Barnes and Noble Book Fair

Hey everyone!

We are having a book fair at Barnes and Noble (5555 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502) on October 7th and 8th from 9am to 5pm each day. We hope to raise enough money to significantly help pay the costs of competition and build materials.
Come by and get those books you’ve been meaning to get or check out something new. Just tell the cashier you’re supporting FYRE, and we will receive between 10 and 20 percent of the proceeds. Or, you can pick up a bookmark from our table there and show it at check-out. We will be there all day with the robot, a LEGO table, and our mascot. You can also present this voucher at check-out and we will receive proceeds from your purchase:

Voucher for Bookmarks

Additionally, you can buy a special FYRE drink and dessert at the Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble, and the proceeds from those foods will go to us.

Hope to see you there!


Off-Season Meetings

Hey everyone!

We kicked off the off-season with an introductory meeting and a tour of the Tesla Gigafactory 1. In our first meeting on Thursday, we welcomed new members, started learning how to use Solidworks for our designs, and fixed up Leah after competition and travel. The next day, five team members and our head coach took a tour of the under-construction Tesla gigafactory near Fernley along with members of a local FTC team. Here’s us in the lobby:
Tesla Tour 2017

Keep a lookout for more updates as we move into the off-season and introduce more members and activities!



Hey everyone!

FYRE made it back from competition in Sacramento last night, and we did great, surpassing all of our expectations. We had a lot of fun and can’t wait for next year. In the elimination rounds, we were picked to be on an alliance with teams 2141 Spartronics and 1072 Harker Robotics. Together, we made it to the semi-finals! Here’s a picture of our alliance after the competition:

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Here are some more pictures from competition:

The drive team before a match:

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Pit crew working on Leah:

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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!


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!


Week 3 Update

Hey everyone!

Over the past week, we’ve finished the bulk of the mechanical construction. The major structural components of the robot have been assembled and we’re now working on piecing everything together.

The gear system has been tested on the robot and it works as intended.

The winch’s 3D printed parts have been placed together with Click Bond structural adhesive and the entire system has been assembled and is currently being mounted! We are excited to begin testing and lifting!

IMG_9689 (1)

Electrical & programming has also started to mount electrical components such as the battery and the motor controllers onto the robot.


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.


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:


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!


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.