After months of workshops and planning, the season has officially started! Last Saturday students and mentors, returning and incoming alike gathered into the new classroom to watch the live game reveal. Though there was some disappointment due to members initially believing the game would be an air game, it quickly faded, replaced with hype at this year’s new game: FIRST Steamworks. The team quickly began sketching out ideas, everyone’s mind aglow with inspiration. After the free ideas session, we laid out a chart and began assessing the different ideas for robot features. We ended up deciding on a robot centered around gear collection and scoring, along with climbing the airship at the end of matches to obtain the highest amount of points within a reasonable design. While prototypes began development, some members of the business team began creating sketches for drive team uniforms in the flavor of the steampunk theme. We have to defend our visual awards after all. On the subject of visuals, we’re also altering the logo, replacing the old knight hat on the owl with steampunk flavored headgear. Besides the solid visual design, we also built the test versions of or lifting mechanisms-the ones that will allow our robot to climb the rope. Additionally, we have built our own loading station to practice with, something which we actually haven’t done in the past two years. Now we will be able to test our mechanisms and robots long before they get onto the field. Right now, mechanical has been working out designs in Solidworks, having completed many parts of the robot and starting on writing the parts list. This year we may even be able to run simulations in the program. The programming team so far has been writing out code before the robot has even begun construction. Currently, they are midway through coding the drive train control. Electrical has been tinkering and making sure that wires and all things that spare are good to go. That way, the power of electricity will flow through our creation. Making new changes to last years Powerglove controller and our new electronics system featuring LEDs. While we have already gotten quite a lot done, but we still have a while to go before build season ends on February 22. So until then, stay tuned for more updates as we move forward!
Greetings Honorable Sponsors! We’re five weeks into the FIRST STRONGHOLD build season and we still have lots to do! Athena’s Warriors will be done designing our robot’s body by the end of Sunday and by next week we will be able to test it out on our newly designed replicated STRONGHOLD defenses—ramparts, moat, the low bar and the portcullis.
We are halfway done with our new creative controller: the Nintendo Power Glove, which we hope to be able to use as a demonstration in our pits at competitions. We are modifying it so that the aesthetic is the same and we will be able to control the parts of the robot not related to driving.
The robot’s electronics box is in progress while the wiring for the robot is still being worked on. Our programming team is working on cascaded proportional integral derivative (PID) control for our robot, which will allow precise control of the robot’s movements in autonomous mode, when the robot must act according to pre-programmed commands without human driver input.
Due to weather and other unforeseen events, we have lost some of our build time in the past week. Schools in West Hartford were closed on Monday, so we did not meet that evening. Then, on Tuesday, a fire alarm went off in the building of our build space, causing us to lose some time as the local fire department investigated the issue. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold, and the fire department arrived shortly after, clearing the building so we could finish our evening.
Our business team has been reaching out to local companies to find sponsors of our printed materials, including t-shirts: Fresh Ink LLC and Budget Printers/Bristol Lettering are willing to sponsor us this year.
Mark your calendars: we will be competing at the Hartford District Event at Hartford Public High School April 1-3, 2016!
During the off-season, members and recruits took apart last year’s robot and created a battery cart. Mentors and veterans held workshops on Tuesdays for recruiting, giving the new team members an opportunity to learn more.
At the start of build season, we watched the FIRST kickoff animation, learned about this year’s game, FIRST STRONGHOLD and spent the rest of the day going through the game manual.
Now we’re two and a half weeks into build season! After brainstorming ideas, we picked two designs and built prototypes of them, which were then displayed to the rest of the team to determine what we wanted to really build.
The programming team has been coding controls these past two weeks. The mechanical team has been designing robot appendages in SolidWorks, a computer-aided design (CAD) program. The marketing team has been working on the website and coming up with a T-shirt design for this year, incorporating STRONGHOLD defenses into it.
The team this year has come up with a great idea: using the Nintendo Power Glove to control our robot and automate the lights on our robot.
We have built wooden versions of some of the STRONGHOLD outer works defense structures: the rock wall and the portcullis; we are currently working on the low bar.
Say hello to the new website! We've been hard at work redesigning the existing website to match the new material design look that is so popular. This website will host all the latest news about Team 3182 aswell as mentor and student bios. This will also be the website that recruits and people looking to join the team will visit to learn all about AW and how we operate.