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robotics school

Robots and their construction

As you probably know, I’m in my high school’s robotics club. We participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), a competition sponsored by FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which also holds lower level competitions.

The “Build Season,” when we construct the actual robot, has started. Four teams have been assigned components to complete, with one team integrating the components together, as well as building the basic chassis. Many teams are already jumping onto completing their tasks, and are making good progress to completing our robot.

Something this will accomplish that is very critical is being able to build two robots, and have LOTS of driver practice. Driver practice is critical for success, and the last year, we got next to ZERO driver practice in.

Of course, I can’t reveal details, as it’s top secret, and if other teams were to get in on it, I’d be in real bad trouble, but I can tell you that this reorganization of the club will certainly make our robot a serious contender in the competition.

This isn’t going to be the last time I post about our club, but it’s the first this year.

Categories
robotics school

Again with the mill type thing

Yesterday, Sunday, I got the opportunity to cut out some parts on our nice new mill we got last week. It’s fast.

So far, we’ve been running the mill with just spraying with WD-40 as a coolant, but once we get actual coolant running across the tool, we can cut even faster than with just WD-40.

The hard part of making a drain to recycle the coolant is mostly complete, Mr. Prelesnik, a fabrication mentor put in a drain hole, through the shower vinyl that covers the table the mill rests on.

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school

Final Qualification Matches, Beginning Elimination

Today, the qualification matches at the Autodesk Portland Regional finished up, with us performing much better. We ended up in 34th seed. When the top 8 seeded teams were choosing, we were lucky enough to be chosen by Team 8, The Vikings, and Team 1983, Skunkworks.

At the beginning of the elimination tournament, our first match we touched the opposing alliance’s tower during the finale, and judges are deciding h0ow to handle that situation during the elimination, they are claiming our entire alliance got disqualified, after they had said our robot just got a red card, which meant only our robot could not complete next match.

I’m slightly confused by the situation, but I am very pleased that we made it into the elimination tournament.

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school

Things aren’t going too well.

Here at the competition, because of certain pieces not coming together correctly,  and our head programmer makes some very bad decisions. He blows off time that could be used. We’ve had so many issues, that we thought all the problems were fixed before the competition.

Also to facilitate more ranting, one of the mentors decided he has so much knowledge and that he needs to take over the club’s website. Thing is, he ain’t smart, at all. He doesn’t know about the PulseAudio exploit and went and used Fedora 8, a vulnerable version, in a world facing environment. The opposite of a good idea.

So now I’m debating whether I should just quit the club because I can’t get those two problem people out of my way from participating the way I want to.

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school

Hello from Portland

I’m in my bed at my hotel, in Portland. Tomorrow starts the practice day for the Autodesk Oregon FRC Regional. We have some work to do on our robot, but we hope to be in practice matches by 13:00 (1:00pm). We brought our CNC mill, so we’ll have peak efficiency and ability.

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school

My Trip to Portland approaches

Yes, I am again going to Portland for a robotics competition, again at Rose Quarter.

I just need two more teachers to sign my permission form, then I am leaving on Wednesday, after school.

I’m driving down with other robotics club students, and we’ll make the drive fun.

There will be more when I get down there.

EDIT: All my teachers have signed my permission form, so I’m good to go!

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school

FRC Build Season is closing soon

The date for FIRST Robotics Competition teams to ship off their robots is drawing nearer. I’m in the Tahoma Robotics Club, and I am getting to see our robot come together. We hope that our robot will do very well at the Portland and Seattle Regionals, taking us to the National Competitions at Atlanta.

The Build Season started on January 9th, with the season kickoff. On that day, FIRST announces the game robots are to play in competition that season. After the announcement of the game, our club went back to our school to think of strategies to play the game this year. We get 6 weeks to design and build the robot from scratch.

Our team has a fairly long way to go, and only 8 days to get there. I’m feeling that we’re going to finish just barely ahead of time, and we’ll do very well at competitions.