Category Archives: Build Season Updates

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 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 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!


Build Season Day 2 – Stronghold!

Day 2 of build season and the team is hard at work with prototyping and talking strategy for the game. The veteran team members have been helping the new team members finding their place on the team and getting them into the grove of things. With everybody hard at work, a lot is getting done whether it be working on protyping, CADing, or a multitude of other things.


The subteam leads had their first “stand up” today and discussed the progress being made. After the discussion, the leads then met with their teams and began working again. As the field elements are being finished up, the Calculators have been working on ways to get across the different types of defenses and into the other alliance’s courtyard.


With all the different designs of shooters, intakes, and drivetrains being tested, the team has lots to do in the days to come. Check back in tomorrow for another update.

Build Update – Days 36 and 37

We’ve only got nine days left of build season and things are getting a little hectic here in the shop!

We’re still working on attaching our elevators to the current drive base, and are busy machining all the parts for a second robot. If all goes well, we’ll receive our final machined parts from sponsors tomorrow (thanks, sponsors!) and be able to start assembling lots of different things.IMG_2979

Today in the shop, we got to test lots of code stuff with our elevator, which was really cool! We’re trying out new code things that we’ve never done before, which has been a great learning experience. The electronics on the robot are almost completely laid out, and we spent the majority of the day cutting tons of different pieces for both this robot and our second one.IMG_2982

Hopefully, we’ll be ready to go with at least one robot by this Saturday for a week zero event at Centennial High School! We’ll be releasing more info about our regional events soon, but save the dates of February 25-28, the Northern Lights Regional up in Duluth, and April 1-4, the North Star Regional at Mariucci Arena here in the Twin Cities.

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!