Days 78-79 Houston District Event Recap



District Event Finalist

Industrial Design Award

Last weekend, Spectrum competed at the Houston District Event. We went 10-7-0 overall, and finished ranked 4th. We won every playoff match in the upper bracket and lost both finals. Thank you to our alliance captain 9478 Robo-Colts and our alliance partner 8144 Red Chair Robotics!

We were honored to be awarded the Industrial Design Award.

Failures and Fixes:

Ultraviolet held up very well at this event. We only had two small mechanical failures.

Failure: One side of our launcher’s sector gear popped out of its gear for a moment on a heavy impact. It did not affect our ability to launch.

Fix: Added a steel plate to the inside of sector gear on that side to prevent this from happening again.

Failure: We bent our frame on our intake side on a heavy impact. It did not affect our ability to intake.

Fix: Replaced it to practice, and time the fix. We discovered that replacing the intake-side rails took around 45 minutes to replace, which was longer than we would like. To address this, we considered several options, one of which was having a complete intake spare ready to be swapped in. However, we decided against relying on having time to replace the intake and instead be able to run multiple matches with bent rails. We are changing some mounting locations for a camera, and some intake geometry to make this work.

Controls update:


We ran our center sub 6 note most matches. We tuned it during the event until it consistently scored 5-6 notes throughout playoffs. We ran our less tuned source side 4 a couple times in qualifications as well.


  • Found that right limelight was for some reason noticeably worse than the others so we disabled pose from that camera for the event

  • Found that integrating pose from different cameras at once will make pose less stable (each camera is reading a slightly different pose at the same time) –> planned change: use one at a time based on which one is closer/seeing more tags

Code changes

  • Altered amp timing- Sometimes our amp button would feed the note too far, spitting the note all the way out or just too far to score. We decreased the amount of time it should feed, and that improved the issue.

  • Increased climb speed to maximum (when we realized it wasn’t already at maximum for some reason)

  • Our feeding shot worked despite vision issues; we could feed to the area near the amp from anywhere near the midline. Here’s an example; in this match the notes landed too far from the driver station wall and one hit the stage, so we increased launch velocity after this match.


  • Elastic worked much better than shuffleboard and was a good switch

  • Again no really big control failures so changes were gradual and minor to avoid regressions

Other notes

Shoutout to our media team, they absolutely killed it this event. Check out our Smugmug to see their work.

Our trap never failed at this event. Here’s a 10 second climb+trap.

Planned Improvements:

  • Improve auto aim until it is nearly 100% accurate. The plan so far is to retune pivot (much faster now), launcher (much more consistent now), rotation controller (faster and less overshooting); remake our data points much more accurately and with many more points. At events, feed good shots back into the data map (we did a little bit of this towards playoffs at Houston but should do more of it); refine pose strategy to be able to better know where we are (overall at Houston pose was much more jumpy than the silent stuff we saw at Belton); maybe move away from using pose for aiming (instead using vertical and horizontal offsets from the speaker tags). Since speaker launching was not 100% accurate at Houston, our drivers were turned off of using it often.

  • Add second sensor to prevent amp overfeeding issue

  • Fully automate climb sequence (including alignment)

  • Change intake slightly to ensure intaking with bent rail always works

Source: Spectrum