Stronghold Meeting - 10-Jan-2016

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Competition Season Meeting

Meeting Date Meeting Time Location Attendees
TCHS Brandywine

CAD & Design

-Our strategy included crossing over all Category B and D defenses, preferably with the drivetrain only, so we began working on Crayola CAD sketches of potential wheeled drivetrain configurations. Based upon previous games' successful drivetrains, three wheeled configurations were considered:

  • 6 Wheel Tank drive
  • 6 Wheel Tank drive with four idler wheels between each drive wheels and offset from the drive wheel plane (dubbed the 6+4 drive)
  • 8 Wheel Tank drive

-Another non-conventional drivetrain considered is a treaded tank drive. While it isn't conventionally used in the FIRST Robotics Competition, real-world applications show that it is capable of climbing over a range of obstacles. But how well would it fare against FIRST Stronghold? More information is needed.

-General drivetrain dimensions were determined. A frame of 32in long by 28in wide was selected for a few reasons:

  • More drivebase length allows for more stable crossing of obstacles, lessening the risk of tipping while crossing.
  • More chassis length allows for a longer lift when stored, requiring less material for scaling the tower.
  • Smaller width allows the robot with bumpers to fit through a standard door without any awkward repositioning.

Bumpers were determined to be 5in from the ground to prevent accidental impact or jamming on any defenses.


-The AM14U2 kitbot project that was created during the offseason was modified to accept 200mm AndyMark pneumatic wheels (am-0970) so it could be used as a testbed for wheeled drivetrain configurations.

- The AM14U2 was driven over the moat at full speed (theoretical 22ft/s, which is WAY too fast for Stronghold). The first couple of attempts were uneventful, but the third attempt caused the robot to flip over the moat due tot he chassis impacting the first moat barrier during crossing. A revision with a higher chassis is necessary to continue testing.


-Since our strategy included shooting in the high goal, it is important that we be accurate in our shooting.

-The best way to achieve this accuracy is through using a camera to see the retro-reflective tape under the goals. After the strategy discussion, the programming team investigated the new WPI tool, GRIP, or GRaphical Image Processing.

-We found sample images released by WPI, and wrote an algorithm to filter out the retro-reflective tape. We were then able to get center X, center Y, width, height, and area of the tape.

-Tomorrow we will attempt to run GRIP on the roboRIO.

-In addition to investigating GRIP, we updated the firmware on the roboRIOs to support the 2016 WPILib.


-We discussed what the Einstein alliances might look like, so we could better design our strategy around them.

-Looking at the defenses, it seemed that Group A was the hardest, assuming we cooperated with our alliance partners for group C. We did not count the low bar in this, since it is easy if the robot is designed small. However, designing a short robot sacrafices many other scoring opportunities.

-We decided our robot should have the ability to cross group A, B, and D, along with shooting in the high goal and hanging. In a match, our strategy would be to run "cycles" by posessing a boulder, crossing a defense, and scoring in the high goal. We needed to be able to cross most defenses so we could gain the breach ranking point. We would be able to damage 3/4 defenses required, while using cooperation to complete the 4th.

Field Elements

-One platform and the moat were completed. The rock wall and another platform are under construction. The rough terrain will be constructed after the rock wall.


Recorded by: Date: Journal Editor: Date: