2024 Build Season Issue #4 Newsletter

1/27/24 – 2/2/24

Our Team

Moving into the fourth week of Build Season, Team 1403 has made significant progress on both the Robot and the Logistics side. The Robot side of the team has been working hard to finish different components needed to assemble the robot. The Logistics side of the team has been working on finishing the materials for the Impact Award, such as the essay and executive summary, and coordinating events.


This week, Mechanical is assembling all the components of the robot. This includes the completion of the drivetrain, which acts as a chassis that allows the robot to move. Further, Mechanical is on track to finish testing of the intake shooter, experimenting with angles and distance from the speaker. Mechanical has also begun working on the end effector, a part of the robot that picks up and shoots out notes. Through continuous trials and adjustments in cooperation with Electrical and Programming, Mechanical is ensuring that all parts work reliably and efficiently. CNC, a subsection of Mechanical, is continuing to work on creating Shooter Plates.


Electrical has split into multiple groups to work on different tasks. The first group is working on mapping out where the electrical components of the robots are going to be attached to the robot on the belly pan and vertical structures. The second group of Electrical is measuring the length of the wires that are going to be needed for the robot. Finally, the last group is working with Mechanical to mount SparkMaxes to the sides of the robot. SparkMaxes are components known as motor controllers, which regulate the motors of the robot to follow certain instructions and commands such as slowing down, speeding up, stopping, etc.


Design was very busy this week, working on different projects simultaneously. The first of these projects was the finalization of the design of the arm, the component that is used to pick up any notes. The A-frame on the other hand is the component that lifts the pivot point of the arm and the wrist of the arm, which is the component that can manipulate the end of the arm. The third project was the intake and shooter assembly, which takes game pieces and stores it in the robot before shooting it back out to score points. Additionally, Design finished the design for the drivetrain, which controls the movement of the robot by delivering mechanical power to the rest of the driven components, such as the wheels. 


This week, the Programming Subteam has been working on improving the swerve and finished the creation of the arm, and fine tweaked it for no mistakes. This allows our robot to grab onto objects, pick itself up, and move itself up and down. Another thing the subteam worked on was the sensor array. The sensor array is the part of the robot that connects with the limelight. The limelight, a camera, works with the sensor and the rest of the robot, acting as the visual part. While also working to scan the April Tags that are scattered around the arena. Scanning these April Tags allows the driver to know where the pieces are.


This week, the Strategy Subteam will create an accurate simulation for our next competition by using team members as robots and pieces of paper as notes, which are the objects used to score. They used the data from the simulation to find an accurate cycle time, which lets them know the amount of time it takes for a point to be scored by our robot at competition. The subteam is also working diligently on finishing the strat board for our next competition. The strategy board is a detailed sketch of the playing field that also contains the routes for the robot that the drivers will use during the competition. 


A/V has started the first draft of the impact video after finishing their planning document and receiving feedback. They plan to collect and edit enough footage to complete the first draft and start revising it. They are aiming to finish the first draft by the end of the week. In addition to working on the first draft, members have been creating and editing reels to post on our Team 1403 Instagram (@team1403).


While B/C is continuing to work on social media posts for the team’s Instagram, there are also a plethora of other projects. This included interviewing each subteam, gathering information on what they were working on the week, and using that information to write up the week 4 Newsletter. Finally, B/C has continued editing and revising the SC Johnson Grant Application to obtain funding for the team. 


Outreach was very busy this week, working on multiple different projects. They started by rehearsing for the Cub Classes happening on Thursday, which is an event where our team teaches UMS students important life skills while also tying those skills to STEAM as well as gathering materials for this Cub Class, such as popsicle sticks for when the UMS students will need to build their bridge. Additionally, Outreach is starting up team 1403’s TASK food drive, where the team raises donations to send to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Finally, they continued to work on Team 1403’s trifold for the Monty Maker Fair, a convention where kids show off their inventions, which will be used to inspire the youth to pursue STEAM.

Written by The Business & Communications Subteam

Instagram: @team1403

Website: www.cougarrobotics.com

Email: cougar1403@gmail.com