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Innovative Prototyping and Robot Design Team 40

Innovative Prototyping and Robot Design Team 40

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Innovative Prototyping and Robot Design Team 40

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  1. Innovative Prototyping and Robot DesignTeam 40

  2. Speaker • Dan Larochelle CTO - intelitek FRC and VRC team #40 - Trinity HS 15 years FRC experience

  3. Overview • Prototyping Platforms • Mini FRC video • Prototyping tips • Bench testing motors and electronics • Purchasing sources • Team 40 Frame design

  4. Prototyping Platforms • Vex • IFI – Vex Robotic Competition (VRC) • Savage Soccer • easyC and REC robotic training tools • Lego NXT • FLL • FTC – Tetrix • Cardboard and 2x4s • Popsicle sticks

  5. Team 40 Pre-season Training • REC • ACS I and II – Trinity HS • REC Vex robotic curriculum to teach robotic fundamentals and concepts • Robot Competitions • Savage Soccer • Vex Robotic Competition • Practice Iteration • Build confidence • Learn how to iterate design ideas

  6. What is Mini FRC? • 2007 • 2008

  7. Mini FRC Goals • Enhance current brainstorming techniques with the Vex platform. • Rapid prototype 6 mini robots for to prove out the validity of our ideas from our initial brainstorming session in week 1. • Limit the build to 2-3 days. • Compete the various designs against each other and see what happens.

  8. 2006 Aim High Mini FRC Video • This video can be downloaded from the intelitek website at

  9. What did we learn about the game? • Winning autonomous was a big advantage, it put the losing team in catch up mode. • Good shooting robots are hard to beat. • Shooters missed a lot more than they got in. • Ramp points weighed heavy in low scoring matches. • The field was littered with balls after the first few periods, picking up balls from the floor was key. • A good defensive robot can nullify a good offensive robot, especially while a shooter is shooting! • Mobility was important, the field was crowded and there were lots of places the robot could be pinned

  10. How did it affect our team? • First project in 15 years that involved every single member of an FRC team. • Leveled the playing field enabling younger students to learn and share their ideas with their more experienced teammates. • Higher level of thinking about the game. Game strategies could be played out in real time. • Students were challenged to show their ideas • It made believers out of the skeptics that felt that MiniFRC project was a waste of time. • Team bonded together and had a lot of fun.

  11. How did it affect our FRC robot? • Focused our design on being effective in autonomous • A rapid fire shooter • Mobility traded off for strength – Mechanum wheels • Use the camera to aim shooter to avoid wasting balls • Dual conveyors to harvest balls from both sides • Educated decisions were made early in the design process. Reduced guessing!

  12. What did the students learn? • Working in smaller groups allowed more ideas to be developed and tested. • Students not intimidated by the hardware, permitting greater experimentation and innovation. • The competitive element of the competition drove them to keep making their robots better. • The engineering design process was dramatically reinforced through competition, especially the concept of design iterations • Making minirobots is FUN!

  13. What did the mentors learn? • Mentors became facilitators, empowering the students. • The students had to understand the Rules of the game. This led to a better informed team. • Leveled the playing field between the boys and the girls. • Robustness of the Vex platform allowed for a direct correlation of concepts and ideas to our FRC robot. • Team spent time testing ideas and strategies in week 1 and 2 rather than week 6 when it is typically too late! • Increased comfort level with trying out new ideas. • Training prior to kickoff with Vex, easyC and REC made the project run smoothly.

  14. Was it worth it? Absolutely! • Increased comfort level with final design • Great team building exercise. • Increased student knowledge and awareness • Surprise! – Regional competition confirmed most of our Mini FRC findings

  15. Would we do it again? Yes!- We have done this process the past 3 years. • Set firm dates for mini completion – know when to end the mini robots and start the big one. • Integrate more sensors and programming into the mini designs

  16. Prototyping Tips • Assemble the Kit Bot • Keep prototypes simple • Use materials you have on hand to test your ideas • Plywood and Cardboard work great! • Do not try to reinvent the wheel, literally! • Use premade gearboxes and wheels to meet the needs of your design ( • 80/20 Aluminum extrusion

  17. Testing your Motors and Electronics • It is very important to test all of your control system components and motors early. • This can be done in parallel with the main robot design. • Allow electrical people and programmers access to the hardware early instead of 5 minutes before it has to ship out the door!

  18. Purchasing Sources • Grainger • • MSC • • McMaster Carr • • IFI • • AndyMark • • Home Depot/Lowes

  19. Team 40 Frame Design • 1”x1” 1/8” square tubing • 1”x1” angle brackets used for mounting frame members together • 10-32 hole pattern easy to drill and tap into frame members • ½” holes can be drilled into frame members to reduce weight after design is finalized

  20. Team 40 Frame Design • The angle brackets allow us to quickly assemble and test the frame • This bracket system allows for quick modifications to the frame. • The brackets also make perfect fixtures for welding.

  21. Thank You! Good Luck this year!