Our students design, engineer and build each robot. Of course, with electronics, programming, and designing, comes the actual, physical construction of the robots. After all, one of the main premises of the FIRST Robotics Competition is, in fact, the robot! However, mechanical construction delves deeper than just cutting metal and arranging gears. Our students in the program build all aspects of the robot, including basics: the chassis, drivetrain, and pneumatics.
What is the chassis?
The chassis is the frame of the robot, fastened with connectors such as rivets or screws. All other components are connected or attached to the chassis, including the drivetrain, electronic circuit, pneumatic system, and anything else.
What is the drivetrain?
The drivetrain of a vehicle is responsible for its movement. This includes the motors, the gearbox, the chains, axles, and the wheels. The motors are responsible for the rotation of the gears within the gearbox, with spin the chains, turning the axles and ultimately, the wheels.
What are pneumatics?
Pneumatics use air power to move certain parts in the robot back and forth. In a pneumatic system, air is compressed and pushed through tubing, passing regulators, relief valves, and air tanks before finally reaching their designated destination at a piston. All of these functions can be controlled wirelessely through a robot's programming with a controller.
Before a robot is created, it must be planned out with a design. CAD (Computer Aided Design) is one of the best ways to design, dimension, and build a robot virtually before actually building it in the real world.
CAD Videos >>
Our control system hardware consists of the RoboRIO, Power Distribution Panel (PDP), Pneumatics Control Module, Voltage Regulator Module, Talon SRX Motor Controllers, Microsoft Lifecam HD, OpenMesh Wireless radio receiver with a 12V Robot battery.
How we develop
- We use Eclipse IDE along with the FRC library in Java and GitHUB for Source Code Control Management. We are using computer vision to make our robot be responsive to the elements on the field and make it much more autonomous.
- Our TeleOp focus on gear collection and we take off during the end game.
Java is an object oriented script. It was developed to achieve 4 goals:
- It should be simple, object-oriented, distributed and easy to learn.
- It should be robust and secure.
- It should be independent of a given computer architecture or platform.
- It should be very performant.
- It should be possible to write an interpreter for the language. The language should also support parallelism and use dynamic typing.
- Java is commonly used to teach students how to program as a first language, yet is still also used by professionals.