Weeks 5 and 6 Update and Bag and Tag

Hey everyone!

We’ve made it through build season with a functioning robot ready for competition! It’s been a great season, and everyone has had a lot of fun. We bagged and tagged the robot yesterday night (put it in a giant bag and zip-tied it shut so we can’t work on it until competition), and we are all very proud of it.

In the last two weeks of build season, we had a lot to do to get ready for Bag and Tag and competition. The winch broke for the third time, so we made it stronger using metal instead of plastic, and we made it lighter for easier climbing. We also installed a passive brake so we can stay at the top of the rope without using any power.

We also did clean up such as making sure all the bolts were tightened down and all the wires were neat. We made sure we were using the right type of rope for optimized climbing, and we fixed up the gear chute so it doesn’t come out if we hit it with the peg when delivering gears.

Additionally, we picked a drive team to run the robot at competition. We are allowed to have up to two drivers, a drive coach to direct the drivers, and two human players to interact with the field elements. Our drivers are Wendy and Matt O., our drive coach is Matt L, and our human players are Sidney and Si Chiang. We had more time to practice driving this year than we have had in previous years, so we are doing well in terms of game strategy and possible point-scoring.

We hope to see you at competition in Sacramento at UC Davis March 24th and 25th!

FYRE

Week 4 Update

Hey Everyone!

This week, we pretty much finished wiring and building the robot. We have tested our climbing mechanism and can successfully reach the top of the rope. We have added a locking mechanism to stop the robot from slipping back down the rope, and we hope to test this mechanism later today.

We discovered a problem with our four-wheel drive train that doesn’t allow the robot to turn with a small turning radius without brownout issues. To fix these issues, we are going to replace two of the wheels with omni-directional wheels. These wheels provide low friction, so the original two wheels will stay still and the end with the omni wheels will rotate around them when turning. We will be implementing these wheels on Wednesday when they arrive.
On Tuesday, we should be getting parts for our encoders, so we can make sure the gear chute and trapdoor work then. In the meantime, we are creating bumpers and continuing to fine-tune the winch for optimized climbing.

Remember to check out our Facebook page for more frequent updates and more pictures and videos!

FYRE

Week 2 Update

Hey everyone!

In the second week of build season, the team finished the design of the robot. The chassis is fully assembled and supports for the gear chute have been cut. The chute is partially assembled, so the gear/chassis group will be finishing putting together this mechanism in the coming week.
chassis 6

The winch hubs have been 3D-printed and tested for strength, and the winch team is prototyping until other parts print.
winch prototype1
They are working on using bonding adhesive to put the parts together and mount the drum to the chassis. They will be testing their mechanism within the week.

The programming/electrical team has completed the pseudo-bot with the basic electronics along with two gyroscopes and a limit switch and encoder for the climbing. They will be moving on to vision processing to implement the camera and LEDs for recognition of reflective tape.

FYRE

Robotics Teams: More Than Just Robots, presented by Kerry Thompson – Talk at Tahoe Silicon Mountain

Hey Everyone!

Our head coach Kerry Thompson gave a speech at Tahoe Silicon Mountain about robotics teams in November. It’s an informative talk, and it covers the many pros of having a robotics team in your community. It was initially streamed live, and the audio has some problems, so sound doesn’t come on until 24:10. It’s quite an inspirational talk. Watch it below:
https://youtu.be/WyNCJ7_DtGU

FYRE

Week 1 Update

Hey everyone!

As FYRE finished up the first week of build season, we got into groups based off of the different mechanisms and parts that we wanted to have on our robot: the gear chute, the climbing winch, the chassis, and the programming and electrical. Each group started getting the specifics of their designs worked out so we can start building next week. The gear chute and winch groups have started prototyping, and the chassis group has put together the chassis multiple times to work out the best configuration for it. The programming and electrical group has downloaded the software and begun to build a pseudo-bot consisting of just electronics to test code on. Programming has made the switch from coding in C++ to Labview this year, so they have been figuring out how Labview works. In this coming week, we will finish designs and start building the robot all together.

Check out our Facebook page for pictures!

FYRE

2017 Game Reveal and Kickoff

Hey Everyone!

This year’s game is super exciting! You can watch the game animation here:

Since the release of the challenge at 10:00 AM Eastern Time on Saturday, Jan. 7th, our team has been hard at work coming up with a strategy and designs for our robot. On kickoff day, we met with our sister team from Fernley, ICE, and watched the game reveal. We then made sure everybody understood the game and moved on to mechanisms.
Important Specs of Robot and Field PiecesStrategy Pros Cons Chart

In the next two days, we furthered our understanding of the types of mechanisms used to do things like pick up balls or raise an object into the air. Through the use of a decision matrix, we have decided to build a robot that focuses on getting the gears to the pilots on the airship. We also want to be able to climb in the endgame. On Monday, we finalized this decision and designed robots to do this individually. Tomorrow (1/10/17), we will present our ideas to each other and discuss the pros and cons or each design. Once we have done this, we will be able to decide on an overall design for our robot.

If you would like to come see any part of our build, we meet according to the following schedule at the Innevation Center:
Tuesday – Friday: 5:30PM – 8:30PM
Saturday: 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Sunday: 12:00PM – 5:00PM
We may also occasionally meet on Mondays, but it is not likely to happen again until the last week of build season. ICE may be at some of our meetings working with us. Build season ends Feb. 21st.

FYRE

Weeks 4 and 5 – Sponsor Update

Hi everyone!

It’s the last week of build season, and we have successfully driven the robot and made a goal in the high goal. However, we have recently have had some mechanical and electrical issues that are resulting in some last-minute repairs and revisions. While it is frustrating, it is good that the robot broke now during build season when we can fix it as opposed to at competition. We should have the robot back up and running soon and will hopefully be picking our drive team tomorrow. Come see our robot at our debut this Sunday (Feb. 21st) at Arlington Towers, 100 N Sierra Blvd.

FYRE

Weeks 2 and 3 – Sponsor Update

Hi Everyone!

For the past two weeks we have been prototyping and beginning to build the actual robot as well as revising our plan for shooting. The electrical team has built a pseudo electronics system on a board of wood to allow the new electrical members to learn about the components of the robot and to allow the programmers to test code. The programming team has been learning about sensors and has successfully written basic code. We hope to have the chassis built by the end of the weekend. The new prototype of our shooter should be finished today so we can start building the real one.

Along with all the progress made on the robot, we gained three new mentors in the past two weeks. Alex and Chris are mechanical engineers, and Amber is an electrical engineer. They joined our amazing mentors Sebastian, Kurt, Becki, George, Kerry, and John, and we are so happy to have them. Their skills and knowledge are helping us learn so many cool things. We couldn’t do it without our mentors.

Can’t believe we’re already half way through build season! Be looking for information about our robot debut on February 21st.

FYRE

Week 1 – Sponsor Update

Hi Everyone!

We just completed our first week of build season, and we are almost done with the brainstorming process. After getting together with the Fernley FRC team ICE to watch the game broadcast last Saturday morning, we started planning our strategy. We talked through parts of the game we wanted to be able to complete with our robot and came up with a general game plan. During the past few days we started designing our robot. We went through multiple chassis, ball shooter, and climbing mechanism ideas. As of today we decided on an octagonal chassis shape for our robot with a four-wheel drive system and variable suspension. We look forward to picking our shooter and climber designs and beginning to prototype in this next week. Contact us if you want to come see the build.

FYRE

2016 Teaser Trailer and Game Reveal

Hi Everyone!

This year, instead of releasing written hints about the challenge, FIRST made a teaser trailer for the game video. You can watch it below:

We are excited for kickoff and the game reveal this Saturday (Jan. 9). It broadcasts live at 7:30 Pacific Time. To watch it live, follow this link:

http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/2016-first-robotics-competition-kickoff