Monthly Archives: January 2013

Build Update – Day 26


More building! We’ve been cutting and assembling and welding parts for the robot. Notably, we got the plasma cutter running and are using it right now to cut out the “floor” of our robot. And it did a great job with our team number, as you can see!

This is the first year we’ve used the plasma cutter, and so far we’ve been very pleased with the results. We need to use it, too, because the CAD team designed a wonderful diamond-pattern plate for our robot. We’ve had a few issues getting the whole thing to cut perfectly, but hopefully we should have it done in a few days.

And if you’re feeling bored…try mousing over the header on

Build Update – Day 25

It is Build Season Day 25 and we’re still going strong thanks to continued support by parents who provide a hearty meal each night.

We made even more real robot parts today and hopefully by tomorrow we’ll have a more official shooter.  The welders were busy nearly all evening carefully welding together the frame for the shooter base, and they’ll be busy from here on out with constructing the main robot chassis.  Almost all these main frame pieces have been carefully cut, drilled, and milled to spec and wait to be transformed from neat stacks of shining box-tube to a fascinating Frisbee-firing machine.

Build Update – Day 24


The main shop task for today was milling out pieces for the drive base. Which means: WE’VE ACTUALLY STARTED BUILDING THE ROBOT! WOOHOO! We couldn’t have done it if not for the dedication of our CAD team, who have been actively putting the final touches onto our design.

Because there’s not much else to report, I should just say that our mentor Andrew (in the picture above) has been a huge help to the CAD team this year. He taught the CAD team to use SolidWorks’s stress analysis engine to test the structural integrity of our designs, as well as cutting designs on the shop’s plasma cutter (for the first time ever!)

The build season is going very well!

Build Update-Day 23

It was another busy day at the shop!

We have begun cutting our robot’s final pieces and are CADing the final details. We have begun building the actual shooter and also managed to reorganize most of our messy shop! We hope to start welding the shooter frame and building the picker upper soon, and having a fully built robot by the end of the week!

Build Update – Day 22


Today marks the end of the third week of the build season! We had a successful day today out in the shop putting together our shooter. The newer team members are overcoming the learning curve and are doing a great job following the team’s CAD drawings.

Version 1 of the robot’s code is almost complete – teleoperated mode and autonomous mode are both in place, as well as goal detection using the robot’s camera. We’ll start tweaking the code as the robot takes shape.

And of course, what would a weekend at the shop be without a video update? Go check out our latest video!

Build Day 19


SONY DSCToday the team is building the feeder and launcher for real. Some team members have begun to play with the plasma cutter. It is awesome! They started to cut logos as a test, but can begin cutting parts for the robot. We are hoping to finalize the frisbee flipper and the climbing arm.

Build Update-Day 18


Our prototyping is slowly dying down as we prepare to build our competition robot. Our kitbot had been fully equipped and is now being tweaked to figure out all the small details.

We are still brainstorming on the best way to take a 10-point climb. Some of our ideas include a spring powered arm, a pneumatic arm, or a two-part arm with a rubber connecter to allow our slightly fast driver to ram into the pyramid without bending the shaft.

The coders tested their autonomous successfully in the simulator, which is a huge improvement to past years when autonomous was more of a last minute thing.

Our robot is really starting to come together! We’ve even designed the bumpers.

Build Day 17(!)

Today, we decided to rebuild our shooter prototype as it was sketchily assembled and needed to be modified. So a team went to work on that and made great progress. A group of team members worked hard on CAD and everyday we are moving closer to having a finished robot (in CAD).

Another group of students and a mentor worked on getting the CNC Plasma Cutter that East Ridge has to work. As they found out, aluminum with a coating doesn’t like to ground very well, so they made a sheet with lots of little holes in it. Then they tried steel and it seemed to work well.

Build Update – Day 16


We had a major success today!

The shooter, frisbee storage hopper, and an off-the-ground pick up system were all attached to the Kitbot. Kitbot then picked frisbees off the ground and shot them. We finally have a fully working prototype robot that we can design the real one off of.

The CAD team is still hard at work, and we have been actively programming competition code for the robot – autonomous included!

We published our second weekly video update today, too – you should watch it!