Introduction: First Robotics Competition: Prototyping

The first robotics competition is a stem related competition that involve the participate using their knowledge in the stem to create a robot that does certain tasks. This year’s theme for the FRC is about infinite recharge, on my first day here in maker bay I started by doing some basic research surrounding the FRC. By learning more about this competition, I now have a better idea about the layout of this competition. As the FRC robot designs are mainly centered around the roboRIO which is basically the brain of the robot, I also had to do some research about such open-source materials to have a better idea. After looking at some of the past competitions, I learned about how the teams approaches to solve the different issue and complete the tasks proposed.

#FRC, # Makerbay, #Prototyping, #Design

Step 1: Design 1 - Intake Mechanism

This is the first prototype design that I have created, the mechanism is used to intake game pieces, more specifically round and ball-shaped game pieces. As the rod/pipe in the front spins, the friction on the surface of it will “suck in” any game pieces on the floor. The advantage of this mechanism is that it is really efficient and can be used to intake multiple game pieces at once. But its disadvantages are that it can only intake ball-shaped game pieces.

Step 2: Design 2 - Robotic Arm

This is the second design that I have drawn, the robotic arm can be extended and also contracted to make the robot compatible. The claw in the front can also be used to stack and manipulate different things.

Step 3: Design 3 - Collection Mechanism

This design can be used to collect the falling game piece and because of it’s compatible function, it can also be used to travel through confined spaces such as tunnels. It is also it’s an advantage that it can collect a lot of items but can also compact itself to fit in small space. But the disadvantage makes it less flexible as it can only collect game pieces that are falling and the speed and efficiency that it collects the game pieces also depends on the movement of the base. Possible improvement can be further developing this mechanism by shirking it to make it smaller and also finding a method to manipulate the collected pieces as such actions would be needed in the competition.

Step 4: Design 4 - Intake Mechanism

This is the second design that I have actually created a prototype. The function of this design is to intake game pieces efficiently. This can also be seen as a further developed idea of prototype design 1. It can be installed at the front of the chassis and be used to collect any ball-shaped game pieces on the floor. It has the same disadvantages with the first design but the further improved areas are how it can be very efficient and we have also proven that point after actually testing this prototype. By having an actual physical product really help me to understand the flaws of this design but also how I can further improve it. I can possibly attach gears that will go in the opposite direction which can decrease the number of motors attached. I can also make a movement mechanism that can move this device up and down to intake different sizes game pieces.

Step 5: Design 5.1 - Shooting Mechanism

This is another prototype idea that I have come up with, the functions of it is to first the collected game pieces out in the upright direction. This is an idea that we haven’t done enough testing on. We have done one prototyping test without the guiding attachment in the middle. The mechanism was powerful enough to shoot the ball out but not in the direction we wanted. This shows to potential to this mechanism and how we can further develop it.

Step 6: Design 5.2 - Shooting Mechanism Alternative

This is an alternative design of the shooting mechanism, this one is less powerful than the 5.1 design but its benefit is how it can be easily maneuvered to change the direction.