We obtained funds to purchase parts and pay for registration from an IBM grant offered to our class. From there we were able to begin constructing our robot with aluminum Tetrix components according to our robot strategy. After analyzing the game, we concluded that most points would be scored in the autonomous period and the endgame. Therefore we decided to build a large robot with pushing power that was still capable of scoring in autonomous and endgame. To accomplish this design goal, we implemented a two-speed transmission into a large frame with various components to score the points. All of our designs, tests, and changes were catalogued in our team’s engineering notebook. The biggest design challenge for us this year was building a solid drive-train that granted adequate traction without restricting speed and mobility. Additionally, during the season, we spent time after school to mentor our school’s other FTC team. We tutored them in robot strategy, design, programming, and presentation skills. Our mentor, Jim Donadio, helped us organize our outreach material and assisted us in working toward several awards offered for FTC. At our regional tournament, our robot performance was lacking, but we we managed to qualify for state based on our stellar performance in judging. Additionally we won the Connect Award for our teams involvement in our school and community. Between the state and regional tournament, our team redesigned our drive-train to allow for improved traverse and implemented new 3D printed parts from our contact at Stratasys. Overall we performed well at the FTC State competition but unfortunate alliances during scored rounds prevented our further advancement. In the future we will continue our involvement with The Stormbots FRC team in outreach events.
Last weekend, along with 35 other teams, we participated in the Minnesota State FTC Championship tournament. Although finishing in 27th place for robot performance, our robot was performing consistently, scoring reliably every match in the autonomous period (in which the robot is controlled based on pre-programmed instructions) and the end-game period (the last 30 seconds of the match in which specific challenges may be performed for additional points). During the teleop period (in which human players remote control the robot), we were a good defensive robot, keeping some of the best-scoring teams from scoring.
We also performed well in the judging category. In this category, we get to talk to local engineers and professionals and talk about our robot, team, design process, and community outreach. While we did not receive any awards, we were being considered for a few.
While we will not be moving on to the Super Regional tournament, the next level of competition, we’ve had a great 2013-2014 FIRST Tech Challenge season!
Stay tuned for reflections on this year’s season, and some final pictures of our robot.
We regret not posting on this blog until now. If anyone is interested, we kept a pre-tournament blog on our teams website at http://team5736.weebly.com/blog.html
Congratulations to Christine Carlson of IBM who helped get students from Chanhassen in line for our most recent SFSP award. Students there are doing 2 projects – both look likely to help build skills and do good!
The projects in their words:
Recreating the Hovercraft: Hovercraft could be a widely useful means of travel in that perfectly smooth roads are not needed. However its use has been niche so far due to safety concerns. If safer, hovercraft could be used in wider contexts, including for example emergency transportation over ice, and so its use could be helpful to first responder personnel. This would help the community by providing a new efficient means of travel which does not require roads.
FTC: The FIRST organization, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, was founded to inspire students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. This team’s objective is not only to compete in this years’ competition but also to raise awareness of engineering opportunities at Chanhassen High, bring robotics and technology into the classroom, inspire other students in the school district via demos and presentations, and to mentor another beginning FIRST team not only on engineering, but also on teamwork, time management, fiscal responsibility, and marketing.