Tag Archives: Saturday

3/19/16 – Saturday – Burning Rubber

Blog writer and local hot-shot Photographer Samuel was very busy for the past few days. He had been sorting the hundreds and thousands of photos and videos taken at the Los Angeles Regional. Then he began writing the blog for those days which he couldn’t as he had been busy the entire day. He got some help with the sorting of photos, but since he’s the only one who could write so beautiful, the blog came down to him alone.

_ERK6200
Blog writer and super cool guy Samuel sorting pictures and writing a blog post.

Of course he gave it his all, for Samuel doesn’t slack or not try. But due to him devoting all his strength to the blog, he was unable to get photos of the day.

CNC Mill member Dustin finished manufacturing the Pivot Plates he had been working on. He and Nanor, another Mill member, setup and almost finished a Gearbox Standoff.

For lunch there was an amazing course of Mediterranean food. The course consisted of pita bread, hummus, chicken, and a great salad.

Lousaper of the Lathe team went back to working the Lathe. Today she made spacers, Gearbox Standoffs, and tension rods. She has definitely come far from where she started the year at.

CAM member Jonna edited some programs. These were for previous parts, to practice her abilities. She then helped finish up the Gearbox Plate spacers.

Andrea of Business cleaned the entire Business Room. All by herself, this was quite the hefty task. She was most successful at it though.

Mr. Black visited Industrial Metal Supply to purchase a 1/4″ aluminum plate. While prices were high, the team had decided to buy the imported material.

Mr. Black also helped Karin disassemble and repair several loose fasteners to the Practice Robot’s drive system. All together it took around 3 hours. He then coached Daniel and Karin on how to improve their driving abilities, playing around 30 matches of drive practice. During these matches where the average score was 6 low goals, 3 breached defenses, and a hang, the drivers discovered that the Practice Robot can do wheelies.

GoingInCircles
Practice Robot burning rubber in sick wheelie-donuts.

The lab closed around 11:15 PM.

3/12/16 – Saturday – Semi-Finals

The final day, the big finish – going by several names, this day is known for one thing –  elimination rounds. Elimination rounds were a series of matches, starting by first alliance to two wins to advance, and to first to three wins in the finals. The losing alliance would stop their advance right there, while the winning would continue to semi-finals, then to finals. Each alliance would be made of three teams, chosen from the top eight teams in order of ranks.

IMG_6214
Two judges asking questions about Banshee at Team 696’s pit.

Before these elimination rounds were to take place, there were still a few more qualification matches to finalize rankings. Team 696 performed fairly well in these as it has been doing for the past two days.

The top eight teams were shortly chosen, and they took their positions on the field. Starting with the first, they’d pick the second of three teams on their alliance. The fourth ranked team, Team 5510 The Da Vinci Coders, asked Team 696 to join their alliance. We graciously accepted the offer and took our place next to them. On the second run through the alliances Team 207, The MetalCrafters, were asked to join our alliance. And with that Team 696 was now part of one of the eight alliances that moved on to the elimination rounds.

_ERK6138
Team 696 Vice-President Alexander standing with the other two teams of the alliance.

One does not know the feeling of anxiety and nervousness until they are watching their robot participate in a ruthless elimination match. Team 696 members sat on the edges of their seats, watching with wide eyes as their alliance advanced through the games, sometimes winning a match, losing the next, but then winning the final one to secure their advance.

IMG_6395
Mika signalling the all-clear to shoot for the low goal during a match.

Team 696’s climb halted at the Semi-Finals. After winning one and losing one against none-other than Team 987’s, The High Rollers, alliance, Team 696’s alliance lost the third round. This marked the elimination of Team 696 from the competition, but that didn’t stop members from proudly congratulating their opponents.

By the end Team 696 members were 987’s matches as if they were their own, crying out and yelling alongside them. The High Rollers’ alliance ended up winning the competition, allowing them to move on to the FRC Championship matches.

Throughout these final matches some members went around in big inflatable-suits to get spirits up. They were a huge success, getting entire groups of spectators to dance along.

IMG_6241
Team 696 member and Alumni posing in their team-colored inflatable suits.

After the conclusion of the matches, there was an awards ceremony where recognition and trophies were gifted upon mentors and teams. Team 696 was actually bestowed the Excellence in Engineering Award, sponsored by Delphi.

_ERK6073
Past winners of the Woodie Flowers Award congratulating this year’s winner.

2/27/16 – Saturday – Gas Shock

Jake of Programming team worked on bin organization. He also helped setup the practice field and began planning the code for the Robot.

Business team member Nicole revised the Brand Guide as well as the Alumni Book.

James of CAM team worked on the Router today. He was able to make some “stop plates” for Mr. Larson using polycarbonate.

Mr. Black installed Windows updates to the new Programming team’s laptops and created a backup image. He also drove to Santa Fe Springs to pick up parts from McMaster Carr. These parts will be used to mount a gas shock to the Arm. Mr. Black then determined optimal placement, and designed, manufactured, then installed the mount and gas shock. The 40 lbs of 8.27″ stroke gas shock improves the motion and control of the Robot Arm by acting as a counterweight.

The lab closed at 9:00 PM.

2/20/16 – Saturday – Field Duty

Programming team members were busy doing separate tasks. Jake worked on the Team’s batteries – testing them and making certain they were in peak condition. Bhavin and Daniel continued to program different parts of the Robot. They also worked on tuning a control for turning on the Practice Robot and tuning the controls for the Pivoting Arm that will be on the Robot. After this, Daniel tried something new and worked on soldering some motors for the Competition Robot.

DSC_0022
Daniel and Bhavin looking through their codes.

Jacob of Simulation team worked with Dr. Stone in the Cinema room as usual. With some assistance, Jacob was able to recreate some data for the documentation. He also fixed some formatting before departing for the day.

IMG_8861
Simulation team hard at work on their MATLAB simulation runs.

CNC Mill team member Dustin finished three parts with help from CAM member Jonna. Dustin first manufactured out shoulder joints or “socks” from three pieces of stock using tabs. He then created the omni-wheel hub, which went very quickly as it was a small part. Lathe member Lousaper had already cut the stock out on the Lathe, so the going was fairly easy for Dustin.

DSC_0032
Dustin getting assistance from Lousaper for his parts.

The final operations of the day were making the Shooter Plate that will push the ball into the flywheels. The whole part took three hours, and Dustin was able to make three parts.

DSC_0003
Dustin and Jonna running operations on the Mill.

Andrea of Business team finished the Alumni Cover and worked on the Suburban. She also began looking into the parts-list that will be needed. Other members Arvin and Anna used the Vinyl machine to create sponsorship logos that they’ll later place on the Suburban.

DSC_0013
Anna making sure the vinyl comes out perfect.

As the day ran from around 9:00 AM and would continue past 6:00, lunch was brought for the members. The food was from El Pollo Loco, with chicken, mac-n-cheese, and rice.

DSC_0040
Mentors getting first-pick of the food.

Mr. Black continued work on the supplies-purchasing list for the Lab. He also polished out the passenger side of the Suburban with a dual-action buffer to prepare the vinyl placements. Mr. Black went on to assemble the Competition Robot’s Shooter as well.

The lab closed at 2:00 AM, one of the latest times thus far.

2/13/16 – Saturday – Apples and Oranges

Team 696 started their day off at 10:00 AM, an hour later than usual. Before starting any actual work, the members gathered on the Lab Floor to take part in an information-based meeting where updates were given and tasks assigned.

DSC_0017
Meeting right before getting to work.

CNC Mill team member Dustin finished Milling the 0.75″ boxtubes on the Mill, mostly consisting of drilling and tapping holes. Then he took Jonna’s CAM program to make holes on the 1″ boxtube for the extending arm, all six taking an hour in total. After this, Dustin was helped by CAD member Claire with Milling six elbow connectors that will be attached to the Telescoping Arm, with Claire setting up and offsetting the stock. She also cut pieces with the band-saw.

IMG_7623
Dustin preparing the CNC Mill for an operational run.

Animation team member Anthony C. finalized his explosion animation while Christopher deconstructed and grouped the Robot for the driving animation.

Jacob and mentor Dr. Stone of Simulation team spent the day refining their model of the shooter. After adding the piston’s force, the two were able to account for the ball being shot by the piston into the shooter wheels, then being pushed through those wheels, being propelled then by the wheels only, and finally the ball exiting the system.

IMG_7773
Jacob discussing with Dr. Stone about their calculations.

Member munched down on pizza for lunch.

Lousaper of Lathe team finished the Pivot and Winch Gearbox Shafts as well as the ThunderHex Shafts for the Claw.

Business member Anna was able to finally finish the Business Plan Layout. She had been working at this for the past few meetings, so the completion of said Layout is a huge accomplishment on her part. Working in the same room was Samuel, the team’s handsome and single Photographer and Blogger. He was writing up the prior day’s blog before heading off to take beautiful pictures.

IMG_7631
Looking good there Samuel.

Luke of Web continued working on the Chairman’s Video Script. He also sorted through some b-roll footage to try and source the best ones to use.

Mika, our Decadent President, worked alongside many different sub-groups. She helped Programming team get the Robot to drive, then she assisted Photography mentor Mariam in taking pictures of parts. Mika also continued wiring the Robot with help from Vice-President Alexander, then creating her own blueprint using Vault for the first time ever. Besides all this, Mika also took newly machined parts and sanded and buffed them. We thank you for your ever-hardworking ethics Mika.

Mr. Black submitted two DonorsChoose projects. One was for PLA filament and the other was for SSDs for new programming laptops. He also machined an additional arm pivot, 6 arm pivot-tube spacers, and compacted aluminum chips for recycling. Mr. Black then ajusted the belt tension on the Tormach SlantPro Lathe, used Inventor HSM to program a winch spool Lathe operation, and configured the Haas Lathe post processor. He also ran the first automated part cycle operation on the Haas ST-10 Lathe, a big accomplishment.

The lab finally closed at 2:05 in the morning.

2/6/16 – Saturday – Late Start

The day started later than usual, beginning at 10:00 instead of 9:00, members assembled in the lab for their meeting.

IMG_6317
Team 696 assembled in their meeting.

Business member Andrea received the Platinum-Wrench Award. Still just a rookie member, Andrea had been given many jobs to finish in a short amount of time. Everyone was glad to have Andrea on their team.

IMG_6321
Andrea showing her award proudly.

After getting the award, Andrea went into the Business room to finish working on the dog tags using Adobe Illustrator. She also worked on the cover for the Alumni Book.  Other Business member Nicole made the team’s standard (flag). Nicole also contacted Team 696 alumni to update the Alumni Book.

CAM team member James had to leave early for he became sick. Before leaving he worked on creating a 9″ arm support box-tube and two of four pieces on CAM. Jonna, the other CAM member, worked on supports for the arm as well, and a spring holder for the hook pistons that will allow the robot to hold itself up from the Castle.

IMG_6339
Jonna working on CAM for the supports.

Programming team member John programmed Snapdragon to drive autonomously while Bhavin continued working on the camera. Bhavin finally found a way to have the camera work with Centurion. Daniel continued making code for Centurion so it could also drive autonomously as Snapdragon did.

IMG_6365
Programming team and Meetkumar of Prototype writing code.

Lunch for the day was more pizza, which was absolutely amazing. It is unknown how pizza can taste so delicious such as this one did.

DSC_0054
Boxes of pizza before members ate every last slice, almost.

CNC Mill member Dustin Milled out three Standoffs on the Super Mini Mill 2. He also used the Mini Mill to manufacture 9″ support plates. The Mini Mill 2 actually broke down for a while, before members found the program problem. Nanor cut stock for small pieces that will later be used in the arm-extension mechanism of the Robot.

DSC_0056
Dustin standing by the Mini Mill 2 after it’s program broke down.

Jacob of Simulation and Dr. Stone, his mentor, continued organizing parameters from the shooting problem which was how the RPM would decrease during shooting out he ball. The wanted RPM is 5,000 and the gearing was 12:45, but now they’ve tried 45:12 instead with a starting RPM of 18,700. Reason being is the motor’s capacity is already 18,700 and it will cause the final to be 1,300 RPM. This cleared up programming issues as well.

DSC_0098
Simulation team working.

Mika, our Solid President worked with Karin with wiring the Power Distribution Panel, getting power to all electrical components, and routing the PWM wires to the roboRIO. She also did a lot of stock cutting and the usual task of watching over everybody.

IMG_6409
Karin and Mika working on wiring.

Mr. Black was able to paint an old metal cart, hex broach and tumble the wheel hubs, flush tumbler with clean water, and organize endmills in the inventory room. He also installed a coolant circulating pump in the Haas Super Mini Mill 2 and cleaned the pump in Haas Mini Mill. Mr. Black even began wiring LED flood light that will be installed to Haas Mini Mill and then fabricated hold-down feet for the new arbor press stand.

IMG_20160206_163047
Arbor press stand with new hold-down feet.

Alexander, our Fatherly Vice-President, finalized the pivot structure for the Robot Arm. It was decided that the superstructure frame will have an aluminum tube as a sleeve welded to it, and then a 1.5″ OD tube will go inside of that and be used as the pivot joint.

IMG_9337
Manufactured Pivot-Gearbox Plates.

And inside of this dead axle tube will be a live ThunderHex shaft that will power the winch spools on both sides of the robot.

IMG_9333
Pivot-Gearbox design in CAD.

Alexander also began working on the Winch Gearbox. This 9/16″ bore, 1/2″ stroke pneumatic cylinder will be used to actuate the pawl to allow for the telescoping arms to be quickly released. Parts used for climbing for the telescoping arms were being cut and machined as well.

The lab closed at around 12:50 AM, with the final member leaving at 1:30.

1/30/16 – Saturday – Wired

The day had just begun, it was 9:00 AM, and members stood idly by in the lab. Itching to get to work, they first attended the meeting.

DSC_0001
Meeting prior work.

It was during this that Nanor, rookie and CNC Mill member, received the Platinum Wrench Award (formerly Golden Wrench Award) for her outstanding work on the Router.

DSC_0020
Nanor showing the award in front of the Router.

Simulation member Jacob finally rooted out the last of his numerical errors, and now his calculations match up to about how they are in real-world scenarios. With this done, he entered the numbers into MATLAB as a polynomial equation. They used this to figure out other output numbers so there’s no need to make individual measurements anymore. After this, Jacob took more measurements to find the coefficient of friction of launching the ball from the shooting mechanism.

IMG_5643
Jacob and Dr. Stone taking measurements of where the ball would be shot from.

Lousaper of Lathe team made gearbox standoffs on the Lathe.

IMG_5499
Lousaper on the Lathe.

Programming member Daniel worked on the Drive Base and the code that will keep the motors from damaging themselves while stalling. Jake worked with Mr. Black to wire the batteries and he worked on a fully tele-operated control of Snapdragon. John worked on a code that should make Snapdragon move a given number of feet autonomously.

IMG_20160130_222741
The materials Jake and Mr. Black had to work with.

Arvin of the Business team continued his work on the Woodie Flowers Submission as well as the Chairman’s Award questions. Nicole, fellow Business member, worked on the Brand Guide.

Around 12:00, lunch was brought out. For today the team ate delicious hamburgers, freshly made. It was so good.

IMG_5459
Members adding condiments to their burgers.

CNC Mill member Nanor won the Platinum-Wrench Award, then Routed out the second Base Plate with James of CAM. During this, Dustin and Mr. Widholm worked on the Side Rails. The CAM program had a minor flaw in it, and it messed up two of the parts before they restarted with two new pieces. After this, Mr. Widholm helped Dustin start the Cross Rails for the front and back of the robot. They pocketed one side of the rails with triangles and drilled the other sides, breaking an end Mill in the process. Reason being was the spindle speed for one pocket was 1/10th the speed of what it should’ve been.

IMG_5522
Nanor showing the finished Base Plate in front of the Router.

Animation team member Anthony C. spent the day testing both rendering methods, making identical stills with each. He also made a CAD room inquiry and I Ray rendering is favored over Mental Ray. Christopher looked for materials for their secret project.

IMG_5532
Animation team working on their tasks.

Welding team mainly waited for parts to be machined for them to weld afterwards. So Eden helped construct more Castle Tower sides while Roupen filed down the electronics plate to reduce the chance of cuts due to burrs. The team received a new shipment of filler rods, but they were covered in some kind of black tar, so Mr. Black called McMaster and a new shipment is being sent out to us.

IMG_5565
Roupen filing down the electronics plate.

Mika, our Consecrated President was busy with cutting and sanding and filing really complex parts. After the Router had its way with the Base Plate, Mika took it and sanded down the edges so it wouldn’t be as sharp and dangerous to users holding it.

DSC_0034
Mika sanding down edges.

She also was assisted by Karin of Prototyping team in tapping the holes in the Base Plate.

IMG_5514
Mika and Karin tapping holes.

Alexander, our Sanctified Vice-President has over-watched the finalization of the shooting design as it was sent to the CAM team. He has calculated that the entire shooter/claw mechanism should be under 10 lbs. By the end of the work-day, the team has a solid idea of what the entire robot will look like, and it looks good. Alexander and Mika plan to order every needed bolt from McMaster by tomorrow, as well as another VexPro order and B&B Manufacturing and others. Mika, Karin, and Alexander worked on assembling one side of the drive train to see what the belt tension will be. They’ve determined that they’ll need a custom tensioner that is spring loaded form the findings. Alexander has also been working with the Programming team to ensure there’s room to place all needed sensors on the robot and said room is already in the designed robot. Work in CAD on the telescoping arms has been done, and the design for the primary arm structure is in work as well.

Mr. Black picked up some aluminum from Industrial Metal Supply in Sun Valley for the team. He also reviewed the Google Grant application that Arvin and Anna in Business room had completed. Mr. Black worked with Lousaper on the Lathe to produce tapped standoffs and with Jake and Karin to manufacture battery cables. At one point, he witnessed both HAAS Mills and Tormach Lathe running at the same time, a milestone to how far members have become at operating these machines properly.

IMG_20160130_222750
Aluminum from Industrial Metal Supply.

The lab closed at 11:00 PM this night.

1/23/16 – Saturday – Expo Day and Mountain Ave. Science Fair

While Clark’s Expo Day didn’t start until 11:00, Team 696 members arrived at Clark in their team shirts and black slacks before 9:00 AM. Expo Day is very important for showing what type of high school Clark Magnet is to parents and prospective students. While there are many classes and courses that are open to visitors, Team 696’s lab is the main attraction to many. Clark’s Expo Day even made the news on LA Times!

Shortly after 9:00, Business member Andrea designed and printed out flyers to guide parents and students to the lab.

Prior to 11:00, team members helped position multiple robots from past competitions throughout the school. Two members would stand with each robot to explain to guests what Team 696 was and to answer any questions. If prompted, which was often, one member would also lead intrigued guests to our Robotic’s lab where other members were waiting to give a tour of the lab.

DSC_0200
Members Jonna and Anthony C. answering questions for two guests.

The lab was filled with excited parents being pulled forth by their children. With so much going on, many 696 members were available to explain what transpires in the lab to anyone that wished to know.

Sipan explained the Swerve Drive, a type of wheel mechanism designed and created by a past Team 696 member.

DSC_0095
Sipan explaining the Swerve Drive to a parent and his child.

Mikia was in charge of 3D printing 696 dog-tags for the guests, so he would explain the steps taken when 3D printing objects. He also elaborated on how a mechanism is created.

DSC_0168
Mikia showing an object printed from the lab’s 3D printers.

Lousaper was in charge of running the Lathe. She would place aluminum cylinders inside of the machine, and run a program to sculpt the first parts of a wheel hub from the cylinders.

DSC_0244
Lousaper displaying the Lathed part to impressed guests.

Mika walked around the lab with guests, showing them our many machines and explaining their functions. She also talked in-depth on how members were chosen to be part of the team.

DSC_0110
Team 696 President Mika talking with a father and his two daughters on how Clark students get into Robotics.

A very popular attraction was the driving of Snapdragon. Taking place right outside of the lab, people gathered around to watch our 2014 robot Snapdragon throw a ball and chase it down. Some lucky spectators were even able to participate in this event!

After Clark’s Expo Day came to an end, and all parents and students long headed back home, Team 696 members remained behind to clean up their school and the lab. At around 4:00, Mr. Hoard and four members loaded Snapdragon into his truck and drove over to Mountain Ave.’s Science Fair.

Team 696’s appearance at the Science Fair has been a long-kept tradition of the team and a favorite event with the children. Their joyful screams filled the air as they waited for the ball to get launched their way. They’d scramble to get it, then race to replace it back into Snapdragon.

The only thing the children loved more than catching the ball flung from Snapdragon was being able to actually drive it themselves. Team 696 member Daniel and Driver of Snapdragon explained to each student how to control the robot. Their faces could hardly contain their wide smiles.

A collective sigh spread around when it was time for Snapdragon and Team 696 to pack up and return to Clark. Promising to return the next year, Team 696 members loaded Snapdragon back in the truck and drove back to their lab.

During and between the Clark Expo and Mountain Ave.’s Science Fair, Team 696 members were hard at work as any workday.

Roupen of Welding advanced the prototyping shooting mechanism by adding encoders to each shaft. These will allow the team to get an accurate measurement of how fast the wheels are turning. Roupen then asked Programming member Daniel to write a program to remote-control the motors. They then began to wire the encoders using QHR as a base. Other Welding member Eden helped out CAM.

Andrea of Business has very nearly finished the button design for the team and Nicole completed the Logo section in the Brand Guide.

CNC Mill team was plenty busy as well throughout Expo Day, explaining the process of what they do with the Mill to visitors. Dustin also explained how the design of a CAD model gets transferred to the Mill and out comes a part. After Expo Day ended, both members Dustin and Nanor used the Mini Mill 2 in order to cut out parts that will be attached to the gearbox. They started by cutting out rectangles on the Plasma Cutter with help from CAM member Jonna, then put the parts into the Mll to drill it using Jonna’s CAM program. Together, the trio made over 10 parts.

Some other major accomplishments of the day include how the final drive base design was finished, and the frame will start to be manufactured tomorrow. Another big deal was how the wheel hub stock was cut out on the Horizontal Band Saw then put through the Lathe whilst the Mill portion was finalized in CAM.

Today, the lab closed at 10:30 PM.

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.

DSC_0003
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.

DSC_0008
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.

DSC_0001
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.

DSC_0014
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.

DSC_0015
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.

DSC_0006
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.

DSC_0011
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.

DSC_0012
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.

DSC_0057
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.

DSC_0035
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.

1/9/16 – Saturday – Kickoff

There’s nothing quite like going to school at seven in the morning on a Saturday. The cold air, sun’s just getting up, 696 members yawning and stretching as they arrive to Clark – nothing quite like it indeed. The kickoff stream was scheduled to happen around 7:30, so members gathered in the cafetorium to eagerly wait for the stream to begin. This stream would show the team what the new FRC challenge would be, with a link that we could use to find the new guide-rules manual so we could begin building our robot.

DSC_0021
Students eagerly watching the Kickoff videos.

Once the stream ended, the team headed up to the lab to read through the game’s manual. Having over 100 pages to go through, the lab remained quiet while members read through the entire manual. Once done with, members helped themselves to bananas and muffins with milk on the side as a healthy breakfast.

DSC_0056
Our daily morning meetings where Mika and Alexander lay down the schedule for the day.

Around 9:45 members – apart from the business team – met in the room next door to the lab to brainstorm ideas for the robot. Everyone had the game manual out on their phones or laptops so all inputs would be informed ones with evidence to back it. Mika wrote down the eight obstacles that our robot would be up against while other members began explaining what types of mechanics could work. This continued until around twelve.

DSC_0009 (2)
Most members gathered in Cinema room to discuss ideas.

Lunch came next, provided by Lauren’s wonderful mother. Consisting of delicious Hawaiian bread and sausages, one would take three breads still connected with a slice in the middle, put the scrumptious sausage in, add toppings, and take a soda. It was truly great, and for those that don’t like meats, there were optional salads you could take. Some chocolates were there to finish it off.

IMG_3720
Members scrambling to get some great food.

After lunch the true work began. Brainstorming had finished, there were multiple mechanisms that must be built to see how well they’d work, and the CAD team would be busy setting dimensions to the various robotic parts.

A quick rundown of what the game our robot would be in is needed to understand what the teams did today. The field would consist of three main areas: two Courtyards with a Neutral Zone in between. They’d be separated by a row of defenses called the Outer Works. At the center of the Neutral Zone would be balls. The objective would be to take a ball, go through the other team’s Outer Works to their Courtyard, get up to their Castle and either roll a ball in or shoot one in for more points. This would repeat until one team’s Castle is weakened and captured or until time runs out. The Outer Works each have five different defenses, chosen from a total of eight defenses.

Jacob of Simulation team reverse engineered the field diagram from where the team wanted the robot to shoot from. He did so to get a range of distances that would even allow the robot to shoot from, to see what changes must be made to then shoot from a desired position on the field.

Business team member Andrea worked on light bulb accounting, the sponsor logos, and ordering buttons. She also worked with Anna on vinyl. Anna added new while taking off old sponsors from the sponsor wall. She also researched past winners of the Engineering Inspiration Award to get a better feel of what’s needed. Nicole vectorized logos for the Gene Haas Foundation and SoCal Gas. Besides this, Nicole designed the first pages of the 696 Brand Guide as well. Arvin examined the past winners of the Chairman’s Award and Entrepreneurship Award to try and find similarities in writing styles and content that allowed these entries to win.

CAD team members Sipan, Anthony K., Claire, and Mikia kept a list of the mechanism ideas discussed earlier. After discussing the objectives and ways of the game, they searched for an optimal robot size. With multiple designs, they compared them against each other to find one that would best suit the game’s challenges. They also informed the Prototype team of what mechanics needed to be made and seen if they worked properly.

IMG_3797
CAD squad fabulously comparing different robot sizes.

Lousaper of Lathe team worked with Roupen of Welding and Lauren and Karin of Prototyping with assistance from Joshua – an alumni Prototyper. This combination of teams began designing the frame and arms of the robot in a way that’d allow it to clear the Outer Works’ many defenses.

IMG_3835
Karin and Roupen working hard.

Animation team members Anthony C. and Christopher set objectives for themselves to achieve. These included creating a rectangular medieval flag with the Circuit Breakers logo on it, some scenery that would lead to the pit area with tool decor and a table, and finding a modeled container for interactive props such as glasses. All of these objectives had been completed by the end of the day. They also planned to complete the safety animation in the next five days. Christopher then took it upon himself to find character modeling and rigging characters in animations.

The Programming team broke off into two groups. John and Jake focused on how they would program possible robot parts so they’d be prepared for when these parts became real. Meanwhile, Bhavin and Daniel became acquainted with using Graphical Represented Image Processor, or GRIP. This is a program that will allow the robot to assist the drivers with vision processing.

Dustin and Nanor of CNC Mill designed a 6″ wheel with spokes using CAD. They also designed a CAM program for the techno router based on the model. After which they cut the wheel out of wood using the techno router and gave it to the Prototype team. The Prototype team used it for the model of the robot they were building.

Devon of Prototype team was assisted by the CAM members Jonna and James as well as Eden of Welding. Jonna and James designed some magic triangles. Then they all built them. These magic triangles are a sort of slide that will help the robot cross the iron wall, moat, tilting planks, and ramparts. The triangles will be pneumatically actuated and their rest position will be about 1 to 2 inches below the top of the robot. There was an idea about these triangles being able to rotate a full 180 degrees but no decision has been made about that. High density polyurethane or HDPE was attached to the front of the triangles. These slippery white plastics will allow the robot to easily slide over obstacles.

IMG_3842
Members discussing and brainstorming magic triangle dimensions.

Mika, our prestigious President spent most of the time making sure everybody knew what their individual tasks were. She also cut wood on the Dewalt saw as she is the only one allowed to. Mika lead the strategy debates as well as keeping the teams that were prototyping the robot design on task.

IMG_3811
Our wonderful President Mika cutting wood.

Near the end of the workday, much more brainstorming took place. There ended up being a lot of conclusions being written on the whiteboard along with possible mechanism designs.

IMG_3930
Feast your eyes upon the whiteboard by the end of the day.

The members also considered driving under one of the defenses: a lift-up gate. But this is what they ended up visualizing happening.

The day finally ended at 8:30 with the closing of the lab. And with this, the first day of Build Season was brought to an end.