2010 Kit feedback for 2011 Kit

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Title: NooBot
Joined: 07/10/2010
BotPoints: 2
User offline. Last seen 12 years 11 weeks ago.

We need to use Lego wheels that connect with the gears with more than just Lego axle

TBTF's picture
Title: NooBot
Joined: 07/11/2010
BotPoints: 25
User offline. Last seen 9 years 12 weeks ago.

More motors and servos would be great, as they would allow teams to build more creative and complex claws with more degrees of freedom, and they would also allow teams to build more innovative drive trains for tasks such as hopping PVC pipes.The linear actuators are very cool, but using them is extremely difficult and time inefficient. It would be fine with us if they were left out next year.

We can’t have too many rubber bands. As far as creative pieces go, we think that they allow for the most uses including adding friction to claws, raising arms, and (if we had an unlimited amount) building entire robots. As Jeffrey Hsu said in his paper, they are indeed the ultimate Botball actuator.

We would also like to have the double pegs with the axle hole in the middle. They have been very helpful in past years. More long axles would be magnificent. The 8 axle with stop is maybe one of the best Lego pieces in the kit. We liked the three sizes of wheels that were in this year’s kit. They provided great variety for many different sizes of robots. The steering wheel seems a bit odd for building autonomous robots... It could be sacrificed. We had more than enough small screws, but we were always running out of medium and large screws. Unlimited numbers of them would be nice, but if not, trading small screws for larger ones would be nice.

We did not need any large black touch sensors this year. The only thing they were good for was using them to build baskets. We could do without break beam sensors as well. The amount of light sensors seems excessive. They make great baskets, but we don't see why we need five unless we were given more CBCs or Creates to run. The sonar sensors this year were not very useful. We would gladly trade sonars for more ET's. This has been said before, but the cameras could use an upgrade. It would be nice if the libraries included functions for tracking lines and areas where a sudden change of color is present. That would eliminate some of the lighting problems presented by the current camera libraries.

We agree with what has been said about the extension cables. More shorter servo extenders could be used more efficiently than fewer long ones.

Norman Advanced Robotics

Title: NooBot
Joined: 07/17/2010
BotPoints: 4
User offline. Last seen 12 years 10 weeks ago.

I do agree that more and longer screws would be nice. While I am against having an unlimited quantity of screws, including as many 3/8" screws as there are LEGO pins (25? 50?) would be excellent, as stronger robots can be made by replacing pins with screws. Black pins can be removed from the kit to make room for the screws.

The IGUS slider is actually useful, although mounting it is a pain. Including some screws that match it or a mounting plate to connect it with other parts is a great idea. Coincidentally, one of this year's long metal straps fits very well inside the slider, making it much sturdier than the original wimpy connector while at the same time making the moving part easier to mount. The axles with a built-in stop (like the dark gray 3 axle with peg, the 5.5 axle with bushing, and the 8 axle with end stop) are extremely useful and save on bushings.

This year's sonar is rather useless, and replacing it with another ET (distance) sensor would be nice. However, the slot sensor is somewhat useful in a tight space where other digital sensors don't fit, and we actually used it in our claw. Leaf switch sensors are nice for their ease of use, but the sensor have almost always been too large; eliminating the large button sensors and replacing them with a smaller version of the leaf switch would be great. Dropping down to 3 light sensors could make more room for other sensors.

The kit's motor count is fine, although exchanging a black motor for a servo might be good. Black motors are almost always more useful than white, silver, or IFI motors. I also agree with having more and shorter motor extension cables as well as sensor extension cables. If this is too difficult, lengthening the sensor wires by 2 inches each would be an acceptable compromise.

In regards to wheels, flatter and thinner wheels are generally good things. In the past, the "62.4 x 20 S" wheel from LEGO truck kits (part # 32020) was by far the best wheel ever used on our robots. On the flat surfaces used in Botball, it would consistently outperform more recent wheels in traction, precision, and turning ability. It also weighs a fair amount to allow use in counter weights. Having enough of these is worth removing all other wheels in the kit.

Overall, the kit was well designed and allowed us to make some great robots. Thanks for your hard work to make Botball possible.