FIRST Tech Challenge: 2011-2012

Photo lifted from The Droids' Facebook page.

First, I would like to establish that I technically constructed very little of An*; my teammates put most of her together. I would also like to establish that I had practically nothing to do with the very necessary programming that made An work. However, I did design the chassis and the lift/manipulator mechanism; at least most of the physical aspects of the robot, but there are some other little things for which I cannot take credit.

Here is the official FIRST video explaining the game for the 2011-2012 FTC season.

As a result of better team organization, design reports were required for any team member who wished to submit a design for the robot at the beginning of the season. Mine can be found below. (At the moment, it's using a different font than the original, thus the word spacing is slightly condensed leading to some formatting inconsistencies.)

Google Document

I don't think we ever built the specified ball grabber, because we eventually opted for a grabber finger modification that would allow it to grab balls on the floor. There were also slight modifications to the drive-train, the addition of all-thread into the chassis as ballast, and some other minor modifications from the original design. Overall though it turned out quite nearly as intended.

There are four YouTube videos I could find of An competing, two with me driving the robot. The first three are at the Naval Academy qualifier.

Here's one that's not terribly exciting yet.

Here's one with me driving the robot. Another teammate and I took turns operating the manipulator of the robot, while a teammate who had the most practice with an omnidrive chassis drove the robot. Apologies for the out-of-focus parts.

Here's one where An did very well. We managed to prep and raise two crates on top of the ramp.

This one is at the World Championship with me driving, but unfortunately the focus is on a robot on the other team. Oh well.


*An is the official team name for the robot we used for the 2011-2012 season. Her full name is An Droid. She was so mechanically effective and reliable at her intended purpose that most of the post-qualifier part of the season was spent on the development of another robot that employed an L-shaped scissor lift. Unfortunately though, this robot, El, was ultimately deemed unready for competition.