2016 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

Our build team cut drive train parts and sent them out for welding. Superior Joining Technologies  is providing welding services for us. Build team is now prototyping the pickup system.

The CAD team is working at the challenging task of fitting eight motors and four gearboxes into a five foot space on the drive train.

The software team is developing a vision tracking system that will allow the robot to autonomously aim the shooter at the goal.

The electronics team completed the first draft of the electrical schematics.

Mentors, parents and students finished construction of the tower and several defense obstacles that we will use in the practice field.

2016 Build Season Update: Week 2 Activities

We spent much of week two continuing to design the robot and build our prototype. Most of the drive train CAD work is complete.

This year’s game has a medieval theme that requires robots to “breach” defenses and “challenge” a tower. Teams can earn points by crossing obstacles, shooting boulders into the tower, and scaling the tower.  Highest points are gained when a robot scales the tower. However, a robot can’t scale the tower until it has been weakened. And the tower is only weakened after eight boulders have made into the tower.

Our build strategy is to design a robot with a drive train capable of crossing all the outer works, i.e., obstacles. The works vary from rugged terrain to moats, gates, rock walls, drawbridges, and even low bars for the robot to cross under.

We are also working on a ball shooter that can target the upper tower windows. And we hope to develop a climbing system.

2016 Build Season Update: Week 1 Activities

During our first build season week, the team brainstormed some drive train and special system ideas. When we are satisfied with the design, our CAD team will create 3D models from which the build team will construct prototypes.

The electrical team also got right to work. They are building a control board for the prototype.

And our media team is working on designing t-shirts and promotional material as well as completing award applications.

FIRST Lego League “We’re Going to State” Celebration

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On Thursday January 14 from 6-7:30 pm Superior Joining hosted a “We’re Going to State” Celebration for the 5 local FIRST Lego League Teams that  competed at the State Championship Tournament on Saturday January 16 in Elgin. The Celebration included a tour of Superior Joining and the Rockford Robotics shop.

The teams traveling to state are:

  • R-Cycle, Rockford Christian
  • Royal Robotic Flying Squirrels – Rockford Christian
  • Froberg Bricks – Froberg Elementary School, Rockford Public Schools
  • Is It Snack Time Yet? – Eisenhower Middle School, Rockford Public Schools
  • Marshall Mustangs – Marshall Middle School, Rockford Public School
The Rockford Register covered this event. Click this link to read their article:  Rockford Sends Record Number of Teams to State Championship.

2016 Build Season Update: Kick-Off

FIRSTStrongHoldTeam 2039 launched its 2016 build season with a meeting at our new shop at Superior Joining Technologies. Thank you once again to Thom Shelow and Teresa Beech Shelow for sharing their workspace with us. In the morning, students and mentors watched the kickoff ceremonies that introduced this year’s game: Stronghold.

In this game each alliance of three teams works together to score points by stacking Totes on Scoring Platforms, capping those stacks with Recycling Containers, and properly disposing of Litter, represented by pool noodles, in designated locations. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all scoring elements used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

After receiving the game information, the team broke into smaller groups to discuss strategy and robot design. Parents joined in by planning construction of a playing field which we will use to test our robot design and practice our driving skills.

By the end of the first week, we hope to have a basic robot design in place and to have started prototyping.