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Preliminary Design Review. WPI / Mass Academy FIRST Team 190: Gompei and the HERD. Presented By: Ken Stafford, Team Advisor Colleen Shaver, Director of Support Chris Werner, Director of Operations. What is FIRST?. Organization designed to inspire students in math, science, and engineering

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Preliminary design review l.jpg

Preliminary Design Review

WPI / Mass Academy

FIRST Team 190: Gompei and the HERD

Presented By:

Ken Stafford, Team Advisor

Colleen Shaver, Director of Support

Chris Werner, Director of Operations

What is first l.jpg
What is FIRST?

  • Organization designed to inspire students in math, science, and engineering

  • Brings engineers and students together to work on a common problem

  • Introduces students to real world engineering challenges

  • Over 1000 teams around the world

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Our Team

  • One of only 6 teams involved continuously since the program began in 1992

  • 2005 Recipient of the WPI University Ambassador Award for our community outreach, including over 40 demos per year

  • Called “the highlight of their WPI engineering education” by past alums

  • WPI’s “#1 women and minority

    outreach program”

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2006 Game Introduction




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The Game

Game Animation

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  • Discussed strategies as a team

  • Established an ordered list for gameplay

    • Score balls

    • Collect/Contain Balls

    • Score on platform

    • Defense-specific

    • Push Balls

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  • Met in three groups to develop initial robot designs

  • After three days, groups convened to present ideas

    • 2 groups designed conveyor systems to a single shooter with an omni-wheel drive

    • 1 group designed a track system with revolver using a standard drive system

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Final Design

  • Six-wheel drive with two speeds

  • Ability to get balls from the floor and human player

  • Controlled delivery to shooter

  • Ability to shoot balls into center goal on-the-fly from our side of the field

  • Many offensive and defensive autonomous options

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Mechanical – Driveline/Chassis

  • Driven by 4 CIM Motors through a two stage reduction

  • Six 5” rubber caster wheels

    • Provides both traction and shortened wheel base

    • Speeds up to 14 ft/s

  • Ludicrous Speed Drive

    • Four 3” rubber caster wheels

    • Powered from main wheels

    • Pneumatically raised and lowered

    • Provide velocities up to 16 ft/s

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    Mechanical – Ball Collection

    • Series of 2” PVC rollers with rubber

      • Spins at 3000 rpm

      • Powered by mini-bike motor

    • Balls lifted into storage area (hopper or directly into single-file tracks)

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    Mechanical – Ball Sorting/Storage

    • Balls jam themselves very easily

    • Hopper design is the most advantageous

      • Quick loading, high capacity

      • Most difficult to extract single balls from

    • Sorting balls into single-file as they are received is most efficient

      • Decreases capacity

      • Delays floor-to-air time

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    Mechanical – Ball Launching

    • Ball pitcher on turret to allow for 360 degree shooting

    • Launch balls in parabolic trajectory from the top of the robot

    • Ability to score from 6 to 21 feet using same release angle

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    Mechanical – Ball Launching

    • Contain pitcher mechanism at bottom

    • Pneumatic cylinder to lift ball into pitcher

    • Two 4” rubber wheels in series

    • Second roller geared faster than first roller

    • Fixed deflector angle allows wide shooting range due to ‘flat’ trajectory

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    • Controls challenge:

      • Continuously keep the turret/pitcher aimed at the center goal even while the robot is moving

      • Operate all the other robot mechanisms to ease the human operator workload

      • Multiple autonomous strategies including scoring balls on the center target during initial 10 sec period

    • Provide many operator automated operations

    • Many controls functions have already been prototyped on VEX Robots

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    Controls – Navigation

    • Distance Measurement

      • CMU Camera

        • Computes distance to target using color tracking and calculating based on y-axis

        • Computes horizontal offset using x-axis position

      • Wheel Encoders

        • Provide velocity information for shoot-while-driving function

    • Robot Orientation

      • Compass

        • Provides coarse heading information necessary for robot orientation

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    Autonomous Requirements

    • No additional programming complexities

      • Everything prototyped except shooting while moving

      • Based on our last years’ autonomous engine

    • Very similar to driver-operated periods

      • Vision camera tracks light and determines when to shoot

    • Ability to select delays and different paths to drive for unpredictability and compatibility with alliance partners

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    Controls – Operator Interface

    • Driver controls both driveline and ball collector

    • Additional operator station to control ball launching

      • Switch to indicate offensive/defensive periods

      • Ability to fine tune the shooting vector

      • Fully automated or fully manual shooting modes

    • Robot sensor feedback to operator

      • Indicator lights to show target acquisition

      • Considering heads up display to indicate ball locations and accuracy of acquired target (audial tones)

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    Timeline Milestones

    • Jan. 7th – Kickoff

    • Jan. 11th – Strategy decision

    • Jan. 15th – Overall configuration

    • Jan. 27th – Preliminary Design Review

    • Jan. 30th – Chassis built

    • Feb. 5th – Driver try-outs

    • Feb. 7th – Mechanical subsystems built

    • Feb. 11th – Systems integrated

    • Feb. 17th – Critical Design Review

    • Feb. 18th – UTC Scrimmage

    • Feb. 21nd – Ship robot

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    Competition Schedule

    • UTC Scrimmage (Suffield, CT)

      • February 18th, 2006

    • Granite State Regional (Manchester, NH)

      • March 2nd – 4th, 2006

    • Florida Regional (Orlando, FL)

      • March 10th – 12th, 2006

    • Championship Event (Atlanta, GA)

      • April 27th – 29th, 2006

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    For more information visit our website at

    Anyone is welcome to visit us in the HL005 weekdays after 1600, Saturdays after 1000, and Sundays after 1200.