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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

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
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
our team
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”



2006 Game Introduction




the game
The Game

Game Animation

  • Discussed strategies as a team
  • Established an ordered list for gameplay
    • Score balls
    • Collect/Contain Balls
    • Score on platform
    • Defense-specific
    • Push Balls
  • 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
final design
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
mechanical driveline chassis
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
mechanical ball collection
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)
mechanical ball sorting storage
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
mechanical ball launching
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
mechanical ball launching13
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
  • 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
controls navigation
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
autonomous requirements
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
controls operator interface
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)
timeline milestones
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
competition schedule
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


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.