Albert, named after Albert Einstein in the hopes of getting to the Einstein field at worlds, was designed to traverse rough terrain on the field as well as shoot “boulders” made of 10 inch foam balls into a tower. This robot was probably one of the most presentable robots the team has made, as it could shoot the 10 inch dodgeball at roughly 60 miles per hour. Its impressive speed wowed spectators both at competitions and at public events. In fact, the team was forced to slow the shooting speed after the safety of having balls travel so fast was questioned at the first competition.
This was the first robot to have multiple cameras. One camera was connected to the roboRIO via USB for driver vision and a second camera was connected to the robot over ethernet. The vision calculations were done on a co-processor called a kangaroo which ran a minimal version of Debian. The software used to write the vision code for this year was called GRIP. With the exception of frequent crashes caused by lost frames from the IP camera, the software worked well. This robot also featured Talon SRX speed controllers for the shooter which allowed for the code to set a shooter voltage instead of a percent speed. This was to eliminate voltage fluctuations in the shooter which could decrease the accuracy. The shooter arm itself was controlled through an encoder. Using the encoder, the angle of the arm could be determined and calculations could be done to compensate for gravity as well as a PID loop to ensure the arm stayed in position. The code for Albert can be found on our GitHub page here: github.com/team484/Albert
The vision code, written in GRIP, for this robot can also be found on our GitHub page here: github.com/team484/2016Vision