MegaHurtz Wins Industrial Design Award on April 01, 2023
Shared on MegaHurtz Blog ~ April 03, 2023
So what is the Industrial Design Award? FIRST states that this award, “Celebrates the team that demonstrates industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics.” In order to be considered for this award:
- A team must be able to describe how their robot is elegant, efficient (simple/executable), and practical.
- The entire machine design, or the detailed process used to develop the design, is worthy of this recognition, and not just a single component.
- The robot distinguishes itself from others by its aesthetic and functional design.
Our robot was recognized in particular for its clean electrical layout, intuitive cable and hose management and overall simple light-weight design. The judges also noted our new dashboard system that allows for complete Autonomous Mode code to be built directly on the dashboard and applied to the robot without ever having to recompile code!
The East Kentwood District event was an incredible experience for the entire team. In our first competition at the St. Joseph District event, we had a number of issues with our gripper that we simply could not have identified prior to competition. During that event, we focused our time less on competing and more on testing and redesigning. The field experience was the perfect opportunity to test some ideas and get a real feel for the bot and the game. Coming home with that knowledge and experience, the team quickly got to work redesigning everything but the drivetrain. The motor and gear system for our first stage arm was completely removed and replaced with pneumatic cylinders. The gripper was stripped down to its base components and a new motor driven intake system was installed.
For the last several years, FRC games have involved some version of a ball. This year was a new challenge for us working with inflatable “cubes” and traffic cones.
Ultimately we discovered that the pincer design did not have enough holding force to keep a cone securely in place. It also required too much precision by the driver to lineup in order to grab hold of either game piece. The wheeled intake system allowed for us to simply bump up against the piece so that it could be pulled in. Utilizing the pneumatic cylinder to open and close gave us the two options for delivery cones. We could simply open the intake or reverse the wheels to spit a cone out.
Overall we are very happy with the performance of the redesigned gripper. Our successes at Kentwood made for the perfect end to the 2023 season!
About MegaHurtz Robotics: Formed in 2013, the Tech Club helped to raise interest in starting a robotics team at Buchanan High School. The cost of starting a team is substantial, however the State of Michigan had made available a huge grant to new teams. This grant combined with a FIRST Rookie grant provided us with the funds needed to get off the ground. While we didn’t make it to the state championships our first year, we did win the Rookie Inspiration Award highlighting our team as an inspiration to other start-up teams what is possible with a dedicated group of students and mentors.
Team Lead: Philip Place, with Buchanan High School