November 2nd, 2012
Today, the Robolancers’ mechanical teams started to combine their subgroups to start planning the nuances of the robot. Previously, Gold and Crimson mechanical had been split into Chassis, Manipulator, and Lifting groups. These subgroups brainstormed, prototyped, and finally chose which mechanisms they thought were the best for each part of the robot. Now, they all used graph paper to sketch out how all of these mechanisms would fit on the robot. This is especially challenging, as both teams decided to build within 17″ by 17″ by 17″ dimensions, losing an inch of width, height, and depth. This made squeezing all three essential systems even harder, with a limited amount of space.
Yesterday, after weeks of preparations and planning, we finally held our annual FTC Workshop and Scrimmage. Teams from every corner of the city came to expand their knowledge of robotics. Teams from as far as Lancaster came to assist us in mentoring teams. During the day, the teams learned about Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Video Judging pertaining to FTC. Many teams expressed their gratitude, saying how big of a help we were in completing parts of their robot.
Today, the Robolancers neared completion of their chassis for both of their teams. They main focus of today was to prep for the annual FTC Workshop and Scrimmage at Central High School. We had all hands on deck, preparing signs, schedules, and rules so that our event would run smoothly. The event is hosting 150 people, so we need to be precise to achieve success. This event is very important to us, because it spreads the ideals of FIRST throughout inner-city Philadelphia, where kids in FIRST programs have very little funding or resources. Our event gives them knowledge and a day for build,as many School District of Philadelphia buildings are closed on the weekends.
Today, the Robolancers delved farther into prototyping their designs. Using VEX and FTC parts, they took their designs from just being on a piece of paper, to being a real thing. The Robolancers are also prepping for their 2nd Annual FTC Workshop and Scrimmage, held at Central High School. The members started to make signs and floor plans so that our visitors can navigate our halls smoothly.
Today we started to prototype our manipulators for FTC. The prototypes were created using VEX parts, which were very useful for some of the designs our members had pondered over. Some of these systems include a rack and pinion, arms, and lifts. We also held our first ever Flapjack Fundraiser on Saturday; it was a success, pulling in over 100 people to come eat to help the Robolancers. Tommorow, we continue our outreach of the STEM community in Philadelphia, as we are mentoring University City High School in West Philadelphia.
Today the Robolancers delved even deeper into the depths of brainstorming for their robots. Both teams broke into subgroups and discussed their ideas for manipulators and lifting mechanisms. Many of our alumni came back today to teach the new students about the fields they had mastered during their time with the Robolancers, such as programming and electrical. The Marketing subgroup started to interview mentors for their FTC video, as they have to turn in a video in lieu of traditional judging, which is unique to Philadelphia FTC.
Earlier today, a small group from Robolancers went to Martin Luther King High School to mentor their team! They met students who are completely knew to robotics. There, both teams shared ideas, information on various robotic competitions (BEST, FTC, FRC). Robolancers plan to make weekly trips to MLK High School, as students will be staying in contact. Students from Central and MLK had a fun time learning about the different competitions and strategies for it. Can’t wait to visit MLK again, stay tuned!
Today. our FTC teams discussed the manipulators of their respective robots. In the FTC game this year, teams will have to be able to pick up and hang rings (reminiscent of Logomotion) and to lift up other robots. Gold talked about using a rack and pinion to make an elevator for lifting robots, and also brainstormed about possible manipulator designs. Crimson, because they want to be a robot that is lightweight and can be easily lifted, only explored manipulator designs.
Hello robopeople of the world!
Yesterday we had out first mechanical design meeting. Team Gold has decided to use a rack and pinion to be able to lift other robots in the endgame, and to design an arm that can reach all of the scoring pegs. Team Crimson has decided to make an arm that can reach the lowest and middle pegs, and not to lift, but to be light enough that if another robot will be able to lift them.
Hello, robopeople of the world!
Today we had our first strategy meeting for the Crimson and Gold teams. They are both situated at Central High School, and meet in 2 different rooms. Crimson decided on a a number of strategy elements, such as having a light robot that could be lifted easily, and going exclusively for the middle pegs. Gold was the complete opposite, as they have a heavy robot that could lift others in the endgame, and wanted to be able to hang rings from all three levels of poles.
Later that evening, we had our first parent’s meeting. The parents were informed about the FTC season’s events, the schedule for the year, including FRC, expectations of their children, and things that they could help out with the team. The turnout of the meeting had increased threefold from the previous year, so we expect many parents to be included in our programs this year.