Build Season Week #6

FIRST Team 1403 Cougar Robotics Newsletter

Build Season: Week 6

As the final week of build season is ending, Team 1403 races to finish another robot. Unlike last year, our team is improving the design rather than barely finishing. Led by robot managers Aamish R. and Vineet P.,  Team 1403 has been ahead of the game for nearly the entire season. Like all great teams, we had a few setbacks, but with perseverance and a common goal, Team 1403 has completed the robot. This year’s challenge requires the robot to pick up power cubes, and place them inside the switch. Throughout the season,  Aamish R. has been advising the team to “go simple and effective”, and the fact that the team has followed this advice is displayed by the precision of our cube manipulating device.

Mechanical created and finished the bumpers, They have also completed the intake system. Mechanical has finished the elevator, and have been testing all assemblies on the robot in order to ensure the robot can perform its functions at maximum performance. Member Rajan T. says, “The robot and its code are in the final stages of development, and are on the way to success.” The robot has been passed on to Electrical in order to finish all wiring. The robot will be ready for competition after a few adjustments.

As Mechanical places numerous mechanisms, Electrical has been creating the wiring for them. These mechanisms include the Cougar Claw, the intake system, a variety of sensors, and the elevator system. Electrical connects these to the motor control, which is the TPG. They have also mounted the electrical board onto the robot. As testing is going on, they have been editing and modifying their previous systems.

Programming has finished the ECHO program and is now testing this program as well as the autonomous program, since Mechanical and Electrical have finished. Programming wants to ensure that no problems will arise during the competition. Thus, they have been scouting for all flaws in their code this week. They plan on having the robot fully ready for competition by the end of build season.

This week, Design worked on various tasks. They used the Computer Numeric Controller (CNC), a computerized milling machine, to machine new transmission plates for drive train and parts of the bumper. The Design team is working to CNC the intake mechanism and transmissions as well as begin writing the technical binder, a manual for this year’s robot. They are also aiming to finish 3D printing spare components for the robot in case any problems arise during competition. Members of Design are also working to make a basic information packet for future freshmen to learn

Robot Manager Aamhish and Vibhu working on the Cougar Claw intake
Robot Manager Aamhish and Vibhu working on the Cougar Claw intake

from. This packet shows how to make exploded view drawings, an important skill during the build season for Design.

In terms of the logistics side, our team has been very productive. Outreach has done a great job in promoting Women in STEM in our community, and Business is working hard on the Donald Bowers Essay. All of the teams that make up the Logistics side has worked hard to provide to the team to the best of their ability.

Business is working on the parent newsletters. They dedicate the week to interview team members of various subteams, choosing pictures, and editing the final draft of the articles. These newsletters are also uploaded onto the website as documentation. The Donald Bowers Essay is nearing completion with the fourth draft. This essay recognizes a certain mentor and their contribution to the team.

Outreach has finished scheduling and organizing a total of ten speakers for the Women in STEM event, which our school is hosting next week. This event will be the third Women in STEM event, and this year, Outreach is striving to encourage greater female involvement in Robotics. The speakers include a variety of professionals, such as CEOs, medical oncologists, and professors from several local colleges. For the event, Outreach has created brochures and flyers, and they have invited all citizens in Montgomery to attend. If anyone is interested, they are welcome to come.

A/V has been working diligently with the Chairman’s Video. They have taken various video drafts, and they have created a script. With mentor Ms. Yip, Business, and Outreach, they have brainstormed ideas for the Chairman’s Video. They have also edited more than 60 photos for the parent newsletters and social media accounts of Team 1403. In general, Outreach has been diligently working on pictures, video clips, and editing.

A/V editing a variety of photos for the Chairman’s Video
A/V editing a variety of photos for the Chairman’s Video

Communications has been working on updating numerous social media accounts and our team website. They have been uploading build season photos, as well as the team photo, which will be used for the school yearbook. They have also been posting the Business parent newsletters onto the website, which are used to spread our progress with others. In addition, they have been working with A/V regarding Chairman’s and editing photos. They have practiced collaboration within the team, by working with multiple subteams.

This week, Strategy has practiced using their codes and plays in a match setting. They have created posters of various pictures that provide different commands to the drive team. Strategy has also created a scouting form that our team will use to create alliances during competition. Each member of the team will have one of these, and they will take notes about a specific team. They have organized a meeting on February 24, in order to teach fellow team members how to use the form.

Throughout the course of build season, our team has accomplished a lot. We have learned, failed, succeeded, and grown from our experiences in Robotics. For rookie members and mentors on the team, they are amazed by how we initially had nothing before Kickoff and have now completed the robot in six weeks. Team 1403 is eagerly waiting to see what will happen on the playing field. Build season may be over, but the next stage has just begun.