2013 Challenge: Ultimate Ascent
ULTIMATE ASCENT is played by two competing Alliances. They compete to score as many discs into their goals as they can, during a two-minute and fifteen-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the Alliance receives. Discs scored during the autonomous period are worth additional points. For the remainder of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their alliance score by scoring as many goals as possible. The match ends with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs (usfirst.org).
2013 Robot: TALON 6.0
TALON 6.0 was built to be a robust, simple solution to a unique challenge. From the start, 6.0 was designed from years of experience to be a reasonable bot that could be finished early enough to allow ample time for debugging.
The drive train and frame are optimized for speed and agility. Mechanum wheels allow 6.0 to navigate the field in any direction, and a light design and low center of gravity make it extremely quick. Keeping with simplicity and resilience, the frame was a simple rectangle and was not "cheesed" for weight. For finishing touches, the frame is painted a sleek shade of black, an add-on that 540 typically lacks the time to do.
With a completely unique challenge came weeks of testing and prototyping to make the best possible shooter. Inspired by the IR3, Shooter 6.0 features a simple upper frame designed for resilience and efficiency. Frisbees are fed in through a hopper and propelled by two high RPM pneumatic wheels.
Electrically, the robot is more compact, simple, and resilient than ever before. New to 2013 are Cross the Road Electronics Talon Motor controllers, which were essential to a compact and simple electrical board. The electrical system is powered by a more compact four slot Compact-RIO from National Instruments and an old-fashioned PWM control system. Additionally, TALON 6.0 boasts more sensors than ever before. Amongst the many are an acceleration to measure the angle of the shooter, a camera for streaming images from the robot, a Mindsensors NXT Cam for vision processing, a color sensor for detecting the color of Frisbees, a Mindsensors pneumatic sensor for measuring the pressure of the pneumatic system, and an ultrasonic sensor for determining the distance of objects in relation to the bot.
Pneumatically, TALON 6.0 employs a full-fledged system, with two large 1.5" pistons for lifting the whole robot and a smaller piston to push frisbees in to the shooter.