PROTIP for volunteers:

Remember that the audio from the announcer's mike is piped out to Twitch, and it's a volunteer-best-effort to keep that mic cut.

Watch what you say when you don't think you have a mic on you! ❤️

TFW you tell the team you're "just going to clean up the code a bit" and you accidentally a 194-lines-in, 119-lines-out change.

... well, that's what pull requests are for.

Well, we've officially reached the "Hey kids, let me teach you how to downcast in Java!" phase of FRC crunch-time, so I hope your teams are doing better. ;)

Screwed up my toe having the robotics team test a safety limiter we added on my body.

To the team's credit, the code did exactly what it was supposed to and the robot hit me exactly as anticipated.

... Except that instead of catching the bulk of my foot, it hit right on the nail of my big toe.

The meta this year is encouraging swerve drive, but it's a lot to ask of young teams to put eight motors on a robot.

Let me introduce you to synchro-drive ( In its simplest configuration, two motors drive all the wheels on the robot: one turns them all synchronously and one spins them all synchronously. This is done using belts and your favorite flavor of right-angle gear chain.

It does have the one unusual property that while the drive train can drive in arbitrary directions, it can't turn the chassis. So for FIRST Robotics, one would have to couple it with a solution for swiveling whatever end-effector your robot has to finish the job. And slippage on the turn chain would be killer because there's no way mid-match to turn the wheels independently of each other. But if you can tolerate the challenge of keeping tension on your belts or chains, this can be way fewer motors than swerve.

Video of a synchro in action:

"A good idea is something that does not solve just one single problem, but rather can solve multiple problems at once."

~Shigeru Miyamoto

Control system theory is frustrating because the nomenclature is all over the map.

Sometimes you get a formula where the inventors named the important tuning parameters, which you need to understand to make the formula work, “B” and “Zeta.”

And then you get the coolest names for relatively mundane concepts, like “control authority.” “Control authority” sounds like what an anime character uses to control their magic servant, not the idea that you can’t force a motor to do more if it’s already doing as much as it can.

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