We thought of making a team to increase the STEM
community in Romania, as such, in autumn of 2019 we
choose the team members, people that fitted the FTC standards, a team that not only inspires gracious professionalism, a team that feels like home, like a group of friends,
people that see robotics not as a means to an end, but as a
passion, as a life style, a hobby that transcended into a way
of thinking and living.
The fourth season of FTC has ended and with it our journey too. It was not the ending we wanted and certainly not the one we deserved, but things happen, bumps in the road to success. Some are small, while others affect the whole world. Despite that, we had a lot of fun, we saw our robot grow in front of our eyes, we spent quality time with each other and that is what is tremendously important. All the nights spent in our workspace, the people we met, the demos we participated in and the friends we made. Our work was not and is not in vain, the robot is there, the team is here, ready to spring into action with motivation far greater than before. To the people that were besides us, we cannot express how grateful we are for making this possible, to all the other teams, we want to congratulate you for your efforts, we wish you the best and most importantly, see you at the next one, because there will be a next one, and we will be there.
With a stroke of luck, we got to play in the regionals and got the position of team leader without losing any game of the first six. Our alliances were fortunate, our robot was packed with the experience we got from the Demos and the drivers were in complete control of the robot. We qualified but did not get to have that thrill again this year. We can’t wait to participate in something like that again!
Our second demo was the one that our friends at XEO organized in Alba Iulia. Living in Sibiu we are quite close to them so I it was not surprising that it felt a lot like “home”. Back then we formed an alliance with IDEAL Electronics Cugir and was the winning alliance. We formed a lot of friendships with the members of these two teams too! The overall mood and feeling that we got from being there was great, and we had a lot of fun.
On the 14th of February we participated at the Valentines Robotics Games. The event was organized by GearManiacsTeam and we played some friendly matches with them and BytesTeam. We told the audience about the FTC and about the contest in which we participate in and we also prepared for the regionals. We had a lot of fun and met a lot of new and interesting people.
We opted for mecanum wheels which have the advantage of moving in any direction, the wheels are put into motion by four Gobilda 223 RPM motors, positioned under the robot’s base. Each motor is equipped with an encoder so that we can precisely determine the robots on the field. For the wheels in the back we use direct coupling with the motor, while for the ones in the front we use brass bevel wheels with a 1:1 ratio.
We adopted a “not-so-complicated” stone intake system that proved itself highly efficient. To grip the game elements, we simply “go through” it with the robot, guiding it with some triangular pieces that allow the stone to enter in any position. The purpose of these pieces is to facilitate the entry of the game element in the U-shaped cutout. Initially we 3D printed these pieces, but they proved themselves to be too frail for competition use because when a game element fell on them, they would fall out from where we attached them on the base. Thus, we remade these pieces in Wenglor’s workshop and choose to make them out of polyoxymethylene.
To raise the game elements at the desired height we are using a sliding system made by using multiple 20 mm V slot extruded aluminum profiles. We choose to build this system by ourselves, as such, we projected some plastic insertions that were 3D printed that allow the aluminum profiles to slide. On each profile we mounted 3 insertions with screws, 2 for sliding and one that doesn’t allow the unintentional sliding of the profiles lower than the desired level.
On each profile we mounted two V groove bearings that are fixed on with special nuts that can be inserted in the profile’s interior. The sliding motion is realized using a highly resistant fishing string. To prevent it from falling off the bearings we mounted Gobilda defenders. The movement of the two lifts is realized by two REV motors that are fixed on the base with 2 aluminum parts designed by us. We choose to block the movement of these two pieces because the force they handle is quite big and they tend to move.
Although the two lifts can move up and down due to gravity, we choose to mount another string that pulls the whole system down. This is tied to the last profile and is connected to the same motor. We use encoders to determine the position of the game element at every moment.
The robots base is rigid and meets all the requirements necessary for the subsequent construction that will be located on it. Therefore, we choose to make the base using 8 mm aluminum, size 445x310, making a U-shaped cutout in which a stone could easily enter. Also, the base has a cutout for each wheel, so that all the ensemble is as compact as possible. For the making of this we were helped by the Romanian Research and Development institute for Gas Turbines COMOTI Bucharest
To move the foundation in the autonomous and controlled stages of the game we use two servomotors positioned on the back of our robot. We positioned them there to facilitate moving the foundation as fast as possible. We mounted these two servomotors using special aluminum holders that are fixed on the robot’s base using four screws. To grip the foundation, we used two aluminum pieces from the Gobilda kit that we later cut at the desired measurements, all so that we could move the foundation as easily as possible.
We opted for an efficient solution, the Goblida Cascading Kit. We used this system with only 2 aluminum profiles and a motor that moves the whole slider in both ways.
Although we didn’t plan to use it at first, we choose to add this feature to our robot because we thought that it would be useful in the situation that we don’t have time to park.