Beginning of Week 2: A look at Strategy and Scouting

Before I get into the details of our scouting system, just gonna give a quick update with the team’s progress elsewhere.

Charles has done a great job with the field, especially his management of tasks. Two of our sophomore officers, Blake and Vincent, have taught newer members how to work with the tools, CAD, and CNC post process all while doing a great job on the field.

Only slight issue with this however, is that however knows how to use the CNC, and thus everyone wants to use it. Now we just have too many things to CNC and it causes a line to form at the manufacturing computer. But thankfully, this is a great issue to have. 🙂 (Gene has been working overtime keeping the CNC in check)

In terms of the actual robot, JD has finished the chassis with the help of the newer members, Sofia and Manusri have updated the shooter with new wheels and feeding system, Anurag has been testing robot code and getting the test bed ready, Matt’s vision has been going smoothly, Zach and Pierre are almost done with the CAD of our first prototype.

And this is all going smoothly due to the help of our mentors Bill and John, and of course, Massimo 🙂

Scouting wise, our team is taking a more nuanced approach to scouting this year. It is humanly impossible to count all the balls scored by a robot in a match, especially if they are shooting super rapidly into the high goal. So instead of just counting the amount of balls entered into the high goal, we are using a three-step verification process. First, the scouts will subjectively scout the amount of balls scored by each team in a match on a scale of 1 – 5. Ranging from a few balls to “what the heck” amount of balls. Next, we have developed our own system of calculating balls scored mathematically. Borrowing from sports power rankings and The Blue Alliance’s OPR, we calculated the robots Ball Score. This will be done by placing recording the total kPa value of the boiler at the end of the game, per alliance. Then each score and robot on the alliance will be put into a matrix. Using excel, we calculated the inverse of the matrix, transpose the matrix’s dimensions to that of the score’s column, multiply that column by the inverse of the matrix and the original matrix to solve the complex system of equations. This allows us to find the contribution each alliance had to the ball score, based on the teams they were partnered with, based on those teams that team was partnered with and etc. This three-step verification process will allow us to accurately scout a robot’s abilities in the boiler area, allowing for less guesswork and memory of all the matches played.

Also, for match strategy, we also created a calculation spreadsheet. Through game logic, and a whole bunch of nested if-statements, we can calculate how efficient our robot has to be designed for. Given on the inputs of: ball/second, the dimensions of the ball storing system which gives the cubic volume of balls that can be stored (multiply the area of the container by the sphere packing constant,) the amount of points wanted to be scored, how long it takes to feed from a station, the accuracy of the shooter, how much time allotted, and how many auto balls scored; it outputs the amount of total tele-op balls needed to be scored, the total cycles, shooting time per cycle, the total time of the cycle, the total amount of balls needed to be shot (accuracy accounted for.) the total time spent shooting, and the total time left over at the end of the match.

Creating this spreadsheet has allowed our team to design efficiently instead of spending time in one factor that may not affect our match score and time efficiency as much. (The shooter speed’s efficiency decreases exponentially as the size of the ball container decreases per example.)

Also, in PR, Lexie has finished modifying the front of the shirts that I designed, and we are starting to work on the back as well. She has made some super adorable steam punk ninjas for branding purposes. Also, our Sherlyn is looking to finalize our sponsors for this year; we could not be as successful as a team without these sponsors.

If we keep this pace up, I have super high hopes for the competition season, and i’m sure the rest of the club does too. Our new members, Azara, Max, Anish, Danilo, Zach just to name a few, have done a great job so far, and I am super excited for the future they bring to this club.

See you guys next week, hopefully! 🙂


Pedro Henrique P. Do Nascimento

Public Relations Senior Director

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