It's been a while since we've posted anything, but we have returned a new and improved team! Updates will follow soon.
Team Guidelines and RulesBasic Rules:
Social Media Rules:
What to pass out at competitions:
The flyer is a good opportunity to advertise your team to judges and other teams for alliance selection.
On it you can include:
Team Info- social media, contact info…
Quick team bio
How many points scored
Previous track record at other competitions
Interesting features of robot
Using a webcam:
The webcam is very useful for vision and is more flexible to move around the robot than the phone.
There are several issues with this though:
You need to make sure it is plugged in very tight to the connecting usb hub otherwise there will be an error.
The webcam uses a lot of energy and processing power on the phone and expansion hub.
This causes disconnects randomly.
The webcam uses too much electricity and causes the robot to crash. The solution is just to get a special Anker hub that can be powered with a power bank. This is legal to have a power bank under the FTC new rules.
Also the processing power issue is solved by disabling vision as soon as it is no longer needed.
We used the Logitech C930.
Hope this was helpful!
Build Systems Review
There are many available build systems for FTC and we have used four: Tetrix, Rev, Actobotics, Gobilda.
Here is our review:
Underrated. A lot of teams say it is really bad but it is easy to learn for new teams with little hardware experience. Our first robot was made in Tetrix.
The current favorite. Our robot drive train is built from this interesting system. How it works is very unique because instead of screwing things together the normal way, you slide pieces together and tighten them. This makes for a clean design but also is very annoying when you have to disconnect an entire piece just to add another mechanism inside because you can only access the attaching part by disconnecting the whole thing (Except with t nuts which are less stable though)
The only Actobotics thing we used was for our linear extender and it is compatible with Rev. The channel is very strong and sturdy and we are likely going to purchase the Actobotics kit in the future.
Our linear actuator is GoBilda and it is super reliable. We have used the same actuator for the whole season and it still works great. We will also probably purchase the kit for next year.
Actobotics and Gobilda in particular are very generous and give really good discounts to teams. Rev and Tetrix are less generous and Tetrix has almost no community involvement as far as we have seen.
In the future we predict a lot of teams moving towards Gobilda and Actobotics but Rev and Tetrix will still be useful.
Robots, especially ours it seems :D, seem to disconnect at the worst possible times and are very annoying to handle.
This method is what seems to work best for us and it is a very comprehensive strategy.
Turn off robot.
Disconnect robot phone from usb
disconnect cables from expansion hubs/webcam
replug everything except phones
fully exit (swipe out app from dock) Robot Controller App and Driver Station App
Turn on robot.
Plug in robot phone with app not open
wait for phone to automatically open app
click restart robot with the three dots in the upper right corner
wait and then click configure robot
select your config
click scan and make sure it detects your hub(s)
return to main screen
open driver station app and listen for the ring that says you are connected
it should be good to go now!
phone usbs are in, but at an angle or slightly loose
phones need to be secure tightly to minimize shaking during rounds which dislodge USB
add stress relief case for your phone and expansion hub (search it on Thingiverse)
Usually Android Studio or Onbot Java will tell you if your code has an error before it downloads. However, this only catches Syntax Errors (haha a fellow robot team) not logic errors so code could have inherent flaws that don't do what you intended. We ourselves have only encountered one software issue causing disconnects, and it was because there was a missing opModeIsActive() boolean and also the computer vision code was running the entire autonomous which eats up a lot of computing power, so we solved that by disabling the camera earlier.
TIP: it often helps to have a non-coder check your code because they will question everything and be able to see past the bias of a programmer who may skip over certain details. (how we figured out the computer vision issue above)
For a more in depth guide on troubleshooting controls, refer to this trouble shooting guide: www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/ftc/control-system-troubleshooting-guide.pdf
Hope this helps!
Also, you can always contact us through the contact page!
The future of this world is undeterminable, but one thing is known for sure: technology is going to play a key role in our daily lives. I chose to do robotics to see if I wanted to pursue a career in engineering. Furthermore, I wanted to learn how to code; I am sure that knowing how to code will help me in the future.
But now I think that robotics isn’t only beneficial in academics, it is fun and engaging. Our team consists of many people (including myself) that had no idea how to code or build robots, but week after week I am surprised by how much we are learning as a team.
Robotics also gives me a chance to practice my teamwork and cooperation: there are many times during our meetings when I am frustrated or confused, but I have learnt to listen to everyone’s reasons and ideas, as well as asking questions when I need help. The whole FIRST community is very welcoming and it is amazing how all teams help each other out. This stimulates a professional work environment (especially the pressure experienced during League Meets).
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions/comments about robotics - we’re more than happy to help!