Monthly Archives: January 2014

Build Update – Day 28

After getting out all that anger and frustration yesterday, the team was more than ready to have a productive Friday night at the shop!

It was the first day of our open house, and everyone who came had a blast! We had lots of great visitors, from interested middle schoolers to Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s Deputy State Director–we’re looking forward to another fun day tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it!

Aside from all the hubbub, we also managed to get a lot of work done on our new gearboxes, with veterans and rookies working side by side to put them together. We used the laser cutter to make a belly pan, and have now decided to also build a one-point goal field element. We were so busy, we didn’t even manage to get some pictures for the post–we’ll provide compensation with extras tomorrow!

There are lots of projects to continue and start tomorrow–it should be a great day. Remember to come check out the shop at East Ridge High School from 10:30-12:30!

Build Update, Day 27 – Anger & Frustration

GIFs are fun!


The object our mentor is venting his anger on is a prototype shock absorber for our ball intake. It held up really well in our tests, so the more sensitive components of our intake arm will probably be mounted on something like this on the final robot. Will this be the first year that our intake isn’t mangled beyond recognition? We’ll find out!




We made good progress on the code today, too – we finally tested our new drivetrain encoders, and we’re thrilled with the results! They gave us very stable and reliable readings, so we’ll definitely be using them during autonomous. Even if these new ones don’t work 100% of the time, that’s still an infinity-percent improvement over last year’s encoders, which never gave us useful information even ONCE.

We’re having an open house at the shop tomorrow from 4:30 to 6:00. If you’re in the area, stop by and see what we’re doing! We’re in the East Ridge High School metal shop, door 26 on the service road behind the school. We’ll give you a tour and explain what we do! There will also be goodies for your eager consumption, I hear.

Did I mention how angry our mentor was?


Build Update – Days 22 and 25

Phew! Not including the video update, it’s been a while since we wrote a blog post!  Here are some of the things that have been happening:

– We’ve been fine tuning our shooter–today, final cuts and holes were being done on our initial practice shooter frame.

photo 5

– We’ve been optimizing our intake method by testing different wheels and even considering  the addition of a spring.

– We now have a rolling chassis for our practice robot!photo

– Our CADers are in full swing, with the builders working on everything they can.

– Awards are coming along nicely, as is the pit, and bumper production has begun!

This week, we’re looking forward to our Open House on Friday, January 31st, 2014 from 4:30-6:00 PM and Saturday, February 1st, 2014 from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM. If you’re in the area, come one over and stop by! We’re in the East Ridge High School Metal Shop, and it’ll be lots of fun (I hear there might even be treats). We’ll also be at our school’s Open House tomorrow, January 30th, from 6:00-7:30 PM.

Build Update – Days 20 and 21

These last two days have been full of building! We’re working on both finalizing prototypes and building our robot.IMG_8219

The code is going well, the awards are going well, and the pit building is going well. We’ll keep this short — look forward to a video update tomorrow!


Build Update – Days 18 and 19

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 9.00.49 PM

Can someone say PROGRESS?

We are now to the point with our shooter where we are testing different springs. There have been many different variables messing with our progress, but we have now managed to get a perfect launch trajectory from the White Zone. Everything is shaping up!


We have also made progress on our roller bar and our drive frame, which, while taking quite a while to make, are looking super awesome! Hopefully we’ll soon be able to build our gear boxes and actually assemble our drive train.

Let’s finish this week strong!


Build Update – Day 16 (Part 2)

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

We were only in the shop for a couple hours today, but we got a lot done! Several of the parts we need for the robot have been milled, and soon we’ll start putting them all together. IMG_4289

One of the most exciting things that happened today is something completely unheard of in Fighting Calculator history–a couple of team members sorted all of our bolts, and now they’re all organized. Now we just have to see how long it’ll last…

In other news, the welding and awards writing continues as we wait for the CADders to finish up some initial designs, and the blog team is so overexcited that we accidentally posted two updates for today. That just means you get double the fun!

Build Update – Day 16

And yet another week commences at the shop! What waits in store for us this week? Who knows! But whatever it is, we’re ready for it!

Work continues to progress on our shooter prototype. We managed to make an almost fully functional windup method for pulling back our shooter; it only needs a few more tweaks to be completely successful. Also, work continues on our drive sides, and our CAD team continues to make progress with our full robot design.

A good start to a productive week!