Class Competition For the class competition, we split the class into four different teams. Each team was given a rules manual and a few weeks to design a robot that fit said parameters, which is a direct representation of our build season process. The purpose of the class competition was to prepare our team for the upcoming competition season. Students took part in the designing, building, and refining process for each of their team's robots, gaining vital technical and teamwork skills. The objective of the competition was to score the most points at the end of each round, which included two teams completing an autonomous and remote control operated period. During the autonomous period, robots scored points for crossing the midline and for depositing wiffle balls into their team's bank. During the remote controlled period, drivers employed various creative offensive and defensive strategies to either deposit balls into their scoring zones or prevent other teams from scoring. As the teams progressed through their builds, many structural, programming, or knowledge based challenges were encountered. The best part about this competition was seeing how each team persevered to overcome struggles and to build a functioning robot. After the class competition, our class collectively became better at problem solving and more prepared for build season. This [...]
It's 2021, and all of us are finally back in person! For the past several weeks, we've mostly been doing some organization, but we also hosted a weekend workshop for students to gain some technical experience. Outside and in the metal and wood shop, students learned about the use of power tools such as the jigsaw, drill, sawzall, circular saw, and the miter saw. After power tool demonstrations from our leads, we got to try them out for ourselves. We cut pieces of wood using the circular saw and drove wood screws into them to connect the pieces. We also learned to use the drill press and rivet gun. Inside the classroom, there were four stations: electrical basics, electrical components, robot demonstration, and CAD. At the first station, students learned to crimp wires and solder, and at the next, we learned about the various electrical components onboard the robot. Right after, we learned more about the functions of remote control software and drove around a robot. Finally, we used Onshape to create small designs and cutting them out using the laser cutter. With basic training finished, we'll be continuing with advanced training, where students will learn to specialize in a specific area of robotics. We're looking forward to later activities!
The end of the year is quickly approaching, and despite the circumstances, we were still able to do some robotics activities. Earlier this semester, we wrapped up our first Hackathon, where we gave small groups free rein over what they wanted to make. Currently, we're working on our second Hackathon, which involves building a robot to play a game where it earns points by moving and stacking blocks in a designated area. Now that many of us have returned to school, coordination have gotten much easier, and we're finally able to work on our projects as a group. Hopefully, we're able to finish assembling and programming the robots and play the actual game towards the end of this month. In other news, going back in person means that we've been able to resume some of our fundraising activities. On May 8, a group of students went cold calling, and on May 15, there will be another round with a separate group of team members. Student elections are also being held on May 10, and although we're a bit sad to see our treasured seniors go, many returning members are running for leadership positions.