2017 Field Tour Video: In The Airship
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2017 Field Tour Video: In The Airship

September 12, 2019


Hi, I’m Jasmine, and this is Alex. We’re going to take you on a tour of the Airship. As we’ve said – in blogs, manuals, etc. – safety is crucial in the FIRST Robotics Competition, especially this year when humans will be on the field during the Match! WHAT!? That’s right! For the first time ever, Drive Team members will be allowed on the field during a Match – up in the Airship. First up, Pilots will need to climb aboard. Each Airship has a ladder installed on the side facing the center of the field. The ladder will be down during field reset, so the Pilot can climb aboard. Before the match starts, a member of the field staff will fold the ladder up securing the Pilots aboard until the match is over. The Pilots are protected from the robot action below by Polycarbonate walls. There are portholes in the wall next to each lift for retrieving gears, but make sure you never reach outside the portholes. These portholes have another use too. In the case where Fuel gets in your airship, we don’t want you tripping on it, so use the portholes to clean it out of your way Check the rules, this is the only way to get fuel out of your airship. There are specific rules about what you can’t touch while you’re in the airship. The manual requires that you stay away from rotors, davits, and like Jasmine said, don’t reach outside a porthole. Last note on safety, you’re probably not surprised to hear that Pilots will have to wear safety glasses while in the airship. We strongly encourage all Pilots to secure their safety glasses with straps. Also, avoid loose fitting clothes and tie long hair back. One of the Pilot’s jobs is to receive gears. The only way to do this is with a lift. This video covers it from the Pilot’s perspective. Malcolm and Danny talk about it from a robot’s perspective in the “Lift” video. Once a gear is on a peg, a pilot operates the lift by pulling the cord to raise it up to the porthole. The pilot then tilts the carriage to bring the gear inside the airship where it’s safe for the pilot to grab. When the pilot lets go of the cord, the peg falls back down to its lowest position. There’s one exception where you don’t have to use the lift to get a gear… the reserve gear. Once Teleop starts, a Pilot can grab the gear that’s staged on the airship. Once you have a gear, you’ll want to install it. If you’re using it for the center rotor, you just have put it in the slot. A sensor will see it and start it up. To get the other rotors moving, you’ll need different numbers of gears. They get installed on axles mounted vertically on the railing. The pilots need to install each gear on an axle and line it up to make sure the gears mesh. Once you have completed a gear train, you can start up that rotor. Do this by turning the crank for at least 3 revolutions. If the gears are meshed properly, a sensor will read that the gears are turning, and the FMS will start that rotor. Heads up though, the more gears in a gear train, the harder it is to get them turning Another job for the pilots is to deploy the ropes. This is done by opening the hook and loop strap. Finally, all this needs to be done while maneuvering around the steam tank. It’s right in the middle of the ship and 2 feet wide, leaving pilots about 2 feet to work with. Lights show the amount of pressure in the steam tank. At 10 pascals a row turns white. At 20 pascals the row changes to the alliance color. At the end of the match the steam pipe lights will turn green. When the field reset crew lowers the ladder, the pilots can disembark. Up Up and Away!!

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  1. I'm in Australia and got back from the Australian FIRST steamworks and I was in the airship, it was a great experience and I wish I could go back!

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