2020 Build Season Week 1 Newsletter

Our Team

Team 1403 has put in a lot of work during the first week of build season, which is now coming to a close. Many members came to the Saturday meeting to help out with prototyping the robot following the strategy team’s plan, while other teams focused on planning and organizing other aspects of Team 1403 such as our website or organizing volunteer events. Our first week of build season was a success with the amount of work we did and we can’t wait to work harder for the following build seasons.


The Mechanical subteam is currently working on prototyping the robot with the other subteams. The team split into smaller groups that physically build the prototypes that are designed by the Design team. They take the different prototype designs and make a physical version of them out of materials such as aluminum and foam board.


The Electrical subteam has been mainly helping with prototyping the different parts of the robot. This was done by splitting up the subteam members and prototyping different parts of the robot such as the wheel, intake, ball launcher, and sensors. The electrical team has also been helping with the newer members as to make sure they understand the basics of electrical engineering for when the prototypes are finished. 


The Design subteam was also split into smaller groups that worked on creating designs and ideas for how different parts of the robot would work. The team uses CAD, a computer aided design, where the members create a 3D virtual model of each individual part of the robot. The subteam is also experimenting with new Virtual Reality (VR) software to better visualize the robot and the game field.


The Programming subteam faced many issues and had to troubleshoot. They were tasked with programming intakes, hoppers, and shooters. To fix any issues that they had, they took many approaches such as updating the firmware of the motors, and reimaging the brain of the robot, called RoboRio. The Programming subteam is also currently working on coding the vision tracking and color sensors for the autonomous stage of the robot, which will be crucial to the competition. 


The Strategy team is working with the Programming team to develop a new “Scouting” app. Through their app, they plan on gathering information from other teams during competition in order to help decide which teams we would be interested in working with. Currently, they are with the Programming subteam to create the user interface (UI) of the app so that the app will be smooth and easy-to-use. 


The Audio/Visual team has been taking numerous photos to include in the Chairman’s video. Their main goal is to take meaningful photos to be able to include in the Photoboard and the Chairman’s video. Furthermore, the team is teaching their new members on how to correctly take good photographs. The A/V team works with all other teams to ensure all our photos and videos are of the highest quality.


The Business/Communications team has primarily been working on updating the website for the 2020 season. The website includes information about what the team has been working on since build season started. You can visit our website today at https://cougarrobotics.com. Additionally, they are writing an outline for the Chairman’s presentation and essay, which showcases our team’s impact on the community and STEM education. The business team is also posting pictures on the Cougar Robotics’ Instagram with events such as Meet the Team Mondays and Sponsor Saturdays. 


Outreach has worked on organizing volunteer opportunities with different programs. Some of these programs include teaching students with special needs and the Science Invention Convention. During the Science Invention Convention, students are able to showcase their discoveries about STEM. Outreach is starting to plan our Women in STEM event which will be held at the Montgomery District Event. In addition to supporting the district through these programs, many members are volunteering at with Ms. Young at LMS, to teach the younger students on how to program EV3 robots which are utilized in the FIRST LEGO League competition.