2015 FIRST Build Log: Week One

Day 1: Kickoff

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush was introduces to us on January 3rd, 2015.

On this day we went over the manual to get a clear understanding of the game and the rules. We then started making models of the field elements, mainly the feeding station and the scoring platform. Click here to read more about Kickoff.


Day 2:

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Today we continued to build the feeding station. The main frame was finished, but we experienced a few difficulties making the ramp. Meanwhile, our design team practiced making parts and assemblies using Auto Desk Inventor. We had decided that we will not set a final design until the fourth day of FIRST season. Meanwhile we will watch robot in three days, read online discussions, and work on a few prototypes to get a better idea of what kinds of things will work best.


Day 3:

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Today we received our 2015 FRC Kit of Parts, a package of various parts and equipment as well as a kit robot provided by FRC and its sponsors. After taking careful inventory of our new parts, we had our younger members get started on the kit robot while other members continued to work on the feeding station model and other training tasks.


Day 4:

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Three days have passed since the game was revealed, and we have gotten a pretty good idea of what some successful teams are doing. After finishing up the kits robot, we had a short meeting to discuss the final design of our robot. Although there have been many discussions regarding a drivetrain that can move in four directions for convenient robot placement, we decided to stick with the simple West Coast Drive, as we have done in the past year, following our key to success: simplicity. While watching “Robot in Three Days”, we found that the most common and successful lift mechanism is the single stage elevator lift, and so we decided to go with that. Due to the wide variety of potential intakes, we pushed back the decision for the intake until after we test out our different prototypes, which we spent the rest of our day on..


Day 5:

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Today we continued to work on our feeding station model and intake prototypes. With our current station model, we were able to confirm that a pool noodle can be fed directly into a recycle bin that is placed nearby. All that is left for the feeding station is to add the special material it is made of to accurately emulate the real feeding station. Meanwhile our design team worked on making a CAD of our chassis and elevator lift.  While discussing the robot lifts, we realized that tipping might become a problem due to the height of the robot and the uneven distribution of weight due to the intake sticking out the front. We discussed the problem and came up with several countermeasures. We also had an outreach event coming up the next day, so some of us helped prepare our VEX IQ kits and VEX display robots. At the end of the day we loaded cars in preparation for our VEX IQ workshop the following day.


Day 6:

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Aside from building robots, HVR loves to do outreach projects, teaching our community’s youth about robotics. Today our members woke up early in the morning to teach the 4th and 5th graders at Na Pua No’eau intersession program at UH Hilo about robotics using our VEX IQ kits. Read more about our Na Pua No’eau workshop here.

After our workshop, we got straight to work. Now that our kit robot was done, we had our new members get started on wiring. Luckily, our previous head programmer happened to be visiting, so he guided our new members through the wiring and programming. Meanwhile our prototype team finished up their projects and our design team continued to CAD our basic robot.


Day 7:

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Today we continued to make significant progress in wiring the kit robot and CADing our basic designs. Now that all of our intake prototypes were done,  we had our final design meeting. After we compared all of them, we found that the pneumatic claw would be the best choice due to its simplicity and ability to pick up totes from all orientations, as well as pick up the recycle bins.


Day 8:

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

While reviewing the CAD of our chassis, we noticed that the wheels were too far back for the robot to drive over the scoring platform. We were lucky to have noticed this before making our final design. The design team will work on fixing any other flaws before submitting our final parts list next week. Meanwhile the prototype team worked on improving the pneumatic claw prototype to be as accurate as possible. The programming and wiring team also finished wiring the kit robot and succeeded in making the robot move.

One week down, five more to go. We hope to make lots of progress next week as well.