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.
Today at the shop, we made some more progress on building, CADing, and coding. On the build side of things, builders have started construction on drive rails. They have also attached a gearbox to The Auger. Some CADers have been making sure that the Auger will fit on our robot.
Coders programmed more for the intake system of going in and out. They have also been working on code for the analog gyro. Come back tomorrow for another update on the team’s progress.
Another build day has ended, and much has been accomplished. The Fighting Calculators have worked some more on The Dream, and worked on assembling the gear box. The team members have also started building The Auger, a new intake design.
Today, a few of our team members and one of our members went to one of our sponsors, Harvey Vogel, to pick up some of the parts we sent out. There, we received a tour of their facility, which included all the different machines, and got our drive side plates.
We also got some coding and CADing done today. Some of our more experienced members helped the rookies on coding. As for CAD, CADers have continued to work on The Dream.
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.
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.
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.
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.