The grind of building and testing has seen a refreshing break in the action with a new addition to our shop. In collaboration with our shop mates, the ERRORS, our team has purchased a new mill. A sleek upgrade from the old mill, the new addition to our arsenal of heavy duty machines will significantly improve on the speed and efficiency of our fabrication in this season and the seasons to come.
The break hasn’t lasted long, however, and we are now back to a full and busy schedule of designing robot subsystems. The team came together late this evening for a meeting to discuss our strategy of moving gears around. Specifically, we are wondering if it is best to use up valuable space with a design to grab gears from the ground, or if we should opt to pick up exclusively from the feeder station and risk dropping too many gears to gain a ranking point. The discussion concluded with an agreement to continue testing to find the best strategy.
Today at the shop was all about prototyping. Now that the team is on our feet regarding this years game, we have started to get a good idea about the features we want our robot to have. Prototypes built from wood and re-purposed motors are filling the workbenches as the fully functional subsystems being to take shape. Our fuel shooter is coming together splendidly, and the drive train design is wrapping up, as well as a super fast rope climber.
The team also met today to discuss the time box for our six week undertaking. We set hard deadlines on the numerous projects we must finish before the robot is bagged, including the completion of final designs, full robot CAD, and assembly of the practice and final robot in time for our week zero event near the conclusion of the build season.
It’s finally here! The 2017 FRC game, Steamworks, has finally been revealed, and it’s crazy! Instead of the standard style of keeping robots on the field and people off, FIRST has shaken things up by allowing two people from each alliance to work alongside the robots, racking up points and racing to the victory.
Our first day in the shop has gone swimmingly. Prototypes have been constructed for picking up gears and firing fuel into the boiler. As well, a drive train design has been selected and should be finished by the end of the first week. The team greatly anticipates the delivery of our new shop mill, purchased in conjunction with our companions, the ERRORS. Expect an exciting season, and stay tuned for our first video update coming this weekend.
The team is already hard at work on the most exciting challenge in years. FRC Stronghold will require a robot that can manipulate and cross over rough terrain as well as shoot foam balls into a goal. In addition, the robot will be able to climb a bar on the other alliance’s side of the field for extra points.
Prototyping and strategy discussion is already in full swing, and it looks to be a promising season. Both the Calculators and the ERRORS are working together to construct field elements for testing, and are projected to finish by the end of week one. Shooter designs and an innovative drivetrain are some of the many things we have to look forward to in the coming weeks.
We demoed at Ramsey County Fair on Sunday. With us were four other FRC teams: KnightCrawler, MPArors, MinuteBots, and Firebears. We were given a tent to set up in and display our robot and bling. The calculators quickly moved outside to give our robot Trap plenty of space to fire frisbees. We let kids drive the robot and handed out pamphlets from FIRST to parents explaining what we do as a robotics team. In all, we had about 20-30 kids drive around and shoot frisbees, many with big smiles on their faces.
When we were in the lull periods of the fair, we made time to play some basketball. The KnightCrawlers had their 2012 Rebound Rumble bot with them, and were shooting baskets into a Recycle Rush container held by the Minutebots 2015 robot. The also shot basketballs at Trap for him to bring back to to be reloaded. All in all, this was a very successful demo. Thank you to all the teams who joined us and special thanks to Ramsey County Fair who donated to the team after the event concluded. Look for us soon at the State Fair and 3M.
The Calculators held our second team picnic on Friday at Pioneer Park. The turnout was greater than last time, with close to 40 people. We had a mentor graciously provide us with a grill and ended with a great summer spread of hot dogs, chips, cookies, and fruit.
Everyone had a great time, including guests from Woodbury High School! Among the activities were Frisbee, quadcopter flying, and a reenactment of the 2009 FRC game, Lunacy. We hope to continue these picnics throughout the summer and into the fall.
The machinists are hard at work. The CAD team has been printing designs faster than the machinists can produce them. While they’ve been making parts, the rest of the builders have been assembling the robot. We now have a complete control system on the robot, which features a two level electronics system. The smell of solder fills the air, as our electronics team designs an efficient layout for easier servicing between matches. It’s super cool to see our robot coming together this quickly. Estimates give us ample time to finish and improve this robot in order to finish final competition bot. Week 0, here we come!
Hey, guys! Today was another busy day for the CAD team as they are getting drawings ready for the machinists to begin construction. The machinists have begun some basic building like cutting down the driverail. They will be having a more difficult time this year, as our gearbox now exists within the rail its self. The effort will pay off with decreased weight and size, leaving more room for our awesome mechanisms.
We’re also adding a new member to our team! Meet Mr. Potato.
Mr. Potato will be helping us test some dimensions and restrictions. He’s been equipped with our custom wheel assemblies, and there’s more to come when our mechanisms take shape.