We are a High School Engineering and FIRST Robotics Competition Team from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory located in Houston, Texas. Spectrum focuses on introducing students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while enriching our members, schools, community, and the world. Thank you to our Sponsors for your support.

We are a High School Engineering and FIRST Robotics Competition Team from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory located in Houston, Texas. Spectrum focuses on introducing students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while enriching our members, schools, community, and the world. Thank you to our Sponsors for your support.















2022 Day 19: Launcher Testing

 Launcher TestingWe filmed a good amount of prototype launcher testing today on the replica Upper Hub with an agitator wheel installed (it wasn't turned on for all the testing, it's loud, and we didn't notice a difference in much of the testing off or on). We tried to film as much unedited testing as possible, so there are a lot of clips. Hopefully, this will give people an idea of how the balls interact with the goals. Ball PressureIn these clips, two of the balls are from kickoff, and early on, they were underinflated. The rest of the balls are brand new and were inflated today using our digital inflator. We received our official spec gauges today as well, and it seems the digital inflator reads about 1 psi lower than the official analog gauges specified in the manual. Hence, some of our balls were at 3.5psi based on the digital inflator, and some were at 3.5 psi based on the official analog gauge by the end of the testing. Prototype launcher configurationFalcon is basically 1:1 (actually 47:46 cause belt math is hard sometimes), 4" stealth wheel main flywheel2" compliant wheels on the top roller are 1:1, so it's about half the surface speed of the main roller2" compliant wheels on the accelerator wheel under the main roller, also 1:1.More Videos can be found in our Week 3 Gallery. [Read More]

2022 Day 17 & 18: Design Recap and CAD Links

 Tuesday Design RecapCAD ReleaseThis is our first true build season using OnShape, so we are still learning the best way to do some things but we will have our documents shared starting now. We are not very far into CADing the robot, it won't be even near completion for about 2 weeks. The prototypes document has most of the files and sketches we used for making the climber prototypes but it's very disorganized.0. Infrared 2022 (Top Level Document)1. Drivetrain2. Intake3. Ball Path4. Launcher5. Climber(6 is controls and doesn't have a document yet, most of it will be in Drivetrain)7. Prototypes and Sketches - Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 15 and 16: Full Climb Video

 Climber TestingWe added a crossbar between the hooks and moved our string to pull from around the lower arm pivot shaft and pull on the crossbar. This allows us to pull down closer to a straight line from the hooks to the spool. We also added some pool noodles so that if (when) this chassis falls off the bar it won't be damaged as badly.After some more testing, we were able to get a successful climb sequence. VideoThis version of the prototype doesn't currently work when we added weight (35lb plate) because it's powered with a timing belt, the competition one will likely be chain or gear driven. This climb also takes the robot to a full latch on the traversal bar which in our current design this likely brings part of our bumper above the high bar (a G108 violation) so we will only pull off the high bar and hang from the top hooks in a real match.Launcher PrototypeOur launcher prototype is coming along and we should have some test video coming soon. The current plan is a flywheel with a top roller, adjustable hood, and turret. If we need to reduce features they will probably keep that priority order, the turret is nice to have but not necessary, the hood could be simplified to 2 positions instead of continuous, and the top roller should allow us to launch balls into the goals with less energy in the ball when they enter to reduce bounce-outs.- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 14 & 15: More Climber Testing

 Climber TestingWe constructed more of a "climber chassis" over the past few days to be able to simulate the climber with both arms.The first test of the climber chassis did work well. We didn't do a full continuous climb but if you want to watch multiple videos they are all in this gallery. The video below is the prototype moving from the high bar to the traversal mostly by itself.VideoThis prototype is still only powered by a single motor and we will be adding bars across the arms to help synchronize their motion. We will also be adding weight to the chassis to see how it changes the climber's behavior. [Read More]

2022 Day 12 & 13: Swerve Assembly and Controls Priorities

Swerve AssemblyWe began the assembly of our Swerve Drive Specialities MK4i modules that we are planning to use this season. We used the MK3 modules this summer at the Texas Cup and believe the MK4i will fit our design better this year along with having the 1.5" wide wheels.Controls PrioritiesOur controls team met to go over our priorities for the season and to split up into areas of focus.Climber TestingThe test climber had another accident, it also had some successes but the accident are more interesting as we learn what needs to be improved.Video- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 10 & 11: Weekly Recap

Tuesday's our weekly Design Recap.Photon 8515 will be building a modified Everybot this year and we will try to publish the changes and additions we make to the design.- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 9:  Bootcamp Build Day & a successful climber prototype

 Bootcamp Build DayWe started the day with our 1st Bootcamp Build Day of the year we had students and teachers representing 5 young Houston area teams on site for a few hours to answer their questions, give design advice, and help with the FRC control system. Members of Pearadox FRC5414 were here to help as part of our partnership in the Houston FRC Development Program this year. Our next session is in two weeks and we will be helping teams finish up their drive bases, electronics, and making progress on their robots. Climber TestWe were able to rebuild the climber prototype after last night's crash and improve it in the process. Below is a video of it successfully pulling from one bar to the other. With a little help to limit the swinging this time. In the next version, we will add springs to extend the upper arm and a pneumatic cylinder to extend the lower arm.VideoThe theory behind the climbHere is the basic idea of how we currently plan to implement the climb.- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 7 & 8: Intake Testing and a New Climber Concept

Intake TestingWe started on a more complete intake test rig with bumpers and more adjustability.VideoWe are using silicone bands in this video, soft silicone has worked well in our past intakes (2019) and it appears to grip the balls well this year.Simple TestsA lot of our "prototypes" don't need to be complicated to prove concepts. In this quick clip we used part of a prototype from 2020 to see how the balls would behave if we used a timing belt as part of  a ball tower.VideoClimber Concepts We began working on a new climber concept that uses a double-jointed arm that extends with springs and climbs with a winch. The geometry of this climb appears to work better than some of the others we were working on.We spent time today mocking it up with laser-cut parts and 3D printed connectors. The 2 extra CIMs are just for ballast to simulate the center of mass of the actual robot.We were able to complete the construction of our practice hangar and run the prototype on it. One of the first attempts with the prototype went one of the more predictable ways.VideoWe will rebuild it this weekend with lessons learned (more perimeters in the prints, more gussets, and bolts/rivets into the tubing) and hopefully future attempts will be more successful. Failures like these are to be expected while prototyping, this is why we often use scrap material or cheap and quick-to-make parts like the 3D printed tube connectors and shaft collars. Failing quickly is one… [Read More]

2022 Day 6: Climber Model

 We made a 1/5th scale model of one of our climber ideas. This one has several issues, and some of them are caused by it being scaled-down, and some of them are likely inherent in the design.We made several interactions, printed, and laser cut some parts, so the joints acted more like we wanted; we also added nuts to simulate the robot's center of gravity. These helped but didn't fully solve the problems.More videos and photos can be found in our photo gallery: https://photos.spectrum3847.org/2022-FRC-1/2022-Build-Season-1/Week-1/From playing with this model and doing more CAD sketches, we will likely add another degree of freedom to the system, most likely a motor (possibly pneumatic) to extend and retract the hook on the arm. This should allow the climb to behave correctly across various center of gravity positions and enable us to quickly climb to the mid-bar without fully completing the first curl of the whole climb sequence. We also still discussing if we will use chain/sprockets or a Dyneema cord winch to power the arm joint. Here is a sketch of the new configuration; this has a 6 in extension and appears to work with a center of mass 6.5" to 15" and roughly centered in the robot. Not shown, but if we needed this climb should be able to curl onto the low bar for 4 pts. - Spectrum [Read More]

Wednesdays are normally pretty slow. We got some more parts cut for our practice field elements, did some manual intake material testing (i.e. rubbed lots of types of rubber and wheels on the balls), and we had an awards meeting this evening to get our Chairman's Essay nearly finished.We were able to inflate the balls to the proper 3.5 psi, before today all the gauges we had in the lab didn't read that low. We purchased a digital inflator from Amazon that very easily inflates the balls to 3.5 psi automatically and it works great. We were testing balls at various states of inflation since we didn't know what was right, in general, most of our balls were underinflated in any previous test to what degree we don't know (we didn't have a gauge that could read it remember). The balls are very firm when fully inflated to the spec 3.5 psi.Link to the inflator - https://amzn.to/3Fn329gThe push will be to do more intake and climber prototyping over the next few days.- Spectrum [Read More]