8/16/10 Cougar Tweaking(again, again, again) PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 August 2010 20:50
So tonight, we worked on finishing up our routine rebuilding.  Basically, we made the robot go over walls in a more efficient way(which oddly enough is backwards!)  and from there we just made things work more towards the sweet spots.  well thats it for now, oh wait!  we timed our run.....can we have another minute please :D? -Philip
Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:18
 
Cougar v6 MoonBot Rover in Action PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. M. Judith Radin   
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:03

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The Cougar v6 MoonBot Rover takes on the first part of the MoonBots lunar course.  The v6 rover turns and maneuvers easily on the LEGO pip terrain.  It climbs walls, and locates its position on the lunar surface using the combined readouts of compass and proximity sensors.  Check out the home-made Omni wheels on the back.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 15:44
 
Cougar Omni Wheels - Our Secret Weapon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joey   
Thursday, 19 August 2010 08:30

Our first robot had great traction and could turn.  It had 4 wheel steering and 4 wheel drive.  But it was heavy, and it was not KISS.  It had an NXT brick, 3 NXT motors, a power-factors battery pack, and infrared link from the nxt, and 2 power factors motors.   

Our next 4 wheel drive tests showed that a robot with 4 wheel drive and good traction on all wheels doesn't like to turn.  And when it does turn it tends to warp the chassis while it's doing so.  It puts a lot of strain on everything.

What we really needed were Omni wheels like FRC & FTC sometimes use.  Too bad LEGO doesn't make omni wheels, right?

Well LEGO may not make omni wheels but the Cougars do.  These are our 2nd generation omni wheels.  The first ones were 2 pips smaller in diameter and didn't have rubber on the tires.  The were great for turning, and worked great if we were square to the pips on the field, where they could dig in.  But they didn't give us enough traction when climbing ridges or when at a diagonal to the pips on the field.  

These latest omni wheels are bigger, have rubber tread for great traction, and help us spin on a dime.  With these wheels the turns are predictable, because the front wheels pretty much control where we end up.  Yet with 4 wheel drive these wheels help us navigate the difficult terrain of the LEGO Moon. 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:17
 
The Evolution of the Cougar v6 Chassis PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 10:28

Here's our v3, v4 (what's left of them, v5, & v6 chassis.

Note the longer arms we've gone to on the v5 & v6 chassis. The v6 chassis also switches the drive-train from chain to gears. 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 15:16
 
8/16/10 Tweaking the Cougar v6 Rover PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:12
So, to all those who read this blog(not sure how many people that is Undecided) but here's what is new!:  We have for the most part finished our run!!!(HIP-HIP!)  This means that we can grab all but the southernmost yellow rings on the right side of the field.  We are tweaking the programming to make climbing out of craters easier to do, and more reliable.  Once we have that done, we will begin making timer programs as back up plans.  This means that the robot will keep track of the 3 minute run countdown, and if something should go wrong, leaving it with a short amount of time(too short to finish the run), it will head back to the starting ramp, so that we can at least double the points of the rings we already have.  Several of these back up plans will be programmed in to various points in the run as fail-safes.  Lastly, if the robot has enough time left, we may program it to decide based on time whether it thinks it should try to grab the last two yellow rings.  With not a lot of days left we are entering CRUNCH TIME!  It seems like our goals are now just within our grasp if we keep working as hard as we have been! :D
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:48
 
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FTC Blog

FIRST Tech Challenge
The official FTC Blog
  • Super Regionals - Then and Now
    Super Regional competitions were piloted in 2014 with the intent of creating a more balanced progression of competition. As FIRST Tech Challenge grew, the single World Championship accommodating 128 teams resulted in a very small percentage of teams making it to the top level of competition.

    Super Regional events provided a solution to this problem, and allowed more teams to reach a higher level of competition. The events were a tremendous success. The regions that stepped up to organize, fundraise and execute the events were amazing. The sponsors who believed in the vision donated over a million dollars to make them happen. The team experience was unlike anything else. We are truly grateful for the passion and effort that went into these events.

    Since the inception of Super Regionals several things have changed. Most significantly, we’ve added a second World Championship, as well as new World Championship venues.



    In 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge doubled the number of teams attending World Championships from 128 to 256. The percentage of teams progressing from one competition level to the next was turned on its head. In addition to more spots for 40 international FIRST Tech Challenge teams we added a waitlist/lottery for 80 FIRST Tech Challenge teams at World Championships. That still left spots for 136 Super Regional teams, or 47% of teams competing at Super Regionals.

    The cost to teams competing in both Super Regionals and World Championships is not insignificant. In addition, the cost of the events themselves is substantial, the volunteer and coach time, and the compression of the FIRST Tech Challenge season, it really adds up. Most importantly, the original reason for creating Super Regionals which was helping more students reach a higher level of competition is being solved by the addition of a second World Championship event.

    Taking into account all these factors, 2018 will be the last year of FIRST Tech Challenge Super Regionals.

    Houston and Detroit World Championships each offer new opportunities, mainly in layout and the chance to have all programs again under one, enormous roof. In fact each of the new venues can accommodate more FIRST Tech Challenge teams than our previous venues.

    Starting in 2019 we are happy to announce that each World Championship will host 160 FIRST Tech Challenge teams, or a total of 320 teams from around the world. We will continue to make the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship experience loud. Teams can expect to compete side-by-side on the largest stages with FIRST Robotics Competitions and in places like Minute Maid Park and Ford Field as well as the George R. Brown and Cobo Convention Centers.



    The growth of FIRST Tech Challenge continues, and we love it. Making our program available to more and more students is what it’s all about. We’re proud to have Championships that recognize and celebrate the students, coaches, volunteers and sponsors that make it all happen. I look forward to seeing you out at the competitions and then changing the world!

    Thanks,

    Ken Johnson, FIRST Tech Challenge Director