There was doubt that the Gearheads would have a chance to compete after lunch Saturday march 7th at the Milford District Event. The Gearheads robot, Circe Murphy (?), had not been performing all that great with some key breakdowns and design issues arising during the competition. The Gearheads were ranked 34th coming out of qualifying matches and it seemed like it was all over except the crying. But when the number one alliance lead by the H.O.T. team 67 and backed up by the selection of 5561 Flushing Raider Robotics had to make their selection they dug deep into the remaining teams and picked 1189 The Gearheads.
Maybe they were anxious to avoid the embarrassment of having game announcer Tom tease them mercilessly if they picked a team that was already picked (or even worse not at this competition at all, yes, it happened to the number 2 alliance captain), but maybe they had good scouting data reflecting the drive teams ability to change game tactics and drive and hang for the win, when their loader and shooter were delivering less than happy results. Either way, the Gearheads were ready and able to assist.
During the first match a low battery wreaked havoc on the team plan, and made many in the arena question the wisdom of picking the underdogs to round out their alliance. But after that single loss, the Red Alliance never looked back. Racking up win after win the Raider-H.O.T.-Heads delivered match after match of triple hangs and scores never below 180 until the blue banner was theirs. A highlight of the Gearheads contribution was when an opposing droid tipped over under the Red Alliance shield generator, all but dooming the team to miss out on the 90 point perfect hang. But look at the video clip below when Circe cleared the rendezvous area with plenty of time to anchor another TRIPLE HANG! Oh Boy! to quote Tom.
The Gearheads OpenSight Initiative or G.O.S.I. is a controls team initiative to provide a powerful vision system platform for High School Robotics teams to build and design their own customizable vision system. Powered by either Raspberry PI or NVIDIA Jetson Nano microcomputers, it can provide powerful computer vision inputs needed to guide robots through autonomous or provide guidance and assistance during teleoperated robot driving.
This initiative, while started by Gearheads Controls team 2020 captain Steven Spangler, is the collective effort of more than 5 other FRC teams. They contribute to the original coding work and machine design. They host a Github repository where others can freely download, add to, modify, and contribute to the advancement of the system.
You can read more about it here: https://opensight-cv.github.io/
In the fall of 2019, Dassault--the parent company of Solidworks the CAD program that we use--hosted a design competition for FRC teams to see who could come up with the best design for a personal aircraft. The Gearheads, who were runners up in the 2018 design challenge by Solidworks jumped at the opportunity to enter another innovative design. The design challenge was announced in November and the team had until early December to complete their design using the new 3DExperience cloud design platform X-Design and X-Shape to collaboratively design their personal flying machine.
Their sketches from the first design team meeting, shown above called for the following design elements. Propulsion provided by a LARGE jet turbine underneath an airfoil wing, skiboot style mounting for the occupant to clamp themselves to the wing, flight yoke for controlling the flight, and for vertical lift and emergency egress -- the piece de resistence, the propeller beanie cap. And it's name would be Gerrald. Besides completing the naming of the device, they had their work cut out for them.
3DExperience is a platform for collaborative design that let's design teams design from nearly any computer that can connect to the internet. Using just a plain computer and an internet browser, the team was able to design their flying machine without the usual burden of a highpower CAD workstation and it's usually expensive GPU (graphics processing unit). The platform also has tools for community sharing, private and public workspaces, and is globally accessible.
On January 4th, Solidworks announced the winners of the contest. The Gearheads we're pleased to find that their entry was recognized among the 20+ entries as being the 3rd place design. Making them eligible for a $3000 prize from Solidworks. Gerrald is a Winner!
This years game, called Infinite Recharge, released the teaser video. Although the team won't know the game play until January 4th, several team members have started to hypothesize how the game will be played. (add a transition) In the video, we see a tower lighting up after R2D2 interacts with it. Later in the video, we see similar tower that's not lit up, and we appear to be holding an object to turn it on. Certain team members believe that some item may have to be moved into a charging port during the game. The
MARCH 23, 2015 BY PAUL SMITH excerpts from http://leadwithastory.com/top-10-differences-between-high-school-sports-and-robotics/
When introducing High School Competitive Robotics and FIRST to most people they immediately ask, like battlebots. After they attnd their first FIRST Event they are often surprised at the similarities between sports and robotics. But to the author of the blog we reference here what is more striking are the differences. Athletes, parents, and coaches, take note. THIS is how in his opinion (one that we agree with here on the Gearheads) to prepare kids for life.
The tournament itself was like a combination sporting event, dance contest, NASCAR pit crew competition, costume party, and rock concert all in one! Thirty-nine high school teams came from as far away as Istanbul, Turkey. Each spent the last three months working every day after school and on weekends to design and build their own robots, and then hone their skills to compete in speed and accuracy performing tasks in center court.
Like in athletics, these kids were learning sportsmanship: how to work hard, be team players, and learning to compete strongly but fairly. And in both sports and robotics, the events themselves are filled with excitement and tension, including last-second, game-winning plays at the buzzer. But I couldn’t help noticing several very telling differences worth sharing.
Read more blow for his top 10 (11 actually he added one since the first posting):
Saturday at Marysville was a roller-coaster ride of a day, as we saw our ranking go as low as 39th and as high as 7th. REAPER performed very consistently, but as the draw had it with win/loss record and some low RP matches drove our overall ranking up and down. Final ranking at the end of the Qualification rounds was 14th, which belied a little bit the performance of the teams robot, which had an OPR (Offensive Power Ranking) of 9th overall. Reaper it turns out is a bit of a Cargo Powerhouse, with 324 cargo points over the weekend, 118 hatch panel points, and 147 sandstorm bonus points attributing to that OPR.
We would have to get the rest of the scouting information to see exactly how many of those points are directly from Reaper as opposed to our alliance partners. In the end we were selected as the first pick of the 8th alliance and were eliminated, despite valiant driving on the part of our team and alliance partners, by the eventual tournament champs. The team was hopeful that maybe we could still earn a few more points for Safety, or Design, or Engineering Inspiration. But as the evening pushed on it seemed that maybe we would end our season early in week 5 and not progress any further.
However, when the announcers started listing the achievements of the Chairman's Award Winner -- A student lead diverse team with a majority of leadership positions held by women, a WOW chapter, efforts to feed homeless teens and their families, and creative use of VR and AR -- it became evident that the winners had a lot in common with US.
Walking into the shop at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19th, people were ready for the 14-hour right-of-passage that is Bag Day, more commonly known as Stop Build Day.
Stop Build Day has been a annual tradition of the FIRST Robotics Competition, ever since the first game back in 1992, when teams were required to send off their robot in a crate by the 6th week of Build Season. Eventually, this transformed into teams doing a “bag and tag” of their robot, bagging them with a numbered tag, ceasing robot construction until the pits open at their first 4 day qualifier (or a limited 6 hours of “out-of-bag” time for 3 day qualifiers). However, this year marks the last year of this ritual being practiced, giving more time for teams to build their robot while observing certain holidays and school breaks, and allowing teams with financial limitation more time to build.
This article will be an hourly recap from beginning to end of the final Bag Day.
The Gearheads 2019 Destination Deepspace robot spent the last 6 weeks, nameless. Risking that it would never go to heaven, doomed to purgatory as an un-christened robot if anything happened to it. But on Bagday, it earned its name. Specifically when Chris "Closed on Tuesdays" Fong took some time away from the shop to eat a Carolina Reaper--the hottest pepper on earth.
Reaper is a SPICY, Muy Caliente, robot design that is one of the most complex undertaken by the team in its 16 seasons.
Walking away from a successful season and months away from kickoff, we are staying extra productive by helping the community and showing what we can do.
This past summer, we helped at the Detroit Phoenix Center by building and organizing their food pantry. It was a wonderful experience for the team to help others while growing and learning about how to get involved with other communities using our skills.
In addition, we also were the life of the party at Kercheval After 6 on August 25th. There, we showed off our 2016 robot, Mayhem, and had it play catch with some of the younger attendees of the event. Meanwhile, we also sold several Gearheads-themed baked goods at our tent.
As the school year began, we participated at the annual North-South rivalry tailgate. Despite the poor weather, we still showed our spirit and devotion for our team.
This Next saturday, we will be hosting a community event in our robotics shoppe. At this fun-for-the-whole-family event, we will be holding several presentations to show members of the community what our team is all about, with refreshments and robot test drives.
We are the crazy, amazing, ingenious Gearheads!