1/14 Design Update

We were mulling over this basic idea yesterday late. Harry has pitched a front ball-pickup mechanism essentially like that, and we were working out how to turn that into a “landing craft prow” of a wedge that could work as a “skeleton key” for the maximal number of defenses. We envisioned wedge with a sloped bottom and a sloped top, and ran the numbers on opening the portcullis and cheval de frise (the two most complicated front-attack defenses), and it seemed do-able.

Things we figured out yesterday:

  • Crossing Defenses
    • Portcullis – angled top of the wedge/prow raises the portcullis over the body of the bot and we just approach at speed (B. E. Aggressive!)
    • Cheval de Frise – angled bottom of the wedge/prow engages the raised ramps early and wedges them down so that the front wheels either run up them or climb them (B. E. Aggressive!)
    • Moat – we want to have a wheel base ≤ 24″ to avoid high centering, especially if we have a sheet of polycarbonate that runs below the axels like a (landing craft) hull to avoid hang ups.
    • Ramparts – Big wheels. Gun it.
    • Drawbridge — need a spy to open it from the inside
    • Sally Port — need a spy to open it from the inside
    • Rock wall — Big wheels. Gun it.
    • Rough terrain — Big wheels. Gun it.
    • Low bar — ironically, don’t gun it — if our center of gravity is close to the middle of the bot (or forward) we will tip in time to miss the bar (if we w’re below 16″) IF we aren’t going too fast as we hit it.
  • Shooting: Edward has some designs for a ball cannon.
    • Still working out loading. Looking for good accuracy.
    • We need to think about vision and targeting NOW.
    • I suggest: our camera is always wobbly and we’re talking about some aggressive game play. We need to find a rigid, reliable camera mounting system that is looking up at the high target.
  • End game: David has a scissor lift design that can reach 13′.
    • We need something to grab the bar with (and we don’t actually need to go 13′ up).
    • And we need to be able to pull ourselves up a couple feet (past the low goal).

Some big questions that came out of the conversation that need to be addressed:

  • Do we like this ball pick up — and can it load into our shooter? (One option might be a rear pick-up, and focus our energy on a “skeleton key” “landing craft prow” in front)
  • How do we launch balls with accuracy? At the high goal _consistently_? (Major points advantage to sinking multiple shots in the high goal during AUTO)
  • How do we load the shooter? Big. Big. Big question.
  • How configurable does our autonomous need to be? Working with the calculator yesterday, Ms. Brown and I thought our “best” option would be to start in the spy position. But we’d want to have an interface on the autonomous to tell the robot which defenses are where, and to make a couple of crucial decisions about where to cross back and forth during autonomous.

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