1st League Meet - Post Mortem

Tags: journal
Personhours: 40
1st League Meet - Post Mortem By Georgia, Aarav, Gabriel, Leo, Trey, Vance, and David

1. Review 1st League Meet
2. Analyze 1st League Meet Performance
3. Discuss Possible Fixes + Next Steps

Play By Play

1st Match - The first round went horribly wrong, as Gabriel touched the phone after randomization, netting a minor penalty. While autonomous did read the April Tags, the arm was outside the tile, so regardless we didn’t score the 20 points for autonomous. In an attempt to get the robot started and not have to do calibration, the sequence was skipped which caused the turntable and arm extension to fail completely. Our score was 2 points scored by our alliance partner, and was a loss.

2nd Match - The 2nd this time, the autonomous program worked, but yet again the arm was outside the confines of the tile, meaning no autonomous points. The new calibration sequence, which required a button press, was not completed, and so yet again, failure in the arm and turntable, and an additional crash of the robot. The score was 37 points scored by our alliance partner and a loss.

3rd Match - The 3rd match autonomous finally worked, netting us 20 points. The presets for cones, however, was not working and so had to be done manually. The score at the end was 38 points and resulted in a win.

4th Match - The 4th match autonomous succeeded yet again, gaining 20 points. Unfortunately, the calibration sequence again wasn’t completed, meaning we couldn’t score any elements. The match resulted in a 34 point win, a win that was barely gained, as we scored 1 more point than the opposing alliance.

5th Match - The 5th match was by far our best performance. The April Tag recognition worked again, netting us 20 points. The presets for cone scoring finally worked, and with it, our driver Leo was able to score 9 cones, one of which had a beacon on it, getting our alliance 93 points, the record for that meet, of which we scored 74 points.

What Went Wrong + How To Fix It

This past Saturday marked the first League Tournament for the University League and our first competition. Unfortunately for us, it did not go as we had hoped, but was instead more grounded in reality. There were a lot of problems that only reared their heads during the competition.

The beginning of the competition was the most problem intensive, with everything from the calibration sequence infinitely rotating the turntable, the belt slipping off the arm extension, and the presets for cone scoring going awry. Luckily for us, the end of the competition resulted in a fix to some of these issues which lead to us placing in 4th ranking wise, and getting the high score for point total in conjunction with our alliance partner. However, this does not mean that there were no persisting problems after the fact.

Starting off with build issues, our mount for the current iteration of our bulb gripper was able to shift slightly to both the left and right with enough force applied. The constant smacking down of the gripper onto cones was a likely culprit in the shift meaning its an issue that has to be further addressed by tightening the carbon fiber bar more. The belt for the arm also managed to slip off at one point, but luckily it was in between matches. It serves as a good reminder to replace old rubber bands, which do not age well at all. The robot was also getting caught on the pylons, even when they didn’t have cones on them, meaning that its a combination of the chassis being a bit too big even though it fits standard sizing and more drive practice needed. Also, while it didn’t present too big of an issue at the competition, our current wire holder for the arm extension is just impractical and arguably cardboard should never appear on a robot at a competition.

Moving onto code issues, the start of the competition began with a big scare. During the calibration sequence, the turntable would rotate uncontrollably and would persist through infinite rotations. Fortunately, Vance and David were able to address this before any of the matches actually started. The issue of presets also became apparent because of calibration. Once autonomous finished, the Teleop program had to be initialized and recalibrate itself, which for one reason or another, completely messed up the presets, which are designed to remember the locations that it picked up a cone, and where it dropped off a cone.

Next Steps

Our robot needs to be thinner in order to navigate this year’s field more effectively, which is currently being addressed with the modeling and future construction of basically a version 2 of our current robot. The cardboard wire holder is going to be replaced with a 3D modeled version, which hopefully will look sleeker and serve its function better than the current iteration. There is also the idea of custom wheels as last year set a standard that we should keep alive.

Date | November 12, 2022