Our First Tournament: Duel Down Under
Genesis One was the first robot to be created by Grace Lutheran College students, it was also the first FRC robot in Queensland. The task that Genesis had to complete was collecting and stacking totes so that it could then drop them off at the designated location; having a higher stack of totes would score more points. Genesis featured a stock drive base (which came with the kit of parts), a wooden backboard used to mount electronics, front-mounted gear motors to push out and collect totes and a pneumatic system to lift crates. The idea behind the design was to have the two linear pneumatic actuators lift a tote up so that the robot could collect another one underneath. The lifting arm would then be lowered again so it could pick up the newly inserted tote. After the new tote is lifted, the process is repeated stacking crates by only moving the arm the distance of one crate. In theory, this method could lift many totes but when we got to the competition we found that the limit was about three totes for our robot.
There was a lot that we learnt both in making Genesis and attending the tournament. One of the biggest mistakes that was made in the design was exposing the electronics completely at the rear of the robot as the drive team managed to turn the robot off several times throughout the competition by reversing into game objects, this would leave the robot inoperable for the rest of the game. Another lesson learnt in competition was that the robot inspections before the tournament were incredibly strict and it is quite hard to pass the inspection. One of the biggest challenges that the team faced in manufacturing Genesis was that a large amount of the parts had to come from America. This lead to large lead times which mean when parts arrived the had to be assembled quickly so that anything missing could be ordered. This was especially a problem with the pneumatic system of the robot as we ordered some parts which were metric while the rest of the parts were imperial so they were incompatible. At the time we found this out, there was no time to order more parts but luckily one of the teams at the competition had a substitute they let us borrow.
Genesis One only entered one competition which was the friendship tournament 'Duel Down Under'. Other teams at this tournament had also been to the regional events earlier in the year and some robots had even to worlds. Genesis held up well in the competition making it into an alliance during the finals which was quite an achievement as we were only a rookie team to the competition.