2024 Build Season Issue #2 Newsletter

1/14/24 – 1/20/24

Our Team

After a productive first week, our team has continued to work hard throughout the second week of build season. From prototyping to testing out different robot components, our team’s robot side has been busy working on the robot in preparation for competition season. On the other hand, the Logistics side of the team has been concentrating on creating the materials for the Impact Award, like beginning to draft the essay and executive summaries. 


Mechanical is working on fabricating parts 

The Mechanical Subteam has been working on prototyping robot elements by creating a preliminary mock-up of the robot design, testing, collecting data, and adjusting it until it gets to the desired level of performance. They are also working on building field elements such as the Stage, Speaker, Amp, and Source. This week, the team finished building the Speaker, one of the main field elements that we can now use to test our robot and continue prototyping. The Speaker is a tall structure with an angled opening that is used as the mechanism for robot scoring. Additionally, the subteam has been busy resolving issues regarding the robot’s drivetrain, the base that enables the robot to drive, ensuring that the creation of the robot stays on schedule.


Members of Electrical testing the robots’ camera

This week, the Electrical Subteam has started finalizing the electrical board for the base of the robot. The team has also started to formulate multiple battery box ideas to prevent battery exposure on the field. Electrical has also been working with the Programming subteam to coordinate the sensors that will be used on the robot. The wiring for the swerve modules, mechanisms that allow 360o motion for the robot, is also being completed.


The Design Subteam is close to completing its initial designs for robot subsystems, such as the shooter and climber. The subteam has completed the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) for the intake shooter on Autodesk Inventor, an application used for 3D mechanical design. Once they have the arm, they can begin integrating the climber, which is the subsystem used by the robot to climb onto the chain hanging in the arena for points.


Programing working on apps

The Programming Subteam worked on the sensor board this week and is currently working on the base code, used for the basic subsystems and commands for the robot.  Additionally, they have been working on improving the photon vision system of the camera, which is an open-source visual system that is designed to get vision working on the robot. The camera allows the robot to scan April Tags around the arena, allowing it to determine its relative position on the game field.


Strategy working on drive presentations 

This week the Strategy Subteam, along with team mentors, have finalized their strategy for the autonomous segment of the game (the first 15 seconds of the game in which robots are purely operated by code, as opposed to a human driver). They have also been working on improvements for the tele-op segment of the game as well (the phase after autonomous in which the robot relies on the driver and operator for movement) for competition. Additionally, the subteam has been drafting the design of the strategy board layout—a resource that allows us to visually discuss and walk through game strategy with other teams at competitions. Lastly, Strategy has been preparing daily team updates regarding alterations in the game manual by FIRST to ensure that all members have a clear understanding of game rules.


The A/V Subteam has been working on multiple tasks this week. Throughout the week, they have been taking footage of Team 1403’s build season progress and using it to create Instagram posts and reels, increasing our community engagement. Additionally, the A/V Subteam has begun working on the Impact video, one of the elements of our submission for the Impact Award, one of FIRST’s most prestigious honors. The Impact Award video will allow us to showcase the work that our team has done to impact the local community in an engaging film format.


The Business/Communications Subteam has been working on finishing up multiple assignments, including the finalization of social media posts as well as creating the Week 2 Newsletter. Our weekly newsletters allow us to inform parents of our weekly build season progress, providing updates to track our accomplishments and goals over the season. Business/Communications has also been working on their grant application to S.C. Johnson. Through the grant, we will receive more funding, helping us sustain our team and obtain more opportunities. The subteam has also been continuing to work on social media posts and frequently updating the team website.


This week, the Outreach Subteam worked on making a Kahoot! for the members of Team 1403 during the Saturday meeting, quizzing them on general Safety protocols to ensure that the team knows the procedures to follow to stay safe while building the robot. The subteam also worked on planning out various charity initiatives such as newly organized Cub Classes. Similar to Cougar Classes, this initiative will take place in the Montgomery Upper Middle School, teaching middle school students various topics such as organization in life and also providing engineering challenges, like building a bridge. The Cub Class helps to build community engagement with young students, exposing them to robotics and STEM. Furthermore, the subteam emailed the Eric LeGrand Foundation for a possible collaboration with the team on constructing wheelchair ramps for those in need across the country.

Written by The Business & Communications Subteam

Instagram: @team1403

Website: www.cougarrobotics.com

Email: cougar1403@gmail.com