FIRST robotics season is officially underway! Ozone is very excited to have a steampunk themed challenge this year. Steamworks revolves around collecting wiffle balls to fuel up your alliance’s ‘boiler’. Robots can shoot balls into low and high goals for points. For the first time ever, human players are allowed on the field during the game. Each alliance has an ‘airship’ with up to 2 pilots in them. Robots bring gears to the pilots which are placed together and turned to power the rotors. At the end of each match, robots may climb a rope to aboard the airship for extra points.
Before watching the game reveal stream, each member of our team introduced themselves and explained a goal they had for this season. Many of us want to be more active than we have been in the past, and get further at competition.
After watching the game reveal and field tour videos, our focus, as a team, was to analyze the rules and regulations in the manual and the style of the game itself, as well as figure out what we want our robot to be able to do offensively and defensively. Minutes after viewing the reveal, team members had already composed graphs and charts illustrating how many match points and ranking points completing certain actions would get us. For example, as an alliance getting 3 gears on the airship would get us 80 points, while getting 13 on the ship would get us 160 points and one ranking point.
In order for all 80 team members to have an understanding of the rules of the game we broke up into 3 smaller teams to read over the manual, one group read about the fuel/balls, another about the gears, and the last group read about human players. After lunch each group shared out important findings to the whole team. We will continue to reference the game manual throughout the season when building components of the field and when building robots. In the future we will look at types of fouls and violations in order to avoid committing them at competition.
Returning members explained to first year members parts of the competition such as what ranking points mean and how scouting is done. Our goal is to get as many ranking points as possible during competition in order to advance. After analyzing the point system used in this year’s game the team decided that we definitely want to be able to manipulate gears efficiently. We receive more points quicker from loading gears than we do from loading fuel. Idealistically, we would like our robot to be able to load 6 gears onto the airship in the 2 and a half minute match. We also recognized that it would be easier to load gears and balls from the loading station than picking them up off the ground. Historically, our team as been better at obtaining game pieces from human players. Although our focus is currently on gears, we have not ruled out attempting to make our robot make high and low goals, and climb the rope.
At the end of the meeting after discussing our objectives, we split up into teams of 5 to begin sketching ideas for the robot.
Rules, regulations, lists of parts, and field drawings can be found on FIRST’s website
In-depth field tours and other kickoff videos can be found on FIRST’s Youtube channel