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.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! We would like to thank IBM for choosing our team to be a recipient of the Students for a Smarter Planet Grant. This trip would not be possible without this help, and we hope to use the funds to make difference and benefit as many people as we can. We are so excited about our projects, and we hope you enjoy reading about our upcoming experiences we will share.
Our team consists of seven students from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T), and we are all members of Engineers & Scientists Abroad, or ESA for short. Five members of the group are studying civil engineering, but we also have a geological engineering major, a computer science major, and, saving the best field of study for last, a chemical engineering major (that’s me, if you couldn’t tell). We have been preparing to head to Bogotá, Colombia for almost a year, and we will finally make it happen a week from today! Our first flight takes off on Saturday, March 8th and our last one returns on Saturday, March 15th. We will have one week to spend working with a group of students at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) to complete two separate projects.
The two projects are:
1) A geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area
2) A rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia
Overall, the project teams plan to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems to impact this deserving community. These projects will not only benefit the people of Usme, but also everyone involved. By collaborating with the students from PUJ, we hope to exchange ideas and gain as much knowledge as we can to strengthen our development into global engineers.
This week we will put together everything we need for the trip and fix those last minute designs.
We can’t wait for this awesome adventure!
STEM Workshop and Water Infrastructure Installation
This orphanage is located in the Andes Mountains near Vicuna, Chile and operated by Vocations for Orphans (VFO). Their goal is to provide a home and useful trade skills to orphans who have aged out of urban orphanages (13+ years old). SDSM&T’s Engineers and Scientists Abroad (ESA) will continue improving the orphanage’s infrastructure by maintaining and installing two water purification systems, solar cookers, a solar water heater, a water storage tank, and a greywater system. The ESA team will also conduct academic lessons throughout their stay focused on engineering principles, such as material strengths, fluid pressure, and harnessing solar energy.
Yes, this won an award too.
Usme Landslide Mitigation & Rainwater Harvesting
The two projects are: 1) a geotechnical survey and slope failure analysis of an active landslide area and 2) a rainwater harvesting pilot project to create several repeatable designs for the 300,000 homes in the Usme district of Bogotá, Colombia. These two projects blend well with each other and impact a deserving community. For example, a solution to decrease the landslide activity is to drain groundwater from the
mountainside, which could be combined with the rainwater for a large volume of usable greywater. Overall, the project teams plan is to create construction manuals for landslide mitigation structures and rainwater harvesting systems.
The goal of this project is to redesign a recreational vehicle to act as an adaptable tool trailer capable of expanding into a workspace, creating a mobile construction site that could be relocated to the site of a natural disaster. The trailer will also serve as a design studio for both individual and community design, fostering a collective knowledge and collaborative learning environment. As a third function, the trailer will serve as a micro living unit, which must be aesthetically pleasing as an illustration of what can be adopted by others as a comfortable and efficient living environment.