The Specialists

Everything that happens within our teams. Program Management, Mechanical, Electrical, Software, CAD, and Scouting


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!


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!!

 


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!


The Importance of Organization

I’m going to break the mold of our traditional blog and talk about something that may seem of minimal importance to everyone. Organization. Now, the idea of being organized is a given for any individual and this goes doubly for a robotics team. It makes perfect sense right? There’s building materials, tools, hardware, light bulbs, controllers, and more. We got all this stuff and we need to decide where to throw it- I mean put it. Thankfully, we have a nice, spacious closet to hold all of our equipment. The actual state of the closet is erratic at best, but it is has been reorganized for the Build Season and looks drop-dead gorgeous. I mean, look at the picture! It is imperative that any robotics team has a clean closet in the name of efficiency.  The team needs to be able to find whatever they are looking for in a minute or less. If team members are spending ten minutes trying to find the box of bolts, then the closet needs to be organized.

Now onto the daily activities! Pardon me for my brief tirade. Build team is working on the shooter prototype and they’re trying to compensate for the shooting inconsistency. The shooter is powered via motor and the motor’s speed needs to be manually adjusted (at the moment). The Build Team is trying to make design changes for a workaround. They’re also assembling some new gear boxes that were just taken out of their cozy box. And I almost forgot to mention the gear intake. The members in the metal shop are trying to come with a design to contain and deposit the gear. They are trying to use a piston to stop the gear from sliding out and may use a motor in the design. Scouting software is tackling a bug that won’t be a pleasant surprise if it made it was released to the public.

Thanks for sticking through the slog about organization. You can’t deny though that organization is an important trait for a robotics team though. Otherwise, the team is putting in their fair share of work and awaiting the first big thing that we’ll attend… CDR. Fingers crossed that the team will put on a good show!



The Sky’s The Limit!

Good evening everyone or morning or night depending on your location. Storm is back to give you guys another daily update about what’s going on. People have made significant progress on their projects and announced when we can see working versions. The departments announced that many of the prototypes were practically done and required maybe a day or two to be finished. It seems like this year’s work plan has accelerated the progress of all of our projects. Not a bad thing, not at all.

About a minute into the blog and there’s already a functional shooter prototype out in the hallway, spitting balls 50 feet in the air (don’t quote me on that). The shooter concept is amazing though and could end up to a very efficient way for us to score and be a valuable member in our alliance. The shooter is even attached to our intake system which will also need to be working to get an exact working prototype. This design will definitely help us figure out how our bot might perform on the field. Another thing that will help us are a new pair of wheels ready to burn. The Build Team is fitting some new wheels on our shiny new chassis that is undergoing the robotic equivalent of a manicure. No seriously, people are filing down the edges to a fine point.

Software actually was testing their movement code during the weekend meet out in the hallway and there is certainly some oomph in those lines of codes (not literally of course). They are also working on the LEDs and talked about their functionality to change color when the robot is having some issues. And on the topics of issues, BAM is having some issues. Pun issues. BAM has decided that good old puns were needed for all of our Instagram posts and for our daily videos. Don’t worry, no puns will be spoiled in this post.

The anticipation of a finished product is sky high and there’s no doubt that everyone wants to see the real thing out in front of an audience. The day of the first competition might seem far, but it’ll be here sooner than we think. Here’s to hoping for a fruitful build season. Clap, clap, whoosh!!