I’d like to try out a new segment, the “JVN Top 9”. Today I bring you…
The Top 9 Lies Designers Are Telling This Year
Let’s face it, if you’re on a design team… if you’re doing systems integration… you’ve heard these said, you’ve said some yourself, or at the very least the little voice in the back of your brain has tried to convince you, because if the voice is right the whole robot will work amazing!
Number 9 - The Drivetrain in my Head is PERFECT
I think 20 feet per second is a very reasonable choice for this game. We definitely NEED to be fast. What if we’re playing defense on the opponent hab-zone and want to run back in the last 5 seconds? We need to be able to cross the field in that time.
We know our driver is one of the best in all of FIRST (he might be the greatest of all time) and he told us that no one can line up the hatches for scoring unless the robot moves sideways - so that limits our options. Of course Mecanums could be used to dance around the defense… but the real solution is obvious, isn’t it?
This game NEEDS a swerve drive. Every good team is probably building one right now, and we can’t fall behind in the swerve arms-race!
It doesn’t matter that we’ve never done it before - we can buy one: There aren’t any hard parts left!
Number 8 - That last 3-inches is the Easy Part!
Do we REALLY need our scoring mechanism to reach-out over our bumpers? We can score on the Cargo Ship without reaching, and it’s only an extra 3-inches to score on the rocket. We can accurately toss the object 3-inches, right?
We built a prototype and one of our kids never missed when he was holding it and squirting the balls into the rocket from 4” away.
Number 7 - End-Game Confidence
Robots will DEFINITELY have ground clearance for the forks we designed. The cable protector is 7/8-inches tall and our forks are only 1/2-inch. Everyone is going to have at least 1/2-inch of ground clearance riiiiiiiight? Also, teams will totally be able to drive up this ramp! The ramp on the field is 15-degrees, so this is only a few degrees more!
Number 6 - The CG is Fine
Putting the CG of the robot all the way out in the front of the robot is fine. We need to do that so the robot climbs better in the end-game! don’t think it will affect the robot handling that much at all.
Also, we’ll make that part of the robot really light, so it’s okay that we designed it to be at the top of the tower and spend the entire match 40-inches off the ground.
Number 4 - The Best Way to Rebound is Never Miss
I mean, we don’t NEED a floor pickup… All the teams on Chief Delphi and all my friends in the Discord all say that each scoring-cycle is really important in this game. If everyone is thinking that way there probably won’t be many dropped objects. The robot fits together a lot better if we give up the floor pickup…
Number 3 - We Won’t Drive There
The drivetrain wheel clearance looks great! As long as we don’t drive up the corner of the ramp. But that’s okay, right? I heard you should design to drive “anywhere on the field” and we can absolutely do that super great… except we can’t go over the corner on our way to all those places.
Number 2 - FEA is for Suckers
Does this look strong enough? It can be made from the 0.040” stuff, right?
This is totally going to be strong enough. Yeah! It’ll be like a brick - it’s all boxed out. We shouldn’t have any problem if it gets shoved into the wall by a defender… repeatedly.