MEET OUR ROBOT, PHILLIP!
Built for the 2018-2019 FIRST Robotics Competition, Destination: Deep Space, Phillip was built to do it all. He can pick up and place hatch panels anywhere, and can pick up orange cargo and shoot them into any place on the field. Phillip is built to score every possible point in this year's game, which allowed us to change our match-to-match strategy depending on the abilities of other robots: sometimes, we'd focus on placing hatch panels while our partners manipulated cargo. In other matches, we would only use cargo to score.
Phillip performed incredibly this year. At the Greater Pittsburgh Regional, he was ranked 8th out of 45 teams at the end of 2 days of qualification matches. He then advanced to the playoffs (as an "alliance captain") and picked teams 337 (the Hard Working Hard Hats) and team 4145 (the Worbots).
During the playoffs, Phillip's alliance was ranked last and was paired up with the best ranked alliance for the quarterfinals matches. It seemed unlikely that the last ranked alliance would beat an alliance containing the two best robots in the entire regional. Nonetheless, Phillip persevered and took down the best ranked alliance in a stunning victory! He continued to the semifinals to meet the 4th ranked alliance led by team 3054 (Girls of Steel Robotics). After both alliances won one match, it came down to the tiebreaker, where, unfortunately, Phillip was defeated.
You can view all of these incredible matches on the media page!
57 cargo (171 points)
21 hatch panels (42 points)
The elevator is the most important aspect of Philip's scoring mechanism. It is what allows the game pieces to have the ability to reach anywhere on the field. Using PID Control to increase accuracy and consistency, the elevator is built out of 80/20 aluminum extrusion, using the product's "linear motion kits". These allow for easy movement inside the crevices of the extrusion bars.
The elevator consists of 3 stages, each decreasing in height after the last. Three stages increases the stability of the robot, while also making it more front-heavy to account for the heavy battery being held on the back. The decreasing stage height ensures that the stages move up in the same order every time, allowing for easy use of limit switches.
We control the elevator using pre-coded encoder values that raise and lower the elevator to the desired positions on the field. By calculating the positions of the different scoring heights on the field, the elevator is never at the wrong place and can move up and down without constant operator control. There is also an option for manual control in case it is needed during a match.
To prevent the encoder from attempting to raise the elevator to a position higher than its actual capable height, we installed simple push-switches (limit switches) at the top of the last stage.
The elevator raises and lowers using durable string that is spooled on a hex-shaft at the top of the elevator. The shaft is wound using a NEO Brushless Motor connected to a Spark Max Motor Controller running a PID controller which is based on position read in by the built-in motor encoder. Using a high ratio gearbox, the shaft moves at the perfect speed to allow for accurate movement. The elevator is strung twice to increase consistency and to prevent the elevator getting stuck due to a string being caught.
The "intake" is split into two distinct sections: the cargo hold and the hatch mechanism.
The cargo hold consists of 4 green compliant wheels driven by 2 redline motors (sold by AndyMark). Each side of the cargo hold consists of 2 of these wheels, connected with a belt. The inner of the two wheels are each driven by the gearbox and motor, both of which rest on the intake.
The hatch mechanism rests on top of the intake and uses no motors: it is completely passive. Although not shown on the left, it extrudes from on top of the existent bar pointing up. The hatch mechanism was very reliable all season and proved to the team that using our materials to the best we can pays off.
Team Captains: Aaron Berger and Benjamin Barash
Build Captain: Boyang Li
Safety Captain: Matias Badino