Our team started working together over the summer with 4 new members and two returning members. While the new members learned more about First Lego League, we had a very basic robot. Then with the help of a veteran team, we designed a robot that was more functional and could do a variety of tasks. This design changed as we developed our mission strategy and learned more about our team personality.
Robot Design Evolution
We began this season with our bot from last year. Our robot manager, Chris, had a coopertition opportunity in Virginia to work with the veteran team Ruling Robot Falcons. He explored many different design ideas and tested several. He came back with a modified base design of Droid Bot 2.0. We customized it even more by adding a box around it. After running a few missions, we learned we had to strengthen the box to add more support. This also allowed us to use the walls on our bot to square up on the walls of the game table. After completing a couple of missions using the structure of our robot to push. We created an elevator and arm attachment to complete 3 more missions.
We currently have: 2 Large Motors, 1 medium motor, and 2 color sensors which we plan on using soon. We also have 1 touch sensor we are using to balance out the 1 gyro sensor we are using. Our back wheels don’t have tread to minimize friction and allow for smoother turns. Our favorite is “The Arm.” While it may be simple, it is very effective and helps us to complete 3 missions during one launch.
Robot Design #1
This was our first robot design. We used it for Boot Camp to demo missions and teach possible new members basic robot design and programming.
Robot Design #2
This was our second robot design. This was designed by us and our Boot Camp participants to test robot design functionality and programming.
Robot Design #3
This was our third robot design. This was designed by our robot manager, Chris, and a member of a veteran team, Ruling Robot Falcons, from Virginia. It is a modified version of Droid Bot 2.0. It also has a custom box wall and wall followers and an elevator.
Robot Design #4
This was our fourth robot design. It is the same design as #3, but has no elevator.
Robot Design #5 - Final
This was our fifth robot design. It is a striped down version of #3 and #4. We removed the wall followers, strengthened and heightened the wall box to add structure and support. We also remade the elevator and an arm attachment. We are using the gyro sensor, so we included a touch sensor on the opposite side of the robot for weight balance. In designing the wall box, we had a lot of fun adding symmetrical color!
- Elevator and arm attachment.
- The box wall around it allows us to use the walls on the game field to square-up for alignment.
- It is has equal balance by placing our medium motor in the center of the bot.
- We also use a gyro sensor for consistent turns and balanced its weight by putting a touch sensor on the opposite side.
- We also have balanced color sensors that we plan on using soon for line following.
Innovation and Fun
Because this year's mat and rules removed the West wall from Launch, we had to think of an out-of-the box innovative solution to still be able to square-up and align our robot. So, we created a West Wall Jig! We had to modify it a few times, but we ended up with a unique and clever allowable use of a Home jig.
We had fun as we learned to program the robot and working out our strategy. This involved laughing as programming mistakes had our robot doing 360s and cheering as we corrected those mistakes. For our robot, we added colorful walls to make the robot more fun and added color to our attachments. We also saved our final program runs with fun names: First Avenger and End Game.
We programmed our robot using motor encoders to decrease drifting, this allowed our runs to be more consistent while driving long distances because it compensates for manufacturing differences in the motors. We also used the gyro sensor to program consistent turns. This increased our reliability and made our missions consistently successful. We organized programs by naming them the missions they complete and adding the version number at the end. When we made changes to the program, we saved it by changing the version number. We also made reports to document changes and made comment notes on the programs.
We created many programs, but combined them to make 2 final programs for competitions. Together they complete 6 missions.
Missions and Strategy
First we looked over the board and each mission. We each made a list of which missions we wanted to complete on a collaborative document. At a meeting, we voted and combined lists of missions that had similar mechanics that we could group together to complete. We also combined missions close together into runs to maximize points and time. Our strategy changed a little over time as we added missions and changed run order. Overall our missions are very successful. Two of them have 100% reliability, and the others only fail occasionally.
To combine our mission codes from M12v3, 11v1, and M02v2 into one complete run. Using motor encoders and gyro turns, we reduce drifting and have consistent turns. This improves our reliability of navigating the field. We will make small inspection to earn advantage and have all precision tokens.
M12 – Design and Build: 170 points
M11 – Innovative Architecture: 15 points
M02 – Crane: 20 points
TOTAL POINTS: 205 points
To use our M06v6 program which includes traffic, elevator, and swing during one run. Using motor encoders and gyro turns, we reduce drifting and have consistent turns. This improves our reliability of navigating the field. Our Arm attachment assists in completing all 3 missions. We will make small inspection to earn advantage and have all precision tokens.
M06 – Traffic Jam: 10 points
M08 – Elevator: 15 points
M07 – Swing: 20 points
TOTAL POINTS: 45 points