Monday, October 29, 2018

2018 Girls Gen

On Saturday, October 27th, we went to Girls Generation (also known as Girls Gen), an off-season  competition where only girls can drive the robot. The result was a culmination of months of fixing our robot, drive practice, and fixing our robot again.

We added a spider to our robot!
Our robot is now Halloween-themed!

...and duct tape
Some of our robot repairs were quite...interesting.
While we initially faced robot difficulties in our first few matches, we were able to overcome these issues and put together a strong finish to our qualification matches, ranked 8th out of 37 teams, with 4 wins and 2 losses.

During alliance selection, the host team and #4 seed, 2046 (Bear Metal, from Tahoma High School) selected us as well as 2976 (Spartabots). In the semifinals, we played against the #3 seeded alliance and won in two matches, thanks to strong performances from us as well as our alliance partners. From there, we advanced to the finals, where we won again in two matches, becoming winners of the entire event. This was a huge accomplishment for us and our alliance partners, Bear Metal, as neither of us had won Girls Gen before.

This is the fourth time in a row we have made it to the elimination matches in Girls Gen. In addition, we have been to the finals three times, always with boy robots (CONDOR, Sir Costalot, and Griffin).

Coincidence? I think not...


Monday, March 26, 2018

2018 Glacier Peak

This weekend we went to Glacier Peak High School for our second competition.

Our first day was quite an interesting experience. For a variety of reasons, we put part of a water bottle on our robot. (It worked quite well, thank you very much). We also forgot to bring blue bumper covers, so we didn’t pass inspection until the next day.

On Saturday, we played in four practice matches! (That’s probably a new record for us). It’s a good thing we played in those four practice matches, because they helped us find issues with our robot, such as wires coming out.

Unfortunately, there were still some issues that we had to work out. In one such match, we had the misfortune of getting ourselves caught on the scale, which resulted in a loss and a yellow card. At the end of our qualification matches, we had a record of 7 wins and 5 losses, ranked 17th.

During alliance selection, the #8 seed, 4450 (Olympia Robotics Federation) selected us as their first pick and 3070 (Team Pronto) as their second. In the quarterfinals, we lost in two matches to the #1 alliance, consisting of 2910 (Jack in the Bot), 1983 (Skunk Works Robotics) and 5827 (Code Purple), who eventually won the entire event.

We would like to thank our sponsors, mentors, and especially parents for making such a great season possible.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Out of Bag Day II: Making Autonomous Faster

Today we used up all six hours of our Robot Access Period, also known as Out of Bag Time.

We devoted the first two to three hours to fixing mechanical issues, such as lightening the robot and making intake grip the cube better. Since our robot’s so close to the weight limit, we needed to lighten it as much as possible. We did this mainly by drilling big holes in the robot’s drive frame.

After we finished working on mechanical issues, programming took over and worked on testing some more autonomous modes. Along the way, we made many improvements, such as making turning faster (it takes less than one second, whereas before it took at least four) and more accurate.

Although we primarily focused on an autonomous mode that starts in the middle and drives to either side of the switch, our lead programmer is happy to report that our robot can now put a cube on the scale in autonomous.


Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 Auburn

Our drive team and robot in a hallway at Auburn High School
This weekend we went to our first competition! At Auburn High School, we competed and cooperated with 35 other teams.

The first day went well, despite a few mishaps. We went through inspection quickly, giving us time to drive and test our robot. Along the way, we discovered a few issues, most notably being the robot driving backwards in autonomous (don’t ask). Our robot also weighed 119.3 pounds, coming just under the weight limit. (It did, however, grow heavier over time as we made more modifications).

While Friday might have started out well, Saturday did not. We lost our first two matches, including one where our robot lost communication for most of the match due to an unplugged wire. In the third match, our alliance partners carried us to a win, even though our robot fell over and broke our climber arm.

However, we worked through our issues and entered alliance selection on Sunday ranked 15th with a record of 7-5.

The 6th seed, 1778 (Chill Out), selected us as their first pick and 3393 (Horns of Havoc) as their second. In the quarterfinals, we played against the #3 alliance, consisting of 488 (Team XBot), 4469 (R.A.I.D), and 2927 (Pi Rho Techs). Unfortunately, we lost in two matches and ended up as quarterfinalists.

However, our very own Dmitry Kaplan was recognized as a Woodie Flowers Finalist Nominee! The Woodie Flowers Award recognizes a mentor who motivates students and challenges them to communicate clearly themselves. We truly believe that Dmitry deserves this award, and can’t wait to see him compete against other mentors for it at the District Championship.
All in all, this was a very exhilarating and exhausting weekend, and we look forward to competing again a week from now at Glacier Peak.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Out of Bag Day I: Driving and Testing

Today our team focused on drive practice and autonomous testing. While we also made minor repairs and started packing for competition, drive practice and autonomous took up most of our day.

The drive team practiced putting cubes in the vault, cubes in the switch (both ours and the other alliance's switch), and cubes in the scale. This led to some...innovative ideas, including a mentor holding up a large piece of poster paper to block the driver's vision.

After drive practice, programming tested autonomous modes and made them faster to increase the number of points we score in autonomous. However, they might've made the robot a little too fast...


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Day 39: Bag and Tag

After many weeks of blood, sweat, and possibly tears, FRC Team #2412 is proud to present our 11th creation: Griffin.

Griffin can place (and shoot!) cubes in the switch, scale, and vault, as well as climb (pictured above).


        • Teleoperated:
          • 8 wheel tank drive, powered by 6 CIMs
          • Pneumatic and wheeled intake can pick up and shoot cubes
          • Lifting mechanism can go over 7 feet high
          • Fast climber (1-2 seconds once we're hooked onto the rung) powered by two 775 pros
            • Climb attaches to lift for simplicity and reliability
          • Fancy water-jetted electronics board that can be removed quickly and easily
        • Autonomous:
          • Can put one cube on from the left, middle, or right positions
          • Custom dashboard allows the drive team to set autonomous modes before a match
          • Can wait for any amount of time before driving to prevent us from running into other alliance partners
          • Possible scale autonomous that's really slow and sketchy

Today was the last day we had to work on the robot before bag and tag. Like yesterday, we focused on drive practice and autonomous. We reached a maximum of 6 cubes in the scale (but no climb, just parking on the platform).

We also reduced the robot's weight (aka drilling random holes and removing the metal shavings).

The worth of our new electronics board was proven many times, as we ended up removing it quite often.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 38: Drive practice

With only two days left until Bag Day, we focused on drive practice and testing autonomous today.

Drive team practiced driving, pressing buttons, shoving cubes, and talking (aka coaching). At the end, their practice culminated in a stack of eight cubes. The strategical advantage of said stack is debatable, although it did bring back not-so-fond memories of Recycle Rush for some.

Programming also worked on their many, many autonomous modes. We have...a lot. I won't say how many. Just a lot.

As drive team and programming are relatively small groups, the rest of the team watched Week 0 match videos and prepared for scouting. Since there wasn't very many other tasks for them to do, many of them went home.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day 37: Drive tryouts

Today we held drive tryouts, the much-anticipated (and dreaded, for some) event where people drive/operate the robot and try not to destroy anything. Fortunately, they succeeded...most of the time. The robot never caught on fire, and the school remained unharmed, so we escaped with our lives (and egos) intact.

After dinner, drive team was announced. In addition to our drive coach, driver, and codriver, we will have three people rotating between human player and technicians (the third person will be in the pits).

Programmers also worked on testing autonomous, both at Sammamish and also at ESC West, where our practice field is. Tomorrow, we will start our meeting there at 8 and then go back to Sammamish at 10 or 11. Only drivers and programmers (as well as a few people for scouting) need to come.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Day 36: More autonomous (and robot) testing

Today we spent more time testing autonomous. This involved lots of Fancy Math (aka addition, subtraction, and a little bit of multiplication), Fine-Tuning (aka changing the same numbers over and over again), and Praying for Mercy (no explanation needed).

The modes that the software team is working on are quite…interesting. That is all I will say. An apt description would be “dancing”.

In between autonomous testing, sub-teams also made minor modifications when something broke (which happened more often than it should).

Alas, our lift motors broke again. The smoke smelled noticeably worse than last time.

After 4pm (when our Saturday meetings usually end) a few people went over to a practice field to test autonomous some more.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Day 35: Autonomous (and robot) testing

Today our main priority was testing autonomous. This meant watching a robot drive around (and occasionally shoot a cube) for several hours.

Intake attached bumpers today! Well, only the side ones, but it’s progress. We can’t attach the back bumper until the new electronics board comes.

We also tested our climber. While our deployment mechanism works fine, the robot tips drastically while climbing. In fact, the robot tipped 90 degrees (so that it was horizontal) in the middle of a climb. We wisely disabled it and didn’t climb again until we fixed the climber.