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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't Worry, It's Just A Prototype

The title for this post is our team's motto so far this year. Whenever we're building anything and someone raises a concern, we jokingly say that line. Then we brainstorm ways to fix it. Today was another really awesome day for the team. So many things started and finished. So many laughs and positive energy. One of those days that makes FIRST Robotics awesome. Everybody was on their game as far as keeping busy but still having fun. Our projects included: mounting the electrical board, mounting the gatherer and shooter, finishing the bridge, starting the mascot helmet and beginning out team member profiles.

Remember to check YouTube for 4 (!!!!) new videos.

We finished the bridge!! That's two out of three game pieces completed. The only one left is the hoop aparatus. Brandon, Molly, Tyler, Connor, and some others really worked hard on getting the bridge done and it looks awesome. We put it through its paces by having some people walk and balance on it. Pretty soon (tomorrow) we will be able to drive our robot over it. We finished the other piece of the middle of the game field, the bump, on Monday. These two elements will be crucial for testing our design next week.

Another huge project for today was completely mounting the prototype robot. We finished the electrical board box by adding a bottom and a side. The box looks great already (go wire management and zip ties!!) but will look even more awesome when we make it out of lexan and put the red and blue LEDs in it. Our first step was putting the gear boxes back on the frame. Then, we mounted the electrical board and battery. Our last step was to mount the gatherer and shooter. Tyler had a great idea for mounting the gatherer and many others on the team helped out with this process. We finished by mounting the gate mechanism and testing it out. SO COOL WITH IT ALL TOGETHER! The feeling you get when a group has an idea and finally sees that idea in a real life way is impossible to describe. So proud of the team so far. This is MILES ahead of where we were last year. Still a lot to accomplish, however.

The PR team started working on the mascot. They first step is creating the helmet. Already looks pretty cool. Jesse and Bryce modeled the helmet throughout the afternoon. Hopefully, the helmet will be finished by tomorrow or Saturday. They also came up with a name for our mascot... Mechatron. PERFECT!

Megan, Jenna, and Allen came up with some questions to ask team members for youtube videos and member profiles for the blog. There are some really funny questions and the profiles should be entertaining. Check back some time in the next week or so for those.

We finished the day with a clean-up/dance party to LMFAO. Great times. 

Having a prototype together makes troubleshooting and brainstorming much easier in the coming weeks. Our big goal for tomorrow or Saturday is to drive the prototype and pick up a ball and shoot it all in one motion. This is ambitious but the team can definitely do it. Fantastic feeling leaving the robot room and seeing all the checks on our weekly goals.

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