Team 1640 2012 Summer Program
One of the major projects for summer 2012 was a a full-fledged drivetrain design project for students interested in design and CAD (no experience necessary). Originally, this was to be based on the 2010 FRC Game, Breakaway, but later we invented a new game, Touchdown Tango, to open up more new strategy possibilities and explore prototypes we hadn't done before.
FRC 2010 Breakaway Documents
Breakaway was a robot soccer game in which each alliance had two goals (one in each corner of a short side) and the field was divided into three sections by large trapezoidal Bumps. Balls were returned to the middle section. The Bumps also had holes in them, called Tunnels, that short robots to navigate through. Above each Tunnel was a Tower that you could hang on for bonus points: hanging was worth 2, hanging off another robot was worth 3, and scoring a soccer goal was worth 1 (2 in autonomous). You could only have one ball at a time and you couldn't lift it off the ground. You had to stay within your frame perimeter except for ever 2 seconds you could go up to the bumper perimeter for 2 seconds.
Below are links to the official Game, Arena, Robot and complete manuals for the game. (These links break sporadically on the FIRST site, so are provided here for convenience. FIRST made them; not us.)
Though this project was short-lived before the introduction of Touchdown Tango, students picked up on several key drivetain issues and started to think outside the realm of Pivot Drive. (Basically all participating students had only know us to use pivot drive, started in 2010 with DEWBOT VI.) Ideas such as the benefits of 6 versus 4 wheel drive and wide versus long orientation were explored, along with the usefulness of gear shifting and the engineering challenges of crossing something like a Bump. (Most students had only known the DEWBOT VIII's 2012 Barrier.) The process of overall strategy development, function prioritization and effort allocation was also explored, though the project itself only concentrated on drivetrains.
1640's Fake Touchdown Tango Documents
Touchdown Tango was a nerf football game with 2 Field Goals per alliance (one in each corner of a short side). The goals had Selves at their cross bar and short bumper-like Fenders at the bottom. You were only safe from defense when in contact with one of your Fenders. The field was divided into three sections by shallow polycarbonate Hurdles. Human Player ran scored footballs around the edge of the field to a seated human player who could throw them in the center section of the field. Each field goal was 1 point (2 in autonomous), placing a ball on the Shelf was worth 3, and hanging from the Field Goal at the end was worth 5 (+2 if one of your allies joined you). Robots had to start a 60" tall but could grow to 108". They could extend one appendage at a time up to 14" inches outside their frame perimeter, except during the 30 second end game, when the maximum was 36".
Below are links to the official Game, Arena, Robot and Tournament manuals for the game.
Touchdown Tango Results
At majority vote, this was the first purely student-led, student-operated project for everyone involved. Though mentors were there to ensure safety and were occasionally consulted and known to ask annoying questions, the students did all the assessment, decision-making and prototyping work themselves. Participating students split into two groups.
- One group pursued an 80/20 chassis with a beaterbar intake, V-aligning belts, indexing hopper and pitching wheel. Chassis pieces came together, but due to the parts investment their design sought, the rest was pursued primarily in CAD.
- The other group worked on a Kitbot chassis (assembled by students and later geared, electrified and and programmed with mentor help) and prototyped an 80/20 catapult using DEWBOT VII's claw as well as a pitching wheel shooter. Though CAD was minimal, the chassis rolled and both prototypes eventually flung balls. They investigated things like 80/20 assembly, wheel setup and turning scrub, and catapult dynamics (albeit informally). The eventual goal of the catapult setup was to acquire balls with a roller claw and then retract the top jaw and catapult them into the goals. A cleverly integrated idea that might just come up again!