Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 ( 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Build Season Day 25

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.

Build Season Day 21

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.


Build Season Day 19

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.