Robodox performs well at 1st Week FRC Inland Empire Regional

March 5, 2014

Robodox performs well at 1st Week FRC Inland Empire Regional

GHCHS Team 599 Robodox attended the 2014 Inland Empire Regional FRC competition. We collected the Engineering Design award and also the competition finalist award and medals. It was a well run competition and we had a great time. Once again we had a top performing robot that got beat by a stronger no 1 alliance. We made an operational mistake  in the finals that cost us the first match by breaking communication during setup and causing our Crio to need resetting after the match started and we sat out the Autonomous plus some seconds.    Our alliance partners 294 and 4139 were having functional problems in the second so we were soundly trounced by the winning alliance led by 1678 citrus circuits who teamed up 399 and 4161.   The 2nd final match (see video) was a thing of beauty with 1678 and 399 performing two truss catches and racking up a 229 to 72 score.  Hopefully we can redeem ourselves at  our next regional  in Sacramento where we will once again tangle with 1678 citrus circuits from Davis.   Also, thanks again to 294 for selecting us for the direct eliminations.

Winning the engineering design award means a lot to us since this year we focused on doing a 3D Solidworks design supported by solid prototyping. All fabrication was done based upon automated drawings made from the 3D model. This the best looking robot we have done in years and clearly the most durable. See this post for picture.
Lots more pictures on my facebook page.
The choo-choo catapult reset mechanism performed well so long as we kept the linkages in good order. The high forces caused holes in the linkages to elongate after a day worth of shooting. This was anticipated so we brought three spares and used them all. We will use steel linkages rather than aluminum at our next competition so they should last longer.

Robodox also ran the robot First Aid Station and the spare parts booth. We also had on display our underwater ROV which will be used by Algalita Research Foundation to do plastic pollution exploration in the Pacific Gyre this summer.


2014 Frc Aerial Assist Robodox 599 Robot ready to compete

February 26, 2014

 2014 robot pre bag

Come see us compete this Saturday and Sunday with our new robot at 2014 Frc Arial Assist Inland Empire Regional,   We will also have our Algalita underwater ROV on display to play with.

Robot is a catapult with Choo Choo reset mechanism.  < 2 sec recock.   Full range capability allows multi ball shooting capability during 10 second autonomous.   Drive is a dual speed 4 CIM West Coast configuration.  Pneumatic intake arm control.

Preview video of the Anesthesiologist.


Algalita OPENROV ready for testing

February 25, 2014

 

I wanted to share what the Robodox Algalita ROV engineering team has been up to for the last two months.  See Robodox Engineering ROV for ORV blog post : Feburary Status Update .   I am happy with their progress and we expect to have the underwater robot ready for the Algalita summer voyage.

Relevant posts:

Dec 20 2013 OpenROV Berkeley Trip

Robodox 599 Algalita 2014 Youth Summit Video Submission

Use of Robotics to support Algalita research into the Pacific garbage patch

Links:

http://robodoxrov.wordpress.com (build blog)

Algalita ROV project facebook page


2014 FRC Choo-Choo wheel reset geometry calculator

January 30, 2014

This year’s FRC robot has a catapult arm that requires a reset wheel mechanism that will pull the arm down and release it automatically by just rotating a single “choo-choo” wheel.    The exact linkage lengths and relative pivot point locations are determined by the attached excel program.

2014 FRC arm pivot geometry calculation


Dec 20 2013 OpenROV Berkeley Trip

December 24, 2013

I was in the SF bay area for a family visit and decided to drop in and visit OpenROV headquarters in Berkeley on my way home.   I met up with Eric Stackpole

Eric and Me with OpenROV 2.5

who was very generous with his time and showed me around their two room headquarters.  The picture shows me holding the 2.5 OpenROV with its lasers shinning above the test tank.  Eric is on my right.  In the background is the video image being sent in real time HD to the LCD screen.    The lasers serve to give a measure of distance the ROV is from an object by the spacing between them on the LCD screen.

I didn’t get a picture of their Laser Cutter and was surprised that such a huge machine was only $10k.   Eric also said that 2.6 OpenROV design is moving along.  It has a few structural updates and a larger wider O ring seal on the electronics tube.

I was able to pick up some equipment that we need to complete our Granada Hills Charter High School Robodox OpenROV 2.5 build .    The build will be given to Algalita research foundation for use on their upcoming 2014 summer expedition.   It will be used to image plastic pollution in the Pacific Gyre.  Shown below are the motors, esc’s , two small lasers, the 100m tether and of course Dave’s Zero to Maker book which Eric donated to our cause. (Thanks again Eric). BTW, the Robodox team was selected to participate in Algalita’s 2014 Youth Summit. This is quite an honor and congratulations are in order. Here was their application video.

Esc's,motors,tether and lasers from OpenROV trip

Here is the Pelican case that can carry two OpenROV’s on trips.  We might purchase one of these …however they run around $150.

http://www.pelican-case.com/im2450.html

Pelican case for OpenROV

I brought a former student of mine , Ramin, who is attending UCB to show him around.   I used to attend UCB and had fun seeing some old haunts.  Ramin was captain of our Grant Vex team a few years back and has some interest in robotics.  However, he is involved with cutting edge research now on the use of Graphene.   Here he is in the STM lab where he works.

Ramin at UCB STM Lab


Guest post: The invisible consequences of mistaking plastic for dinner | Deep Sea News

December 4, 2013

See on Scoop.itSynthetic Sea Solutions

The long and windy path to a Ph.D. is lined with blood, sweat and tears. Like a roller coaster, it can be filled with joy, anxiety, fear and even nausea.

See on deepseanews.com


OpenROV Cape Test Program (No Beaglebone required)

November 30, 2013

I decided to modify the OpenROV 2.4 Arduino source code to create an automatic test program that stimulates each of the cape outputs periodically to see if the Arduino ATmega328 chip and connecting circuitry are operating correctly.  Software has been tested with the cape operating  stand alone.  Hopefully it will run in a OpenROV cape with a Beaglebone attached provided the cape.(TBD)

Hardware Requirements:

OpenROV cape

Servo

LED lights

Battery Pack (12v)

ATmega328 programmer (Arduino Uno will do)

Proceedure:

1) Remove the ATmeta328 chip from the Cape and use an Arduino board to load the Openrov_cape_test.ino with includes.

2)Place the ATmega328 chip back into the Cape and hook up the externals (motors, servo and lights) .

3) Connect the battery power to the Cape. (Typically 12v)

4) Watch motors , servo and light cycle periodically in sequence. Each command level lasts for 2 seconds.

20131130-171808.jpg

Software Files: Download OpenROV_cape_test  folder from my dropbox. In it you will find the following OpenRov_cape_test.ino file.   Just use it instead of OpenRov.ino file.

/* OpenROV_cape_test  Written by Chris Siegert, 11.30.13 , vamfun@yahoo.com, https://vamfun.wordpress.com This program is designed to test the OpenROV Cape.  Program generates commands that cycles motors, tilt servo and lights sequentially.  No Beaglebone is required for the test. Power the cape using the battery input terminals and connect the output devices. All motors are cycled simultaneously with 2 second steps at magnitudes {135,90,45,90}. Motors are left in reset mode. Next the servo is commanded to {170,10,90}Basically full tilt up to full tilt down and back to neutral. The light goes to full brihtness then to half brightness and then off. The device sequencing is then repeated continuously. If running without the Beaglebone, load the sketch and its includes into the ATmega chip using an Arduino project board or programmer.  Then reinsert the chip back into the cape.   If running with the Beaglebone, one might be able to just upload the program using the OPENROV cockpit utility. */

#include <Servo.h>

#include <Arduino.h>

#include “Motors.h”

#include “Command.h”

#include “Device.h”

#include “Timer.h”

Motors motors(9, 10, 11);

Command cmd;

Device vout(“vout”, 0, vout.analog, vout.in);

Device light(“light”, 5, light.analog, light.out);

Timer time;

Servo tilt;   int array[MAX_ARGS];

int case_no=1;   void setup(){

Serial.begin(9600);

pinMode(13, OUTPUT);

tilt.attach(3);

motors.reset();

light.write(0);

time.reset();

delay(3000);//wait for ESC to calibrate }

void loop(){

switch ( case_no)   {

case 1:

Serial.print(“motor”);

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(135);

motors.go(135,135,135);

delay(2000); //cds  set step delay

Serial.print(“motor”);

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“90”);

motors.go(90,90,90);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“motor”);

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“45”);

motors.go(45,45,45);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“motor”);

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“90”);

Serial.println();    //motors.reset();

motors.go(90,90,90);

case_no++;

break;

case 2:

Serial.print(“servo” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“170”);

tilt.write(170);

delay(2000);

tilt.write(90);

Serial.print(“servo” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“90”);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“servo” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“10”);

tilt.write(10);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“servo” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(“90”);

Serial.println();

tilt.write(90);

case_no++;

break;

case 3:

Serial.print(“light” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(255);

light.write(255);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“light” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(128);

light.write(128);

delay(2000);

Serial.print(“light” );

Serial.print(”  mag = “);

Serial.println(0);

Serial.println();

light.write(0);

case_no++;

break;

default:

case_no = 1;  //repeat sequence

} //end switch

}