FIRST Compass Event

Storm’s all new outreach event, FIRST Compass Workshop, is this Saturday!

At competitions this year, one of the best things teams get to do is mix with other teams, both on a mentor and a student level. We share ideas, strategies, and just chat. This sort of dialogue is something that should continually occur throughout the year because it makes all of us better MAR teams. It is for this reason that FIRST Compass has been created.

Approximately one hundred students from eleven FRC teams and two FTC teams will participate in seminar-based learning workshops on topics like inclusion within FIRST teams, gearboxes, and a scouting. In addition to this, a workshop about the judging process will be given by judges from MAR!

For more information, click here.

Basic Information:

  • Arrival time – 8:30-9:00 AM Saturday, May 20th
  • Address – 235 Hartford Rd, Medford, NJ 08055
  • Breakfast will be provided
  • Come ready to learn!


FIRST Compass

It might look like Storm’s doing a little R&R, but the team is still hard at work-whether it be improving  our robot Iris, focusing on outreach, or sharing some camaraderie (shout out to Liam at Worlds). Well, we got some good news for you then! Storm is hosting an event called FIRST Compass on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9:30am to 12:30pm at Lenape High School. FIRST Compass is an event where registered teams have a chance to interact with one another and share amazing ideas. We’ll have teams all across the region give workshops on how their teams work. This might include technical robot explanations from mechanical experts to outreach teams have done in the past.

Refreshments will be served for everyone’s convenience, but food is not all we have to offer though. The team has organized our own series of workshops that will be explaining the ins and outs of how the team operates. Our workshops include: a crayon mold demonstration, drivers’ meeting, Storm’s scouting app meet, a workshop about judging, and more! You’ll get to meet specialists in each department who’ll explain to you what the team’s all about. Other teams will also share their information as well so please, we implore you to join this awesome collaboration. The team’s also going to to do a demo with Iris. Everyone will get to see her in action and figure out how she works. For more information please visit our FIRST Compass Event Information Packet and visit here to register. We all hope to see you guys there!

Clap, clap, whoosh!

2017 Storm Robot Reveal

The child, the fruit of every Storm member was finally revealed today with uproarious praise. Parents, mentors, and students attended the reveal at Lenape High School’s recital hall to finally see the new robot in action if they haven’t seen so yet. Directors and other people of interest represented their specific components integrated on the robot. The team had people come up and discuss the winch, the gear delivery system, the shooter, etc. Explanations were given of how each component operated and how it would be applied during competitions. If only words can imbue a strong sense of expectation, imagine what a live demonstration can do to raise the hype.

Unfortunately, during last year’s season, the team couldn’t show off every feature of the robot, Hephaestus, but this year was on the complete opposite of the spectrum. Members brought in their wooden constructs of field elements to highlight the abilities of the unnamed bot. The hanging mechanism, shooter, and gear
components were all tested and passed with flying colors. Seriously, everything was functioning and worked very well! The shooter for example, was making it rain and was pretty consistent to boot. The hanger was also extremely effective and carried the robot all the way up to where the touch pad would be. Many members of the team agreed that climbing was imperative and it’s more than satisfying to see the strengths of the students wishes and efforts be put into the hanging mechanism. Gear deployment entered the scene on a good note as well. The mechanism was fairly simple, but it worked some magic and did the job.

This season highlights Storm’s perseverance and the refusal to simply throw in the towel after one mishap. The team continues to push through obstacles and sometimes even demolishes them altogether. “Why,” you might ask? It’s because the team is always optimizing. Each year, Storm improve its engineering process and creates new ways in which to streamline building, award writing, coding, scouting, etc. Please look forward to see the team in action during the first competition at Westtown District, with regards from Storm, clap, clap, whoosh!

Say hello to our new robot, Iris!

Who’s Ready to Drive?

Yesterday, there was a bunch of people sitting in the BAM room. If you know anything about the BAM room, you’ll know that it usually isn’t filled to the brim with such pleasant company. All of these people were taking the driver’s test (the robotics kind) to see if they’re eligible to pilot the robot when competitions roll around. Driving robots is a lot more than just picking up the controller and button smashing X and Y. All would be drivers need to know the ins and outs of the current game like they know the back of their hands. The driver candidates need to recognize and study the field elements and all the rules. Given that the rules are quite lengthy, the people hoping to control the robot must study all of the material at length. The test is an ongoing process through and the “written” section they just took is only the beginning. Best of luck for the candidates and may the best driver win!

There has also been some significant developments on Storm’s online assets, specifically the team’s wiki. Many members of Storm were left without work since the robot is close to completion so they took to the internet and added more content. The wiki isn’t just a BAM thing, it belongs to the entire team. The members who worked on the wiki applied their knowledge of mechanics, software, and electrics to create detailed wiki pages. All of this information will now be accessible to the team as well as the public. Team members can browse the wiki to educate themselves on the inner workings of the team while the public can get a glimpse of how Storm operates.

Storm’s baby shower for the new robot is fast approaching (probably on Saturday) so look out for and make sure to RSVP (okay, you don’t have to). Officially the “baby shower” is the Robot Reveal Day where everything about the bot is presented and even demonstrated to the team members and the parents. Many things to look forward to and most of the fun stuff is happening weeks away. Anticipation really doesn’t cut it when trying to explain the morale of the team. How about trembling in pure glee? ‘Till next time folks!

The Approach of Bag Day

The end of the FRC build season is near and soon the the team gets to see the robot zipped up in a nice bag and eager (yes robots have feelings) to participate in the upcoming competitions. Many of the members got a sweet look at the robot in its current state and it is looking beautiful! Components such as the intake, hanger,  and shooter have already been applied. Software is getting their share of the robot today to see if all their code is responding correctly. Storm’s director, Anirban has confidence in the new robot’s abilities. He explains that each robotic component as been worked on and tested thoroughly—very true indeed. Over the span of the build season, each component underwent prototyping and multiple trials. The hanger for example was tested multiple times under different weights to optimize its efficiency.  The team has taken and is taking great steps to ensure that the robot is in tip-top condition before Bag Day. Everyone is constantly inspecting and adjusting everything about the bot. The robot is like a newborn baby and the team its parents. Storm is providing the care and love the robot, but better yet, a fitting name. Only the crème de la crème of names will be chosen and there will definitely be some hot debates over a proper name. Everyone only wants what’s best for the baby, of course. You can submit your ideas for the name here! Remember, the name needs to start with an “I” and be female or gender neutral in nature.

But that’s not all! Storm is also working on its very own Safety Manual that some other teams have written in the past. The Safety Manual is basically a compilation of precautions that members in Storm must take to avoid hurting themselves and others. The manual covers topics such as how to properly lift and move the robot to a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The manual will be printed out and handed around during competitions for members and the judges to read. If the judges decide that the manual is A-quality then Storm wins the Safety Award!

Please look out for the robot reveal video that the team will release in the coming week. Everyone here is excited to show (and name) the fruits of their hard work and dedication. And with that, Storm signs off! Clap, clap, whoosh!