1/19/16 – Tuesday – Some Assembly Required

An optional meeting was held this day, one where they’d be assembling machines and mechanisms. Sure enough, some hard-working members showed up to do their part for the team. Lousaper was there, as was President Mika and Vice-President Alexander. They helped one another in assembling the VexPro ball-shifter gearboxes. Members also installed the new Dewalt compound miter saw, adding one more viable machine to the lab of Team 696.

Lousaper, Alexander, and Mika assembling parts in the lab.

The last of these members would leave the lab at 7:15.

1/18/16 – Monday – Pizza Wheels

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As it is Martin Luther King Jr. day,  Clark Magnet has no school this beautiful Monday. And so the Robotics members took full advantage of the absence of school and walked into the lab at 9:00 AM. Greeted by doughnuts and a long day of work ahead, they went to their designated spots with doughnut in hand. Except they ate before going as Team 696 does not like ants invading our lab.

A plethora of sweet delights waiting for someone to grab them.

To begin the blog update, we begin our journey in the Cinema room where Jacob and his mentor are hard at work as members of Simulation and Analysis sub-team. Commonly known as MATLAB team, they’ve been recently trying to figure out why their simulation’s drag does not compute to reality. After taking some videos of the ball being launched from the robot’s prototype mechanism, Jacob was able to figure out the velocities by the difference in distance betwixt frames. Finding how little drag affected the ball in reality whilst the simulation had a lot of drag, the pair decided to do more research into drag itself. After digging around a little, they discovered something called “Reynolds number.” Simulation team thinks what they’re experiencing is called “drag crisis,” which is where the drag decreases during the launch of an object because Reynolds number increases. Further research is needed though before any possible findings can be conclusive.

Jacob of Simulation computing air-drag on launched objects.

Eden of Welding helped assemble mechanisms and Obstacles after cutting out wood for other people. He and James of CAM also cleaned up the Material Shed because Team 696 wishes to maintain cleanliness and order as it reflects our maturity and responsibilities as an FRC team.

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Eden taking pride in his hard work.

Roupen, the other Welding member, tried different wheel positions and compression on the prototype shooting mechanism. After several different combinations of the two, one was finally found that maximized performance and so a huge adjustable shooter mount with piston-actuation mechanisms was constructed.

Mikia of CAD 3D printed out a wheel hub, and Anthony K. completed the bumper supports. Claire made more progress on the electronics plate.

Claire and Anthony K. working on CAD.

Dustin of CNC Mill assisted Devon of Prototype in creating more ramps for the Castle Tower Batter as well as fixing up the old ones that had been oriented wrong – needing to have their supports redone. However, the two didn’t have enough plywood to complete two more ramps that will be needed later. Dustin and Devon then helped out other CNC Mill member Nanor and Jonna of CAM on creating another side for the Castle Tower. After this, Dustin also helped Karin and Lauren of Prototype with constructing the bases for the Obstacles.

CNC Mill team looking for more plywood in the Material Shed.

James of CAM started working his CAM for new wheel adapters after helping out Eden clean the material shed.

Before continuing, I shall quickly note what was had for lunch for the team had lunch today. Consisting of salad and pizza, it could be said that this lunch was both delicious and nutritious.

Jacob and Dustin enjoying their pizza and salads during the lunch break betwixt working.

And now I shall continue: Prototype members Lauren and Karin worked with Lathe member Lousaper on cutting up pieces of 4×8 plywood.

Karin and Lousaper cutting planks of wood.

The trio needed the wood to create two more bases for platforms and ramps.These two would make four new ones in total that the group has made. After assembling the platforms, they helped Nanor and Dustin of CNC Mill and Jonna of CAM with building the second High Goal. A little later, Lousaper worked the Lathe at the request of Mr. Black.

Karin, Lousaper, Nanor, and Devon constructing another High Goal.

Nicole of Business team finished the new Team 696 brochure. She also updated the sponsor brochure and our business cards. Andrea brainstormed more ideas for the Stronghold Team 696 buttons and edited sponsors. Andrea organized the Business room and also did tasks for Mr. Black such as creating copies of important documents. Anna did vinyl work, Chairman’s essay, and worked on the Business Plan. Final member Arvin also worked on the Business Plan and Chairman’s essay alongside Anna.

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Nicole working on brochures while Anna and Arvin work on the Chairman’s essay in the background.

Daniel of Programming made a PID control system. Jake made extra sure that Snapdragon was ready to go for the next day as Rosemont students would be coming by. Bhavin continued getting the camera to work with GRIP over the robot’s network. And John developed code for the encoders of Snapdragon.

Daniel working with Bhavin on the computer.

Mr. Black procured additional lumber for the Obstacles, for which 696 members were very grateful of. He then tested five different tires to determine which one would suit the robot best for its future tasks. Mr. Black also designed the custom CNC machined wheel hub, unpacked the kit of parts, and even placed orders for wiring supplies. The whole team thanks you Mr. Black for the hard work and passion you put into Team 696, we couldn’t do it without you.

Mika, our brilliant President added items to the “need to buy” list for Mr. Black. She then went to help Business team in their activities as well as provide feedback on their recent output. And of course, she looked over all the teams to make sure everything was being done in a proper efficient way.

Mika admiring the bumper supports.

Alexander, our clever Vice-President decided to order parts in place of transmission assembly. He also finalized the superstructure prototype, but it still needs iteration and perfection. Alexander worked on the bumper design, finishing the basic concept but it still needs to be translated into a CAD model. He also inspected the designed wheel hub for accuracy, checking to see if the hub could actually be used as it was designed to.

For the final half-hour prior to the “official” ending of the meeting at 6:00, all members partook in cleaning up the entire lab. This included organizing, taking out the trash, and even vacuuming.

Daniel of Programming vacuuming the Business room.

The lab closed at 9:10.

1/17/16 – Sunday – Shooting High

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Members began working in the lab at 1:00 PM. If people craved some food, there were some delicious muffins and pastries.

Delicious pastries.

CAD members Sipan, Mikia, Claire, and Anthony K. finished dimensions for the electronics board and started to calculate the angle of the shooter for the best trajectory. They also helped Prototype team in making a fly-wheel shooter.

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CAD team adding dimensions to the electronics board with help from Alexander.

Daniel of Programming got the potentiometer to work on Reptar and so he began working on a PID control system for the arm. Other Programming member Jake assisted Daniel on the arm and Mr. Widholm with various tasks. John spent his time learning how to use encoders and he also developed Snapdragon’s code.

Daniel, Jake, and Lauren working on the mechanism.

Nicole of Business team worked on the new local brochure. She also planned out the revisions for the sponsor brochure. Arvin and Anna completed the Google grant proposal.

Nicole and Arvin working in the Business room.

James of CAM helped Dustin of CNC Mill and Welding member Eden in completing the Portcullis – or Lift Gate. It is now a fully functional Obstacle we can test on.

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James cutting some wood to add to the Portcullis.

Luke of Web team finished some errands that needed to be completed. He then began the second revision of the scouting system.

Web Design member Luke-ing at his computer.

Dustin of CNC Mill helped Eden of Welding and James of CAM cut out parts of large wood that used to be part of a 696 shipping crate. They assembled the parts to construct the Portcullis but didn’t have enough for the bottom of the structure.

Dustin then helped Devon of Prototype with making the Draw Bridge. The pair remounted some wood pieces to the hinging door to try and get the springs to pull the door back up but that failed.

Dustin and James working on the Portcullis wood pieces.

Roupen of Welding adapted two CIM motors to the robot prototype which was previously using two drill motors. Now the shooting mechanism can throw out a projectile from around 9′ away.

Prototype members Karin and Lauren worked with Lousaper of Lathe, Jonna of CAM, and Nanor of CNC Mill on the four additional platforms needed to optimize the drive practice time. They started out by scavenging for wood, then they began to cut, drill, and screw them together. They finished two platforms without ramps before running out of plywood and asking Mr. Black to order some more.

Jonna and Lauren studying blueprints of ramps.

Mr. Black worked on general lab cleanup, organization, and improvements. He installed a hook for brooms on the lab wall, installed a 10-key number pad for logins and logouts, and he cleaned up scrap metal from the 4×8 router table in the garage.

The broom rack.

Mr. Black also swept debris from underneath the plasma cutter because a safe work-enviroment is a clean one. After all this, he moved obsolete toolboxes from the lab and garage to downstairs storage. Mr. Black also performed accounting and entering of receipts for expenditures and assisted Anna of Business with transferring the CNC router accessories to the new toolbox.

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The 10-key number pad.

Mika, our prosperous President finished up the list of electronics that were needed, then she went over to the Business room to show them some errors in the Brochure and Sponsor Book.

Mika finishing up the list of what to buy.

Alexander, our divine Vice-President finished the base frame – which needs final review before manufacturing. He also started creating the bumper in CAD and pocket the electronics plate in CAD as well. Alexander also taught Claire how to layout the electronics plate.

Alexander helping out Claire.

Team 696 Stronghold closed around 9:00.


1/16/16 – Saturday – All Along the Watchtower

Meeting at Clark at 9:00 in the morning sharp, all sub-teams save Business met in the Cinema room to discuss robot design ideas throughout the entire team. The reason for this is to get everyone on the same page on what we will be striving for during this Build Season. Also, this enables members to voice their opinions on what could make a better robot.

Members brainstorming in the Cinema room.

During this time and throughout the day, Business team members Nicole, Andrea and Anna and Arvin worked hard in their room. Nicole worked on the Brand Guide content, with emphasis on the logo sections. Andrea spent the day continuing work on the button design whilst Anna and Arvin worked on the Google grant and business plan.

Arvin working next to Nicole in the Business room.

Bhavin of Programming configured the Axis Network Camera so it could transmit a video stream from Centurion to GRIP for vision processing. Jake continued honing his skills in Java programming using some CodingBat exercises. He also worked with Jack, Robotics’ former President, on wiring the Axis camera and light-ring to the Power Distribution Panel on Centurion.

Bhavin hooking up the camera using programming.

Sipan and CAD team finalized the layout for the build plate. They also designed and manufactured the mechanism that’ll pick up and shoot the object. The group also cleared a jam in the Maker Bot Replicator 2 and made great progress on the drive train.

CAD team working with Roupen and Mika.

Nanor of CNC Mill and Jonna of CAM finished the Castle’s watchtower. They extruded the High Goal by 6″ and added a bar that could support 130 lbs. The pair then helped Devon of Prototype with the Draw Bridge. After which Nanor moved on to help Karin, Lauren, and Lousaper to make the platforms.

Jonna and Nanor building the Castle Tower.

James and Meetkumar finished the robot drive base with proper spacing between wheels. They even added a handle so someone can ride it to give it the proper weight needed. James then helped out Mr. Black with testing the intake and shooter wheel sizes.

James and Alexander and Roupen and Mr. Black testing the shooting mechanism.

Dustin of CNC Mill helped Devon and Jonna create the Draw Bridge Obstacle. All that’s needed now is to add the springs. Dustin also cut out pieces of wood with Jacob to create ramps with help of Eden.

CAD team working hard.

Christopher of Animation team messed with 3DS to get a proper hand but couldn’t find any way to finish a good model.

Christopher working on his computer.

Devon and Lauren of Prototype worked with Jonna of CAM and mentor Dr. Hunt on constructing the Draw Bridge.

Lunch for the day was chili dogs. Very yummy.

Look at these happy faces munching on some chili-dogs.

Roupen of Welding and Eden split up for the day. Eden went to help the mechanical team on Obstacle building while Roupen thought of a way to shoot the ball. He decided on a flywheel design and spent the rest of the day until 7:40 building it. He also got James of the CAM team to help him pocket pieces of plywood to house bearings.

Roupen and Sipan creating the flywheel mechanism.

Mika, our powerful President, worked on getting a “to-purchase” list made. Alexander and Mr. Black focused on the mechanical needs while Mika worked on the electronic and wiring items needed to purchase. She also helped Claire set up the electronics plate.

The conclusions reached by the end of the day are as follows: Wheels <2″ diameter do not effectively shoot the ball with 1 CIM powering direct drive. Unlikely to work much better with more motors. Insufficient rotational energy in the small wheels. 4″ dia and greater wheels shot the ball with acceptable range/force when direct driven by one CIM (insert Video). Having ball in contact with wheels, then energizing wheels, does not sufficiently accelerate the ball. Close shooting into high goal works very well by human hand, and seems like it could be mechanized. Impacting the ball seems highly variable so far, at least in tests by human hand. Side mounted wheels (rather than top and bottom) could be an option to use bigger wheels. Spring loaded plunger seems promising, if it can be made precisely using linear slide components. A prototype wooden box with rollers driven by two cordless drills also seemed capable, but did not not launch the ball nearly as far as the spring loaded plunger.

The lab closed at 8:30.

1/15/16 – Friday – Drive Base

The lab was full of members by 3:10, listening to Mr. Hoard and Mr. Black give an update to our status. Among pointers on what needs to be finished, they also told the members what fields they could improve on.

Students listening to Mr. Hoard in the lab.

Mr. Black and Mr. Hoard met with Business team members Anna and Arvin and with Blogger and Photographer Samuel in the Cinema room. While there, they discussed the Chairman’s Award – what needs to be done when and how.

Mr. Black, Arvin, and Anna looking up the submission form for the Chairman’s Award.

Once back to the lab, Anna worked on the Google grant proposal. Other Business members Nicole and Andrea were busy in the business room. Nicole updated the brochure, flyers, and business cards. She also made a revised recruitment brochure. Nicole started the MailChimps email for Expo as well. Andrea spent the time selling light-bulbs and reorganizing the excel sheet showing sales. She also continued designing the button and planning for Expo.

Nicole getting insight from Mr. Hoard on the design.

Animation team member Christopher completed the hand tutorial and created a hand for the character. He believes that the head of the character will be completed by the next day. But by the end he had finished half of the character. His partner, Anthony C., completed the rest of the character during the afternoon and spent some time cleaning up the model. He made sure to bridge the model’s appearance to that of their reference and the human body.

Welding members Eden and Roupen finished the Sally Door and Rough Terrain with help from Mr. Larson. Besides this, the pair was also able to finish the Ramparts. Then, at around 7:30, Roupen began to prototype the shooting mechanism, leaving final assembly for the next day. He was also able to make custom slots into plywood thanks to CAM team which will hold a welded aluminum assembly. Mr. Larson and Dustin of CNC Mill crafted some aluminum parts to hold the assembly together.

Mr. Larson and Roupen working on an Obstacle.

CAD member Sipan finalized the dimensions for the base-plate. CAD team also chose the drive train and wheel configuration and designed and manufactured the prototype shooting mechanism. Sipan also acquired the center-to-center distance for the belt system.

Sipan working with Jonna of CAM and Roupen of Welding.

James of CAM worked with Meetkumar of Prototype to finish up the drive base prototype. They constructed it in a way so that wheels could be mounted in many different configurations.

Karin and Lauren of Prototype worked with Lousaper of Lathe on adding some final touches to the Low Bar. They then worked on the Cheval de Frise Obstacle, collecting all the components needed to build it, including homemade pipe clamps.

Lousaper and Karin drilling some wood for the Obstacle assembly.

Dustin of CNC Mill helped mount the High Goal to two posts and adding support for the posts. He also helped mount the Low Goal on the two same posts. Dustin worked with Sipan and Jonna to create a CAM program from a model made by the CAD team. They used the program to cut out two pieces of wood with slits, which they’ll use to test one of the robot’s mechanism.

Devon, Jonna, and Nanor working on the supports for the Castle Tower which will house the High and Low Goal.

As the meeting continued past 6:00, we were provided food. And so members gorged themselves on wonderful slices of pizza.

Mentors getting first pick on delicious pizza.

Mr. Widholm and Mr. Black developed a concept for a multi-stage telescoping box-tube assembly that will be used to deploy a hanging mechanizm. It will be able to extend about 2.5 times its own length, and is driven outward by contant force springs, and retracts with a motor-driven winch. They also performed loading testing of a 6 wheel drive configuration with 8″ pneumatic tires over Obstacles.

The lab closed at the bright and early time of 12:45 AM. In a few hours, members will fill it back up for the next Robotics meeting.

1/14/16 – Thursday – Low Rider

Clark members Anna and Daniel went with Mr. Black to Roosevelt Middle School at 9:45. While there, they showed off Snapdragon in action to the students. Afterwards, Mr. Dall gave a wondrous presentation on why Clark Magnet High School is a good school to go to. The Clark students returned to school at 12.

Some members also traveled down to Lincoln Elementary School. Jonna, Lauren, Luke, and Samuel went with Maggy – a Clark student – to assist the Lincoln Lego Robotics in their tasks. Heading down a little after 2:20, the members returned at 4:00.

Robotics’ members helping out Lincoln kids.

There was also a meeting this day, running from 3:00 to a little after 6:00. For a great majority of it, Mr. Black, Mr. Hoard, and Mika met with the Business team members Arvin, Anna, Nicole, and Andrea as well as with Photographer, Blogger, and member of Media, Samuel. The reason for this meeting was to discuss community outreach, award submissions, and the upcoming Expo Day schedule.

Business team meeting with Mr. Hoard and Mr. Black

Welding members Eden and Roupen started working on the Rough Terrain obstacle. But they split to do separate tasks after discovering there wasn’t sufficient lumber to finish it.

Eden looking at some wood.

Eden then began to create the Ramparts obstacle while Roupen helped make the robot frame and tried out different wheel configurations.

Roupen and Devon working on the prototype robot base.

Prototype members Devon and Lauren worked with Meetkumar and Jake of Programming and with Jonna of CAM on the prototype robot. Together they measured the base for a 6 wheel drive train, all within an hour. They then tested the wheel placement and found the first and last wheel space must be closer to the ends of the robot. They also found that it is quite impossible to slowly drive over the obstacles, the robot needs to be moving fast. The faster the robot goes over the obstacles the easier ti is. The triangles they’ve attached to the front of the robot increasing air-time experiences as it slides over the obstacles.

Christopher of Animation finished the character modeling tutorials and designed a box and edge for a character to be modeled in. He began looking for a model to fill out the cage and for a hand and head tutorial to finish making the character. Anthony C. spent the day colouring the CADed field for the animation and removed hidden or irreverent parts from the model. He did this so it won’t slow down the rendering time for each scene.

Christopher working on a character model.

Jonna of CAM also worked with Dustin and Nanor of CNC Mill. The trio built the Low Goal using the Router. They also started putting the Castle Tower together so it could stand on its own. Near the end, they split off to help Devon and Lauren of Prototype.

Nanor and Lauren posing next to the High Goal frame.

After the Low Goal was cut out from the Router, Karin of Prototype and Lousaper of Lathe assembled it. Roupen brought out Alexander and Mikia and Anthony to see it, and they realized how difficult it would be to fit a high-goal shooter into a robot that can fit under it. They then found some neon pink and green fabric in the storage closet. The pair used the fabrics to make a flap on the Low Bar, Lousaper took it home to sew it.

Lousaper and Karin posing with their Low Goal.

Alexander, our gratuitous Vice-President, helped research a method of power transfer for the robot. As of now, the plan is to use 36 tooth 5mm pitch HTD belts.

Mr. Hoard, Mr. Widholm, and Alexander analyzing CAD member Mikia’s designs.

It was around 6:15 that mentor Mariam accompanied Alexander, Mika, and Anthony K. along with Robotics Alumni Armand T. left Clark with Mr. Black to go to the Roosevelt Parents’ presentation that our principal Mr. Dall led.

Armand T. showing Mariam how to work a certain video-camera.

The presentation went off without a hitch, and was a spectacular success. It ended after 7:30.

Robotics members standing by Mr. Black and Mr. Dall during the presentation for the parents.

The Clark Stronghold (lab) closed at 8:30.

1/13/16 – Wednesday – Toll Presentation and Optional Meeting

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This day contained two events. One was a presentation down at Toll, and the other was an optional Robotics meeting.

Mika, Alexander, Jonna, and Anthony K. traveled to Toll Middle School at 9:45. Upon arriving, they helped get Snapdragon into the auditorium where Mr. Dall was going to present to the Wilson students.

696 trailer parked in front of Toll Middle School

After Robotics members drove around Snapdragon for a little to inspire the students Mr. Dall began the presentation on why they should consider going to Clark Magnet High School. The Robotic members would return back to Clark at 12:00.

Many Toll students watching presentation.

During the optional meeting, members planned the potential mechanisms for the shooter, hanger, and arm. They used a cane as an outline of what the mechanism would need to do and possibly look like.

The powerful cane – capable of grabbing or throwing objects large or small.

Alexander, our assiduous Vice-President, worked with Mr. Widholm and Mr. Black on constructing a team calendar. He also worked on creating a “Robot Timeline” spreadsheet. This would be used to collect all of our official meeting dates and give us as a team insight for planning a time-frame in which parts would need to be designed and fabricated.

Mika, our prodigious President, focused on Trello and putting all the necessary tasks that must be accomplished in the upcoming days. She organized them so she had a clear vision of what goals must be achieved and when.

Anthony K. of CAD worked on the base design of the robot. He used QHR as a point of reference.

Anthony K. busy designing a possible wheel base for the robot.

Devon of Prototype team and James of CAM tested possible wheel configurations for the base of the robot. They did this to not only make sure the configuration of the wheels would work, but to find out if the actual wheels were made of the correct material that’d best suit the tasks at hand.

Mr. Black also informed the team of our brand new sponsor, AutoMeter. As a team, we hope this is the beginning of a very long partnership between them and us.

Team 696 Robotics’ Stronghold closed for the day around 8:30.

1/12/16 – Tuesday – Wilson Presentation

Clark students and Robotics members Samuel, Lauren, Anna, and Mika left Clark for Wilson Middle School at 1:55. Mr. Dall gave a very heart-warming speech, utilizing the Robotics members and their robot Snapdragon.

Mr. Dall voicing all the pros of going to Clark Magnet High School.

After some Wilson students talked with the Robotics members about getting in to Clark, they left the amphitheater in awe and shock, feeling that Clark was the right choice for them. But this wasn’t where the Robotics members left, no, they stayed for the parent presentation at 6:30.

Excited Wilson students asking Anna questions about Clark and Robotics.

They used the precious time between presentations to plan out the coming week and to discuss what was needed to succeed as a team.

Robotics members discussing the future schedule.

The parent presentation mirrored the student presentation, but targeted towards parents of viable Clark students.

Mr. Dall giving magnificent presentation towards parents.

This assembly lasted until 7:30, at which point the Robotics members packed up to leave.

1/11/16 – Monday – Goal in Sight

Whereas a regular Monday would end for students promptly after 3:00, it is at that time that Robotics team 696 begins. Running a rather tight schedule, members met in the lab at 3:10 for a small meeting where they’d be updated on new information and given their task for the day. Among other various things said, Mr. Black mostly talked about the achievements made in such short time. He also reminded us how this was only the beginning, for there was still much to do. And with that we began work at 3:25.

Members gathered for the pre-work meeting.

Right from the beginning, all teams started working furiously on their individual tasks. Programming team took on many separate tasks. Jake worked on Snapdragon, attempting to get it to drive slower so it wouldn’t be too risky to move around. John was tasked with getting a code that would work for QHR, so he found one and made modifications to allow QHR to be operable.

Jake and John quietly working alongside each other in the Programming room.

Daniel and Bhavin – also of Programming – spent their time attempting to get the AXIS camera working over the available network. Daniel also made sure there were copies of crucial codes and software setups already on the server, for future reference and as a back-up.

Bhavin and Daniel busy checking their codes.

Lousaper of Lathe worked with Lauren of Prototype to inventory the kit of parts the team received on kickoff. After finding that two items were missing, they notified Leadership team and were then tasked to another job.

Lauren and Lousaper lovingly looking through a lavishly long list of inventory.

Lousaper and Lauren combined forces with CNC Mill members Dustin and Nanor as well as CAM member Jonna. Together the five worked on creating the frame for the High Goal. With minimal mistakes, or screwups (ha!), the frame was completed. All left to do is to mount the frame to a 6’8″ piece of wood. To reward themselves, the group took a banana break. Team members of 696 take their health very seriously.

CNC Mill members Dustin and Nanor teamed up with Jonna of CAM. The trio finished up a CAM program that’d cut out the High Goal for the castle game-piece. After which they used the program to cut the goal out on the Techno Router, and were assisted by Lauren of Prototype and Lousaper of Lathe. Together they all mounted the goal to more sturdy pieces of wood as to keep it stable for when they mount it for practice.

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CNC Mill members working with Lauren and Lousaper to measure a piece of wood.

Simulation member Jacob discovered an error in his ways. After discovering that the initial equations the team thought best to find the angle of the arc was incorrect, he set out to right this mistake. Jacob then got his inputs on the distance of the goal in relation to the vertical position instead of the horizontal position. Hopefully this will lead to more accurate predictions of ball trajectories.

Jacob discussing how best to correct the mathematical error with his mentor.

Luke of Web worked together with Leadership team and Mr. Black. They held a meeting with the scouting system developers.  The meeting focused on what type of input and output they wanted to see from an ideal scouting system despite technical limitations. Desiring the system to be built on a game-independent framework, they agreed that it will be built using a web-based back end and browser client-side. This would allow the system to be easily adapted for use in 2017 and any future games. Also desired for the scouting system is a drag-and-drop style interface that’d be used for configuring the field for each match along with a snapshot showing how the field is set up for each match. These tasks they discussed would most likely require an additional scout. The group also briefly discussed long-term future technical possibilities of generative processing, using all available data, all available scenario combinations, and empirically-derived tuning variables to run a simulation and statistical analysis on all possible outcomes. They plan to look into connectivity and hardware at the next scouting development meeting.

Luke showing Mika and Mr. Black his wondrous ideas and innovations using the notepad.

Business team was very busy this day. Andrea spent some time accounting the light-bulb data to find who had yet to give money. She also used Adobe Illustrator to begin designs for a 696 team button. Andrea began by sketching drafts of the possible designs, finding many of the backgrounds too busy and needing improvement. Nicole created three more versions of the 696 Brand Guide cover to try and find the best candidate. After creating texture variations for the backdrops, she got opinions from members throughout the entire team.

Nicole changing the Brand Guide’s cover again. And Arvin in the background just being Arvin.

Arvin continued updating and revising the business plan and designing graphics for the plan. Anna began drafting an essay for the Woodie Flowers award. And she has alluded that she has come up with a creative way to capture the judges’ attention right away. Beyond this, she has given no spoilers.

Anna and Arvin busy revising and creating essays on behalf of Team 696.

Devon and Karin, both members of Prototype team, began building the Drawbridge. To do so, they constructed a bill of materials needed for said Drawbridge. They plan to make it from plywood and polycarbonate, but the pair of builders still need some parts to create the Drawbridge hinge.

Devon and Karin working on the computer to find how to build the Drawbridge.

Eden of Welding kept working on the Sally Door and finishing up ramps for the various obstacle platforms. Head of Welding Roupen finished the Rock Wall obstacle. He then began creating the moat, and nearly finished save for a few missing screws. Roupen has noted that QHR has a 50-50 record when up against the Rock Wall, so there’s something to improve and modify next time to ensure a 100 percent success rate.

Roupen securing the Rock Wall to a platform.

Mr. Black met with Mika and Luke our leaders to review the Chairman’s Award details. While looking through the section of the administrative manual, they found that the video is not due on February 4th. They’ve agreed that the best thing to do now is to find an angle for this year’s award entry. A meeting later on will go over what to do next regarding the Chairman’s Award. The group is also currently considering the VexPro 2-CIM ball shifter at the maximum possible gear reduction. Mika, Luke, and Mr. Black also watched about 15 minutes of Team Indiana Ri3D project and noted a lot of success from a 6 wheel drive chassis using pneumatic wheels with an 8″ diameter. Near the end they also planned the upcoming talks and demonstrations towards students and parents at Toll Middle School for Wednesday.

Alexander, our radical Vice-President, was absolutely amazing this day. Not only did he work with CAD and CAM, assisting them in every way he could, he also got on a call with a fellow Robotics team. While talking with them over the phone regarding what wheels would best suit a robot for this years challenge, he wrote down notes on paper over clipboard and had people bring up relevant information or objects using their computers. He was truly a sight to behold.

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Just look at him. Alexander is the embodiment of a professional doing his job. Very kind and polite, but will go above and beyond to help out the team. We are very blessed to have a Vice-President such as him.

Leaders Alexander and Mika worked with CAM member James to try and find the correct-sized wheels for the robot. They concluded that industrial-style offerings do not suit the deign well, rather performance-oriented ones might.

James and Meetkumar studying the Portcullis.

Mika, our bodacious President, met with Mr. Black to discuss the upcoming events and what tasks the team should be focusing on in the upcoming days. Afterwards she led a quick meeting with Prototyping regarding their goals and then with the Business team on what they’ve done so far. Once done with that, Mika moved on to meet with Mr. Black and Luke of Web on the subject of the scouting system. She also discussed the Chairman’s Award with them until about 5:00. For the last hours of the day she focused on getting everything prepared and ready for the middle school presentations that the team would be attending very shortly.

Mika talking with the Prototype team, CNC Mill team, and half of the CAM team.

CAD members Sipan, Claire, Anthony K., and Mikia continued looking through the game manual to get familiar with all the materials to be used on the robot.

Sipan browsing through the parts manual.

They also discussed exactly how wide and tall the robot should be by the end. Mikia, Anthony K., and Claire also searched up possible wheels for the robot. Knowing that they needed one wide and large enough to get over the obstacles in the Outer Works, they also had to limit results to ones that would permit the robot fit under the Low Bar. Obviously, this was a very tasking job for the group.

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Claire and Anthony K. rereading through the game manual.

Team 696’s Stronghold, nicknamed the lab, closed their gates and raised their moat-bridges at 8:55.

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