Swerve Webinar


Us presenting during the webinar.

This season we created a differential swerve drive to use in competition. Throughout our creation of the drivetrain, we were constantly experiencing new challenges and discovering new concepts that we could use to improve the design. Because swerve drives are a very rare drivetrain to see in FTC, we decided to host a webinar to teach others about swerve drives and share what we learned from creating ours. The presentation covered a multitude of topics including: What is Swerve, How it Works, Types of Swerve: Coaxial and Differential, What We Learned, and Swerve Programming. We thoroughly enjoyed creating and giving the presentation as well as answering the many questions our viewers had. It is our hope that this presentation, our robot, and our team’s impact all inspire the next generation of teams to use swerve drives.

We recorded the webinar and posted it on YouTube so those that couldn’t make it could view it as well.

Helping BCS Vikings

Discussing possible solutions with BCS Vikings over discord

After we met BCS Vikings earlier this season, we invited them to join our Discord server. Through the server, they asked us for help with their IMU because it wasn’t working properly. We met with them online to talk it through together. After some time we realized that their control hub had a newer chip that required a software update, so we helped them figure out how to update the hub. They also had issues driving without drifting to the side which turned out to be two of their motors not being plugged in. It was exciting to mentor a team from another country and work through problems with them! Since then we’ve been continuing to help them through our Discord server.

Mentoring Warrior Robotics

Showing Warrior Robotics how to drive our robot 

We heard of a rookie team in our area who had a tournament soon and didn’t have a field to practice on so, we invited them to our HQ and offered to do a couple of practice matches with them. When they arrived we showed them around our HQ and let them drive our robot since theirs was not fully finished. Afterward, we explained how judging worked and answered all their questions. We also gave them suggestions on how to improve their robot. It was really fun helping them out and we hope they do well at their tournament!

Mentoring BCS Vikings

Talking with BCS Vikings about pit design and tournament structure

BCS Vikings, a rookie FTC team from Norway, posted on social media that they needed general help from other teams, so we reached out and offered to help them. First, we introduced ourselves and what we do on the team and then they went through their introductions. After that, we helped them with some of their software issues. We explained why C++ doesn’t work well for FTC and why they would be better off using Java for programming. We also helped them figure out how to track joystick movements correctly as they didn’t know that the y-joystick values are reversed (up is negative, down is positive). We talked with them about how tournaments are run and the general outline of tournaments. They asked about pit design and we described how we design our pit and what is required for a pit. During the meeting, they mentioned that they were low on money because they are the only Norwegian FTC team in the last 15 years. We talked about how we contact companies for sponsorship by cold-calling and they described how cold-calling isn’t a thing in Norway so they have been emailing companies instead. They were also curious about 3D printed custom parts and asked if there were any restrictions on 3D printing. We talked about how we use a lot of 3D printed parts and how there aren’t strict restrictions on 3D printing. It was exciting to mentor an international team and we are going to stay in contact with them.

CIA Mentoring #2

CIA wanted help with setting up their robot for testing and they were getting a warning on their Driver Hub that said that the version of the Control Hub and Driver Hub were not matching. We explained to them that the warning doesn’t prevent the robot from running because if the Control Hub’s version is below the Driver Hub’s version then the robot can still run as intended.

Us explaining what the warning means to them

Brainstorming with Coding the Cosmics

Coding the Cosmics, a rookie FTC team, came to our HQ to join our season brainstorming session. We showed them how we use Planning Poker to determine the difficulty of tasks and how we discuss each mission. We were happy that we could help a rookie team develop strategies for the season and learn methods of planning to use in future seasons.

Planning for the Freight Frenzy season with Coding the Cosmics

Potential Energy Mentoring

We invited Potential Energy over to our HQ to teach them about FTC. First, we talked about how to do well in tournaments and how they function. We also gave them a tour of HQ, showed them our robot, and gave advice on robots. Along with this, we also showed them a bit of our programming to give them a sense of what it’s like. After we talked to them about tournaments, robot, and programming they were very eager to ask questions. We answered them all with as much detail as we could. They were very excited to compete in person this year, and it was a great experience to be able to share this with them.

Talking to Potential Energy about tournaments
Talking about robots

Maniac Mechanics Mentoring

We invited Maniac Mechanics over to our HQ to scrim with them and tell them about how in-person tournaments work because they have never been to one. Their rookie year was Ultimate Goal which was all remote so they reached out to us to ask for help. Throughout the meeting, we learned how they detected the ring stack and how their robot works. They had a lot of questions about tournaments and how matches played to which we happily answered. After answering some questions, we scrimmaged with them to show how another robot being on the field impacts their play and the field. It was a blast and we hope that we can help each other in the future!

Scrimmaging with Maniac Mechanics and showing them how our robot works.

Coding The Cosmics Mentoring #2

We invited Coding the Cosmics over to our workspace and showed them around. We talked to them about what they needed to start and how much space they needed. After showing them around, we helped them attach a battery mount and the REV Control Hub to their robot. We also showed them how to setup Android Studio and program a basic starter robot. When they got their robot working, they were super happy and excited seeing their robot drive for the first time. We had a ton of fun and plan to continue helping them with the upcoming season.

Aaron showing Coding the Cosmics how to drive their robot.

Coding the Cosmics Mentoring

After mentoring Coding the Cosmics as an FLL team (AGONY Girls) and giving them our FLL to FTC presentation they asked us for more assistance. We went to their HQ and talked with them about FTC. Three of their members were there and we helped them with their robot. They had built a basic tank drivetrain from an FTC REV kit. When we worked with them we added the REV Control Hub and battery to the robot and helped them wire it. We explained how the hub worked and how to connect to the Driver Hub. It was a great experience and we are planning on meeting with them again.

Our teammate explaining how the Drive Hub works
Helping Coding the Cosmics build their robot