Fall regional competition ideas
- Keep the robot small/simple. Minimize the complexity of components and
focus on construction/drive techniques.
Most robots end up being complex and fragile. Just having a reliable base
that is maneuverable is a huge first step in being competitive in the FIRST
contest. Last year my most memorable experience (other than the actual
competitions) was teaching students how to drill holes and fasten rivets -
two weeks into the build phase!
So, to that end, I was thinking of a regional competition with the following
~ 2' cube robot
- cheap Panasonic drill motors/transmissions from Grizzly for the drive
train ($60 ea, including batteries and chargers)
- relatively inexpensive HiTech 6 channel R/C radio system from Tower Hobby
($160, including 4 servos)
- Limit weight to 75#
- no limit on belts/pulleys/chain/sprocket/gears/wheels - other than it has
to be readily available, off the shelf stuff.
- Aluminum/plastic/wood construction - no duct tape!
- Must work within the 6 channel constraint.
- Hacking of R/C gear ok (to change physical layout...)
- Use InnovationFirst ESC and Sparks (they seem very rugged).
- Other motors/actuators TBD
- No computers/microcontrollers allowed
- $600 budget for all components attached to the robot - including
construction material (this might be a little low if InnovationFirst speed
controllers are used)
Of course it would be great to use the InnovationFirst control system, but
the $1200 entry fee seems a little steep. Maybe next year when all teams
have a spare unit... Or, perhaps, we could pool resources to get
controllers for the "new" teams that are returned once they get a
controller of their own from the FIRST competition?