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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


Lessons We Have Learned Over the Year

Rookie Team FYRE #5480 would like to share with you some of the lessons we learned during this, our rookie year. The sheer volume of what we learned can not be posted on a webpage, or on facebook, or even written in a book. FIRST teaches so many things, some of which we will not realize we learned for a while yet, some are more obvious, like how to use a saw and a wrench. Most of all, being a part of FIRST at the FRC level taught us that we can not only build a robot we are proud of, but we can bring a community together and show them just what kids can do when given the right opportunity and the awesome mentors you find when you embark on this adventure of “the hardest fun you will ever have.” Below are some lesson that members of our team learned during this season. We hope that you find them useful.


One of our first responsibilities was to form a team. We learned that forming an FRC team is like forming a small business. Every team member has responsibilities and tasks that they need to complete to have the team reach success. When we first started our team, many of us did not know each other. We had to learn how to communicate and get along with each other to reach a common goal.

FRC is really about problem solving when faced with a challenge and a strict deadline. Teams discover the need to rely on one another to complete required tasks to make the team a success. A team is made up of many areas to be successful: Design/Build, Mechanical, Programming, Electrical, Parts, Safety, Drive Team, Pit Crew, Scouting, Safety, Marketing, Fundraising, Outreach, Media, etc. -Logan


I learned how to cooperate with people and the values of working as a team rather than just on my own.

Although rookie teams want to focus on the robot, there are more aspects to the competition. Rookie teams should try and focus more on team spirit, their websites, outreach, an established team safety procedure, and establishing connections with the community. -Tim


I better learned how to organize, plan, and create things while still working with others as a team and being open to new ideas.

I gained confidence in talking to people, explaining my ideas, and leading others through processes. By talking to my teammates, prospective members, and sponsors, I fine-tuned my communication, problem-solving, and persuasive speech skills. I became a better part of a team. -Wendy


I learned that jobs have to be done at some point, and although they may be painstaking, it helps to not complain and do them as quickly as possible. I also learned that it is very important to designate those jobs to the people who can complete them efficiently.

Our team learned that although you may have clashing ideas with another member, arguing is not the answer and will accomplish nothing. Instead, the team should have an organized meeting where everyone states their ideas and goes over the pros and cons of each. – Si Chiang


I learned that working in a team, and as a team, having to rely on other people, getting to know them and to trust them, is so much better than doing anything alone. When you work as a team, you become part of something bigger than any one person – and that’s amazing. – Riley


The Biggest lesson that our team had to learn was teamwork. A lot of us came into this program used to working independently, and many of us wanted to accomplish tasks on our own. However, a project of this scale necessitates teamwork to a great degree, whether it be on design, building, testing, or troubleshooting. Nothing could be done alone, really, so working together had to become the focus of the team, and I think that our robot stands as a symbol for the efforts that we put in as a team.

Another major lesson learned is that nothing gets done problem free. While some parts of the build season may go better than others, there will always be something that comes up to challenge you as you work towards accomplishing your goal. Problems could include simple parts failures, like our Pneumatics Control Module this year, or that a design cannot work because gravity is a thing. There will always be hurdles along the way in a project, and overcoming them is an amazing reward in of itself. – Thomas


I learned how fast a deadline can creep up on us. Building a robot and recording the design changes while researching and planning the other aspects of the season took a lot more time than any of us could have thought and we were down to the wire on almost everything. To combat this, we learned how to manage our time and divide tasks among groups that we created to tackle the various tasks we had to complete. I also learned how many steps there are to manufacturing a design and how quickly a design that looks good on paper can fail in real life. -Richard


I learned that alone, I am capable of many amazing things, but working with a team, we are all capable of accomplishments that we never dreamed of.

I learned that engineering is not a one man task, that the myth of the lone genius is just that: a myth. Instead, engineering, problem solving, running a team, it’s a team sport. You need multiple to make it work, and you need communication skills. Engineers are stereotyped as fumbling antisocial nerds that can’t explain their work to anyone, not even another engineer. However, that is not the case. Rather, engineers have to be able to clearly and concisely express their ideas and considerations to be good at their jobs, and FYRE taught me how to do that. – Connor


When starting a team, fundraise before build season starts – trying to design and build a robot is hard enough, but having to go and find funds so that you have enough money to buy parts in the middle of it all adds another layer of stress that you just don’t need.

Students have an amazing ability to learn new things and grow as individuals when given the chance to express their ideas and work with caring adults to reach a lofty goal. – a parent


Finding a few dedicated adult mentors who understand the FIRST values is the key to success.

When the mentors and other adult helpers take a step back and let the student team members make the decisions when it comes to designing and building the robot the kids get so much more out of it than when the mentors make the major decisions about the robot. It is hard, but it is worth it. – Coach Kerry