Wen-Chen Chen


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!



“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

We all know that Thomas Edison didn’t make a properly-functioning light bulb in one go; in the process, he went through over a thousand failures before he reached success. Such is the same situation with robotics. Currently, the majority of the team members are working on improvements in a variety areas, or trying to figure out how to resolve different problems.

The build team is currently undergoing several instances of trial and error; they are working on the ball shooter by testing out different wheels and ramps to see which materials will help the ball to shoot more accurately, and they are also working on the hanger of the robot to ensure that it functions properly. The scouting team is fixing up a few things on the scouting app, with some working on fixing the user interface on the app and others working on pair programming for the codes. Nearby, the software team is currently fixing the issues with the robot’s vision system. For BAM, team members are finishing up the draft of the CDR video and are making final edits to the audio and the clips.

Living the engineering life is not always unicorns and rainbows. At bumpy times like these, perseverance is what keeps the team functioning properly. Hopefully the robot will be functioning just as well, when the final product is finished and ready to go.



Starting The Race Against Time

Hello guys, happy Saturday! Our first competition is in six weeks, and the clock is ticking!

Currently, the build team is split up in several sections, with each section working on different parts of the robot. A few people are working on the final gear collectors, so that the robot can pick up the gears efficiently to score big points during the game, while others are working on the bumpers of the robots by piecing together colorful, protective pool noodles. Yet some other team members are working on the ball shooters in order to improve the accuracy, so that the robot would be able to score points more consistently during the game.

Meanwhile, the software team is working on the tracking reflective retro tape as well as coders, to enable the robot to steadily drive straight. Afterwards, they will be working on other functions of the robot in order to make it easier to control and to drive in different directions. The scouting software has been fixed to prevent any more crashes from occurring.

The BAM team is on a major time crunch, as the CDR presentations would need to be finished in a week. However, progress has been quite good recently, so it should be no problem to finish everything soon. There’s plenty to work on in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned, and check back later!