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.


Storm Watch and Other Stuff

It’s already the third day and so much is being done! The robot could even be done weeks before Bag Day at this rate. Okay, maybe not, but morale is high and the team is determined. Lot’s of new developments are underway and maybe something called Storm Watch rings a bell.

Storm Watch is our team’s weekly vlog where we keep all you guys informed about what’s going on within the teams. We interview people, look at design, and do other fun stuff with the students and mentors. Our video series is under new management and we got a new set of lovely hosts: Liam and Allison. The first season of Storm Watch was a little bit rough around the edges, but this year will introduce a more refined product and new amazing content. Keep your eyes out for the first vlog of the year.

CDR is also underway and BAM is thinking of freshening the presentation. The overall theme might be changed and the CDR video is also in the works. The video is not your simple Movie Maker project and requires a touch of “Hollywood” per se. Things like the premise or theme need to be set and have to encompass what our team is all about. Some of the new members of BAM are working on the CDR and learning the ropes of the presentation. The CDR is an amazing method for rookies since they need to venture away from BAM Land and interact with the other departments, make friends, and promote teamwork.

Robot development is going smoothly and everyone is hard at work. But let’s get into some specifics. A method of a ball intake is being planned and actually involves some pretty ingenious improvising. Buying things and improvising are two completely different playing fields, we ourselves see ourselves as the latter. The chassis is being designed in CAD, but of nothing is set in stone of course. We go through a lot of various designs, but it’s better to keep other options open. Software is doing some vision things for the robot which will definitely help with the ball shooting if we decide to go down that route. The scouting app is undergoing its usual optimization, but to accelerate the process, the team has divided the app into smaller tasks. App issues will be handled by others so the development of the app is not being hindered. And how are things going on in the electrical department you say? Well, all the electrical components are in place, but some networking things with the router and the roboRIO. Workarounds are underway and there’s no doubt in our minds that this problem can be solved.

Productiveness has gone through the roof and will probably reach space with the amount of progress we’re at right now. We’re all excited and we hope you guys are too for what is to come. Ciao!

Fall Harvest Follow Up & Other Stuff

Hey everyone, here’s another update of what’s going on in Storm. As many of you know and even went to watch, Storm hosted a Fall Harvest Meet at Cherokee High School. There was a huge turnout for the event and almost all the available bleachers were packed full! Fifteen FTC teams participated and Storm’s FTC teams 4390 and 7433 participated as well. 4390 had a chance to play in the semi finals after being picked by the captain of our alliance team. Storm FRC also had a presence in the event by volunteering to be referees, judges, cameramen, etc. BAM also had a table set up so people could see the progress on the Crayon Initiative and the purpose behind it. People were interested in the project and some strongly voiced their support for the project since they have kids with disabilities.  We received some amazing feedback and realized that the crayons really appealed to kids (they doodled over the entire piece of paper!).

The FRC team has also made some amazing progress since the last meeting and everyone is pretty sure that we haven’t had this level of progress and productivity ever. The chassis is coming along excellently and by looks of it, the chassis is practically done. All of us are sure we could get a moving robot before build season is even done, this will then save us plenty of time so we could work on other things to make the robot amazing. The wheelchair project mentioned before is sadly discontinued due to monetary and liability conflicts. Software has also announced their developments, and currently they are working on the robot drive code. Whew, that’s a lot for a blog frankly, but this information needs to be put in the spotlight. Everyone on the team is pumped and excited for things to come in future.



Upcoming Events

The robotics season may be over, but Storm is still hard at work in preparation for events during the summer! Here’s a list of the upcoming events that will be happening these next couple of weeks!

  • End of the Year BBQ Party –  Tuesday, May 26th 6 – 8pm (set-up at 5:30pm and clean up at 8pm)
  • Radio Club Demo – Wednesday, May 27th (Time Pending)
  • Walk the Night Cancer Walk – Friday, May 29th (Time Pending)
  • Car Wash Saturday, May 30th 8am – 4pm – Sunoco Gas Station at the corner of Church St. and Elbo Road – 721 South Church St., Mount Laurel
  • Roadside Clean-Up – Saturday, June 6th at 9am at side road next to old Genuardi’s on Route 73 in Marlton (Family welcome)
  • Fourth of July Parade in Evesham – Saturday, July 4th