Robotics


Who’s Ready to Drive?   Recently updated !

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   Recently updated !

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!


Say Hello to the New Scouting App!

The Scouting Department is always hard at work every season to develop a new and improved version of the already popular FRC Scouting Radar App. The new app still retains all of its previous functions of allowing users to scout other robotics teams digitally and convert this data to a QR code. The Master App scans this QR code and uploads this data into a spreadsheet for ease of access.  Both apps reduce the hassle and difficulties of recording statistics by hand. The previous app was downloaded about 490 times in eleven different countries. The vision behind the new app is the same as last year’s— to provide other robotics team with a tool to help them stay organized and to streamline their scouting process.

The Scouting Dept. listens to user feedback and addressed the problems found on the previous Scouting App. This year’s app hosts a suite of new improvements that other teams will appreciate. The amount of scrolling on the previous app was a bit cumbersome so the Scouting Dept. has applied a more efficient user interface. Users won’t have to swipe furiously on their phones and tablets to get to where they want. This new interface will improve overall user experience and increase the speed in which scouters gather data on the field. Speaking of speed, the new app runs faster than its predecessor which will also increase scouting efficiency.

Everyone here on Storm hopes that the other FRC teams find the app convenient in all their scouting needs. Good luck to all the teams out there and the blessing of top hats and welder goggles on thee. ‘Till next time!

 

 

 

 

Advantages to Storm’s Scouting App:

  • Contributes to the FRC community
  • Eco-friendly (no paper needed!)
  • Easy to use
  • No wifi needed
  • FREE!!

 


“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.



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.