This Year's Game
FIRST® STEAMWORKS, the 2017 FIRST® Robotics Competition game, invites two adventurers’ clubs, in an era where steam power reigns, to prepare their airships for a long distance race.
Each three-team alliance prepares in three ways:
- Build steam pressure. Robots collect fuel (balls) and score it in their boiler via high and low efficiency goals. Boilers turn fuel into steam pressure which is stored in the steam tank on their airship – but it takes more fuel in the low efficiency goal to build steam than the high efficiency goal.
- Start rotors. Robots deliver gears to pilots on their airship for installation. Once the gear train is complete, they turn the crank to start the rotor.
- Prepare for flight. Robots must latch on to their airship before launch (the end of the match) by ascending their ropes to signal that they’re ready for takeoff.
Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate only on preprogrammed instructions. During this period, robots work to support the three efforts listed above and also get points for crossing their baseline.
During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, the teleoperated period, student drivers control robots. Teams on an alliance work together to build as much pressure and start as many rotors as possible – but they have to be sure they leave enough time to latch on to their airship before the end of the match.
To learn more, check out the Official FIRST STRONGHOLD Manual
2017 FRC Game Animation
Visit the FRC YouTube Channel for more information.
Our Design Process
As part of our efforts to become a more competitive team, 2228 has re-imagined its design process from FIRST principles to increase efficiency, mirroring the processes used in the engineering industry. Beginning long before build season, our student leadership decides on our Team Goals and Robot Design Goals to determine our grand-scale objectives for the year.
When kickoff finally arrives, we begin by brainstorming strategies on the bus ride home. Members contribute their wackiest ideas about how to play the game to a strategy brainstorm list. The team votes democratically to prioritize the strategies we pursue in each portion of the game. Then we break the chosen strategies down into their most basic behavioral details, e.g. degrees of freedom, range of motion, and maxima and minima. When it comes time to design the real robot, we have a solid theoretical basis for our design decisions. The team breaks into three or four focus groups called satellites that are responsible for designing the mechanical and electrical details. Satellites stay together until the whole robot has been designed. Their efforts are coordinated by the Mothership, or systems engineering committee, which is composed of all of our sub-team leaders. The process mimics matrix management and system engineering strategies used by real-world businesses to create their products.