Take Flight for Kids Demo

Team 254 and its robot, Devastator, had a great day at the 2010 Take Flight for Kids Festival.  We had hundereds of visitors who all loved the robot.  Some of the younger kids especially liked rolling the balls into the robot’s intake and letting the robot suck the balls up.  We also had a large group of team members at the event, allowing us to manage the crowds and run the robot safely.

VEX Tournament: Tracy

Teams 254 A and 254 E are ready to take on the Tracy regional. 254 D is another potential Cheesy Poof team that would want to attend, but is awaiting confirmation from the Tracy director for an extra slot.  254 B, C, H, and S have opted out of the regional in order to get extra time to perfect their ideas before heading into a regional ill-advised.

254 A deploys a “sketchy” at best hanging mechanism accompanied by a claw that has the ability to score and descore.

254 E has avoided the infamous ladder for the time being to focus on their double sided robot.  One side carries a simple spatula to descore while the opposite side of 254 E shows a rolling intake for scoring.

Both robots are tournament ready. There is a scheduled “pack-up hour” for Thursday after school in the Physic’s Lab to collect items such as tools and build material the teams may need for the regional.

VEX Programming Session

Last week, October 26th was our first VEX Programming Session. If anyone hasn’t had the chance to write a sample program or to look at sample code, please do that so that we can move on in the sessions!

If you haven’t downloaded the trial for Robot C, follow the link and start programming:

http://www.robotc.net/download/vex/

If you have any questions, please email Zahi Hakim at zahi_hakim@comcast.net or Bhargava Manja at bhargee.manja@gmail.com.

Animation Storyboard

Last week we worked on coordinating the script and storyboard.

We have started working on the first scenes of the animation and most of the models are finished.

This Week in FRC: More Workshops

On Friday, numerous Cheesy Poofs met for our second week of the 2010 FRC workshops.  We had a huge turnout of people from 254 and 1868.  All three workshops went great.

Next Friday will mark the start of our 3-week long CAD Seminar, where we will be working in groups to learn CAD skills while working on a super awesome project (to be announced) =D.

Also, we’re starting to organize machine tools training.  Be sure to fill out the form on the event signups page if you’re interested.  More details will come ASAP.

-Nick

Archiving Update

For the week of November 1 to November 7, archiving had its first meeting.

The meeting Thursday after school had 7 students who showed interest in helping in archiving.

I recieved the 2009 and 2010 rosters from Mr. Janke, so on Friday in the lab after the first workshop, the archiving team began working on the graduates from 2009 and 2010.

VEX Update

In light of their upcoming All-Stars tournament in Orlando, 254A has remodeled their robot, moving away from trying to hang, towards becoming a good scoring and descoring robot.

254B, C, D, E, H, and S are all getting ready for their upcoming tournaments at Fairfield and San Ramon:

254B has been trying to perfect an intake that surrounds rings, for easy scoring and descoring;

254C has recently moved on from perfecting their multi-directional drive base to an intake that involves grabbing the rings from the center;

254D has improved their four-bar linkage to accommodate their intake that manipulates the middle of the rings;

254E has been making subtle changes to their tournament-winning robot so they may descore even more easily than at the Tracy regional;

254H, after completing their drive base, has been working on a shifting mechanism to power their arm from their drive motors in an attempt to hang;

and 254S has taken the speedy approach with one of the fastest drive bases Vex has seen and an intake that has stirred debate through the team, which spurs new intake ideology.

PR & Marketing Update

Chairman’s Award

  • We are writing prompts at a rate of one per week. We will be done with all the written portion by the end of December if we continue at this rate.
  • We are starting an outline for the video and a story board will be completed in the next few weeks.
Archiving
  • Efforts have already started to make a list of our past teams rosters
  • We have started to contact past members and this effort will continue.
Publicity Team
  • We are organizing a publicity team that is going to be led by Kendal Searing.
  • The people in this team are going to post pictures on the website, keep the news page on the website update, post articles to the Bellarmine website and also on bellarminenews.com and such.
Outreach
  • The last mentoring session is at St. Chris is this Friday, November 12.
  • There are more opportunities available please sign up on the sign up page on the website.
  • More opportunities are to come.

Catapults, T-Shirt Cannon Underglow, CAD Seminar & More

Catapults

Today, at the NASA Lab, we had a large group of students meeting for FRC Friday.  This week, to apply some of the tools usage and mechanical skills that were learned in previous workshops, we split into two mini-teams and had a catapult-building competition, which was to be judged on distance launched and awesomeness (measured on a scale from one to awesome).

The two teams took radically different approaches to the challenge.  One team decided to build their catapult entirely out of metal and constructed it mostly out Kitbot parts from previous FRC Kits of Parts.  The other team decided to use Wood and PVC.  After a bit of tweaking, the metal catapult was functional and was flinging Orbit Balls across the lab.  The wooden catapult, on the other hand, did not have a stable base, and broke after being stressed heavily by the surgical tubing which powered it.  After the team made modifications and strengthened their design, they had several successful launches.

Underglow

On another note, we installed Blue LED strips to the bottom of the T-Shirt cannon to give it an underglow effect.  The strips were chosen over neon tubes for budgetary reasons.  After installed and wired, the lights looked great!

CAD Seminar

As a reminder, next week will be the beginning of our three week long CAD seminar.  We will be meeting for three FRC Fridays (no FRC friday during Thanksgiving week) to learn CAD and work on a project (you’ll find out the project if you participate).  Remember to sign up on the team website.

Zero Robotics

This September, we got a team of programmers together and applied to participate in an MIT and NASA sponsored competition called Zero Robotics. After a very difficult application process, we got accepted among 24 other teams out of over 100! Using an online simulator, our team met multiple times a week to develop strategies and code that would help us fulfill our mission efficiently, which is to search for a lost solar panel, and retrieve it back to our space station, all while avoiding other satellites. In a recent online “simulator” competition, our team took 12th out of 24 teams. There is an upcoming competition for which we recently submitted our code.