Monthly Archives: January 2016

Build Season Day 21

Today was the last day for the shop open house for the Fighting Calculators. Thanks to everyone for coming! It was a great opportunity for people to come into the shop and see what our team does during build season.

It has been another productive day for the Fighting Calculators. We’ve made another frame for the robot, and a catapult for that robot. We’ve also changed the design on that catapult, and have been testing it out and using it to shoot at the goals. Besides that, builders also worked some more on The Dream, and are making progress on it.


The code team is working on using the camera to aim at the goals, and is also been coding for The Dream. Our CADers have been fixing the CAD models of the wheels, making the standoffs for the frame of the robot, and The Dream. We’ve also started making models of the catapult. Other parts for the robot have also been sent out. And lastly, our amazingly awesome gearbox plates have been made.


Build Season Day 20

Today was the first day of the Fighting Calculators Open House. If you missed coming to the shop today, drop by tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and see what the Calculators have been working on so far this build season.

In between cookies and brownies, the Calculators have been working on and fine tuning prototypes. They also created a prototype frame with regards to the dimensions the CADers have worked out. The dream and the shooter are looking good, and are becoming more refined every day.

The Calculators also had the chance today to train in two new members to the lathe, and show some others the mill. This should make machining parts much easier and more efficient later in the season when we are assembling our final robot.

Build Season Day 19

The calculators have been working hard, as always, and the team has been working on The Dream and getting that working so we can put it on our practice robot to test it in conjunction with the catapult. We’ve also gotten our practice catapult to work and it has been making shots into the high goal.


Some of the builders have also been experimenting with different types of climber arms/manipulators. The CAD team has CADed some more wheels, worked on the assembly for the dream, and created the dimensions for our catapult. The code team has created their robot code framework, which is the code that we use as a basis for integrating our own code into the framework.


Our shop open house is tomorrow and Saturday. This is for members of the community to have a chance to see what we do during build season and learn about the shop and the machines in the shop. They will be from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Friday, and 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturday.

Build Season Day 14

The intake mechanism was chosen tonight. We are going with an intake dubbed as “The Dream” instead of a roller bar intake. For everyone wondering what “The Dream” is, you’ll just have to stick around until the end of build season to find out!


Today was a slower day without many people in the shop but a lot of stuff got done today. The awards team met and started talking about the different awards and even made a few decisions for some of the awards this season. CADers are busier than ever as they start working on CADing the real robot. With all the stuff going on there is certainly no shortage of work to be done.


Milling continues and the millers were hard at work today and finished up the stuff they had been working on for a bit which means that once parts are finished in CAD, the machinists can quickly get on top of machining final parts for both the practice robot and the competition robot.

Build Season Day 13

Tonight was a busy night in the shop. From testing final prototypes to milling more parts, there was definitely no shortage of things going on. Moving into tomorrow, testing will continue and we will be making our decision on what type of intake we want. The CADers are busy working on parts for the robot and the coders are working more on some basic code to test on a robot from a previous year.


Tomorrow brings week two of build season to an end and we move into week three which will bring much work with it as we transition into building the robot instead of prototyping. Check back tomorrow for another update!

Build Season Day 12

Milling has officially begun in the shop! With the decisions on the design of the robot being made, the time has come for milling parts to commence. The CADers are hard at work creating the parts for the millers to get to work on. Week two is flying by fast and it’s hard to believe that week three is fast approaching.


A decision on what type of shooter was made tonight and we have decided on a catapult and will have the intake decision on Saturday after some more testing can be done on a roller intake mechanism. With everything going on, the shop is abuzz with tons of activity. The code team has also been hard at work with getting some basic code.

With all that’s happening, we are most definitely busy but things are moving along at a quick pace. Make sure to check in for upcoming blogs for information on our Shop Open House that will be next week/weekend.

Build Season Day 5

We continued to prototype today and will decide tomorrow whether we will build a tall robot or a short robot. They both have pros and cons, and there is a lot of different opinions on it. Meanwhile, some members of the team are working on prototypes to see what kind of wheels work best for the different challenges.


There are still others on the team that are building the terrain! Already we have a Chival de Frise, Rock Wall, and Rough Terrain! Still more are being built. At this point, everyone is just deciding on what are the top priorities and have even deployed code to a drive base to test different drive trains on the multiple terrains.


With all the work going on in the shop, there is no shortage of tasks to do whether it is CADing, coding, or prototyping. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

Build Season Day 4

It is about halfway through the first week of build season, and lots of progress is being made on the various prototypes.  The main shooter prototype has been created, and is firing consistently firing high enough to reach the top goal on the tower.  Various intakes designs have been made, and are looking promising in both CAD and real life.

The CAD team has been working on deciding the frame dimensions and the placement of the gearboxes, and the build team members are hard at work creating a wooden frame to mount the prototypes on. The team is narrowing down the final aspects of design and strategy, and will be deciding on that in the days to come.

1-13-16 pic 1


Build Season Day 3

Today has been a whirlwind of CADing and prototyping. Amidst solidworks crashes, our CADers have sketched out plans for our intake and shooter, and are working out our frame dimensions and drive train. We had the delightful problem of not enough work for our CADers to do, so they spread out and worked on prototypes.

2 robot pic 1-12-16

We have created prototypes of our intake and our shooter, and are working out kinks in their designs. In addition to that, a few or our new team members are being trained into electronics as we wire up a drive train to test wheels.

1 Robot pic 1-12-16

Our subteam organization is at the best it has ever been, and we are looking forward to the rest of the build season!