Monthly Archives: February 2013

Build Day 39

DSC06869It’s crunch time! With our practice competition on Saturday, the team is rushing to assemble the robot. After experiencing problems with the shooter, the lifter, and frisbee picker-upper, the team is working hard to fix the problems and assemble the robot. We have made progress with the shooter and have begun to discuss solutions to the picker-upper problem. The lifters seem to be functioning, although it will be hard to tell until the robot actually attempts to climb.


Build Update – Day 38


We had a somewhat slower day here at the shop today. We mounted the Carlator (our 10-point climber) and tested it out. Our first test was not a success, but now that we have it mounted properly we have better hopes for our tests tomorrow.

We also got the belt for our shooter today and created a wall for human player practice. Tomorrow’s agenda: testing of everything!

Build Update – Day 35


Today was a pretty productive day, even though we didn’t have quite as much attendance as we normally do (it was a bit snowy…) We got to drive the robot around a lot. The shooter is really coming together, and so is the rest of the robot. The pneumatics are a bit leaky at the moment, but are all there. We also started to actually test our autonomous code. All this means the we are about a week ahead of last year. Oh Boy!

Build Update – Day 34


Today holds the distinction of being the Most Productive Day At The Shop This Year. That’s a good thing because there are, as of this writing, only 10 days and 3 hours left in the season. If mild panic isn’t setting in yet, I’ll head out into the shop with those numbers and¬†make it set in.

The most notable achievement of today is that the robot ACTUALLY DRIVES. Yes! A full week before our practice competition! This breaks all kinds of unofficial records that I just made up. Interestingly, the robot was incredibly quiet during our driving tests – as opposed to Blue Thunder, which, in the words of a new team member, “just about broke the sound barrier”. We could hardly hear our new robot at all. Quality design!

We also accomplished lots of work on the other major mechanisms. We defined the mounting points for our shooter, and both mounted and refined our Frisbee spatula. Work has begun on the final pneumatics layout, and we got a good start on the wiring (which was necessary to make the robot drive).

We also spent much of our day helping out FRC team 4536, the MinuteRobots, who are in their rookie year. We helped them take an empty frame and turn it into something they can compete with!

Oh, not only that – we also accomplished lots of filming for our Chairman’s Award video! The details of that are a secret though. ūüėČ

Build day number 33


We had our first open house day today! Thank you to all who came, and if you missed out- we will be also having one tomorrow! We had quite a few people show up, including some sponsors!

Build wise, we have about half of our bumper done. We fixed our loader device and attached the belly pan! “Saying the belly was a little warped is like saying the great pyramids of Giza are a little big”, said Max, our pro belly pan wrestler. In other words, it was a bit of a challenge. The CADer’s continue to CAD. The drive train has been¬†finished! YAY!¬†Everything¬†is working great and everyone is excited to see the robot in action.


Build Update – Day 32


Today was an absolutely monumental day of shop work! We assembled our drivetrain, which you can see in the picture above. Six 6-inch wheels, drop center, with custom-machined shifting gearboxes to power the whole thing. It looks absolutely great; time will tell if it performs up to our expectations!

We tested our Frisbee spatula with pneumatics for the first time today. It performed quite well for a first test – it drives under Frisbees and picks them up quite nicely, but there are still a few kinks to be worked out. Frisbees tended to get stuck partway into the robot, and a few Frisbees skipped over the entry slot entirely. Still, they are very minor issues and we should have them fixed within a couple days at most.

Build Update – Day 31


Today’s major accomplishment: the welders have completely finished welding the frame! It’s looking great, and much of the welding was done by new team members, under veteran guidance.¬† That welding training really paid off!


We also got the second of our custom gearboxes fully assembled. It worked beautifully, and shifting into high gear and back was incredibly smooth – many of the people watching didn’t even notice that a shift has occurred!¬† The difference will be¬†very noticalbe when we actually have the robot driving around, but gearbox operation was flawless.

Tomorrow we’ll start assembling the drivetrain so we can start testing how the robot drives. We’ll also get our kitbot up and running with full spatula operation. Finally, a chance to test our code!

Weekly Update 4

We’re two-thirds of the way through the season? WHOA! At least the robot is two-thirds complete, right?


Well, regardless, we have another lovely update to show you how the robot is coming. Building is well underway, and our CAD work this year should help us make this year’s robot our best ever!

Build Update – Day 28


Oh no! It’s been four whole weeks!

Today was quite productive – we got to use our new broaching tool to cut out fancy hexagons in our pulleys (see picture), and we got tread on our nice 3D printed wheels. Our Frisbee spatula is now almost completely assembled, and we have started putting together our custom-machined gearboxes.

Also, finally, our frame is coming together very nicely. (That’s rather important, don’t you think?)

We’ll put out another weekly video update tomorrow. It’s gonna be a good one!

Build Day 27

Donated PartsOur wheels were 3D printed by Stratasys and our machined transmission parts were made by Machining Specialists of Vadnais Heights ( ). They arrived today and look great. Thanks to both sponsors for their generous donations!