2019 Season – Destination: Deep Space 2019 Season
Destination: Deep Space

Worth a Mention
Milled (in-house):
Gearbox plates, elevator outer stage, Hatch Panel mechanism holder
Laser-Cut (in-house):
Battery holder, Cargo kicker, Hatch Panel mechanism, belly pan, carriage plates
3D-Printed (in-house):
Encoder housings, DIN rail mounts, RIO mounts
Waterjet (sponsor):
Intake gussets, elevator gussets
A Celt-X student running the Tormach mill

A Celt-X student running the Tormach mill. For more images, visit the 2019 Gallery.

2019 was our first foray into advanced manufacturing in our own shop. Students were CAMing and running the more advanced shop machines, such as the mill.

This year, we switched from paper scouting to a scouting app. It was an extremely successful venture — our scouting app allowed us to gather and process data in an easily customizable way with a rapid turnaround from data input to analysis. This enabled our strategy team to have access to an abundance of current data on demand, which facilitated data driven decision making. Additionally, this greatly improved our team's view of scouting as the process was more engaging and the utility of the data was evident throughout a competition instead of just when making a picklist.
Our custom app is designed to be cross-platform, however, thus far, we have used it exclusively on Amazon Fire tablets. Data from each tablet is transferred to our scouting laptop via Bluetooth and then uploaded to our server via a cellular connection. We were able to successfully use this to scout multiple events and even to collaborate with other teams on gathering match data.

Learned From Past Years

This year, we had the lofty goal of making it to the Einstein field. Here's what we learned from past years in order to help us get there:

Weidmuller Ferrules:
We decided to standardize the use of ferrules for all Weidmuller connections.
Pit Layout:
This year, we standardized our pit layout to make setup easier.
Robot Cart Improvements:
Our robot cart was so big and bulky that at times we could hardly fit through doors! To combat this problem, we shrunk it down to about four inches high.
Strategy Improvements:
After some not well reasoned strategic decisions in 2018, we decided to make a concerted effort to increase the emphasis on data driven decisions in our strategy. This included doing qualitative as well as quantitative scouting, using scouting data to inform match strategy, and following up with any teams that had problems on the field.
Tethering Improvements:
We had issues with viewing a camera feed in 2018 while tethered. The issue is that the radio only has 2 ports, and the Rio needs one and the camera needs one. We solved this by adding a switch to the network and connecting the camera to the switch. This allowed us to just plug into the switch to tether — meaning we were less likely to forget to put a cable back because we unplugged it and also allowing us to access the Rio and camera simultaneously.
This year was our first year using the Limelight for vision tracking. The Limelight is easily mountable and also easy to tune, so we were able to track vision targets on the field without much extra effort.
Instant Match Replay:
During playoffs, we assign a student to each of our alliance partners. Their job is to record their assigned robot so that during strategy meetings, we can review and instantly replay a robot's every move during a match.

Software and Controls
NavX (gyro and accelerometer), SRX Mag Encoders, Limelight for vision tracking
Motor Controllers:
Talon SRXs and Victor SPXs controlling the 775s and BAG motors, SPARK MAXs controlling the NEOs, via CAN
Bezier splines to plot paths, followed with feedback from encoders and gyroscope (pure pursuit). This was also our first year using the Limelight.
Automatic movement to default positions; manual adjustments (within limits) and overrides if needed.
Automated Climb:
Our climb required a coordinated movement of our intake and elevator. In order to maximize the reliability, we automated this part of the climb. Our operator would engage the climb with a 2 button combination, and our robot would raise itself, and drive forward. Our operator would then let go of the buttons to lift the elevator and complete the climb.
Automated Hatch Panel Alignment:
Computer vision (via the Limelight) was used to centre the robot on a hatch panel. Our hatch mechanism used preset heights, and our auto-alignment set the horizontal position. Our driver manually controlled the speed of the drive in. The auto-alignment was used for both picking up and deploying hatches, and greatly improved our cycle time.


New Initiatives
Pre-Season Workshops:
Students built safety bots as an introduction to robotics and to build skills
Scouting App:
Custom Android app developed for gathering robot performance data
Off-Season Design and Programming Workshops:
Over the summer, we built a robot that was entirely student designed. Originally slated to compete as 9406 at Rah Cha Cha Ruckus, the robot (named Woodie, after Dr. Woodie Flowers) never quite made it there — however, it was still a great learning experience

John Deere Canada - Women in Engineering Day:
Interactive demo at our gold sponsor John Deere's head office — showed off our 2018 robot Tipsy (March 2019)
Demonstrations at Grade 8 Night, BR STEM Day, and the HWCDSB System Science Fair:
Interactive demos with our 2017 robot, Oscar (Spring 2019)
Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery Conference:
We were invited to show off Buzz and answer questions about FIRST at Canada's leading innovation-to-commercialization conference (May 2019)
Mohawk CODEfest:
Entertained Grade 7 & 8 students during the lunch period with Buzz and our 2017 robot, Oscar. We also raced against 2056 OP Robotics! (May 2019)
Sound of Music Festival:
Spent 150 hours in eco waste management sorting garbage and recyclables to divert festival waste from the dump (Fundraiser, June 2019)
Ragnar Reebok 24 Hour Relay:
We manned a relay station from midnight to dawn (Fundraiser, June 2019)
ArcelorMittal Canada Day Picnic:
Interactive demo for ArcelorMittal's Canada Day event. We demoed four robots for the crowd — Buzz, our 2017 robots Oscar and Penelope, and our t-shirt cannon Lola (July 2019)
Robots at the CNE:
Interactive demonstrative competition at Canada's largest community event, exposing the general public to FIRST robotics on a large scale (August 2019)
Maker Faire:
Assisted with setup and ran demonstrations with our 2017 robot Oscar and our 2018 robot Tipsy (August 2019)
Nikola Tesla Festival:
Ran an interactive demonstration featuring our 2017 robot Oscar and our 2018 robot Tipsy (September 2019)
Celt-X Golf Tourney:
Hosted a fundraiser golf tournament with awards, raffles and more (Fundraiser, October 2019)
T-Shirt Cannon Demonstrated at Bishop Ryan:
Showed off Lola for halftime (June, October 2019)
Parent-Teacher Interview BBQ:
Hosted a fundraiser BBQ during our school's parent-teacher interviews night. Demoed our 2017 robot, Oscar, as well as sold raffle tickets and Celt-X swag (Fundraiser, November 2019)
STEMley Cup and Overtime:
A large, highly rated off-season event we co-host with 4039 MakeShift. Due to a large influx of teams signing up, we hosted Overtime as an extra event the day after STEMley (November 2019)
HWCDSB FLL Qualifier:
Demoed our 2017 robot Oscar to FLL kids, as well as volunteered at the event (December 2019)