Friday, April 7, 2017

FIRST Robotics - An error cascade on Day One

Well that was interesting.  

We have a somewhat complicated machine this year so there are plenty of things that can go wrong.  But hey, Universe, was it really necessary for all of them to do so?

A short circuit in one of the sensors sends the robot crashing at full speed into a wall. (Upside, the basic robot frame survived the impact unaffected.)

When we fixed this we discovered that one of the other sensors was now not working right.  And one of our gearboxes was a little loose.  And the software was impudently recognizing certain commands and ignoring others.

For a brief while we had what was in effect a non functioning robot.

But the team, a couple of individuals in particular, dug in and worked.  Wires, fixed. Limit switch, replaced.  Gearbox, tightened up.  And a convocation of software nerds was called to figure out the glitches.

The bad news is that we had three matches today and were only able to run in two of them.  And not run very well when it came down to it.

The good news is that these were only practice matches, they don't count.  And we have had more success than expected with the rope climber, so there's that.

About 45 minutes before the pits closed for the night it appeared that we had all systems restored.  Will they hold?

Digging in and working.

Our first match.  Note our robot 5826 on the right.  It sure looks to me as if it is marshaling its strength for a mad kamikaze run against the tower....

A sight you would actually rather never see at tournament time, the inside of a gearbox.  But you do what must be done.  The pit crew has done more work in this one pre competition day than they had to do all of last year...

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