This year, for Rover Ruckus, we decided that for once, we want to be able to do every task possible. Following our design principles of PRE (Practicality, Reliability, and Efficiency) and FRAME (Frame the problem, Research all possible solutions, Analyze the best solution, Model the design/Make a prototype, and Execute the design), we have constructed this years robot.
For autonomous, we start by descending from the lander using our worm gear lift. While the robot is going down, it captures an image of the sampling minerals in front of it. We take that picture and by using a custom algorithm that we made, we can run pixel analysis to determine the layout of the three elements. The next step is having the program decide the route to run based off of the results from its identification. Knocking the gold mineral from its place, we will then either drop our marker or will park on the crater, all depending on what position we start on. For the marker, we used a tennis ball container. We cut it up, added some tape, then painted the whole thing in order to be simplistic. The object is held onto the robot by a bar that rotates on a servo to release. When parking, we have a fiberglass, double extension, stick, ensuring that we can get the distance.
Our parking stick (the orange rods above) Folds itself up to store away and unfolds itself when in use. To demonstrate how much distance we have with it, it can reach from the lander to the crater. The purpose of that was to be able to get points for ascending and parking, but FIRST later ended that ability in an update to the rules. Now we use it solely for autonomous, all with the hopes that we can park after starting from either the lander or crater side of the field.
During teleop, we use a combination of a horizontal slide and a vertical lift system to get minerals from the ground or crater into the lander. The horizontal slide goes outwards, extending the hopper on top of it. When extended, the hopper rotates downwards, giving us the ability to drive around to pick up the game elements. The omni-wheels on the bottom of the box allows the assembly to move side to side, as well as forwards and backwards, without damaging the mats. The surgical tubing pulls balls and blocks into the hopper and holds them there until we reverse the spin, causing the minerals to be sent outwards. The vertical lift is a dual system, made up of two sets of slides on either side with each being strung up. The braided Kevlar string is routed to one motor so that it only takes up one of our eight total motors. This system is fast and reliable, granting us the ability to make somewhere around five runs of two minerals to the lander. We are currently working on having the slide not only go out and in, but also backwards, moving the elements through our entire robot so that we don't have to turn around in our runs.
Our endgame routines are fairly simple; keep scoring minerals and ascend. To ascend, we strafe onto the lander hook and climb by pulling in the worm gear lift located on the back of the robot.