All posts by Sipan

Director of moon based operations VicePresident of 3D printing Humble Programer

Day #34 – 2/7/2014

Today, students who are part of the mech team assembled our aluminum chassis. (pictured above)

In the CAD team, members began designing the CHOO linkage, and came to a final decision regarding the geometry of the intake piston mounts.

Programmers set up the net code for vision processing. They hope to finish the project in the following days.




Day #8 – 1/11/2014 – Preparations for Expo begin!

Lab opening time: 8:05 AM

Things have been very good here at the shop. Today our focus was building the prototype chassis. We have put almost half of the mechanical team on the task. Others in our Mechanical team have begun work on the chassis base. While the mechanical team is busy the other teams are hard at work with things like funding and advertisement.

Things have been very good here at the shop. Today our focus was building the prototype chassis. We have put almost half of the mechanical team on the task. Others in our Mechanical team have begun work on the chassis base. While the mechanical team is busy the other teams are hard at work with things like funding and advertisement.

Media team has been hard at work, they are still editing the kick starter video. Armand, leader of the media team, has continued his trek through the archives of photos. Eventually all the pictures will be properly organized, but by that time more photos will be taken. They have also began work on the slideshow for the Clark Expo. In addition to improving the KickStarter, sorting through photos & working on the Expo slideshow, the media team has begun work on a commercial for TV. It will air on channel thirteen in Glendale.

Today business team officially created the first brochure of the season. A few weeks of work finally played off when Jerry, leader of the business team, felt the glossy paper of the brochure between his fingers. The brochures will be printed and ready for Clark Expo on January 25th.

Although brochures and slideshows are important the real star of the show will be the robot. CAD team has been relentlessly working on the design of the robot. I am glad to announce that today Nick, leader of CAD team, practiced how to make the chassis baseplate & begun adding electronics into the model.

Everyone is working hard in preparations for not only the robotics competitions but also for Clark Expo. We hope to see everyone from the Glendale community on January 25th.

Closing time: 6:25 PM

Day #7 – 1/10/2014 – Rolling Along

Lab opening time: 1:30 PM. 

Just like the day before things have been slowly improving. No real revelations have occurred but things are going along at a steady pace. Today, we began the second operation on milling the wheels which created the spoke features.  We had a minor issue with the spoke side not being concentric with the back side by a few thousandths, likely due to how the part is sitting in the softjaws.  After adjusting the machine offset, we believe the issue is resolved.  We put the wheels on the lathe to finish off the tread groove.  Two pictures of the wheels are shown below.

 2014_wheel_inside2014_wheel_outsideWe are making 15 in all.: 6 for each robot, one for the demo gearbox, and two for spares.  This is as many as we got from 24″ of bar stock.  The wheel is slightly larger and slightly wider than last year’s.

While machining is happening, the other smaller teams have separated themselves and are busy working on their projects to benefit the team.

Armand-Media continued with the laborious task of sorting files. He resumed work on our KickStarter video. To top it off he taught our new member Josiah AVID Media Composer.

Jerry-Business Now I am not allowed to say what he is working on but it is a top secret fundraising project that will certainly help us raise money for the season. He also continued to edit the brochure & replenished the dog tag supply so we can send them to people for the kickStarter.

Cynthia assembled the frame of our robot in Inventor.  She also improved the design of the gearbox and tweaked Nick’s CAD design of the frame.

The Mechanical team began work on the integrated prototype chassis which will meet the size constraints and ultimately become a fully functional robot, with bumpers.  Jack is leading the launcher build, Shay is leading the intake build, and  Joshua is leading the catcher build.

Lab closing time: 10:55 PM


Day #5 – 1/8/2014 – Improving

Here in the shop things have certainly been hectic. Everyone has their place and only leaves when the snack room is opened. The students are busier than a president before elections. So I am going to get right to the important parts.

Mr.Black-Mentor is pleased with the progress. The students finished with the construction of the gearbox bearing block. They also completed cutting the wheel blanks & set them up to be machined the next day.

Armand-Media was certainly busy today. He had the immense job of organizing the 696 photo archives. He sifted through almost Fifty gigabytes of photos. He also created the video for our KickStarter, which will aid us with funding.

Jerry-Business was tasked with working on the Chairmen’s Award which is coming along swimmingly. His real obstacle today was to resign all of the team’s advertisement material. He started by redoing the entire brochure for the season. Advertisements are very important to set a lasting impression as many successful teams and businessmen know.

Saikiran-President helped business team with the Chairmen’s Award today. Refined the prototype of the claw shooter. Discussed preliminary design decisions with other team leaders, which is a very important task because what they decide will dictate not only the design of the robot but the outcome of this season.

Jack refined the catapult prototype which increased the shooting distance and height drastically. It was able to shoot above a six foot truss from eighteen feet away.

The claw shooter, lead by Joshua and Saikiran, was able to shoot at an astounding 30 feet!

We will continue to make improvements, innovate, optimize and build until we have a new trophy to place on our wall.

Day #3 – 1/06/2014 – Hard At Work

[Lab Opening Time: 9:00 AM]

Our team’s president worked on building the prototype of the chassis. He tried to improve the range of the shooter from a measly foot to at least five feet. This prototype works but still needs to be refined and tweaked. It is slightly risky because of the complexity and amount of moving parts, but it is possible to have a proficient launcher with enough time and effort.

In the programming department, besides arguing about which distro of Linux was superior above the many others, members improved their skills in programming. The vice president of the programming department was in charge of teaching the rookies how to code in Java. They ran many tests on QHR, 2012’s robot, which served as a testing platform for their code.

Members of the CAD team worked on the CAD assembly of the world-famous Team 696 custom gearbox. There were a few problems along the way, but it will be milled and gearing towards success in no time.

The media team is working very hard to document our progress this season.  Besides managing the barrage of camera flashes, the leader of the team worked on the video for the Chairman’s Award, which challenges teams to demonstrate the several principles of FIRST.

The mechanical team trusted with the important task of prototyping a design for this year’s robot. Today they worked on our claw shooter design, which involves many elastic bands. Their design improvements will greatly influence the choosing of a claw mech, or a simpler mechanism (such as a catapult). Although rather complex, the claw shooter will allow us to angle the shot with ease and to shoot around or above any defending robots.

Mr. Black-Mentor-Today Mr. Black had to pick up material from Fry Steel in Santa Fe Springs for the wheels, sprockets and gear box plates. He completed the front and back bearing blocks, but not everything was great today. The Haas mill broke an end mill which cost us some time, which feels scarce even though we have six weeks.  We have no idea why it broke, but it was rather disappointing given that it was our last one, and costs about $50. Also, the VFD in the lathe is dead.  Another has been ordered.  For now, someone will have to use the CNC lathe, or Mr. Black will have to use his lathe at home until we can get it repaired.

One thing we did learn today is that the Mini Mill doesn’t have the torque to run at the feedrates calculated by FSWizard when taking deep cuts and 30% stepover on a 1/2″ endmill.  We were peaking the spindle load to 140%, so we backed off the feed from 110 to about 50 IPM, and backed off the stepover to 20%.  Mr. Widholm finished programming for the gearbox bearing blocks, and Mr. Black finished programming the 7 tools for the first operation to do the back side of the wheel.  Julien C. cut three blanks for the gearbox bearing blocks.  We didn’t get to setting up tools for the gearbox bearing block today.  Tomorrow, the goal is to finish the gearbox bearing blocks and wheels, then onto sprockets and axles the next day, then gearbox plates, then cams, then framerails, then baseplates.  At this point, we feel 2 full days behind, but the goal is to have all of the above complete by the end of Monday, which Mr. Black thinks is achievable at this time.

Mr. Black’s teacher computer maxed out 6GB of RAM without even having a large Inventor model open, so he ordered 16GB (4x4GB) from NewEgg for about $200.  That should help boost performance and maintain productivity.

We ended the day with Jack’s flipper-launcher prototype launching about 9 feet, half the needed distance.  More spring force is needed.

Lab closing time: 8:45 PM