CDR Recap

The blog has been running late as of the past week because BAM had their plate full with all the award writing and the Critical Design Review (CDR). Speaking of CDR that happened last week, Storm managed to deliver an excellent and well executed presentation. There’s no winner of CDR, but Storm strives to make their presentations the best they can be. Here on the left, we have a picture of our presenters. Tom, Weston, Alex, Logan, Anirban, Jackson, Mary, Lauren, and Allison from left to right. All of the presenters went over their slides thoroughly and explained them professionally as well. The presenters were also very well prepared to answer any questions the judges or the audience had. All of their hard work (and late nights) helped them tremendously to deliver an amazing CDR. The team very much appreciates its mentors and felt like a little tribute to Knauss needs to be given during the presentation. So the BAM department decided to add a little picture in the three to four slides . This drew a question from Knauss after the presentation and he asked, “Why is my picture in the slides?” . Allison, one of the presenters replied, “Mr. Knauss, I think the real question is, why not?” The crowd erupted into laughter and cheers. Hands down, one of the most memorable moment in Storm CDR history. Storm thanks all of its presenters for an delivering an amazing CDR experience and the mentors for taking the time to help them make CDR as good as it was. Storm would also like to send out a thanks to all the school administrators that attended the event and supported our team. Lastly, the team would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to Lockheed Martin for hosting the event and making all of this possible.


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!

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!

First Saturday Meet

Alright, the first Saturday meet after the last one was stolen away by the snowstorm. We need to use this seven hours to make up for the time loss and get some progress done on some more time consuming and important projects. Oh, we also will get to have some delicious lunch with regards to Parent Booster Team. Our president Barack Obama even said that, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something”. So let’s make use of this seemingly beautiful Saturday and get some work done!

BAM is diving right into the award process and all the members have some task to do today. CDR (Critical Design Review) is undergoing some upgrades with a new theme to freshen things up a bit. We’ve been using the same theme for a while now and it’s important to keep up an updated image.  The information on the slides needs to be updated as well, but information is more of a ongoing process. The CDR needs to worked on in conjunction with the other departments so BAM can add information. Other info that’s preliminary and doesn’t require the cooperation of the other departments will be updated today. Slides like team statistics can be done before hand, for example. The weekly vlog is also expected to be finalized and may be released today. Other awards such as the Chairman’s Award and the Entrepreneurship are also being worked on. There is a survey going to released for the Chairman’s for some personal stories. The power of Pathos should not be underestimated!

The actual construction of the robot is still on its baby steps. On the last blog, the intake method was being fleshed out and ideas were being jotted down. Now, the intake method is actually undergoing construction via prototype. The people working on it currently are tackling issues and other adjustments that need to be made for the actual intake. Chassis elements are being made in CAD such as the motors, etc. Mentors are supervising the CAD-ing and any problems are being tackled. Unfortunately, there are still problems of deploying the robot code onto the roboRIO, but there has been some progress from last time. Coding elements such as the vision system are also being tackled today. The Scouting peeps are updating the app’s graphics and educating new members about the UI.

We also have a Parent Booster meeting today and Knauss is showing the parents the new game, Steamworks. There was also mentions of some scholarships and the Breakfast meet that unfortunately didn’t happen. Knauss did mention that the food ordered for the meet though can be returned for some credit, but we’ll see  what happens. The kits that were also supposed to be given out on Saturday have been already given out to the other teams. Another kit will be given out today.

The length of this blog is equal to the amount of hard work the team is putting in if hard work can be quantified. Saturday might be a weekend for some people, but for Storm, it’s crunch time. Catch you guys next week.


The CDR Experience

“This is my rookie year on STORM and CDR is something ambiguous to me. I’ve worked on it a little bit, but I didn’t really see the significance in the power point. Why do we need to put all this info on display? Can it help us in the future? These were my initial thoughts until each department began to make more developments and the pieces of the puzzles came together. CDR was our blueprint of our design process and the name of Critical Design Review started to make more sense. All of this documentation was our plan for the future and how we envision our robot to turn out. Everything on the slides was a progress report and showed our process of developing strategies to different robot designs. Then we got to Lockheed Martin and saw other teams show their design process. The whole experience was very educational as I saw how other teams planned out their designs. The questions asked by the judges also allowed us to think ahead and how we can improve. Hopefully, CDR is sign of good things to come during the 2016 year and brings our team victory.”

Quoted from Krisna Mompho: Rookie in Program Management