Maketopolis Video

Our team is featured prominently in this UA Engineering video describing Tucson’s first maker festival, Maketopolis.

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Our cRIO gets to go play in China!

We read in a Chief Delphi forum post that the 21 rookie teams in China are holding a scrimmage in August and seek donations of robotics parts. We got to compete with four of the rookie Chinese teams at the Hub City Regional and we predict an impressive future for them. (Adorably, their robots started out VERY primitive, which is true of many rookie teams, and more so since they didn’t have experienced teams to draw on until they reached the regional. So much of the building was occurring onsite with help from other teams that they put a “Made in Texas” sticker on the robots!)

cRio-gift

Mentor Gary Forbes has the cRIO and will tackle the challenges of international shipping on behalf of the team.

We decided to give them one of our two cRIOs, which is the central processing unit of an FRC robot (basically its brain). YAY China Urban Youth Robotics League (CUYRL)! Go teams go!

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Gallery

Kitt Peak robot delivery day — a tremendous success!

This gallery contains 55 photos.

As part of our six-week City High Robotics Workshop we adapted our Vex robot to do a task for professional astronomers and engineers at the newly-installed 12-meter Radio Telescope on Kitt Peak. This antenna was recently acquired and moved from … Continue reading

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Happy National Robotics Week!

NRWlogoRGBweb

Students! Mentors! Engineers! Volunteers! Come play with our robots to celebrate National Robotics Week.

At the Pennington Street Block Party, the Bit Buckets Robotics Team will demonstrate their 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition robot and will show attendees how to drive the 2014 Vex Robotics Competition robot. We will also offer information on robotics programs, electronics, hydraulics and other wonders of science.

Where: The Pennington Street Block Party
When: Friday, April 11th, 2014
4:00pm – 7:00pm
Cost: None!
Age: Fun for all ages

Click the image below for more information

Block-Party-Poster-20141

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Arizona Regional 2014

The Bit Buckets came more prepared for this regional than the last. More or less, we had a working robot right from the start. Day 1, Thursday, was for making all the revisions we had planned as well as troubleshooting and of course, checking out the competition. Most of the quirks were worked out and we got ready for competition. Day 2, qualifications, went well. We were ranked #2 for a good apart of the day and got bumped down to #7 by the next day after losing our last 2 matches. By the time alliance picking came around, we were prepared with our thorough scouting data to go forward with two other robot. We got picked and by the 3rd seated alliance and accepted.
Eliminations proved more difficult than expected. After going to a 3rd match against the team with the twin of one of our mentors, we realized we made a fatal mistake. Within the last minute of the match, supposedly, the ball in play got wedged so far into the robot and, with the combination of that and hitting the wall, hit the power switch to the robot and shut it down. Our robot was down for the count for the rest of the match. Lesson learned: put something over your power switch.
Although we got eliminated, the competition was fun and prepared us even more for next year. We also won the Excellence in Engineering award, which is an honor for us. We cannot wait to make next year’s robot even better!

The field

The field

Excellence in Engineering award, Arizona Regional 2014

Excellence in Engineering award, Arizona Regional 2014

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Robot Revisions

Today we are getting ready for Arizona regional which is in a little less than a week away. To do this we decided to change our drive train and wheels because at Lubbock we found that we lacked the ability to push or out run other robots. We overlooked because in years past there were obstacles that made it harder to play defense. For instance last year in ultimate accent there were the pyramids in the middle of the the field and if you touched it you got a penalty making it harder to play defense without getting a penalty. This year though their is no such obstacle making it that defense is very easy to play. Also because this year’s game has a lot to do with passing to other robots while past years game was more self centered. Because of this defense is much more effective. Also because this year you are only allowed to have 1 ball on the field at a time if you can block a person with a ball then instead of just stopping the robot from scoring you are stopping the entire alliance.

Because of this you either need a fast drive-train to outrun the defensive robots or you need a strong drive train so that you can push the other defensive robots. So we decided to make it so that we have a really fast drive train. so to do that we changed out our wheels to have high traction wheels that we used last year and we also put on a new gear box that is geared for high speed but that also means that we can’t  have any long pushing matches because if we do we will trip our main circuit breaker.

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Wednesday march 16th

Ahhh, only a few days until Arizona! We really have to get ready if we plan to do well and get to championships! So, today we worked on tuning the shooter.

At Lubbock our catapult didn’t work very consistently which is one of the main reasons that we didn’t do better. This was due to the over stretching of our elastics in out catapult. Because we stretched them to far too many times they began to lose their elasticity making our shooter weaker and weaker, making us constantly miss shots in autonomous and made it more difficult to predict the strength of the catapult making it harder for the drive team to score.

We changed this though and re-attached the elastics to our catcher. This makes it so that we do not put so much stress on the elastics making it so that they aren’t overstretched. Because of the shooter now works differently so we have to redo the autonomous so that it works and give the drive team practice with the new shooter.IMG_20140319_180925725

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Hub City Regional

So, as it turn out 10 hours is a long time to be in a car! We learned this the hard way on our trip to Lubbock Texas. Because of this on the way to Lubbok we stopped at Carlsbad cavern for a brief time and got to look at the wonders of mother nature and walk around one of the world’s oldest cave system and get some exercise. It really is a interesting experience walking 700 feet underground with thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.

Such cave many big.

When the competition finally started just like last year, everything broke. Everything that could go wrong did such as the elastics getting over stretched and us breaking our communication cables. But finally by the end of Friday we got our  robot working right  and got chosen by the second seed alliance.

That’s right the second seed! And what makes that more amazing is that we weren’t ranked very well. Any way by the time the smoke cleared we were left on a alliance with team 3741 CORE G IX and 2914 Tiger Pride. We ended up losing in the quarter finials to the 8 seeded alliance after a tough fight and 3 matches.

Quality award!

Even though we were eliminated we still had the awards ceremony to listen to and we were not disopinted. We won the quality award and got a shiny trophy. While they were calling us up to receive the award they called made fun of our .. interesting chair mans essay which as the judges put it “Your essay was… weird.”

Then after waking up a hour early for the departure ( daylight savings time is evil ) we finally left and started the long car drive home. Although it actually wasn’t any quicker it sure seemed like it because this time we lost a hour instead of gaining one. We did stop at white sands to enjoy a seemingly endless amount of snow white sand at white sands in New Mexico.

White sands!

Although it is good to be back we can’t have a break because now we have to get ready for the Arizona regional. Join us their  20-Mar to 22-Mar-2014 at Hamilton High School. See you there!

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A ton of citrus for the Food Bank!

citrus-ton

Today we picked oranges at a citrus grove. There were a couple dozen grapefruit, orange and tangerine trees and even after we left it didn’t look as though we made a dent. We got there at 10:00 in the morning and after 3 hours of fruit-picking we had picked a literal ton of fruit for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

citrus-grove

Then we had to run back to Xerocraft for our weekly Sunday meeting. Once here we split into sub groups and got to work on everything from the lights to the bumpers. We also worked on the winch system because although Kevlar may be strong nothing can stand up to our robot so we ended up having to replace the broken Kevlar strap with thicker nylon straps. Also Cal worked on making more wooden trigger latches because although they are strong they wear, so you can never have enough of them.

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Our Robot Release Video

Our 2014 robot release video is now up, feel free to watch and comment.
DSC_0079_clipped_rev_1-800x535 Some design specs:

Drivetrain/ chassis:

  • Wide 6WD KoP drivetrain.
  • 2x 3 CIM single speed gearboxes, geared for ~9 actual feet per second using KoP wheels.
  • 1″ 1/16″-wall square aluminum tubing frame with laser-cut plywood and aluminum gussets.
  • Frame hinges up using quick-release pins for easy access to electronics
  • Laser-cut 3/8″ plywood belly pan.
  • Very low center of mass.
  • Rear superstructure allows for catching.

Intake:

  • Pneumatically deployed horizontal roller intake.
  • Constructed from 1″ 1/8″-wall square aluminum tubing with aluminum gussets.
  • Main roller is ABS pipe, chain driven by a BaneBots RS550 in a VersaPlanetary.
  • Side rollers are BaneBots wheels, direct driven by BAG motors in VersaPlanetaries.
  • Can pick up a ball from any angle in <1 second.
  • Can outtake ball into low goal or another robot.

Catapult:

  • Surgical tubing power allows for easy tuning.
  • 2 MiniCIMS in modified Ball Shifter pull back catapult in ~0.7 seconds.
  • Catapult is fired by shifting Ball Shifter to neutral and pneumatically releasing custom spring-loaded latch.
  • Can consistently score in the high goal from ~8′ to ~20′
  • Intake can be used to deflect shot downward for long floor pass.

Other:

  • Identical practice robot!
  • Consistent one and two ball autonomous modes.
  • Custom OI with modified pistol-grip R/C car controller
  • All metal is black anodized, wood is painted.

We will be competing at the Hub City and Arizona Regionals.

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