Sophomore Combots Website Post

Entering the 2024 year, the Freshman Combots (the sophomore team) have been working hard to upgrade the robot from last year, CRACK. CRACK V2 is now sporting an entirely new chassis with upgraded electronics.

CRACK V2’s current CAD render.

Our robot is now outfittable with titanium cleats, AKA “wood magnets”, which should give us the additional pushing power to move other robots around easily. With some clever replanning, we managed to reduce the weight of the chassis from 13lbs to 8lbs, while increasing the thickness of all rails to ½”. We used the extra free weight to add a ⅛” welded titanium wedge surrounding the front, left, and right sides of the robot.

CRACK V2’s chassis compared with CRACK V1’s chassis.

We are planning on reusing some of our electronics from last year in an effort to preserve some budget. We will be using the same 51A Lumenier ESCs for our newly battle-hardened drive. As we ran into drive issues last year due to poor programming, we are much more deliberate about limiting current, and making sure we don’t burn out ESCs.

Although we never experienced any catastrophic electrical failures at Robobrawl 2023, our electrical setup had many shortcomings. To address this, we are now centralizing the batteries in a single compartment which will allow us to rapidly switch them between rounds. We are also switching from a dual-transmitter to a single-transmitter setup which should help reduce complexity. In addition, we are upgrading our wiring to high-strand silicone coating wiring to better compensate for the extreme midwest weather and tight wiring space. Lastly, we are integrating two new features: a soft start circuit and a capacitor bank to protect our more sensitive electronics.

Electrical wiring diagram for CRACK and STACK.

New for this year, we’re now developing a new minibot for NHRL named STACK. STACK is a 9lb cam lifter which uses rotating forks to high-center opposing robots. The bot serves the additional purpose of being the drivetrain testbed for WHACK, a second bot that we are currently designing for Robobrawl 2024.

STACK’s current CAD render.

This past semester has been very productive, and we’re grateful to all our new members for stepping up and helping us with all of the work we’re doing. With a big event on the horizon, we’re eager to bounce back and show what we’re made of. Freshman Combots forever!