Many devoted students, mentors and parents gave up yet another Saturday to take care of a long list of things to do before our competitions start next weekend while our completed robot slept in its bag (see photo below)!
We can't believe the Finger Lakes Regional is in less than a week! Practice day is Thursday, March 3 (it's March already?!?!?). Competition will be 8am to 4pm Friday and Saturday in the Gordon Field House at RIT. It's open and free to the public, with concessions available. Awards ceremonies are at about 4:30pm on Friday and Saturday. Look for the red camo and feel free to come by and cheer with our team!
So what got done today??
Mechanical members made spare parts. The BOM (bill of materials) was completed. Flare subteam got together the team awards, personal recognition buttons, and all of our flare items to cheer on our team and alliance members. They made over 2,000 buttons to give away at competition and we know we won't have a single one by the end of competition season. Powerpoints of the highlights of the past year were made to display on the screens in our pit. Mentor Amy A. is working on our giant FLL banner to hang in the pits (we can't wait to see it!!). Crystal, Ciana, and Mentor Leann decorated/decked out/pimped out JP's wheelchair (shhh!) and recruited a new mentor at Staples! LOL Jason finished creating the container to safely transport our scouting system. Programmers kept programming using last year's robot, Thunderfoot, as a guinea pig. Justin worked on the 50th update from Mentor Kim for the scouting database. And many other people, especially Mentors Jeff and Larry, were running around making sure everyone had what they needed to pack in the trailer!
It was a busy day that went by very quickly. There is still much more to do, but today made great progress. We'll be signing off till FLR when we should have more fun and exciting things to report on! Stay tuned!
With the students on their school break there were several very long days as the programmers (students and mentors) crunched code during the day and into the evening. Mechanical and electrical teams were there after work hours and until midnight each night. The drive team candidates got to spend some time testing out the drive train the arm / manipulator, and mini-bot systems. Flare teams finished the Finger Lakes Regional Recognition Program buttons and added corporate sponsor logos to the robot. All subteams were finishing their Bill of Material entries.
Last night it was apparent that the countdown had begun and all eyes were on the clock. Glitches were found in the autonomous codes and fixed. The arm joint refused to latch during one trial and a contingency was found in case it happens during a match. The deployer latch stuck and will have to be redone for competition. A wire was cut disabling the manipulator and was replaced and fastened more securely. Tubes were hung and picked and tossed. Finally Team Leader Larry called for the tear down of the final section of field left standing from Rally and the robot went up for a final weigh-in (a hint over 104 lbs) and photos. Such a celebrity!
Then the bumpers were tucked inside, everything was tied down and the robot was slid into its giant sleeping bag and tagged!
The sleep won't be long since the Finger Lakes Regional is March 3-5. It is at RIT! If you are in the area, please come and join us!
Team Captain Crystal here! It was a hustle and bustle all over at Penfield today! Three local newstations stopped in to check out our robot scrimmage with 10 other NY teams! We webcasted the Pits all day, but unfortunately could not show the actual competition on our homemade field with the lack of internet in the gym.
We did tape the event though, so we will upload highlights of our entire day and share it on Chief Delphi!
Several teams continued to work on their robots here with the assistance of 1511 and other attending teams. We were so happy to help wherever we could! The first few practice matches were rather slow, but teams started to get adjusted to their new robots and controls. We did see some teams successfully place ubertubes in autonomous, and a few attempted auto! It was really great to have the Lead Inspector for FLR, Rob, and one of his crew, Dan, at Rally to work with the teams, especially the rookies to make sure they were all set for FLR!
We also had an exciting minibot race where climb rates ranged from 2 seconds to 6 seconds; they were launched physically at the base of the towers by team members though.
The big news is that our robot works! We struggled with the robot sitting and twiddling its sprockets on the field until we discovered that mysteriously the robots code had been overwritten with gibberish! With a refreshed copy of the program in place the robot made its move! It was able to pick up pieces and place at all levels of the rack. The potential drive team members took turns learning the controls. Most needed reminded that the programming team had written functions to do specific activities at the push of the button! The robot makes a very interesting sound as it grabs the tubes, which earned it an instant and slightly inappropriate nickname!
As the visiting teams were packing up, the team tore down the field except for a small section that was set up in the cafeteria. The robot and mechanical and electrical teams headed to the shop to add a few extra motors and speed controllers. Shayna and Team Leader Larry were reminded of the chemical properties of paint and plastic cups as Shayna did the touch up paint on the robot. And on Shayna. And on the bench. And on the floor. You should have the idea by now.
We also got a demonstration that the Robot Cart has removable handle. This will be a space and safety improvement for competition! The blue bumper cover made a brief appearance for a fitting and then went and had bold white 1511's stenciled on by several Team Moms and Mentor Cynette. Which reminds me! A big thank you to all the team moms and dads who came out to work at the Rally! And to our great sponsor Harris and Chip Renzi for providing speakers for the morning ceremonies and for the CAKE!
And thank you to the people who helped feed our team today - Lunch by Peter, Ben, Manual and Mentor Christian's family, afternoon snack of pizza by Mentor from afar Kim (who was near and brought College Mentor Theo with her!), and dinner by Team Captain Crystal's mom!
I'll start with dinner tonight. We had a slew of pasta casseroles with sausage and broccoli and peppers and chicken! And one that seemed almost like a minestrone casserole. And HOT DOGS!!! And Brownies and Cookies. Thanks Jonathan G's family!
The programming team spent their night in the Bit Cave working on autonomous and with the drivers station.
Game testing (you just lost the game) was in full swing. Just a few days left for those students who are applying for pit crew and drive team to qualify.
The red bumpers were finished! And look pretty sweet if I say so myself.
The web team was working on refreshing the content of our newly revamped website.
Buttons were being designed - some for rally and hopefully some for the Regional Recognition Awards.
We got the arm mechanism and the drive are to the point where the last thing is putting on the motors and transmissions. The missing motors and transmissions. They didn't come today, so they hopefully will come tomorrow.
This is our big weekend - RALLY! Come on Sunday and see the robots test out their moves! At Penfield High School starting at 10 am.
So tomorrow and Saturday will be working to set up the field and try to finish the robot. And tomorrow is the last day of school for the students for a whole week.
It was a long evening for our award submitters, but the Chairman’s, Dean’s List, Website and Woodie Flowers award have all been submitted successfully!
Tonight’s dinner was a delicious meatloaf meatball platter with mashed potatoes, salad, chips and cookies! Thanks to Liz's family (Parentor Peggy!). Ciana also had a really delicious load of banana bread that we munched on throughout the night while working on the essay tune ups!
The robot appears to be underweight right now with the drivetrain, deployer, superstructure and arm, isn’t that amazing? It’s been dieting since the start, and all the lightning holes have really paid off!
It’s our hope that the BaneBots motors will show tomorrow, they’ve been delayed for some time and finally shipped today, so we’re hoping for the best!
Team Leader Larry has also been out sick, and we really wish that he could be back with us! At least he can watch the webcast! He’s happy to report that he’s finally graduated to solid foods once again!
Red bumpers! Blue bumpers! Beep beep, we want to get in the other lane!!! Our students started to staple the FIRST approved red and blue fabrics on to our pink and blue pool noodle bumpers.
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.