New Camera For Our Robots!

2mp-hd-security-cameraFor the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge, Stronghold, team Northern Force is planning to use an imaging system. This 2 Mega-pixel IP Camera has built-in infrared illumination and can operate over a range of high resolutions and frame rates which will be helpful in optimizing bandwidth with our software interface. At some point in the feature we hope to use the camera over wifi using an access point as explained in this wireless ip camera setup guide. Northern Force’s programming team is developing image-processing algorithms that will help the drive team target boulders at the opposing Stronghold tower!

Somewhere in New York

The Internet and I have not been getting along, so no posts Friday and Saturday. Sorry!

Friday we had 4 qualification matches, resulting in 3 wins 4 losses overall. Saturday we lost our match in the morning. At 10:30, we were… not selected for an elimination alliance.

Not much of a surprise. We ended up 70-something in Archimedes. While it would have been nice to play a few more rounds, we weren’t exactly expecting to be pick, so it was no great disappointment. Instead, we packed up, got lunch, and then watched some rounds from the stands. For the drive team, these were among the first matches we had watched. It’s a good long walk from the pits to the stands, so we hadn’t made it many times.

Division elimination took most of the afternoon, but eventually the winners of all four assembled on Einstein, the final field. Einstein matches were interspersed with speeches and the awards ceremony. We were pleased to note that our adversaries from Manchester, Team 610, had risen to the top of Galileo division.

The final matches took several hours, all told. Arthur and I had a nice vantage point of the field. We and the Team 172 (Buzz) students cheered 610 on… probably confusing their drive team in the process. We’re happy to say that team 610’s alliance won! Which means we can now say that we didn’t win Manchester, but only because the World Champion robot was there.

But wait, there’s more! Team 125 (Nutrons) and Team 4761 (Robockets) rode down from Boston together, but their bus broke down Saturday. So, in addition to our own members, we have about a dozen Robocketeers aboard the bus with us. It’s cramped… but I’m happy to report that I slept even better on the floor than on a seat (and no one stepped on me–thanks, guys!).

We’re now about 18 hours into the trip back, and expect that it will be at least 6 hours before we get to exit 46. On the bright side, we’re definitely bonding.

See you tonight!

No, we’re not dead

Ahem. For those of you who haven’t heard from your children in over a day, we have yet to lose, maim, or kill anyone!

Today was a busy one! We started off early… the alarm went off at 4:55, and we were at the dome by 7:00. Our one practice match in the morning went quite well, and we even managed to recruit a safety captain! (Thanks, Joey.)

In the afternoon we had 3 qualification matches. Win-loss-win. We’ve been struggling with jamming the shooter. This may sound like a familiar problem, but this time it’s because of the flicker (we think) rather than because of the wheel slowing.

I am thrilled to say that our misfire problem has finally bit the dust (knock on wood), with the installation of a solenoid that blocks jerking shots. Flicker 4.0 also appears to be doing its job (though clearly it’s about to become Flicker 4.1, since we may have to tweak it a bit more to fix the jamming.)

The pits are a bustling little city–though there is probably more free stuff available than in your average city. There are buttons, Frisbees, pencils, candy, and knick-knacks of all varieties.

There are also a bunch of teams–to borrow the term–“from away,” and by that I mean far away. There are Israelis, Germans, Russians, Mexicans, Canadians, Chinese, Koreans, and more scattered throughout the FRC, FTC, FLL, and Jr FLL pits. As well as English, I’ve definitely heard German and Spanish spoken by various teams.

Tonight we’re headed off to the Bamboo Bistro Buffet (or something like that), along with the Frog Force, another team staying in our hotel. (Hi, Frog Force!)