ROBOT DESIGN / BUILD
SYNERGY BETWEEN BUILD TEAMS
At this point the mechanical actuators and other electrical devices (motors, solenoids, compressor, vision system, etc) should be fitted to the robot and wired to the appropriate speed controllers, relays and other power distribution circuits. The operator Interface should now be fully assembled and ready for communication with the robot controller. Now the task of energizing individual circuits must be carried out to check for basic function and for proper control by the custom program that has been loaded into the program controller.
Extensive interaction between mechanical, electrical and programming subteams is critical at this juncture.
UNDERSTAND STRENGTHS / LIMITATIONS OF YOUR ROBOT
Your team has designed a robot with a set of functioning capabilities; most likely to perform a certain set of tasks in the context of the game. As the robot takes shape and the team further develops a better understanding of the game is played, you will inevitably find the functional strengths and limitations of your design. Stick with it, find additional ways to use those strengths to your advantage and work to minimize the impact of any limitations. You’ll find these learnings will continue as you progress through your competition schedule – Learning to adapt will be a common theme.
VARIATION OF FIELD COMPONENTS
Even though your robot may work perfectly with the components you built, it may not perform the same way with actual playing field components when you attend a competition. It is important to understand that with multiple playing fields being used and abused over the months of March and April, playing field component dimension and consistency will vary. This is a fact of the real world.
Take time now to consider possible modifications you might need to make due to playing field variability.