In a recent article, the RoboRavens introduced you to the Protocase. Since then, the final wiring and test powerup have been completed, and the hardware was flashed with updated firmware.
The purpose of this case was to allow programmers and mentors that enjoy experimentation to have access to a FRC platform without the need of a complete robot. This is a similar idea to its predecessor, the Protoboard, however this new form factor allows compact storage and easier transportation while also minimizing risk of damage from being carried outside during the harsh weather.
The construction of the case required the removal of the control system from the generic practice frame we were using, and moving it onto the acrylic sheet. This was to ensure that during construction, programmers could still test their programs using the Protoboard. This way, it was easier to move the Protoboard between rooms of the shop and members’ houses to practice. Now that the Protocase is complete, it will replace the Protoboard. Our manufacturing team will attach the control system onto the practice robot this week.
This case maintains a minimalist layout as it was designed to be light and easy to move. This was designed through mounting a breadboard into it users can “plug and play” sensors. Another accessory is a rack of several servos that can simulate motor controllers, and additionally, the position of the servos correlating to the speed of the motor. Many other accessories can be plugged in as needed, such as pneumatic solenoids to allow the team to simulate a pneumatics system in case we want to use them in coming years. Another add-in on the board is a REV robotics breakout board that allows for the use of more than ten included I/O ports on the Roborio, as well as a custom raspberry pi mount that we designed to fit onto the REV expansion board.