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11/11/17 Off Season Update

The team’s safety training sessions just wrapped up today, successfully. As a reminder, in addition to attending a safety training, all students on the team are required to take and pass the safety quiz (please do so promptly). If you have scored less than a 7 out of 8 on the quiz, Sharon or I will email you to retake it. Now that safety training is finished, we will move on to tool and machine training in the shop. Look out for more emails about dates soon.

Patty has also organized a parent/mentor meeting on Tuesday, November 14th, at 7:00 pm in Building A. Topics such as project management, communication, safety, organization, encouraging prototyping, and budget will be discussed. All parents are welcome to come!

The team is still working hard to finish and test the off-season robot before our next offseason competition, the Minne Mini Regional, on November 18th. The Minne Mini Regional will be hosted by Team 2169, King Tec, at Prior Lake High School. A more detailed schedule of the event will be emailed out later this week. The new and improved climbing system has since been finished, and team members are fine-tuning the shooter’s aim, along with making minor adjustments to the intake. We will soon be moving into the practice field to test the robot further.

Code and CAD training are still ongoing. The coders have made a lot of progress in learning how to program and will be using the off-season robot after the event to gain more hands-on coding experience.

CAD training has moved on to hands-on projects. The CAD rookies will be learning how to 3D print models, and, later, how to use the laser cutter with CAD sketches. Email Anna at li.anna6389@gmail.com with questions.

 

11/4/17 Off Season Update

As we move into November, the team continues to work in the shop every week to finish our Off Season Robot before the end of the year and our final Steamworks off season event, the Minne Mini Regional, on Saturday November 18th. Significant progress has been made on finishing the fuel intake to eliminate any dead spots that might slow the intake process. On top of that we have nearly finished our climbing system. This design is wider than our old climber, allowing us to catch the rope much easier, which will make the entire climbing process much faster. We received a new aluminum turret gear this week, this switch from our acrylic gear should prevent broken teeth.

Our latest battery cart is fully assembled and will be finished after some quick wire management by the electronics team. This new battery cart has a much smaller form factor than the previous cart. This was done not only to save space in our pit, but also to make it far more portable than our old cart. The last addition was a pair of wheelie bars to prevent tipping, future additions/iterations may come.

We held the first our our three safety meetings on on Thursday, the whole process went very well, and based on feedback we received, we are excited for the next meetings. As a reminder every team member is required to go to one of these safety meetings, the next two will be held, in the shop at 6 P.M. on Wednesday November 8th, and Friday November 10th.

Our team has officially registered for our second regional for the 2018 season. We will be competing at the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth from March 7-10.

Shop time this upcoming week will be Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

10/28/2017 Off Season Update

Many of the projects the team took on this off summer are very nearly finished. Last week, we finished a new driver station built from leftover sheet metal from the off season robot. This new driver station has several distinct advantages. It is significantly lighter, has more horizontal storage, and is slightly lower than our previous design. The latter is an improvement from a driver’s perspective, as it offers more control.

The electronics team has been busy working on a new battery cart. Our main objective is to end up with something that is more maneuverable, and, more importantly’ small enough to get into a car.

I know many of you know what we have been working on this summer, but I will provide a brief summary anyway. We wanted to try out several strategies employed by other teams, namely a turreted shooter and a sheet metal drive train. Both are complete from a build perspective save one sensor wire, and both have been a great success. This past week we are working on finishing the intake and climber superstructure. Both are partially based on last years design. Although the team didn’t try anything new with these designs, I know at least five people became more well versed in the shop while working on them. Props every single one of you.

Also remember that your team forms for the 2017-2018 season are due next Tuesday, October 31st.

Below you can find a brief video of the robot raining fuel onto Jack.

Regards,

 

Walter

10/14/17 Off Season Update

This Thursday, the team had our first all team meeting of the season regarding the process of registration for the team. If you need directions, refer to the email sent out yesterday, or email the people referred to in that email with questions. Even if you missed the meeting, you are welcome to still register for the team.

The team’s third offseason competition, MRI (Minnesota Robotics Invitational), was today at Roseville High school. Our team was chosen by Team 3130 from Eastridge in alliance selections, along with Team 4215 (Trinity Tritons), but lost 2-1 in quarterfinals. Overall, it was great practice for those trying out driving the robot.

As of now, the team is still working on the summer robot. Again, shop times are 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and everyone is welcome to come.

CAD lessons have officially ended, but we will continue training CAD rookies by having CAD projects to work on. Email Anna (li.anna6389@gmail.com) for more information or if you are interested. If you have a CAD laptop and are not using it for CAD, please email Emma confirming you will return it. You may return it to the shop during shop times or into the MSA office. Otherwise, I (Anna) will be having a talk with you. It will not be a good talk. Code lessons are continuing, however, the lessons now require either prior Java experience or having taken the summer lessons.

10/1/17 Off Season Update

After tons of hard work this summer, our offseason robot is almost finished. The build team, cad team, and code team has been working non-stop on building, coding, and designing the drive train, ball intake, and the shooter system for the robot.

 

The code and CAD team are continuing their lessons and preparing for the season, with code lessons on Fridays and CAD lessons on Tuesdays. The electronics team is busy wiring the new robot and improving old batteries. With our goal to get the robot done by October 14th, for the offseason MRI competition in Roseville, the shop is always busy. Shop times are still from 6-8pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

The team is also gearing up for rookie registration, so look out for an email soon with the date of the rookie meeting (projected for the week of Oct 9-13)!

Build Update – Days 3 and 4

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.

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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.

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Build Update – Day 2

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.

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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.

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Build Update – Day 1

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.

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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.

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Build Season – Day 30


Tonight saw the team’s meeting to discuss the final decisions in terms of the designs we will be implementing on the final robot. While there was a bit of heated debate, we successfully decided on systems to be focusing on. We expect to have two robots operational for the Week Zero event next Saturday.

The code team has revved up their keyboards and gone strait to work on Auto routines. With a fully functional camera system, the autonomous code will be more advanced than ever before. Team 3130 has graciously offered use of their practice space for testing when it comes time to make final tweaks.

Tomorrow, all parts will be ordered. Centennial, here we come!

Build Season Day 27

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.

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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.

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