Monthly Archives: January 2015

Build Update- Day 29

We have a drive train!

Tonight was a big night at the shop for The Fighting Calculators! We officially have a drive train and had the opportunity to spend a few minute driving around the shop tonight-confirming that we can indeed move! While we have nothing mounted on the drive train yet, just seeing it drive around was exciting and encouraging as week 4 wraps up.  We’re don’t want to spoil the surprise, but here’s a little sneak peak of our new drive train!


We also started assembling one of our elevators, and as this gets put together we are realizing just how tall the robot will be this year!  With parts constantly being machined we have been able to break down into smaller task groups to focus on assembling  various mechanisms on the robot.  Of course, as we start to bring all these pieces together we are finding plenty of little flaws and places for improvement.   We are keeping a complete list of all of these things, and we’re hoping that finding these issues in the practice robot will lead to a better developed competition robot.


It’s really starting to feel like things are coming together-stay tuned for an exciting  week 5!

Build Update- Day 28

Assembly is happening!!

We are finally starting to put together parts for the robot so the shop was a flurry of activity today.  The drive train is starting to come together, and with that we’ve discovered a few problems with our original design.  These issues have been minor, like rivets in the way of gears, and so far we’ve been able to make a few small adjustment to correct these things.

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A few other mechanisms that we have begun assembling include the container grabber, the elevator, and the wheeled intake.  While progress is definitely being made we still have a lot of work in front of us, including continued milling and lathing as we begin making pieces for the second robot.


We also had our first successful night of hosting an open house at the shop.  We enjoyed showing family, friends, and sponsors around to see our prototypes, CAD drawings, and the beginnings of our drive train.  If you haven’t had a chance to come in yet- swing by tomorrow afternoon between 1-4 pm to check out the excitement!

Build update – Day 27

With half of our team preparing for their Nordic skiing conference championship race tomorrow (good luck!) and the other half helping out at our high school’s open house (some of whom were presenting to people about team 2175 and FIRST), we had a pretty quiet night at the shop. More machining was done on parts for our drive train, however, all of which should be completed and put together in the next few days!

Of course, we also spent a lot of time cleaning up and preparing for the open house tomorrow and Saturday! We’ll be open tomorrow from 4:30-6:30, so if you happen to be in the area please stop by! Just head in through the East Ridge activities entrance and follow the signs to the shop. We’ll be giving tours, offering a photo op with last year’s state champion robot, Atlas, and providing a bunch of information on the team’s history. Of course, refreshments will be available too.

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We hope to see everyone there!

Build Update-Day 26

The finished parts are finally starting to pile up, and we’re hoping to start assembling a drive train later this week!  As the last few blog posts have said, we’ve fallen into a bit of a routine at the shop.  The big projects are milling, lathing, CADing, and programming.  We’ve had the opportunity to train lots of our new students on all of these aspects, working both on parts for the real robot as well as side projects.


One such project our rookie students have been working on is fixing up last year’s robot, Atlas.  The talons were switched to victors, and there was other minor work done to get Atlas ready to hopefully be used for more future demonstrations.


The CAD team has been printing final drawings for the elements of the final robot. With new parts hopefully arriving tomorrow we should have a very busy and exciting weekend filled with assembling parts for what will hopefully become our practice robot.

Come in and see all of this excitement in person at our open house this Friday and Saturday!

Build Update – Day 25

Our pile of parts for the actual robot is continuing to grow, and we’re getting really excited! It seems like everyday a new package comes with more parts for us to play with.IMG_2229

Today, we continued with lots of milling, lathing, and coding, and began building our gearboxes! And, of course, lots of our time is spent deciding where to put lights on the bot, because some things just need to be prioritized.IMG_2206

Keep checking in for more updates, and remember to stop by this Friday and Saturday for our open house!

Build Update – Day 24

Another Monday done, and we’re starting to feel the time crunch! Luckily, there’s been lots going on in the shop, and we’ve been making progress–even if it doesn’t always feel like it.IMG_2236

The milling continues, and we have several super cool pieces already done. The CAD team is still working hard, and is hoping to be completely done in just a couple days. Our code crew is hard at work, with an ambitious plan to make several different autonomous modes. IMG_2292

Any free time is spent teaching new members and finishing all of the other little things we need to do before competition season begins. Today, we had several team members learning how to weld and lathe, and another group working on fixing up our pit.IMG_2289

Remember, our shop open house will be this Friday and Saturday-come stop by and see everything that’s going on in person!

Build Update- Day 23

Let Week 4 begin!
Today marks the official halfway point in the 2015 build season, and things are in full swing at the shop as we are slowly completing our transition to final robot building.  With constant milling, lathing, prototype-testing, and CADing, we are  preparing ourselves for the finishing and assembling of the 2015 practice and competition robots.
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This upcoming week is filled with three days of Fighting Calculator and FIRST promotion.  Through our school’s open house and our own shop open house, sponsors, families, and friends will be able to see what we do as a FIRST Robotics team in and out of the shop.
Additionally, we had a great time yesterday at the St. Paul Schools’ FIRST Lego League tournament! We got to spend the afternoon demoing there and sharing last year’s robot with hundreds of elementary and middle school age students (and their excited coaches).DSC_0557 DSC_0619
We are excited to see what is in store tomorrow!


Build Update- Day 22

As you have probably noticed, we have fallen into a bit of a routine here at the shop: CAD, mill, and lathe. So if you are looking for specifics, check yesterday’s blog post.


In other news, the DRO for the mill is haunted so we are working to get the ghost out so we don’t have to worry about it skipping a thousandth every now and then.  However, overall progress is still being made, and we are excited to begin week 4!

Build update – Day 21

almost halfway through the build season now, and we’re finally starting to see some visible progress on the robot. We now have one of our drive sides completely machined, and the second should be done tomorrow. We also took the time to finalize the geometry of our “Lobster Claws,” part of our device to intake the totes.

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Two of our team members also went out to represent FIRST and team 2175 at the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala tonight, courtesy of our new sponsors over at the YMCA. They had a great night networking with business professionals and promoting FIRST to members of the Chamber!

Tomorrow, we’ll be doing a demonstration for an FLL tournament at the Washington County Magnet School. To prepare, some team members spent some time ensuring that last year’s robot, Atlas, was in working order. If you’re in the St. Paul area tomorrow afternoon, try and stop by!

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Build Update- Day 20

There’s not too much to report from the shop tonight.  We are deep into milling and officially finished our first frame piece for our practice robot’s drive sides! Students are also making progress on lathing the hubs for our wheels and started working on gearbox shafts as well.  The CAD team continues to have new drawings printed out for the machinists everyday and the code team is still working hard with the encoders.


As you can see-even the pieces in our drive rails are surprised at how fast the build season is flying by!