On November 10, 2012, Raider Robotix competed at Ramp Riot, an off-season event hosted by Team 341, Miss Daisy. Our 2010-2012 robot driver, Mohanish, graduated in June, so this was the team’s first event with a completely new driver.
We started the day off by winning our first qualification match by a narrow margin, 14-12. During this match we noticed our robot was shooting balls with a much lower/flatter trajectory than it usually does. Additionally, our operator noticed the hood on our shooter was behaving somewhat erratically. The hood kept moving up and down on its own very rapidly, which made it difficult for us to take any shots. With limited time before we were scheduled to be back on the field, we took the robot over to the corner of the gym to realign its headlight, which we thought might have contributed to some of our missed shots. We also tethered up the robot and realized we no longer had any response from the shooter hood at all. We checked that our stinger, the only other pneumatic subsystem on our robot, worked, which lead us to believe that there was something wrong with the solenoid connected to the hood. After tracing through the robot, we found that the PWM cable running to the hood’s solenoid had broken near its connection to the cRio’s solenoid breakout board.
We removed the solenoid from the robot and gave it to our pit crew to rewire while the drive team made its way to the field for the team’s second match. Without a working solenoid, our hood was stuck in the down position, which meant we could only shoot baskets from up close and therefore had to modify our strategy. We ended up running an autonomous routine that we had not touched since the Orlando Regional in February to try to score from the fender. To our surprise, we made both of our autonomous shots and our alliance started the match with a 25-point lead. A last second single balance secured us our second win of the day.
When we returned to the pits, the solenoid wiring was ready to be reinstalled and our hood started working again. The pit crew then noticed that one of the motors on our shooter needed adjusting, which explained why so many of our shots fell short in our first two matches. Good as new, our driver then went on to make a much higher percentage of shots taken in the remainder of our matches. We finished up our qualification matches with a 4-1-0 record. Our only loss was due to a technical foul on one of our alliance partners in one match, which that was enough to swing which alliance won. We ultimately ended up seeding in 15th place out of 36, mostly due to only earning 2 Coopertition points.
During alliance selections, we were the third overall pick of the draft by Team 2016, the Might Monkey Wrenches. (You may recall we gave 2016’s drive team a ride to championships this past year after their plans fell through at the last second.) We were then lucky enough to snatch up Team 1640, Sa-BOT-age, to round out our alliance. Our autonomous strategy involved having 1640 feed us their two balls, which pretty much guaranteed us 24 points after autonomous mode. 2016 also had a pretty accurate autonomous mode, and so it was not uncommon for us to start our matches with 30-36 points. In our first quarterfinal match, our alliance set the high score for the event of 85 points, which included a 40-point triple balance.
We won the second quarterfinal match by a large margin and moved on to the semifinals to play the 2nd seeded alliance of 2607, 1218, and 75. We lost the first semifinal match due to a great defensive play by 1218, which prevented our alliance from balancing on the bridge. In the second semifinal, the score was neck-and-neck until the end game, but our robot tipped over as it was trying to balance and we lost match.
After watching the rest of the elimination rounds play out (congratulations to 1676, 341, and 2607.0 for winning!), our team stayed after the event to help disassemble and pack up the playing field.
Overall, we had a great time competing at Ramp Riot, and our new driver gained a lot of experience. We’re looking forward to see how he improves at Brunswick Eruption this weekend!