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.

New Shop at SJTI

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Nate & Jean with keys to new shop.

Rockford Robotics is excited to announce we have moved our work space to Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. We are sincerely grateful to Teresa Beach-Shelow and Tom Shelow for their generosity in sharing SJTI’s shop space with us.

The new shop is big! There is ample room for quiet work areas, a machine shop, a FTC project area and meeting/discussion space. We even have room to set up a practice field.

FTC Northern League West Division Meet 1

Rockford Robotics hosted the first meet of the 2015/16 FTC season for the Northern League West Division on Saturday, November 14 at Guilford High School. The fifteen participating teams included four rookie teams. Each team competed in five matches. League play is a bit different than traditional qualify matches. Each league meet will has inspections and qualifying matches, but no judging sessions or formal ceremonies. Standings from the league meets are cumulative and guide alliance selection at the league championship.

Attending teams included Octopi (6007), Breaking Bot (7627), Robotic Lions (7715), Rockford RoboTECH (8003), Techno Tamerins (8685), Robo Vikings (8698), KISS Robotics (8706), E-Robotics (8708), Rough Robotics (8709), E-Robotics (8708), Fruit Salad (8817), WOW Robotics (9239), Rolling Thunder (9411), They Might Be Robots (10326), Dream Machine (10482), and Minivation (10505).

Thank you to Eric Williams, Chris Magee and the many local volunteers for their work in organizing and operating this event.

Click on the albums below to see pictures from the meet.

Adopt A Road – Fall 2015

adopt_rd_2015Rockford Robotics team members met on Sunday, October 25 to clean a segment of Springfield road as part of our commitment to the Adopt-A-Road program. The day started pretty chilly and dewey, but the sun was shining and the trees along our stretch of road were at full peak glory fall colors. Absolutely beautiful!

We managed to find some weird items, including a decorative pillow, fully wrapped with a saying on it, an alarm clock, a calculator face, and a $5.00 bill

Thanks to Mr. Power, Logan, Eric, Brenda, Addie, Jean, Ellie, Josh, Lukas, and Mia for coming out on a brisk October morning!!

2015 Robofest

2015_robofestWe had a fantastic time at Milwaukee’s RoboFest 2015! There were 15 teams, so the elimination rounds consisted of 4 alliances with four teams and one alliance with three. Our alliance included Rockford Robotics, Winnovation, Flaming Monkeys, and the Hilltoppers. After finishing 2nd in the semi-finals, we advanced to the final round. After two matches in the finals, we were tied with the competing alliance (which included Wave Robotics and Fondy Fire.) This forced a nail-biter third match which we lost by 10 points. Final score for the 3rd match was 112-122.

Students and adults had a great time, with different people trying their hand on drive team. It was nice to reconnect with some teams that joined us at R2OC as well.

Robofest boasted record crowds. We were happy to be a part of this annual event.

2015 FIRST Tech Challenge Kick-Off

2015 ftc kickoff

The FTC Kick-Off was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Guilford High School. This event was jointly sponsored by Rockford Public Schools and the Rockford Robotics, Owls Nest, and Techno Tamerins teams. It featured workshops on:

  • Gracious Professionalism
  • Engineering Notebook and Video Production Requirements
  • Fundraising
  • FTC’s New Operating System

Following the workshops, attendees viewed the game challenge video and a complete full size playing field.  This year’s game is Res_Q.  Use the links below to learn more about the game and see the game video.