January has flown by and week five has arrived! Monday through Friday I go to work and complete my mundane tasks while thinking about our ROBOT. On my lunch breaks I scour Chief Delphi for new ideas and obsessively check the manual for rule updates. Around the water cooler and microwaves I talk about FIRST with interested coworkers, 1511 mentors, and mentors from other local teams. All of this looking forward to the time when I can grab my safety glasses and BUILD A ROBOT.
But today is SATURDAY which means I can build a robot from ten am to midnight.And this isn't any ordinary Saturday…it is National Ice Cream for Breakfast day. And not only is today National Ice Cream for Breakfast day…it is also 1511 Breakfast for Dinner Day! AND as if today wasn't topsy turvy enough…EVERYONE IS WEARING PAJAMAS!
Just in case there was not enough excitement for us, we have gotten lots and lots of parts back from Harris and Chamtek! Today has been full of painting and assembling, painting and assembling, painting and assembling, and EATING BACON. The Bacon Inspector even graced us with his presence and excellent bacon making skills. (even though he was really late)
However, as a mentor, I am suffering. My students are too self sufficient. They magically generate painted pieces. Since the drivetrain is complete, I am taking tasks from the other sub teams which means I am begging the students for jobs to do. We are functioning like a well oiled machine but the question still stands: will we have a working robot done by rally? So with that question I must be going to save the world from unfinished robots one piece of bent sheet metal at a time.
P.S. Larry just brought Leann a plate of leftover bacon and stated "Never say I don't bring home the bacon." #TrueLove
Not sure you've noticed, but the last two blog photos have featured our Team Captain, Mo, wearing a box on his head. This brought back memories of our first Team Leader, Kim, a long time ago!
So in honor of our 10th year, for throw back Thursday, here is photo of Kim wearing a box! And this weekend is full of traditions from the early years - Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is Saturday morning, and Breakfast for Dinner is Saturday night.
And we are in the middle of our "Souper Bowl" Food Drive - this year with a mini competition between 1511 and our FTC Team Oncoming Storm (6996) to see who can bring in the most food items to donate to the Penfield Food Shelf.
It is fun to be on a team with so many traditions to ground us while having a chance to make new memories and spread our wings! That's why we like to say, The Thunder just keeps getting louder!
This week for Rolling Thunder, the school has demonstrated its extreme confidence and trust in our team. Penfield High School is hosting midterms, which means the team is not allowed in the hallways, classrooms, or anywhere else in the building except for the two technology classrooms and workshops. All the lockers are zip tied, and classrooms hosting exams are off limits.
We have to enter the building in a special way, through a special secret door (that isn’t all that secret), and then walk up a hidden staircase (that isn’t hidden at all). Because our team is restricted to only four rooms total, it’s getting a bit cramped. Upstairs is the silent room. Downstairs is the (semi) loud room.
Because we are not allowed to start work until six, we lose an hour of work time. This means we have to be twice as productive in less time. Hmm. Let’s see how that goes.
All of the subteams are done with CAD design, and have the drawings in the process of being fabricated, or have sent them off to Harris to be created.
Programming is working on the preliminary program designs for the robot to follow. Basic, skeletal structures.
Strategy has completed the play book of autonomous modes,and even decorated the CAD model to show the team what the robot will actually look like. Its looks really cool. All colorful and pretty.
Bumpers are currently being created, and shooter subteam has begun the long haul of creating the mechanism to shoot the ball into the goals.
Though the going is slow, it is still going.
For the first time in almost three years, we’re actually meeting our deadlines! I’m kinda impressed.
Last week, on Friday, we held a spaghetti dinner. Did it go as planned? Well, mostly. We broke even, and then made some more money. I was not there, but apparently it was much less of a madhouse than I had betted it being.
This week in the world of Rolling Thunder, the robot is coming along faster than we’ve ever had before.
Marketing is battling with the task of writing the business plan, and let me tell you, it is quite the process. They are also working on a collage of photos for the pits during competition. Wow, we have a lot of photos. They are also finishing up the design for this year’s t-shirt logo.
Shooter subteam is finishing up the CAD designs to begin fabrication of the parts, and they have taken the majority of the students to do this. The drawings will be used (and sent out to Harris) to manufacture the parts.
Intake subteam is working on finalizing the mounting system on the robot. They are also concerned with weight reduction for the robot.
Drivetrain is currently putting a C channel bar (Whatever that is, but it sounds important) through the center of the robot in order to support the shooter mechanism. They are also beginning the much shorter process of installing and creating the bumpers for the robot.
Controls shipped out the drawings to Harris so they can make the parts we need.
Strategy is working on finalizing the scouting sheet, and has finished preliminary possible Autonomous programs for the robot. That was a lot of p’s.
Programming is (not so patiently) waiting for the robot to be built so they can actually do something useful. Until then, the shooter subteam has them to help with CAD
The Chairman’s essay is long, long, and longer. Did I mention it was long? The first draft has been completed, and the editing process has begun. This is one of the hardest essays to write on the team because we have to mash all of the things we do into one giant essay. We do a lot of things, and to choose the most important is very difficult.
Week three is coming to a close and the team is efficiently and carefully moving forward in the robot design and build. Mid terms are next week and so everyone is tired, but we’re hauling through. This year is a good year, and we intend to make it our own.
As Build Season quickly rushes by, Rolling Thunder finds itself already at the end of week two. With our robot design nearly completed, our sub teams are currently hard at work in the shops, computer labs, and eating as much food as possible. It seems as though kickoff was yesterday, and yet we are already this far along.
The ball acquisition sub team is currently working on mounting the shooting contraption onto the drive base. That should prove quite an interesting challenge with the square base we are using this year.
Drive train is nearly completed, and will be done by the end of Saturday. (Hopefully). Then, we will begin to build the second drive train that will be used to practice with.
What happened when the blue ship and the red ship crashed into each other? They were marooned! Hahahahahaha!
Programming is currently deciding which program to use to program the robot. (Wow, that's a lot of programming). We have decided to stick with the original C++ method for the rest of the build season, and tackle Command Base next pre-season.
Mechanical is presently working on the superstructure of the robot, the kicker (to kick the ball) and the ball retainer (To take ball). We're not quite sure where the shooter goes yet.
Why did the plane crash? The pilot was a loaf of bread! Hahahahaha!
Electrical has designed the control base and are building it in CAD. In Electrical people's words, "Because it is our tenth year as a team, (Woo!) we will be using components from all of our past nine years' on this year's control board!"
Marketing is doing their best to complete the business plan as quickly and efficiently as possible. As it is going now, that could be a while.
Why was the graveyard so noisy? Because of all the coffin! Hahahahaha!
Week two has thrown few complications in our faces, and we are slightly worried that they will all show up at competition.
Why aren't there any knock knock jokes about freedom? Because freedom rings! Hahahahaha!
As week three draws closer, we reach the realization that we are already halfway through build season. Will we reach the deadline? Well, I hope so. This year has already given me new memories, new friends, and new assorted injuries. But what's engineering without a little bit of pain? I'm not complaining!
Wish us luck as we embark into the next semester of the season, and we plan on seeing all of you at competition.
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.