Along with all other FRC teams worldwide, the Flaming Chickens are entering crunch time. The last week or so really drives home the ship day deadline, February 19. Team members put in significant hours during these two weeks to get the robot complete. Our prototype robot (the one we keep after ship day for drive practice) is nearly complete. The competition robot is currently being built in parallel. Software should have a little over a week with the prototype robot before ship, and a day or so with the competition robot. After ship day, software development continues on the prototype robot.
In the opinion of FRC 1540’s co-captain and software manager, Casey C-W, “the game for this year isn’t as software intensive as recent years have tended to be.” Initial code is nearly complete. Since we use Java, our software team can not use the cRIO simulator for LabVIEW to test code; therefore, it’s necessary to wait for the prototype. Once that is complete, we plan on testing two specific parts of the robot: frisbee management code and the PID.
Continuing up to the Autodesk Oregon Regional, we plan to perfect a flexible autonomous mode that can score a variety of ways depending on what our alliance partners are capable of. We’re also exploring automated aiming, or at least something to assist the driver – similar to a system we used last year. Our copilot control panel also has an incredible amount of buttons, so we’re going to try and automate subsystems of the robot to make controlling it as easy and intuitive as possible.
In about a month, we’ll find out how well our design, fabrication, electronics, and software perform at the competition!
So, I sat down with our programming department lead and asked him the some questions. Here are Tyler’s answers:
How are you doing? Tyler, “I wish there were 5 of me so I could be helping more groups”
What language are you using” “C++”
What struggles are you having? “The robot isn’t completed yet so that is a huge struggle for the programming department. Ask me again Saturday afternoon…”
Any successes? “Yes, our Frisbee launcher is working extremely well and the programming is complete for that.”
How stable and accurate is our robot? “Again, ask me Saturday afternoon. We are a week behind due to a launcher part being built so…..”
As you can tell, our team is struggling due to our launcher parts taking longer than anticipated to be built. So, it is crunch time for Team 4057 but all is well and Saturday WILL be a success.
This year our software team was off to a running start with a functional holonomic base in the first week, and has been fine tuning their code since then. Their most recent accomplishment is utilizing the camera to align our robot for shooting. Currently they are facing a challenge with writing code for our competition drive base, because our prototype base on has three sim motors verse six on the final robot. We are using C++ to write our robot code, although it is more challenging, it opens up a lot more options than java or labview. Our team gladly accepts a challenge and allows for more precision, particularly important in this year’s challenge because aiming is key.