In our final full week before the ship date, the team worked together to finish drive train and kicker construction, install bumpers, complete programming, and submit award applications.
Students also designed a trading card which lists the robot’s stats. Teams use these trading cards to provide information when forming alliances during the competition.
Parents, sponsors and local media attended our open house on Friday, February 19. The event included a robot demonstration and was featured on the WIFR Friday evening news.
With only a week left before our February 23 ship date, Robotics team members are working hard to complete the bot with enough time left to practice field competition skills.
The Drive Train and Kicker Teams combined their individual components into the final robot. They are now working on building the robot’s bumper system. They also will install Plexiglass side and back panels. These panels will feature the team logo as well as our sponsors logos.
The pressure is on for the Electronics Team to refine the robot’s controls. Once this is done, we can practice our robot driving skills.
Aside from mechanical and electrical work, students are developing our application for the FIRST Chairman’s Award. This award was created to recognize teams that demonstrate the greatest commitment to spreading passion about science and technology into their communities and schools. Submission involves writing an essay of approximately 2,500 words documenting the team’s efforts at spreading the message of FIRST, as well as student interviews with judges at the competition.
Several students and mentors also participated in Rockford Discovery Center’s Engineering Day on Saturday, February 13, 2010.
Robotics sub-team members continued to work on their respective projects.
The Drive Train Team has finished the frame. They are now mounting brackets for the air compressor, battery and accumulator tanks. The robot uses compressed air as energy. It is stored in the accumulator tanks. When we release the stored energy, it moves a piston that releases a winch which allows the kicker to swing.
The Electronics Team is programming the “photo eye” so that we can aim the robot towards the targeted goals. They are also are rewiring electronics board, i.e., the robot’s brain, to meet FIRST standards.
Our Spirit Team is designing trading cards. Teams use trading cards during competition to inform potential alliance members of their robot capabilities. The Spirit Team also completed a logo which will be printed on stickers and buttons.
The Drive Train Team completed a prototype. It was able to travel across the playing field, including maneuvering over bumps. Following drive train testing, students welded together the final robot frame and installed the wheels and motor. The corner wheels are mecanum wheels. As well as moving forward and backward like conventional wheels, they allow sideways movement by spinning wheels on the front and rear axles in opposite directions.
The Design Team completed the CAD robot design. They are now working on drawings for specific parts that will need machining.
The Programming Team started work on the robot’s “camera eye.” The “eye” will focus on targets centered over the goals. This will help steer the robot when it is in autonomous mode.
Other student teams built a model field for testing the robot and designed this year’s logo.
Rockford Robotics spent the second week of this competition season building prototypes for the drive train and kicking systems. A student sub-team also continued to create a three dimensional model using CAD software.
Next week’s goal is to test and refine prototypes. Then we can start building final system.
Following the Kickoff meeting, students and mentors discussed the game strategy. They came up with specific goals for this year’s robot: be fast and easy to maneuver, move easily over bumps in the playing field, kick accurately, and be able to lift itself.
The 2010 game, BREAKAWAY has a soccer theme. Two alliances of three teams compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps. Teams earn points when their robots “kick” balls into the target. There are penalties for more holding more than one ball and pinning another robot too long. In the last 20 seconds of game, teams can earn bonus points for hanging their robot from a frame.