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.

Happy Friday!

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. 

Happy Friday!
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.

Hey, robopeople!

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.

Hello everybody!

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.

Hello, robopeople of the world!

Today, the Robolancers finally split our new members into the team’s subgroups: Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Marketing. Surprising to many, the Marketing subgroup had substantially more members than last year, equaling the Electrical group. Just as they settled into their new roles, our coach unveiled a new plot twist:There was going to be not only one FTC team, but two! The member’s subgroups were split even more, into the two teams of Crimson and Gold(Central High School’s colors). The new members start working in their new roles this Wednesday, with our first FTC meet only 6 weeks away.

Hello, robopeople of the world!

The Robolancers attended the FTC(First Tech Challenge) kick off in Philadelphia today. Hosted at West Philadelphia HS, team members saw live demos of the field in action, the kickoff videos, and were given information on FTC as a whole. For this year, the Robolancers are splitting up into two separate teams for FTC, to accommodate for the team being over 300% larger than the previous year. 

Hello, robopeople of the world!

The Robolancers continued their tool training sessions today. Every member has to complete tool training, even if they’re on a non-robot role on the team. Again, our returning members taught classes on the various tools and resources we use in robotics, from explaining the use of PVC, to live demonstrations of power tools, such as the miter saw and rotary tool. We are also attending the Philadelphia FTC kickoff tomorrow at West Philadelphia High School, at 48th and Chestnut, so swing on by to see our minds at work.