What's the fastest way to test out some ideas for the new game? See if some of our old robots can play it! Our 2014 robot "Vader" was surprisingly good at tossing cubes onto the scoring platform!
Tonight started with a Robowrangler Huddle. We added 5 or 6 items to our "Big List of Robot Actions" which were missed on Saturday. (One of them was: "Drive up a ramp another robot deploys, any ramp, even a really terrible one." I don't know if that action will make the cut for the final 148 robot.)
After catching up on the Robot Actions we spent about half the meeting discussing design tradeoffs, and "Robot Power Moves". It still feels like there are some subtle nuances in this game, and our discussions have been a lot of fun. (Maybe the nuances aren’t subtle, and we're just slower than everyone else, but we're liking the process.)
My favorite discussion tonight revolved around "Plowie McPlows-a-lot" and "Mr. Fridge". These two robot concepts have featured prominently in our talk. Plowie is a solid solution. I hope more teams will build Plowie than Mr. Fridge. but I know hoping will not make it so.
We'd much rather implement an "adopt-a-microwave" mechanism than an "adopt-a-fridge" one.
(Note: I know this sounded weird to most people, but I also know there is a small portion of my readership nodding their heads with empathy and understanding.)
Tomorrow we're going to have a "Climber-stravaganza" discussion, where we spend a large chunk of the meeting talking about different climber concepts.
Friday we're having "Auto-palooza" where we'll chat about different autonomous modes, and combinations of autonomous modes. This is always fun, since we find ourselves role-playing as some of our favorite teams. "Okay, so if we're playing with 3310 what will they do and what will we do?" "Wait, so how do we work with the Poofs if they do ABC" I'm excited for Auto-palooza.
After the Robowrangler Huddle & discussion we started our prototyping. Our earliest prototypes were just some of our old robots. The field construction crew is already hard at work, and the first thing we prioritized is a simple static platform. We eagerly began experimenting with how the cubes nested on top of it, and how they stacked up when tossed on.
Typically when discussing "Renegade" (our 2016 robot) we personify it as one of our meanest and most evil robots. It has done plenty of things to earn this reputation. (Given the opportunity, it would kill you and everyone you love. If it could change it's own batteries, it would already have started the revolution.) It was kinda sad watching the evil little guy try to throw cubes tonight. The pneumati-pult (pneumatic catapult) just doesn't have enough oomf. VADER (our 2014 robot) on the other hand had plenty of oomf. Oooooooomf for days - just add more surgical tubing. This might literally be the only time anyone has said "Vader is better at something than Renegade". Except, I guess moving sideways. Renegade can't do that.
Welcome back to another exciting JVN blog.
Come for the robot design process insight, stay for the random Robowrangler inside jokes.
Our other major prototyping effort tonight was on the cube intake. Something which made me happy was seeing the Batman practice bot dusted off (Batman was half of our 2015 robot). It gave an entirely new group of Wranglers a chance to poke through that machine and ask questions about all the weird stuff it has going on with it (like Robin). It DOES raise a lot of questions when you compare it to our 2016 and 2017 robots. "I thought FRC robots were supposed to be... not like this."
Everything is moving along great. Still more questions than answers, but that's the nature of this stage of the process. I'm very happy with how the team is going through the process. The inexperienced wranglers are doing a good job of engaging in conversation, and our new leaders are showing they're hungry.
PS - "Power Up" the Old Robots... get it?!? It's funny because it means multiple things. Ha!
(I put the pun in there just for Grant. Your move Mr. Cox.)