2022 RAPID REACT Build Season
In RAPID REACT, teams re-imagine the future of safe and high-speed transport, rushing to load critical cargo and propel the evolution of transportation forward. Robots begin on their respective tarmacs and are preloaded with cargo, and once “cleared for takeoff,” can deliver their payloads and collect additional cargo for delivery. Robots can receive assistance from human players at the terminal and can earn points for reaching various hanger rungs before the match is over.
In early November our team started our pre-season for the 2022 season. Mars/Wars uses the pre-season to familiarize themselves with equipment and processes. For the pre-season Mars/Wars members split into four subteams, which are the subteams the members will stay on all season, to each create a robot to compete in a mini game at the official season kickoff. This year our pre-season game was a mini bot competition, which is a less complex version of our at-home competition we made in 2021. This year is the first time Mars/Wars has had a subteam that is all programming. It was more of a challenging for them because they not only had to build their entire robot, but they also had to program all the other subteam’s robots. A couple subteams added their own touch, whether it was a flashlight to help aim or the shape of the frame.
The team was very excited to start this year’s season. After watching the kickoff video, the team already started to brainstorm ideas for their 10th robot. The four subteams each had their own element of the robot they had to design and build. Subteam one was assigned the shooter and the pick up. This week they worked on the shooter prototype and they decided they could slightly re-design the old pick up from last year. Subteam two modeled two different frame designs. One being a long rectangle and the other one is a smaller rectangle. The team decided to build a rectangular frame, so we could fit three robots on the traversal bar. Subteam three, which is a team of all programmers, worked on shooter testing, so we could test our shooter prototype. The programmers are also working on a scouting app to use at competitions. Subteam four is in charge of the climber. Modeling worked on designing the climber arm. Our mechanical team worked on building the field elements. Since we now have more space, we are able to build an entire field this year.
A major component that was built this week was the shooter. The team used to prototype and designed the actually shooter based of how well the prototype worked. Programming has been working on the code for the shooter, so we can finally see how well our shooter works. The team deiced to go with the smaller rectangular frame in hopes of getting all three robots on the transversal bar during competition. Mechanical has finalized the generation-4 swerve drive and they began working on the bugs for generation-4.1. . Electrical is still building the field elements and they began building the sides of the field. Programming has finished the scouting app for us to use at competitions. The app will give the team the easy ability to quickly enter stats from other team. This helps the team with planning strategies for the matches and when it comes to alliance selections.
This week was a very big week for modeling. Early in the week modeling finished the fully modeled robot. They finished the design of the Gen 4.1 swerve drive. They started to add components onto the topbot model. Programing worked on the new code for the diffswerve drive. They coded for telop, which is when the driver controls the robot, and auto, which is where the robot is 100% programmed to complete a few simple tasks. Programming was also busy with the limelight vision on the hub. This helps the driver to lineup our shooter and be more accurate. This week mechanical finally finished the field. The team is very excited that we can practice with an actual field. Marketing has been busy with organizing the open house, which is on March 5th. They have also designed the fun shirts for this year. The plan is to go with Top Gun theme since the game technically takes place at an airport.
This week was not as productive. Metamora was hit with a big snow storm which took two days of meetings away from the team. The team was able to finish the frame last week, so the electrical team was able to wire the swerve drive and talk with other teams to see what needed to be wired on the frame. Electrical also went through the fun process of testing the numerous batteries we have. Some modelers were able to finalize the climber model, so the team was able to start building the climber. Mechanical work has slowed down a lot at the moment. They have just been working on the final touches to the field. Marketing has been working hard on some fundraising ideas and different volunteer opportunities for the team. This year the team has implemented mandatory volunteer hours, so we can be more involved in our community. FIRST Robotics is not just about building robots. There is a community outreach component to robotics, which our team has not done the best on in the past. The team hopes to turn that around and be more involved in their community.
With four weeks left until our first competition, the team has been working hard to get everything done. The parts for the ball pickup have been made, so the team has worked on assembling it. Electrical finished wiring the shooter and programming has been working on finishing the code, so the team can test the shooter and pickup. Our climber team’s main focus this week was making a lot of the climber parts. It seems like the climber will be one of the hardest elements to complete. Even though the frame is built, the team keeps adding on. Electrical built wheels for the drivetrains and wired them to the frame. Marketing has been doing more behind the scenes work. They just finished a fundraiser that brought in $1,200 and they have started building a new table for the pit. At competitions, each team has a pit, where they keep the robots between matches to work on anything that needs to be fixed. When you are at the competition, take time to tour the pit area and take a peek at all the teams.
Our modelers this week finished the swerve drive modules. Mechanical was able to start building the modules. Then electrical wired them up. Mechanical was also busy working on the shooter and climber parts. The climber is almost ready to be tested for its first climb. Programming is still working on the climber code. The shooter was attached to the frame. This allowed the team to have their drivers test. The team has four drivers and five other members that will cycle through human player, technician, and pit crew. Marketing has been getting ready for the open house and organizing the new outreach program. Our new outreach program consists of our team going to local organizations and schools to teach younger kids about robotics and maybe peak their interest for joining the team once they get to high school.