting in our loss). Ouch! Tipping over in competition is rarely a good thing. So we stopped it. In software.
- Utilizing the NavX input, pitch is monitored to determine whether the robot is in danger of tipping over forwards or backwards (but when we tip, we tip backwards). If a tipping danger is detected, drive control is taken to drive the robot backwards or forwards to reestablish stability. Once stable, drive control is returned to the driver (or autonomous routine - this safety feature works both in autonomous and teleop).
- The feature works really well and saved our bacon on quite a few occasions. Easy to see in video.
- This is an upgrade on DEWBOT VI's Carly don't tip feature.
- Kick-off - 3-January-2015
- Hatboro-Horsham - 27-Feb - 1 March-2015
- The team got off to a good start for the season at this week 1 event. Finishing qualifications as 3rd seed, we accepted 1403's (Cougar Robotics) gracious invitation and joined the first alliance. Together with 3637 (The Daleks) we finished as Finalists. Sab-BOT-age also received the Quality Award (sponsored by Motorola). The team earned 61 MAR qualifying points at Hatboro-Horsham.
- Seneca - 20-22 March-2015
- A good second competition for us. We finished qualifications as 1st seed and invited 1218 (Vulcan Robotics) and 5113 (Combustible Lemons) to join the 1st alliance. Together, we won the event. Sab-BOT-age again received the Motorola Quality Award. The team earned 73 MAR qualifying points.
- MAR Championship - 8-11 April-2015
- Sab-BOT-age continued its outstanding performance at this event. After a rocky start (Intake Arm pneumatics did not work during the first qual match due to disconnected wire), 1640 slowly worked its way up to 2nd seed. We formed the 2nd alliance with teams 303 (The Test Team) and 4635 (Ironmen Robotics), finishing the event as Finalists.
- The team finished the Mid-Atlantic Robotics competition ranked 2nd (after 225) in a field of 121 teams. We qualified for FRC Championships.
- FRC Championship - 22-25 April-2015
- We finished qualifications as Archimedes 5th seed out of a field of 76 teams. We spent an anxious evening into the wee hours on Friday night working on our elimination strategy and putting together our alliance pick list. We put together a winning strategy and a great pick list.
- ...and then the impossible happened. We were able to pick up two complimentary team from our #1 pick list. Picking up FRC 1310 (Runnymede Robotics - Toronto, ON, Canada) was enormous good fortune. Getting FRC 217 (ThunderChickens - Sterling Heights, MI) on the 2nd round; priceless. 1640, 1310 & 217 made an awesome and balanced alliance. And don't forget our 3rd pick, 2383 (Ninjineers - Plantation FL).
- While we made it to Archimedes Finals, problems with DEWBOT's lift limited our scoring capability and we were unable to advance beyond this point.
Individual wins and losses don't mean a lot in Recycle Rush, but our official season record was 54-20-0 (a 73% win rate).
- Midknight Mayhem - 27-June-2015
- 1640 finished qualifications as 1st seed and invited 225 TechFire and 193 MORT Beta to join us to form the 1st alliance. This awesome alliance put up the events highest score, 214 points, during a semifinal match. Unfortunately, our robot tipped over in the 3rd finals match and we ended the competition as Finalists.
- Indiana Robotics Invitational - 17-18 July 2015
- Our sincerest thanks go out to FRC Team 118 (Alliance Captain - Robonauts, Houston TX) and 2826 (Wave Robotics, Oshkosh WI) for inviting Sab-BOT-age to join the 3rd alliance in eliminations (and 67 - Heroes of Tomorrow, Milford/White Lake MI - for completing the alliance). This alliance was absolutely outstanding! Together, the 3rd alliance made it to IRI Finals. We were defeated in a very close and hard-fought match by 7 points (345 vs 338).
- Duel on the Delaware - 17-October-2015
- While first seed (of 33) and first alliance captain (joined by teams 836 and 87), we were eliminated in the semifinals thereby bringing our Duel on the Delaware winning streak to a close.
- Great jobs by the whole drive team, in special fedoras-off to first-time driver Abbi and first-time human player Kevin!
- Ramp Riot - 14-November-2015
- Due to the D-Town Dustoff FLL Scrimmage we needed to be in two places at once. Neat trick. We picked a small, focused team to compete. Six students and three mentors. The students ran the show.
- We went to Ramp Riot with a Coach and Operator experiencing their first competition as drive team members, and a human player experiencing his second competition in this role. Only our driver and two pit students were experienced veterans.
- How did we do? Really well. We ended up as 1st seed and led the 1st alliance. A huge shout out to alliance partners 1218 (Vulcan Robotics), 1626 (Falcon Robotics) and 1712 (Dawgma). We didn't win, but did very well in the quarterfinals. A truly outstanding last competition for DEWBOT XI.
- DAR FLL Scrimmage - 22-November-2014
- Downingtown's third annual FIRST LEGO League Tune Up, the D-Town Dust-off, at the CCIU TCHS-Brandywine in Downingtown, PA.
- This non-qualifying event was hosted by Downingtown Area Robotics in cooperation with the TCHS to help area FLL teams gain experience and prepare for their Qualifiers in this year's game, WORLD CLASSSM! 15 area teams participated.
- Downingtown Area Robotics-TCHS-Penn FLL Qualifying Event 2014 - 7-December-2014
- Downingtown's third annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Event was held on 7 December, 2014 at the CCIU TCHS Brandywine Campus in Downingtown, PA. This competition was hosted by Downingtown Area Robotics to allow area FLL teams to compete and qualify for the Penn FLL Championship in this year's game, WORLD CLASSSM!
- Team Picnic - 20-June-2015
- MAR Team Day at Dorney Park - 11-July-2015
- Team Picnic II - 5-August-2015
- Team Halloween bonfire - 24-October-2015
- Boeing Engineering Week FIRST Robotics Demo - 26-Feb-2015
- Swerve drive workshop with Team 365 - 19-March-2015
- A multidisciplined team from Sab-BOT-age visited the Miracle Workerz to help work through some swerve drive issues.
- Sugartown Elementary School's Lego Expo and Robotics Fair - 17-April-2015
- A joint FRC1640 / FTC7314 demonstrations. Both teams were able to make their robots interact with the Sugartown students and were a huge hit!
- Demo during Downingtown West High School step-up day - 1-May-2015
- Downingtown West students Dana, Fatima and Trevor, with support from Laura and Ryan, introduced our robotics program to incoming freshmen.
- Demo at Avon Grove Charter School - 9-June-2015
- The team held its first robotics demonstration at Avon Grove Charter School. Thanks to Malia and Paul for organizing this and to all who participated.
- Camp Horseshoe Boy Scout Demo - 21-July-2015
- Downingtown STEM Academy Demo - 22-September-2015
- Girl Scout Open House - 21-October-2015
- We had an excellent turn-out of Girl Scouts and parents at our open house. Thanks to the Moyers for organizing this event!
MediaIn light of our recent competition performance, the team continues to receive media attention. Summarized below, together with the team's media output.
- 2015 Season Wrap-up Video
- Matthew's 2015 season wrap-up video provides an awesome visual summary of 1640's build and competition seasons.
- IRI Application Video
- Matt and team produced a great video for our IRI Application.
- Photo for 2015 FIRST Championship facebook page
- 2014 FRC Photo Gallery
- Five of the 63 marketing tool photos in FRC's 2014 gallery show DEWBOT X and/or our drive team.
- Team Sab-BOT-age made the photo banner on the FIRST website
- Patrick Curran, Abbilyn and Siri Maley at the 2014 FRC Championship. Photo at right.
- Team Sab-BOT-age's photo in FIRST's Scholarship Flyer twice
- Shifting Swerve
- Sine Plate
- CAN control 6wd chassis
- SRX-MATE interface board
- Switch from LABVIEW to Java
Team Sab-BOT-age is what it is only due to the efforts of the people involved. DEWBOT XI's success will be in the hands of the students, mentors and parents engaged. The team's very existence is possible only through the gracious generosity of our sponsors.
See our other robots in the Robot Archives.