2017 – Steamworks
The game is played by two alliances of three individual teams and their robots compete on a field to score “match” points to win the game and ranking points to advance to playoff rounds. The game has a steampunk theme and the teams shoot wiffle balls which represent fuel into a simulated boiler which transfers the generated steam into an airship in the middle of the field. Each alliance has one airship, which they pressurize with steam from the boiler and load with plastic gears from the field. At the end of the match, robots can climb and hang on ropes attached to the airship for additional points.
Chassis and Drivetrain:
One of the top priorities for our robot this year was to have a drivetrain that could traverse the field quickly while also withstanding defense. To accomplish these objectives, the robot was designed for a six-wheel west coast style drivetrain with six 4 inch Colson wheels. It also had two gear modes, low for more power, allowing it to push other robots, and high for increased speed.
Gear Mechanism: Passive and Floor Pickup
Our passive gear mechanism was designed to retrieve the gears from the human player drop-off. It needed very little space on the robot, giving us more room for fuel. It also didn’t require complex mechanisms, meaning there was less that could go wrong with the system. After our second regional competition, we put an active floor pickup on our robot to collect gears from the floor. It did this by scooping under the gear and pulling it up into the robot.
On the bottom of our robot, we had a spinning bar with hooks attached to it. These hooks were used in order to snag the rope released from the airship, allowing the robot to pull itself by looping the rope around the bar. To prevent the robot from sliding backwards, we used two torque wrench heads, locking the rod in place.
Fuel Control: Collector and Shooter
To maximize the space for fuel storage, we made sure that our robot was as efficient in its space use as possible. This was done by using a passive gear collector, as well as by making the collector and shooter part of the same mechanism. The collector and shooter work through the use of rotating wheels that pull in the fuel and spit them out through changing the direction of the flywheels. During build season, we realized that the robot was not able to fire all the balls as some were stuck in the hopper. To remedy this we added an agitator that moved up and down in order to push the balls toward the shooter.
New and Interesting
This year’s game was interesting because it put a human player in the field. The job of the pilot was to take in the gears and place them on pegs to spin rotors. It was through the pilot that many of our ranking points were scored.