Wednesday, January 7. 2015
I don’t know about you, but on the last Saturday of my winter break I was awake at six a.m., getting ready for the longest day of build season.
January 3rd, 2015. What ensues, you ask? Well, let me tell you! Six weeks of programming, mechanical design, working in the shop, and agonizing over multiple essays! In other words, NERD MAYHEM!
But don’t worry. We don’t plan on taking over the world quite yet . . .
That’s next year!
This year’s game is called “Recycle Rush.” It’s all about shoving litter (pool noodles) into different areas. Some areas are recycle areas, and others are landfills! You get more points for recycling than you do for putting it in the landfill, of course. Also, totes can be stacked for extra points! Some points are for both teams and some points are only for your team. There is a coopertition bridge in the middle of the field that can get up to forty additional points for both sides. However, this is only if they are stacked on top of each other, and each team has to present at least one tote.
After we get back to the school, the first matter of business is food! A delicious lunch is provided for the team by a team parent. After the sandwiches and juice boxes, we break into smaller groups and go over the rule books. Leaning over the tables with highlighters poised in our hands, we scoured all of the details that could gain us points, lose us points, and could cause possible fouls.
After a good once over of the rules, we came back together to group them. We do this in order to understand the manual and game as well as we can before building the robot. This way, we already know dimension limitations and weight restrictions. Then, we break off into different groups and prototype what we think the robot should look like!
There were many different ideas, all of them fantastic, and finally we settled on a rough design that we wanted to work toward. Already, that design has been slightly altered; I am sure it will be altered again very soon.
Now, it is day five, and CAD work is well underway for the drive base. The grabber and lifter parts of the robots are being highly debated on size and construction, and controls are wondering how in the world they are going to manage all this!
So far, it’s just like any other year. This year seems different though.
This year is gonna be amazing.