With the initial goal of testing battery health, Swerve Robotics Club created a multi-component test bed that can be used for a variety of purposes including battery health testing, component isolation testing, and more. Sig Johnson, from team 8923 presented the findings at the World Championships 2016 in St. Louis. More detailed documentation of this project, including instructions for building a testbed, part numbers, and other findings not covered in the presentation will be available soon.
When the 2014-15 FTC season came around, the Swerve Robotics club had enough team members to make a form team! The team number was 8923. The team decided that their color would be an awesome shade of tropical blue, and a name was chosen: Perpetual Velocity. It has many meanings to the members of 8923, but the biggest one became the team’s motto: “Always Moving Forward.” It says that the team, no matter what happens, will always continue to move forward in robotics, engineering, and especially in life.
The first day of the first season for the new team was Kickoff. Strategies were discussed, thoughts were flying around, ideas came and went, and designs were designed and redesigned. The FTC Fieldhouse was hosting a scrimmage a few weeks before the first competition, so the team treated it as the first event. A schedule was made to help the team prioritize and work towards a goal, and while not every goal was met, the team was ahead of the competition; only one other robot was better than 8923’s robot. Some robots at the scrimmage could drive, the rest couldn’t. 8923’s bot was able to drive, grab goals, and position them where desired.
In our first competition, the robot was very effective at moving all the goals onto the ramp, and did so with speed! The robot could then play defense until the end of the match. The robot got known for it’s speed on the field. At the second competition, the robot had a collector attached, which allowed the robot to score in the small goal. Again with the speed of the robot, it was able to fill the small goal completely and push all the goals up the ramp before the end-game even started. The collector mechanism was made of zipties, and you could say the robot “zipped” around the field, so it was decided to name the robot Zipps. 8923 won 6 out of 8 matches, and the team was pretty competent at holding their own in matches.
At the third event, the interleague event, a lift mechanism had just barely been finished attaching, but it had no testing. Unfortunately it had to be removed due to its unknown reliability, and the team went back to what they knew worked: scoring in the low goals. The event went more poorly than hoped for, but there were times when the team was able to show their best. The team didn’t advance to state level, but was nominated for the Motivate and Innovate awards, and won the Design award!
The team later went to Idaho to compete in their competition, this time with a working and tested lift mechanism! The robot was able to score in any goal, and could almost always get 3 loads of balls into goals. The robot was noticed by one of the alliance captains for its ability to fill the large goal, and 8923 was selected as an alliance partner! The alliance made it to the finals, but sadly didn’t win. The team also didn’t move on to the super regionals, but the 8923 team members got medals for being on the finalist alliance, and won the Connect award!
During the entire season, the members of Perpetual Velocity learned new skills, learned to work together, and learned to have fun! There were times when the team struggled and panicked, but managed to pull through together. The members of 8923 will definitely remember their time on this team, and like the motto says, they will always be moving forward. What a great start for a new team!