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FIRST Robotics Kickoff

  1. Jan 9, 2010 #1

    Chi Meson

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    The FIRST Robotics Kickoff for 2010 was today. This year's game is "http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=16209"."


    This is my first year as a coach for our school's Robotics Team. We now have six weeks to design and build our robot to do this task. If anyone wonders where I've gone over the next two months...

    Any other FRC people here in PF-land?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    I hope you are planning to keep a photo record to share with us.

    If I'm not mistaken, Integral was involved in a robot project last year
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3
    I did FIRST as a student the past two years (which was our rookie year), and as the team captain last year. This year I'll be too busy studying at college and whatnot to help much, but I'm still involved with my team to an extent. I didn't go to the kickoff this year, so I only know what the video showed about the game, but it looks interesting. Not sure if I love the soccer balls idea, but I do think the bumps will be a fun challenge.

    Last year our main power switch was faulty and the robot kept turning off in the middle of matches, and the year before our design really made it so we had no way to score points, so we'll see how our luck fares us this year.

    Hopefully you know what you're in for. It's a lot of fun, but a lot of work too, even for the coaches. When we were putting in six, seven hours a day after school, so were they, but it really is a good time. Plus, for the students who really participate, a lot can be learned (and actually, I'd say the same goes for the coaches as well).
     
  5. Jan 10, 2010 #4

    ideasrule

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    Yup, I'm a programmer for our school's robotics team. I joined in grade 11, but this is my first "real" year on the team because I was too busy last year to dedicate 4 hours a day to FRC.

    Hopefully, we'll get to use the camera more than we did last year. Image analysis is the most challenging aspect of programming--and in my opinion, the most interesting.

    Which team do you mentor, and what do you think of the game? Good luck to you and your school!
     
  6. Jan 10, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I assisted last year and was recruited again this year by a customer who sponsors several teams [actually, they may sponsor dozens if not hundreds of teams]. Integral has been heavily involved for two years now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  7. Jan 10, 2010 #6
    Photos are also good when presenting for the various awards and fund-raising.

    I did it as a senior in high school, but was mostly an odd jobs person and pr, (and I got to take our mascot home after the guys decided to put it in a noose in the workshop.) The guys at my school were horribly possessive of the project, but they seem to have gotten more relaxed over the years.

    Watch out for the girls on your team; one of my favorite comments from a teammate was "you're not a girl, you're useful." It's gotten better since I was involved in FRC (lots of all girls teams and the like), but judging from the college robotics competitions it's still not awesome.
     
  8. Jan 10, 2010 #7

    Chi Meson

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    We are team 2168, the Aluminum Falcons. This is the fourth year of robotics at the school, but we are for all practical purposes a rookie team. I "helped out" last year, but took over as coach at the end of the season. I know what I'm in for. I mean, I thought I knew.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2010 #8

    Borg

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    I got an email from my company last week looking for volunteers. I sent them an email asking for more info and I'll see if I have any skills that they can use.
     
  10. Jan 10, 2010 #9

    Chi Meson

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    I can tell you that the most important input a mentor can have is making the team stick to a schedule! After that... any form of knowledge in drive-train mechanics, electronics, pneumatics, carpentry (that's me), metallurgy (not me), and general understanding of physics (me again) is extremely helpful.

    If you have at least a dozen dedicated students on the team, and at least 8 mentors altogether, then that's a good size for a smallish team.
     
  11. Jan 10, 2010 #10

    Borg

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    Thanks Chi Meson, I'll keep those in mind. I'm good at schedules, carpentry and programming. I've got some self-taught knowledge of microprocessors. My electronics and physics are both rusty.
     
  12. Jan 12, 2010 #11

    Chi Meson

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    Build season, day 1:

    Already, I'm exhausted.
     
  13. Jan 15, 2010 #12

    Dembadon

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  14. Jan 15, 2010 #13

    Chi Meson

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    Cool. This will be at the meeting tonight!
     
  15. Jan 15, 2010 #14
    I bet Randall Munroe look at PF for ideas.
     
  16. Jan 16, 2010 #15
    I'm now in my third year of undergrad studying physics, but in highschool FIRST was my main activity, it had a huge influence on me.

    I went to the Dallas kickoff last week to support me old team, see old friends, and encourage the students to stick with it over the next six weeks. This will be the first year I don't volunteer a significant amount of time.

    I think FIRST is doing a great job of growing and changing, most importantly learning from years past. They're doing a better job of making the game easier to spectate. Maybe now they can get it picked up by a better channel than NASA TV.

    They re-worked a lot of old challenges in this game too, I think the idea is to reward veteran teams.

    I loved the xkcd comic, back in the day there were some dirty tactics that were perfectly legal, like deploying screens to block drivers' view, etc.
     
  17. Jan 29, 2010 #16

    Dembadon

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    How are things going? Any pictures/schematics to share? :biggrin:
     
  18. Jan 30, 2010 #17

    Chi Meson

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    OK, in short, we spent the first two weeks working on a elastic-pneumatic kicker. WE had it so a pneumatic piston retracted a lever against surgical tubing elastic. WHen triggered, it kicked the ball beautifully.

    Problem was, we couldn't get the piston out of the way; the robot needs to be able to go over this bump on the field.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEmrZyr3O9M"]. THe piston in the undercarriage didn't allow for clearance as the robot wen to over the bump. This was getting to be a problem, because the higher you put stuff, the more tippy the robot was.

    So we just abandoned the pneumatic reset, and started Thursday on the mechanical reset. One of the mentors posted http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbt-iGiwzQ4" of the initial prototype. WE improved it yesterday, and we've selected a solenoid trigger.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  19. Jan 30, 2010 #18

    Dembadon

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    Fantastic! Can't wait to see more.
     
  20. Jan 30, 2010 #19
    Sweet! Nice to see more FIRST members. I am with Team 1742 Shockwave out of Moore Oklahoma. Everything is going pretty well. I am a first year Pre-Engineering student so this is my first year on the team, but I have a lot of previous electronics and programming experience so I am trying to help out as much as I can.

    Good luck everyone!
     
  21. Jan 30, 2010 #20
    I've never been apart of FRC, but I was a judge for NRC 2 years ago. I was asked if I would like to, it was an awesome experience, and next year, a friend and I are going to be building a robot for it. We are thinking about him doing the internal aspects and me doing the external design and style. I'm super stoked to do it. It also helps that it's in the same town where I live!
     
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