Wen-Chen Chen


Seneca Competition Preview!

Get hype for this weekend! On Saturday, the Storm Robotics Team will be heading over to Seneca for our second competition!

On Wednesday, the team met up to discuss what things should be fixed or improved, based on the results from the competition Westtown High School. While our climbing abilities were solid, and the scouting system worked well, we need to work on the robot’s software for the 15-second autonomous period at the beginning of each match; sometimes the robot would drive off the path during the period and we would not be able to get the bonus points that might just separate us from a win or a loss.

In addition, we have noticed that the gears might fall out or end up crooked while being loaded onto the robot, or the robot might have to try several times when placing the gear onto the peg. The team will be working on gear mechanism for the robot to make loading and transporting go more smoothly.

The mentors have also encouraged us to become more interactive with the other teams in the upcoming competition by offering to help them in robot repairs and observing what we could do during the off-season period. Spirit and Gracious Professionalism is a major part of FIRST, and our team should display such qualities by the way they socialize with others during the competitions.

Clap clap whoosh, and best of luck to everyone! Hope to see you there!


Westtown Competition

This past weekend, Storm Robotics “stormed” the field at Westtown High School!

Despite the fact that the team had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning for both Saturday and Sunday, everyone was hyped up for the first competition of the season. Team members had different jobs assigned to them, from managing the robot in between matches or explaining to judges the aim of the team in the pit area, to scouting for potential alliances during matches, to cleaning up the game field after each match. In the pit area, we offered beads and buttons, among other Stormie trinkets to be worn during the matches. In addition, one of the team members ran an LGBTQ+ table for the first time next to the game field.

A few select members were driving the robot on the game field and shooting balls, transporting gears, and climbing the rope. The team members in the stands made sure to cheer them on with every bit of spirit. In fact, one of the major highlights of the day for us was winning the Spirit award!

In the final results, the first, second, and third place were respectively Team 4342 Demon Robotics, Team 3929 Atomic Dragons, and Team 365 Miracle Workerz. Big shoutout to our alliances Team 1143 Cruzin’ Comets and Team 1712 Dawgma! Storm Robotics made it to the quarterfinals and the team’s final ranking was 19th place out of 31 teams, with 5 wins and 7 losses.

Next up in the week after this weekend is another competition at Seneca High School. Best of luck to everyone!

Clap Clap whoosh!


Hamburgers

Mr. Hessler, one of the mentors for Storm, really likes hamburgers. He’s compared things from figuring out a multi-step physics problem to the dynamics of the FRC team to a hamburger.

And in a way, the robot itself is a hamburger, albeit a metaphorical one. The many ingredients- the lettuce, the cheese, the beef, the tomatoes, and everything else- all are put together to create a delicious final product.

Right now, team members are starting to piece the different pieces of the robot together, and we are well on our way to creating a fully functional final product. The hanger used for climbing and the apparatus used for collecting the balls are finished and is being attached to the skeleton of the robot. The brackets for the bumpers are just about completed as well.

Other people are putting the finishing touches on the gear collector and the ball shooter, to make sure they can operate at maximum efficiency before attaching them to the body of the robot as well. The ball shooter is now able to rapidly fire balls much more accurately now, and an agitator is being added in to make sure that the machinery does not jam up while holding multiple balls at once.

After everything is put together, along with the software such as the vision system that enables the robot to detect how far it is from targets, the team will finally finish the new robot.



Crunch Time

I crunched on cinnamon cereal this morning. And currently, we are crunching down on CDR.

Lockheed Martin’s Critical Design Review is approaching in just a little more than a week, and currently the robotics team is focusing on finishing up anything needed for CDR.

The team members are working hard on different aspects of the robot. The build team is each working on a specific part of the robot to improve it, with some working on the hook of the hanger and a couple others working on the skeleton of the robot to incorporate everything once all the individual parts are finished. The accuracy and precision of the ball shooter is gradually improving, and today a few of the team members are adjusting the ramp so that multiple balls can be loaded at once for rapid firing.

The software team is helping out the build team to integrate the software with the function of the robot. One of the main focuses for today is the figure out how to incorporate a sensor into the robot for it to pick up gears most efficiently. The team members working on the scouting application have fixed minor errors and added a new menu, accuracy ratings, and error prevention to fix incorrect data input.

The BAM team is working with different people from each of the departments to make final revisions to their CDR Powerpoint slidest, as well as making sure that each presenter at CDR is fully prepared for making their speeches during the presentation, in order to make sure that everything is good and ready to go by February 3rd. It will be a rather tiring week, but otherwise, everything is going quite smoothly!