Center Stage Intro Video
Center Stage is the most complex challenge we have faced to date. Our robot needs to tackle more challenges than ever before. The field is divided into two sections by a truss, with a gate in the middle for robots to traverse through. On the back half, there are two tilted "backdrops" upon which hexagonal "pixels" are placed as a primary scoring mechanic. Other point-earning opportunities include:
Creating tri-pixel "mosaics"
Crossing the white set lines on the backboard
Shooting a paper "drone" over the field and into marked zones
Parking in the taped-off area around the backdrop or hanging from the alliance's section of truss during endgame
We ditched the idea of compactness from last year, and went for a much wider robot
Identification of the field was less necessary, and the only driver commands we adopted were "left", "right", and "center" for pixel placement. We did adopt a color-coded cross to signal to the human player what pixels to place down
For meet 1 our goal was to hold both a yellow and purple pixel; firstly place a purple pixel on the given spike mark using our team art, then move towards the backdrop and place the yellow pixel, followed by parking backstage all during autonomous. Then we would cycle pixels from our human player during teleoperated.
During endgame we would continue placing pixels as needed then launch our drone, shortly after releasing we would line up to the rigging and suspend.
We would also meet with teams before matches to identify strengths and weaknesses, and tune/subdivide our strategy accordingly
This year we decided on a chassis with very specific dimensions, increasing the structural integrity of our robot in order to meet the game's requirements. We made this using a custom waterjetted metal plate from Wagner Machine Co.
For Center Stage, we realized we needed to be very precise in our movement of picking up pixels; the LEDs help our drivers know whether the claws are open, closed, and the pixel color (if any) in each claw.
Another new highlight in our season was creating a website where teams can score their matches as they watch, in case a referee doesn't notice something or they want to get a gist of how different teams generally score.
The website can be accessed at https://ftc.ajaxcore.com/
Scored an average of 8.6 backdrop & 2.4 backstage pixels per match as an alliance and an average of 97 points per game. We successfully suspended from the rigging each of our four attempts. Came in 1st place with a 5-0 record.