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.

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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]

2022 Day 4: Design Slides, Recap, and FIRST Choice

 Design SlidesWe have decided to make a public version of our design slides this year during the season. We use the google slides document to keep track of large parts of our season. We create slides for our weekly design recaps and collect notes and ideas about the robot. We will update the public version a few times a week with slides from our internal notes (if we share the private one, you all can watch us type, and that's a tad weird).PUBLIC - Infrared 2022 Robot SlidesDesign RecapToday was our first design recap. It was an overview of our intent for each mechanism, along with updates on testing and design progress. Here are a few of the sample slides from tonight.FIRST Choice Recommendations Updated for Round 2Our 2022 FIRST Choice and Voucher Guide has been updated with a sample priority list for Round 2.Every team gets 710 more credits, and some really great items have been added that will probably help your team be sure to submit your priority list before Jan 20th. - Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 3

 The first day of the season with a normal after-school meeting is mostly just a recap of the weekend and discussing various strategy ideas and the road map to each of our mechanisms.We planned how we would group the various mechanisms on the robot.As well as how each of those mechanisms mounts to, supports, interacts with, and avoids the other mechanisms on the robot.We can start allocating some space in the robot as the mechanism designs become clearer.Much of that will depend on the requirements of our climber; the other mechanism can largely be designed around things and still function well. Since the climber has strict dimensions to get from bar to bar, it will get some amount of priority to space.We have also begun building our team version of the high hub and will begin the hangar this week.- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 2: Dabbling in Prototypes

Photo GalleryOur 2022 photo gallery is up and will have updated photos and videos of our prototypes and progress this season.https://photos.spectrum3847.org/2022-FRC-1/2022-Build-Season-1/Intake PrototypeWe were able to use a prototype mechanism we built in the fall to begin testing how the balls interact with various materials.We used 2" compliant wheels, polycarbonate tubing, and velcro wrapped around the tubing. All of them were able to intake the balls pretty well but the compliant wheels seem to do the best job of grabbing the ball in our limited testing.VideoLauncher PrototypeIn 2020 used one of our 2017 launchers to build a prototype for that game pieces. We kept that around and adjusted it today to make it fit the larger 2022 balls. We adjusted it to 7.5" between the wheel and the hood to allow about 2" of compression on the balls. We have it mounted to our "ProtoCube." We've used this 2x4 box for multiple prototypes and it works well since you can clamp or screw into it and weigh it down easily with sandbags.VideoStrategyWe've also continued our discussion on strategy and robot goals. At the end of the 1st weekend this is roughly where we are heading, our course could quickly change as we learn more about the game and the game pieces.- Spectrum [Read More]

2022 Day 1: Rapid React: Rules,  Impressions, Strategy Questions, Climber Ideas

 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition Game - Rapid ReactGame Manual (Rules): https://firstfrc.blob.core.windows.net/frc2022/Manual/2022FRCGameManual.pdfFirst ImpressionsThis looks to be a very well-made game that will play well at all levels of play. Robots will be chasing down game pieces, launching cargo from all across the field, and playing strategic defense while trying to win every match. The end game climb has 4 levels the most of any game (2013 is similar if you count scoring the pyramid goal discs). This challenge will allow young teams ways to succeed early and still provide a very hard challenge for the top teams especially if they want to get to the 15pt rung fast. The field looks to be designed very well and it seems like more time was put into creating the Team Versions of the field to provide multiple options for teams which is a big improvement.The new organization of the game manual was a big improvement and executed very well, the new green rules will help the community remember the rule numbers much easier and the layout flowed very nicely. StrategyWe were able to have some of our team watch the stream in-person kickoff and then spend several hours reading over the entire manual and discussing the game strategy and concepts.Questions (some answers)Tall vs short (What is tall? What is short?Drive under the low bar (sub 48 in), max-height 52 in, not critical but probably helpful to able to drive under the low bar if can still climb and score at that shorter height.The placement of each… [Read More]