We started off early with bagels, donuts, coffee and juice provided by first year mentor Gafei! (But no bacon-wrapped chicken feet) Thanks!
Student Andy rode one of the school elevators and got stuck! In fear, he used the elevator telephone and was saved about ten minutes later, and even he looks back on that event and laughs! The elevator is now clearly labeled: "Use only if you have too!"
Everyone worked hard today to continue assembling robot parts that have started to come in, and many fine tune adjustments on Inventor models were done.
Lunch featured delicious taco options and a ton of juice beverages, thank you to Paul's family!
Alumni Shauna ('10) and Randy ('09) stopped in today to say hello before returning to school at UB. Former student member, Tony paid a visit, and offered to help with teaching welding next year. Mentor Rob also visited us, and RIT student Jennifer joined us for the day as well to help out!
Our programmers worked all night with the drivetrain and student Peter wrote code for the sensory line tracker!! - it worked well! Talk about a good night's of progress!
Speaking of progress, here's our Build Season Hours tallied up for the week: Students - 589, Mentors 482.5
Our 2011 T-Shirt Logo Design was completed today, and will be submitted tomorrow for orders! Looks great
Electrical Controls laid out the final design today in Inventor and expect that this coming week will be busy for them with plenty of soldering!
For dinner, we enjoyed pulled chicken, amazing mac n cheese, salad and cake from Matt B.'s family! Thank you so much, it was yummy!
Student Crystal started drawing storyboard's for this year's 2011 Chairman's video, and can't wait to start putting it together!
It was a long day, but as ship date nears, we know that the many tasks at hand will be accomplished! this was already seen with Mentor Cynette, who began to cross off goals on our "to-do" list!
Continue to stay tuned, we'll see you Tuesday for another great session!
So when does the week end and when does it begin? Either way, it is time to start the countdown to bag and tag. Be right back as I go off to count!
24 Days until Bag and Tag Day! 22 Days until Rochester Rally! and 7 days until Ice Cream for Breakfast Day!!!
Today was a very busy day! The team started meeting at 10 am with bagels and coffee provided by Mentor, Amy D. The school was already abuzz since this is also the day of the Penfield HS PTSA Fantastic Finds Sale - a giant rummage - garage - tag sale! Team members, both students and mentors took time out to go and browse and some came back with their own fantastic finds. Parentor Sharon and I each scooped up eight place settings of Christmas dishes!
This was also a day of treats for the team! Team Advisor Teacher Ms. Latona brought in brownies and cupcakes which went well with subs and cookies provided by Jason's family. Later in the day, Mentor Tom K's wife sent up a basket of brownies and cookies that were extra from the Bake Sale. And with dinner (Baked ziti and salad brought by Quentin's family) we had more cupcakes and rice krispy treats!
Ok, enough with the food, what about the robot?
The drive train is now fully operational! It went on the ground and was driven around! It was captured on our live stream doing spins and circles! It still needs a few adjustments to the wheel / chain / transmission spacing and the motors seem to need a bit more stabilizing, but it is now available to the programmers!
The robot integration meeting was held in the afternoon. Some of the highlights are that the decision between using an unfolding arm or a telescoping arm has been made - and the work will now begin in earnest on manufacturing the unfolding arm. The manipulator design is all set and parts are coming in. The mini-bot design is getting its final tweaks and the whole team is anticipating the end result! There was a significant amount of discussion on the whole robot's center of gravity with the combination of arm motion, minibot and deployer placement and the battery / controls board.
The driver controls group is working with the strategy group to finalize the desired actions for the various buttons and joysticks. One of the joysticks looks to me like it could be used to run an entire submarine - Submerge! Up Periscope! Fire the torpedoes!
As always, the programming crew was fun to listen in on. I made the mistake of asking the crew at the Precipice of Despair if they were coding or just listening to music. "We're coding the music," came back! Followed by laughter. Other programming sayings from yesterday: "Its only 100 lines of code, how long do you think it should take?" and "Yeah, but did you do the physics of the tubes?"
The field crew was working in the hall past the Precipice. They are building actual driver's stations this year. They are pretty sweet, and will step the professionalism of the rally up a notch!
The chairman's group met to work through some of the entries for the essay, and the strategy group met twice, once with the controls group.
We have entered the lull time between the designing and the building phase. So students have been working on the items on our running to-do list including designing new team buttons, creating the t-shirt team logo, updating the team bulletin board, and my favorite, printing out new MSDS's for the safety notebook. And taking the game test is another activity that has started and should be ramping up in the next few days.
It's our last day of "lock-down" mode, and I can't wait until we're free again! Since Tuesday evening, everything has been a little more difficult to do! Everyone eats dinner in a cluttered sit/stand position, and when we work it gets really crowded - nothing like the pits though!
Tonight, we enjoyed a tasty dish of meatballs & rice with bread, broccoli & carrots, and one of the team's favorite desserts: ICE CREAM! Thank you to Matthieu's family!
Mentor Cynette presented our "Safety Thursday" tip of the night, sharing notes from the FRC Safety Manual. She quizzed us on the three safety awards and talked about robot design safety! Remember to file sharp edges and watch for pinch points and stored energy!
Integration shortly followed after and each team presented their progress. Our entire robot has been assembled in inventor! You can check all the notes from tonight on the wiki thanks to Parentor Val! In summary though, it looks like everything has start to come together, and our drivetrain will be completed tonight. Mechanical (Arm Group) has fabricated parts to be assembled for the prototype test and decision, and the mini-bot team has also begun to put parts together.
Everyone has been working really hard to do as much as possible, and we've been here every night up to the minute of close doing our best to complete anything and everything we can, and clean up like little elves.
Caption: All this work and it's a prototype?!?
Caption: And for safety, please file the edges off the "1s" you feed the programmers!
I've got my thinking cap on, and well... what's there to talk about? Well we started at our usual time, 6pm and everyone crammed into the basement classroom to enjoy a delicious chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, hot veggies and a wonderful dessert of strawberry shortcake and pound cake! Thank you to Andy's family for such a fantastic meal.
Our students worked like bees to complete more of their tasks for each subsection of the robot, and the drivetrain is almost done! Both our mechanical teams have started to finalize their proto-type designs to test out throughout this week as more parts come in from sponsors. I can't help but think about what an amazing relationship we have with our sponsors so much that they help to create a part of our robot!
Mentor Bear returned from a long term hiatus! We're happy to welcome him and his camera back for some awesome buildseason photos which have been in short supply these past three weeks.
Psst..!! Have you checked out our wiki lately? Every team has been working to keep it updated with plenty of CAD drawings and plain paper sketches! Everything our team has designed so far is up for sharing and we welcome you to view it!
Caption: Mini-minibot holding down those joysticks!
So what that means is we are given access to the two classroom complexes of Mr. Brewer and Mr. Dron. This includes the machine shop, the wood shop, the computer lab and a large classroom / lab. It also means that my main student bloggers had to skedaddle and get home to study for tests. So you get me as the blogger for tonight. (I don't mind, really)
We packed into the classroom for a dinner of pasta, bread and butter and sandwich cookies provided by Kyle's family. Game testing started tonight in this room, proctored by Parentor Sharon.
After a brief team meeting, the students and mentors spread out as best as they could. The Integration meeting was held, notes were taken by Parentor Val and stored on the team Wiki. If you haven't checked out our Wiki, it is the location of our engineering notebook. There are pages for each subteam with notes from activities, designs and successes. We are very very close to final designs for everything!
A load of new parts arrived tonight and new parts were added to the shopping list. The best new part of the night was the little USB robot that was featured on our blog pages a few days ago.
A new team update came out from FIRST and was a source of discussion!
Work was done on the website - one thing to note is that we have a new blog button and a new button to link us to the live stream of our meetings.
The driver's station was laid out in full scale with a massive space left for the joystick for the arm.
The drive train was connected to the juice and the mock control board last night and wheels were spinning!
Final detail from the night! Mentor Bear was back! In addition to helping with programming he has been a significant photo taker for our team. True to form, he spent time taking much needed build season photos. When they get uploaded, I'll select one for the blog for tonight!
Welcome to the blog of Rolling Thunder, FIRST Robotics team 1511. The team is from Penfield High School in Penfield, New York and mainly sponsored by Harris Corp. To find out more about the team and FIRST, please visit the Who We Are page.