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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 39

The intake wheels we have been using have sold out. Because they are prone to wear, we needed another solution. We 3D printed a mold and used it to make a cast silicone wheel. We have yet to try it on the intake, but it seems promising. Tonight we recieved laser cut parts from Harvey Vogel. This meant that we could begin forming the climber as well as the intake. I forgot to take pictures of them, but Anna and Emma made them look really rad so I’ll send some out tomorrow. We need to have the final robot done by Saturday so we will better know how it performs in comp. We are approaching the end of week six. We’ve only got six weeks. All hands on deck, lets make this one count.



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 35

Yesterday the build team worked hard on perfecting the intake and testing different roller bars, which included covering a noodle in silicone, which worked, and is super cool. Build also worked on machining parts for the elevator for the final robot.

The robot killing Trevor 

Of course, we also did a lot more testing on the intake and on the elevator.

CAD worked on developing possible climber ideas and designing them.

Today, build did more work on the machining of elevator parts for the final robot and electronics worked on wiring the final robot and made some changes on the practice robot wiring. We also now have a solid climber arm prototype.

Testing to make sure the climber bar is sturdy, (it was definitely sturdy)

Build also spent more time perfecting the intake. Lots of work was also done on the elevator, making it less wobbly, and working out any problems we found when we were practicing.

Bridgette successfully carrying an unreasonable amount of cubes while packing for the field house

We ended day 35 by heading over to the field house. We practiced cycling cubes while testing our elevator and intake. Videos of testing can be found below

Video 1

Video 2

Ten days left!



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 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 19

Tonight was spent working on more machining of the aluminum stock pieces for the elevator. CAD worked hard on making more drawings, and sending off the gusset plate designs to Harvey Vogel. There was also work on the forklift prototypes and ideas and work on putting together wheels.

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 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.