Posted by Deliverator on March 19th, 2008
I wasn’t anticipating it, but I ended up coming down early to Tacoma for the “Seattle” FIRST Regional. I was originally going to come down on Thursday, but the TRC ended up spending the afternoon in Larry’s garage working on a completely new shooting dislodging mechanism for the robot. I wasn’t aware of the extent of the planned revisions, so was pretty shocked when I first saw it. Teams can work on new mechanisms in the time between regional, but there are some pretty severe constraints. They can only work a total of 10 hours each week during which there is a regional being held somewhere and any manufactured parts brought to a competition can only total 25 pounds. This weight limit does not apply to COTS (commercial, off the shelf) parts. Our first weigh in ended up well over the limit, so Ian, Reo and Jonathan began stripping off every last once of unmodified COTS parts. This took a while and it looked to be a bit of a fool’s errand at first, but by stripping it of every last screw, bolt and bearing, we got the weight down to 24.9 pounds and have the pictures to prove it! Reassembling the new mechanism tomorrow will take quite some time and there is a lot of work left to do on it, but all the essential machining has been accomplished and it should be possible to finish the rest in the pits using hand tools. It will be a stretch to get it finished, even working all day in the pits tomorrow, so I think the plan is to leave the existing mechanisms on the robot until the new mechanism is completely finished and tested.
I will try to provide a play by play here, as I did for the Portland regional, but I expect to be quite busy as we are a bit short handed this time around