DEWBOT XI 3-Tote Autonomous
When we reviewed the game rules, we were immediately set 3-tote autonomous as a goal, but it was going to be difficult. We also thought that alliances would succeed in scoring robot, Tote & RC sets during many of not most matches. We were very wrong in this regard.
In a highly competitive match, two autonomous strategies make sense:
- Fast Can (RC) Burglaring. A robot should secure two RCs from the step during the first second or so of autonomous. In a highly competitive match, it should be assumed that all step RC will be controlled by one alliance or the other during the first second (or so) of the match.
- 3-Tote Autonomous. This is the only autonomous routine which will score points (and significant points at that) during autonomous without reliance on alliance partners
An ideal alliance in a competitive match would comprise two robots having fast double RC Burglars and one robot with reliable 3-Tote Autonomous.
So the tough part of this are the two RCs between the three yellow totes. They are in the way. The team's initial approaches towards this challenge relied on software and sensors exclusively (without any dedicated mechanical devices) to either maneuver around or push away the RCs. Reluctance to add an additional mechanical device was driven by robot weight concerns prior to completing (and weighing in) the RC Burglars. These initial attempts failed for a combination of reasons:
- They were too slow and did not complete the routine in 15 s.
- The maneuvers were too complex to be reliably repeatable
With completion of the RC Burglars, we were 1 lbm light. We further determined that we could free up an additional 0.5lbm by removing cooling fans from all of the Talon motor controllers except those used for the stacker lift. This gave us a modest weight budget for a mechanical device to assist with 3-tote autonomous. What we designed with this budget in mind was an RC tipper.
Two 3-tote autonomous routines were developed:
- one which deposited the stack of totes against the left field wall - generally for elimination matches were these would not be used for coop point; this placed the yellow tote stack out of the way.
- the second deposited the stack of totes in the autonomous zone center - readily accessible for use in coop stacking.