CubeBert, named after the well-loved video game character Q*bert, is team 484’s 2018 robot and the first robot, used in competition by the team, to feature
California west coast drive: a 6 wheel drivetrain where the center wheel is powered directly by the gearbox and the outer wheels are connected to the center wheels through chain. In west coast drive, the center wheel is also lower than the outer wheels to allow for easy turning. This year is also the first year the team has used a multi-speed gearbox. With the help of a small pancake actuator, the robot can shift between a low and high gear with a top speed of nearly 20 feet/second. CubeBert also features a pneumatically actuated grabber which opens and closes to grab onto 13 in x 13 in x 11 in “cubes”. These cubes are then lifted to a height of 6.5 feet using a 3 stage cascading lift. CubeBert also features a climber consisting of a hook attached to the top of the cascading lift and a winching system attached to the hook using rope. The lift is used to place the hook on the climbing bar and the winch is used to pull the robot up to the winch.
Power Up is the 2018 FRC Challenge, with a 8-bit retro theme. In this challenge, 2 alliances of 3 robots race to place as many “power cubes” as possible on their side of the field’s switches and scales. Switches and scales are large see-saw like devices with the difference being the switches are at ground level on either end of the field and the scale is 5 feet up in the center of the field. The match starts with a 15 second autonomous period where robots operate independent of operator control. During this time, the points gained by the robots are doubled and a ranking point can be earned if all robots cross the “auto line” in front of the near switch and control of the switch is gained. After autonomous, drivers can take control. For every second an alliance can keep their switch or the scale tilted in their favor, the alliance earns points. Behind the alliances’ driver stations resides vault. Each alliance’s vault can be used to activate “power ups” by placing up to three cubes in the appropriate section and pressing the power up button. One power up forces the switch, scale, or both to be in control of the alliance, another power up gives the alliance a 2x boost in points and the third power up automatically gives an alliance member a “climb”. Climbing is part of this year’s endgame. For each robot that climbs, 30 points is awarded to the alliance. If all three robots get a climb, a ranking point is awarded. 2 additional ranking points are awarded for the team that ends the match with the most game points. These ranking points determine each team’s performance during qualification matches. The full rules manual for this game can be found here.