Saturday, October 23, 2010

CalGames Day 2

Today was the second day of the 2010 CalGames competition. The whole day our robot did exactly what we told it to do and we only had to ever make a minor change before a match. The success of our robot didn't exactly translate into our matches, considering that we lost all of them except for the only match that our robot was not communicating with the driver station (we believe this was because the battery was running low). Our biggest downfall was most likely the fact that our divers had less than 24-hours to get used to driving the robot, and we now know to make lots of time to practice.

However, throughout the entire fall season, our goal was never to win CalGames. We wanted to make sure that our current team had the skills necessary to design, build and program a robot for the actual FIRST competition. We 100% completed this goal. We took what we learned from last season and applied our knowledge to the design of our robot. For the first time ever, we used pneumatics, and I am extremely proud of this accomplishment because we now understand how it works and we have a new tool to implement in future challenges. The programming team also proved themselves amazing, as they were able to complete all of the code (in a new language) in practically 8 days. One team called us crazy for making a robot just for CalGames, but we are all proud of the magnificent Will da Beast.

We talked to some amazing teams and we will definitely plan on attending CalGames again next year. Congratulations to all of the teams who competed, but specically to 971, 254, and 692 on their 2010 CalGames win!

Photos will be posted to the Picassa, and you can check out the videos we have posted on YouTube (1700gatorbotics). Don't forget to follow us on twitter (Gatorbotics1700).

Friday, October 22, 2010

CalGames Day 1

Today was our first day at CalGames! We started off the day meeting at Casti at 9:00 and we finished working on the robot, and practiced driving for the competition. We changed the autonomous code so that we were able to consistently score 2 goals during autonomous (we probably could have scored 3 but we only had 2 balls).

One of the highlights of the day was when we ordered the pizzas from Domino's . They have this special feature that allows you to tract the progress of your order online, and tells you the name of the delivery person. We made a big thank you note for Leonardo, the delivery guy, and waited for him outside of the school. He was extremely happy when he recieved the card and we think that this gave good karma for the competition.

When we got to the actual competition everything went very smoothly. We quickly had everything unpacked and passed inspection quickly. I'd like to give a shout-out to Inspector Martin, I can honestly say that he is probably our favorite inspector. We found out that our robot only weighs 83 lbs (even with the 12.5lb weight on it), but so far the weight doesn't seem to be an issue.

During our first match we were with 668 and 114 in the blue alliance, and we competed against 1351, 675 and 3045. Unfortunately we found a leak in our pneumatics set up (this is now fixed), so we were unable to kick during the amazing autonomous that our programmers have worked on. In the end the score was 3-5, which we were originally surprised by, but when we remembered that points scored during autonomous were now worth 2 points it made sense.

When we left today everything was working and we are all excited for day two of the competition. If you want to see what's going on, but can't make it to Lynbrook High School, check out the webcast at .

Photos and videos will be uploaded as soon as possible!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Update


It has been a while since the blog was updated so I will try to include all of the important

The first piece of exciting information is that we cleaned out the robotics lab! Below is a picture so you can see how lovely it looks. However, the lab is once again messy, but we will clean everything up.

The big news that we have is that we are attending CalGames next weekend! CalGames is an off-season robotics competition that is a replay of last season's competition, Breakaway. We have been working on a new robot that we are going to bring to the competition. The robot is named Will da Beast and has a low chassis, pneumatic kicker, camera, autonomous mode and snazzy bumpers (they are reversible so we don't need to stress about taking them off between matches)! We are short enough to go under the tunnels in the center of the field and the robot looks amazing! CalGames was the first time that we programmed a robot in Java and so far everything has been going great! Today we got got the final version of the robot up and running. The kicker works and we decided to add some surgical tubing to make it a little stronger, but we have the piston mounted so that we can adjust how hard we kick the ball.

With 5 days left until CalGames we just need to make a few adjustments to the robot and we should be ready to go. We are all packed up getting excited for the competition. CalGames is at Lynbrook High School, and the first day's matches and opening ceremony starts at 6:00 pm on Friday October 22. The second day (October 23) starts nice and early at 8:00 am, and we would love everyone to come! What is a better way to celebrate Mole Day than to come and watch an exciting robotics competition?

I would also like to thank our incredible mentors Jimmy, Holly, Stephen and Santhi who have helped us so much with this robot! We wouldn't have a beautiful robot if it wasn't for their help!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


sorry for no updates yet -- the last month has been ridiculously busy.

i suppose the 2010 season is officially coming to a close! we've competed in both the portand and silicon valley regionals, and i'm very proud of us. we might not have the "tangible" results, but honestly? our robot this year is kind of amazing. yes, perhaps we didn't consider the current in our cim motor or think that bolts would bend, but ah well.

thanks to everyone for an amazing season. i'm going to miss this.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

and away we go!

fifteen of us, plus holly and stephen and karlin, are headed up to portland tomorrow to compete in the oregon regional -- wish us luck!

assuming we have internet in the hotel, i will try to blog to keep everyone up to date. wish you could all be there to cheer chad on!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

to do

details of the past few days to come shortly, but before i forget--

things to do either before or on thursday of portland:
FIX THE CRATE -- crack, power strip, weather stripping, bolts on the bottom, etc.
cart...? [check airline restrictions]
pack [update packing lists first]
do not forget the blinky light. take to portland and mount.
camera -- figure out how to mount it! test the code
[probably not] autonomous
sticky stuff for the front roller
distribute teeshirts, etc
chairman's video?

sleep, eat, etc.
i'm proud of us. it's definitely been a whirlwind, tumultuous season, but chad is pretty, chad drives and kicks and goes over bumps. get ready for a crazy two [...or three???] competitions.

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you to everyone we have to thank. you know exactly who you are.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

status check

1. DONE:Test drive code/ ability to strafe onto bump (strump?)
2. DONE:Determine position for kicker/surgical tubing
3. YES OR NO? Mount encoders
4. DONEMount gyro
5. DONEMount battery and electronics board
6. NEEDEDcase for electronics board
7. N/AWhere is pneumatics going? cylinders too
8. DONEMount cam
9. HAAAAAAAAAAAAtest cam code
10. DONEHow to join surgical tubing?
11. SPRAY PAINTBumpers
13. STILLNEEDAnti-ball carrying/support pyramids
14. NEEDCamera mount
15. DONEMake kicker
16. N/AElevation hook...geometry
17. N/ACan we lift 150 lbs?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


it seems ridiculous to dive back into the mundane blogposts of what's happening, what needs to happen, etc, but i know that he would have wanted us to have a robot to ship on tuesday.

a couple of us are heading to nasa today [rules mean only six people can go] for a practice session. i'm a little unclear as to whether we have macoc [mac and cheese on chad] to work with, but we'll swing by ideo later. the full name, sadly, will NOT be macocwfw, as the pneumatics unfortunately are not going to work and therefore we won't have elevation.

programming is eagerly awaiting a moment when we can test some code :) but if worst comes to worst, we can always use thursday at portland for that. but honestly, especially since we won't be having elevation, i think we'll be in decent shape for tuesday.

thanks to everyone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Hello everybody,
Today was a sad day for everyone in Gatorbotics. But we know we have to finish our robot. It's why Doug did everything he did for us. That, and how much he loved us.

I didn't know Doug too well, but I remember when he taught me how to solder. I'm an excellent solderer now--I learned from the best. Doug was always extremely precise in everything, from the twisting of the wires together, being careful not to break them, to the application of the super-hot solder, without burning the wire. And of course you have to wear your safety glasses. Doug always made sure of that.

I think it's appropriate that I spent today soldering, and even better, teaching other people how to solder. We all wore our safety glasses, and our soldering was wonderful. We fixed a battery charger, which is happy our batteries can charge. And we fixed up encoders and PWMs. And now two more people on the team know how to solder exactly the way Doug taught me.

In other areas of the team--some of us are working on the cart! It's going great, I think we just have to add a couple corners so the robot doesn't fall off.
Pneumatics-wise, we're trying to test if Free Willy will hold 150 pounds safely.
Caroline worked on code. The wireless is having a temper tantrum. Hopefully it'll calm down soon.

We miss you, Doug.

woodie flowers

We don't know where to begin this essay. Around noon today, we heard terrible news that a plane flying Tesla engineers, including Doug Bourn, had crashed into a power line. There were no survivors. Last night, Doug was, as usual, at Castilleja with his girls. Even after his six years with the team, we never quite knew when he'd arrive; he once told us “Well, I usually stop by when I'm having a bad day. You girls can always cheer me up.” We don't want to believe that he will never again arrive bearing bags of goodies, a bright smile, and thoughtful advice. The thing about Doug is that he was never proud of himself. Last year, we had all students and mentors sign our finished robot. When asked to contribute, he simply said, “But it's your robot. You built it. You did it.” He always put others first. Just a week ago, after quietly noticing we had not yet built a tower, he turned up with all the supplies and tools needed to put together a full-scale game piece. That's just who Doug is. He doesn't expect or wish to be commended for his generosity, because he always acted with extraordinary chivalry and compassion.

Doug taught us that any job can be accomplished with the right tools. He was the resident “Santa” of the team and often participated in "retail therapy." Whenever our team needed anything, he would be the first to go out and buy it, or find some better alternative. A few of the tools he supplied us with were far more precise than we would ever need, but most ended up being valuable tools (we eventually used all of the left-handed, right-handed, and straight tin snips he brought us). More important than the physical products was the mindset he gave us of how essential tools are. Our team, in the time crunch of robotics, would often construct make-shift prototypes and tweak them as necessary. Doug taught us that spending one day just planning out what we were doing without any construction would save us three days later when our model needed to be fixed. He showed us how many problems could be avoided by thinking through hypothetical situations beforehand. Doug gave us both the physical and metaphorical tools to succeed.

We all want to grow up to be just like Doug. He was compassionate, precise, brilliant, and sweet. Doug recognizes the needs of others and acts accordingly, without being asked. He always attempts to explain even the most difficult concepts, like the nitty-gritty of how sensors work or how to build a 256 by 256 array to house every combination of joystick values. He always enjoyed teaching us and never lost patience when we didn't immediately grasp the difficult concepts he so easily understood. Doug was also the sensor whisperer. We accidentally broke many a GTS and other sensors while trying carefully to make them work, and Doug would always sit down with a magnifying glass and some solder and sort it all out. He was able to teach concepts while simultaneously executing the necessary tasks. Most importantly, he was always laughing. Doug could make anyone else smile, even if he didn't know why they were down. Through the tools in our project room and the smarts in our brains, Doug will always be with us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Crappy wooden CAM (seriously, that thing took way longer to make than I would've guessed), temporarily attached to CIM motor to test torque output and actuate the kicker mechanism

...and it works! but watch out for your fingers...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

t-7, continued

chadddddd the chassssssssssssssis drives. well! beautifully! the gyro code ensures that we don't crash and burn after coming down off the bump. this is actually wonderfully exciting. at the very very least, we will have a driving robot.

paiataaotgor's prototype does not currently work perfectly, but we think that with a tower of the exact dimensions and correct bumpers, it shoooould work. fingers crossed.

a ghetto version of the kicker is on chad [macncheese on chad with free willy is the official name of the 2010 gatorbotics robot]. the cam, in all its wedgeofcheese glory, is machined, meaning we FINALLY have a functional prototype of a kicker. anndini added a wedge to the bottom of the kicker, and now it makes it into the goal!!!! this is enormously exciting. we're aren't yet using a motor, it's mounted with duct tape, and nandini sits inside chad to operate it, but PROGRESS! such progress! and with seven days to go [MAINSK!] that's all we can hope for.

bumper progress continues, crate is glorious, cad is good stuff, chairmans and woodie in the works, sugar in the belly, and off we go!


one week to ship and the robotics room is buzzing!
like bees! except i'm not sure bees are known for their robot-building abilities? although they do build excellent hexagonal honeycombs.
and what have the busy bees of team 1700 have been up to?
paiataaotgor has a design for the support pyramid for free willy!
bumpers are going swimmingly
the chassis is chassisy! and happy? it goes over the bump without bumping too much. thanks jimmy!
electronics board is in the works
yes, life is good! it time to start pondering names?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

things we need to machine

chassis finished [gearboxes, chain, wheels...]
machine the cam
machine the kicker [questions: welded or bolted? we need to buy metal first, anyway]
-cam [need to determine position. can we reuse from sadie?]
-kicker [screws--tapped chassis]
-surgical tubing [ubolts]
-pneumatics/free willy [free willy himself, pivot, hook, additional supports]
electronics board and case

Saturday, February 13, 2010

vitals check, 2/13

thanks to shreya for posting that long list of what needs to happen before ship.... it's a hefty list, certainly, but we can do it. we're in a sort of bottleneck right now, since we can't test code until we have a chassis and we can't do the kicker until we have a chassis and we can't make final kicker decisions until we have a cam and there's just oodles to be done. jimmy is working on the chassis, kicker, encoder mounts, etc. fast and furious.

paiataaotgor is working hard on two thing that can be accomplished tonight: will free willy hold 150 pounds? and what will the final geometry be? yay for math and tightened 8020!

the crate is great [ha ha geddit?] and a deliciously vibrant shade of lime green, with a wonderfully ferocious CHOMP CHOMP mouth on it. that's a terrible description, but it's a great :) work of art.

we're coming at the end and with much that needs to be done but little that can be done, it can be really frustrating. keep your chin up and eyes focused and with some chocolate, fantastic mentors, and the will to win, we'll somehow put out a functional robot in our remaining nine days.

t-10 to do list!

hello all!
so today we have compiled the following list of stuff to do before ship...luckily we are looking at the vast expanse of SKI WEEK stretching out before us like slope? for robots?
  1. Test drive code/ ability to strafe onto bump (strump?)
  2. Determine position for kicker/surgical tubing
  3. Mount encoders
  4. Mount gyro
  5. Mount battery and electronics board
  6. CASE for electronics board
  7. Where is pneumatics going? cylinders too
  8. Mount cam
  9. test cam code
  10. How to join surgical tubing?
  11. Bumpers
  12. Cart
  13. Anti-ball carrying/support pyramids
  14. Camera mount
  15. Make kicker
  16. Elevation hook...geometry
  17. Can we lift 150 lbs?
17 things to do in 10 days, so if we do 1.7 things per day we'll be done on time! WE CAN DO IT!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


ELEVATION! IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN! the bimba order finally turned up, and our 2foot cylinder is capable of lifting decrepit, dying old chad! it's super exciting. i have video footage that i will post at a later time. or an earlier time, meaning tmrw.

cam design sent to jimmy [solidworkssss whoo hoo] so we can actually have a real prototype...

goal built

yay. thank you to the rosstons for chaperoning, to karlin and holly and stephen and kersten for being their wondrous selves.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


chassis metal delivered to jimmy. chad 2.0 in the works.

cad stuff... also in the works? programming has written some theoretical cam code with an encoder and will test after divya does some camera stuff.
the camera is actually hooked up and though we may not use it during autonomous, it will be super useful just for general driving.

paiataaotgor still working on wood prototypes for elevation. their bimba stuff hasn't yet turned up. illinois-ING!

we have less than two weeks to go. commence concerned burst of productivity now.

karlin here - wow, I don't think I've ever written on this thing...

cam update: worked on figuring out where to place the cam and estimate cam shape/dimensions. Cam dimensions are approximately 1.5 inch smaller radius with the "oblong portion" of the cam extending to about 4 inches from the center.

On Monday, used ghetto method to estimate the force necessary to push the kicking mechanism back. We estimate we'll need to generate ~8.5 Nm of torque maximum if we assumed the cam had the dimensions above. For details about how we got this number, ask Nandini and Anne ...and don't put the notebook w/the calcs in the recycling bin ;) Technically that means we could possibly avoid using a CIM motor to actuate the cam because it's not that much torque...

Anne drew up a CAM outline to give to Jimmy and will ask him to cut a piece of wood to test with- plan to attach a prototype cam on the shaft from last year's front brush mechanism to hook up the cam to a motor and rig up a semi-functional 80/20 prototype.

Other things to think about: where on the chassis does this thing go? how do you want to kicker to contact the ball (e.g. on an upswing? on the downswing? parallel to the floor?) Can we incorporate something that will help keep the ball in place/draw the ball towards the kicker to kick more accurately?

Also - Tobi had a different idea for kicker actuation that utilized a conveyor belt to pull back the kicker and release it. They had a prototype in the works, it'll be cool to see if they can get it to work.


Monday, February 08, 2010

status update at t-15

15 days to go, so much to do!

we've made a ton of progress in the last few days, especially with driving.
marvin, may he rip, has essentially been abandoned becauuuuuuuse CHAD WORKS! with mecanum wheels, he is successfully able to get over the bump. whoo hooo!!!! because he is the kit chassis, the gearboxes are not ideal meaning the chain falls off basically all the time. but once chad 2.0 has been created things should be better.

originally we had the rollers on the wheels mounted like this


bad news. turns out that is not how you are supposed to mount mecanum wheels. now they are like this and everything is happier


anndini are going to allen steel tomorrow to purchase 6061 that can be delivered to jimmy. they also hope to have something drawn up in wood so that they can have a functional cam prototype.

paiataaotgor have new pneumatic [noo-noo] elevation ideas and are currently doing math to see if their idea is feasible.

annie and a crew have been working on finishing up the crate and will paint it on friday. it's going to be awfully awfully neon and with a gator! they are also making another bump and doug is making us a tower. we're still hoping to get a goal built soon.

chairmans and woodie due next week...

Friday, February 05, 2010

general update

we switched marvin's back wheels to the moon wheels so that he would spin faster and not buckle in our itself: it worked fairly well, as he now turns well/pivoting. we tried to drive him over the bump, and while it did not work wonderfully, it didn't work horribly either. the one time we truly got him over the bump, we went really fast and he basically tipped over. we're not abandoning marvin altogether, but we are working on putting mecanum wheels on chad to see how that will work.

code is generally in good shape -- wiring up a gts today to potentially use on the cam.

divya is working on camera stuff

paiataaotgor's elevation idea may not ultimately work, as they think the cylinders will only raise it up about 18 inches. they are now trying to develop an arm to help elevate.

jimmy has suggested using something called "rola" for elevation... i am going to look into ordering it.

saturday: 10-4
sunday: 10-3

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Wednesday February 3, 2010


Today has been a very eventful day. The PAIATAAOTGOR (Pneumatics as it applies to alternative aspects of the game or robots) sub team has successfully developed a method for elevation! Hopefully we will get a video if the testing posted soon. The best way to describe it is that there is an I shaped frame that is located under the chassis. At the intersections of the frame the pneumatics actuators are attached. The remained of the pneumatic cylinder is attached to the chassis frame. So when the actuator extends the chassis is lifted up and the I shaped frame remains on the ground. Then if we add hooks to the top of the robot, we should be able to retract the I shaped frame, so that the robot is elevated. Hopefully we will be able to get a total of 4 2 ft actuators in order to make this elevation method more stable (so if there is anyone who would like to give us a gift we would be very grateful :) )

Good Night

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Monday 2/1


Today the PAIATAGOR team worked on prototyping a kicker. The first kicker we worked on was very strong. Unfortunately, it was a little too strong for the pneumatics to pull. We started working on another design that also uses pneumatics and hopefully that one will work well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

tuesday. t-28.

exactly four weeks to ship from yesterday!

yesterday was a productive, if chaotic, day....

annie headed the effort to start using a motor to actuate the cam. decided on a van door, will hopefully be testing today.

shifrah, sarah r, and lindsey worked on a prototype for pneumatics actuation with a gate hinge. shif cut wood in the shop during lunch and they'll be done with that soon.

anndini drilled holes in the 8020 for the better prototype of marvin.

caroline wrote new drive code with some of the new programming team members. we tested it on chad. the wireless bridge REALLY does not like going over the bump. at all. not even a little bit. we think that it's a combination of just the innards of the bridge and the crio connections. we're insulating the bridge, and we shall try to order another one.

drills have been researched and we will order a new dewalt asap.

Monday, January 25, 2010

monday 1/25


chad goes over bumps! chad operates pneumatics! chad is amazing!
[chad is the kit chassis.]
unfortunately, chad does not go over bumps too well --- there are quite frightening crashing sounds when he lands. and the wireless likes to shut off. sticky wheels at the back work better than slick wheels at the back, though. but we as much as we love chad, we would prefer to not actually have to use him. especially as he has an attitude problem

PAIATAAOTGOR team wants you to know that they were successful in their robotics mission. they are about to go on an ACE run to get hinges etc to take their kicker mechanism to the next level.

the chassis [preemptively named "marvelous marvin"] is being drawn up by nandini.
sallie, divya, and santhi are wiring up various sensors. i THINK i found accurate documentation for the gyro [rate: signal, 5v, gd], but i cannot decipher the accelerometer documentation.

victoria, kylie, and shreya have been working on the lego robot, aka henry. they are screaming very loudly so as to trigger the sound sensor.

thank you to mr dean for chaperoning and to the harris family for dinner.
and a reminder that we are meeting until 8:30 this week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

thursday 1/21

it's been a long while since i've properly updated -- sorry! we've come a long way.

chad, the kit chassis with last year's electronics board but this year's labview code, is FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY up and running! it's terribly exciting.

marion, victoria, kylie, and caroline are going to work on pneumatics code. anna m has been spearheading the pneumatics movement, which is really awesome. the current pneumatics setup is slightly sketchy. we may possibly have been hardwiring to the battery, but we are in the process of hooking everything up [safty FIRST!] carefully following instructions.

aneesha, anna h, kaley, and tobi are working with mr cardinal to build the bump tonight. thank you so much for his help!

we've had some serious laptop/labview issues. after getting the new laptop from tech and installing labview 8.6, we think that labview is not windows7 compatible. this is a problem, meaning we won't be able to code on the new one successfully unless we downgrade to xp. mehhhh.

we have essentially decided that the design for the kicker that we want to pursue is the surgical tubing/4 chairs concept. a rectangular frame with a metal rod running though it with surgical tubing attaching to the top pulling the back of the kicker, allowing you to release quickly. i'm not sure that description is the easiest to understand, but i shall try to upload some pics whenever i have a moment.

more later

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


mentor: stephen
lead: nandini
code: caroline
sara h

mentor: santhi
lead: anne
code: divya

"pneumatics as it relates to... things" [pairtt]
mentor: holly
anna m
sarah r

mentor: karlin
lead: allie
code: sallie/sherri

hopefully the other new team members will join the various subteams soon. thanks to all for a great design review! i'll try to write more late.r

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

important links

labview programming guide --

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

from anna

anna can't figure out how to post so i am posting this for her:

Today Shifrah, Sarah R, Divya and I [Anna] were able to work on a pneumatics system to possibly use as a "kicker" for the robot. Jessa came by and helped us figure out what the pieces in the pneumatics boxes were for. After numerous trials and resealing the connections with teflon tape we were able to get the system to work! Currently the "kicker" dosn't move very quickly, but hopefully we will soon be able to connect it to some electronics so that we can get a good prototype up and running!

also, i (shreya again) wrote a poem

we don't know why
and we don't know how
but our projector
smells like a cow.


summary version of where we're at:

caroline, karlin, and i got extremely frustrated with the downloading mishaps and decided just to go home on time yesterday. we will continue wrestling with it on friday, but as we can actually write code and download it, we are not going to continue driving ourselves insane.

SO: tonight, we have four groups of people working on things.

caroline is working with lindsey, shreya, emilie rw, marion, kylie, and victoria and is walking them through the labview code from last year. we were hoping to have a projector to make teaching/explanation easier, but we could not manage to get the projector to work.

allie is working with teresa, annie, aneesha, and meghana and putting chain on the kit chassis. we're definitely going to stick with 35 chain this year, since we can't come up with good concrete reasons to switch to 25 and it is a huge hassle.

anna and shifrah are heading up a group that is prototyping a PNEUMATIC ACTUATOR!!!! i am very excited about it. yay for experimentation and messing around with parts.

tobi and a group are working on a pincher mechanism with 80/20.

thank you to mrs holston for dinner and chaperoning and to jessa for turning up!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a very productive day!

hello everybody! shreya here. i've been appointed "official blog person" so get used to me :)
it's the 4th day of the season and the robotics room is buzzing! build and programming alike a re busy as bumblebees!
happening today:
  • sherri, caroline, sallie, divya and karlin are trying to fix the wireless connection--basically, several parts have identity crises and are not aware they exist. and they need therapy.
  • anne and nandini filled in our lovely mentors, stephen and holly, on this year's challenge
  • anna, shifrah, emily and i built a prototype chassis
  • annie, sarah, christine and meghana built a prototype kicking mechanism
  • tobi, nina and aneesha worked on a prototype pinball flipper thing for kicking the soccer ball
  • allie, lindsey and victoria inventoried parts :D
chaperone and dinner was my mom (aka kc), who offered these words of wisdom: there is no such thing as too much garlic bread.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

and away we go!

it's strange to think that season's already started -- sixth year!

yesterday was kickoff. the challenge this year is essentially a modified soccer game with "bumps", and a "finale" involving robots elevated onto platforms. here's a link to a youtube of the animation:

caroline, anna m, anne, and i [sherri] went down to sj at the crack of dawn to receive the challenge and get the kit of parts. we came back to school and kicked off with the larger team and community at noon. i definitely think it was the biggest kickoff yet! over fifteen new team members showed up. we had an initial brainstorming session which we are continuing today. yesterday, we also inventoried the kit of parts, began to read the manual, and began to set up for labview/downloading.

this morning, we outlined major dates and guidelines. we want to have a design review sometime in the 17th-19th, actually choose a design, especially for drive train, by the 22nd. sometime early in season, we need to actually make a decision: do we want a gripper/elevation thing or not? we don't want another scotty-situation.

allie is going to create a twitter account for us.

we have a list of tasks/jobs that need to be done, especially things that underclassmen can do...
blog -- shreya
inventory robotics lap?
bill of materials
"manual expert" -- anna m
cart -- sarah r
picasa/photos -- teresa
junior safety captain?
youtube scout -- victoria
game components

and off we go! thank you to ms mourad, the mentors who came yesterday, and all the parent support. we couldn't do it without you. let the madness begin.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Crate Progress

Today, Shreya, Shifrah, Anna, Tobi, Sherri and I (Annie) met at Castilleja to build the crate. The design is similar to our previous crate with a few modifications. Firstly, it is lighter, as we used lighter plywood for the sides. Also, it will be kept inside, so it will stay dry and last much longer than our old one.

We finished the two halves and are waiting to complete until the season starts because it won't fit up the elevator in the Arrillaga building, but for storage it will be kept in the Gym, as it is 4" thinner and will fit in that elevator. The halves are currently in the robotics room.

Many thanks to everyone who helped out, especially Ms. Mourad and Mr. Cardinal for supervising.

Happy New Year!