Author Archives: Anna Li

Post Season- Update 1

It is now two days after bag day. As everyone has probably heard, the team had a great and surprisingly non-stressful bag day. We mostly practiced driving with the final bot, and the coders worked on auton. Below is a picture of the bagged robot. We actually bagged 10 minutes early this year. ūüôā

Bagged Robot

Team photo with robot

In the upcoming two weeks until our first competition, we will be at the shop and field house on certain days. As you’ve heard from Patty, we will be machining spare parts for the robot and fixing¬†things up on the practice bot at the shop. At the field house, the drive team will be practicing driving, and the code team will be brushing up on the code (they are currently working on getting the robot to drive smooth curves).¬†In the next few days, I will be sending out information about an open house and tours at the field house and or the shop. Below is a link to videos of robot testing at the field house. You may want to consider keeping these in mind to send to sponsors as an update, especially when inviting them to the open house.

Field House Testing

Meanwhile, the awards team will also be working on Chairman’s, scripting and rehearsing for the presentation.

Build Update- Day 40

We now have 6 days left of build season, and everyone is hard at work. All the intake pieces for the final robot have been machined, and we are in the process of assembling it. It will hopefully be finished tonight. The climber for the final bot was put on today after the side box tubes were swapped out for spacers to save weight. In addition, a group of people is currently working on the bumpers for the robots.

The CAD work for the team is almost entirely done. Here is a beautiful rendering of the robot CAD Emma made.

All the awards submissions are now finished. The dean’s list essays were submitted early this afternoon. From now on, the awards team will be working on the Chairman’s video and presentation.


Build Update- Day 36

We spent much of day 36 machining more parts for the final robot. All pieces for the final elevator were machined, the elevator was partially assembled, and we replaced our silicone covered pool noodle with a noodle covered in an inner tube instead.¬†Outsourced parts for the climber, more gusset plates, and intake pieces will be sent out to Harvey Vogel tomorrow. We will also be printing more 3d printed standoffs. We’ll hopefully begin machining and put together the intake, along with making more polycarb¬†hooks for the climber.

Beautiful robot


Coders coding

Build Update- Day 33

It is now day 33 of build season. The intake was mounted to the elevator and more pneumatics work was done. Drivers and coders also spent time testing the robot. Our intake with the cube clears the scale at it’s highest orientation with plenty of room to spare. In addition, machining for the parts of the final robot elevator began today. Clearance was changed slightly, but the design of the elevator remains almost completely the same. Videos of the elevator in action are below.

Video 1

Video 2

In the following days, we will be trying to reduce the weight of the intake, as requires a lot of force to lift off the ground and puts strain on the elevator. We will also be designing a climbing device and experimenting with the possibility of a forklift in CAD.

Walter is very pleased

The Woodie Flowers nomination and essay were turned in today. Congratulations to Mr. Eke for being this year’s nominee!

Build Update- Day 32

Yesterday our team met at the field house to finish assembling parts and to test the robot. We finished assembling the intake and did work on the actuator. We also tested the drive train, which was successful. The coders were also busy at work at the field house yesterday getting the code ready for the robots.


Tonight the build team worked on the intake and mounting it to the practice robot. We also did some work on the bumpers.

CAD team experimented with the geometry of the forklift tonight.

After many months of work (and one of the team leads and captains crying a little bit), the Awards team submitted their Chairman’s executive summary and essay tonight.

Build Update- Day 30

Yesterday, we worked on testing the practice robot and assembling the final robot. We worked on final touches of the drivetrain of the final robot and the electronics team worked on pneumatics of the final robot and on CAN wiring of the final robot. Testing of the final robot went well, and we got the elevator successfully moving up and down. Though the elevator is going faster than we want right now, we’re working on perfecting it. 

Today, we worked on machining parts for the intake. More work was done on wire managing the two robots. Almost all parts of the intake were machined and part of it was assembled, but the rest of the parts will be finished and assembled at the practice field tomorrow (6140 Claude Way in South St. Paul). As a reminder, we will NOT be in the shop tomorrow due to caucuses. We will be practicing driving the robot and completing the intake actuation system. 

The Chairman’s essay is in its final stages of writing and is going through proofreading before being submitted. The Chairman’s video is also being edited currently, with all the interviews done.

Build Update- Day 27

Our second meeting discussing climbing options was today. During the meeting, we narrowed down the ideal position of the climber to be at the back of the robot. Because of the width of the bumpers, climbing from the side of the robot would be very difficult. Climbing from the front of the robot would also be very difficult because the intake is in the way in both actuation positions. In addition, it was decided that climbing by taking up only half the distance on the bar was not worth it, as the bumpers already take up a majority of the space and it would only be beneficial if a significant number of teams were planning to do the same (which we know they aren’t from our pre-scouting information).

The forklift idea is lowest on our priority list due to the other more important subsystems that need to be developed and the difficulty of incorporating it into our robot design. Currently, ideas for climber hooks and ways to make it stronger are being explored. They will be tested once the elevator rigged up and working. Our small bearings for the elevator arrived today, so mounting of the elevator to the drivetrain began.

(WordPress won’t let me turn the photos upright, but if you turn your head 90 degrees it looks right)

Machining of the intake will begin soon once the CAD design is finished and drawings are made. Thank you to Bridgette for pre-scouting (stalking) the other teams we will be competing against at Duluth, to Mr. Langseth for spending a lot of time ordering our robot parts, and to Mrs. Pothos for providing¬†the photos for today’s blog.

Build Update- Day 26

It is now day 26 of build season, and we have a little less than 3 weeks left. Today was mostly spent assembling the drive train of the robot. The gearboxes, wheels, and most of the electronics are now on the practice robot. At this point, our drivetrain is about 50 pounds. In addition, the new flatter nuts for the elevator arrived and were switched out on the elevator. The other bearings for the elevator will hopefully arrive soon so assembly of the elevator can be finished and it can be mounted on the drive train.


Mentors hard at work

We also had the team meeting discussing the current plan for the climber and possible forklift. We have decided to think about the different possibilities and come back tomorrow for another discussion after dinner. The screenshots of the CAD model shown during the meeting will be included below for further analyzing. Please review them before tomorrow. Note that the CAD model below does not include the intake, which will actuate up and down on the side with the box tubes sticking out of the elevator. Also note the position of the center of gravity (weird floaty thing), although that is calculated without the weight of the intake. Please feel free to throw out any ideas for the climber you may have.

Top View

Side View

Top of Elevator and Climbing Bar

Top View of Robot Side Orientation

Isometric View of Robot Side Orientation

Build Update- Day 25

The laser-cut sheet metal gusset plates from Harvey Vogel were finished and Walter picked them up today. This allows us to begin the construction of our drivetrain and elevator. We mostly worked on assembling the drivetrain today.  The belly pans were bent and put on the drivetrain, along with the other gussets.

We also machined the mounting box tube for the motors actuating the elevator.¬†The rest of the parts for the elevator have been ordered and should arrive soon. In addition, the awards team continued their work on filming interviews for Chairman’s and have now started editing the video.

We will be having a team meeting tomorrow at the shop at 6:45 pm, after dinner, to discuss our current plan for climbing and how we should proceed with that plan.

Build Update- Day 22

We were able to begin assembling the elevator today after all the necessary spacers were made and adjusted/sanded down for the correct clearance. Due to the annoying process of making so many spacers that all needed to be precise, we have started 3D printing the next set of spacers, which will be easier and more precise. The stages on the elevator roll very nicely and the clearance designed for the bearings is almost perfect. In addition, the joint blocks made for the elevator corners are very sturdy. From now on, we will be working on a method to actuate the elevator using chains and pulleys, along with finding ways to improve the design for the second elevator

The awards team also began filming interviews today for the Chairman’s video. Thanks to everyone who was interviewed and to the great awards team working hard to write essays and film.