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The Season Begins

This past weekend, the robotics team held their annual launch party. For the first time in team history, students went to High Tec LA, to learn about the build season’s theme, goals, rules, and how the round was divided. They were able to discuss with students from different schools about what the team’s goals were for the robot, what they wanted the robot to do, and what was the primary objective for each part of the round. Once they returned to the CCHS campus, the team members involved shared the generalization of the task, and discussed the team’s personal goals for the robot.

Workshops and Team Commitment

The robotics build season requires a lot of the students. Team members are expected to be focused on the build until the season is over, giving it priority over other non-academic matters. The build season also requires a great deal of time, since the team is expected to stay working until about 9. Therefore, the team ask for the help of parents to provide dinner for the team during the season however, it seems that there are enough members, that some families might be able to work together.

As all subteams are involved in the creation of the robot, it is important that every member of the team does their part. So, it is the responsibility of the team leaders to make every member be useful and up to date. Subteam leaders communicate with their team through the Slack app, which is very useful when communicating with large groups and every student in robotics is required to be part of the app.

2019 FRC Deep Space Game

This year’s competition is a spaced theme game. Alliances of three teams compete to place hatches and load cargo onto the bays of cargo ships and rocket. The total length of the match is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  Each match starts with a “sandstorm” which is a period of 15 seconds in which the driver’s visibility is limited and robots must either operate on autonomous mechanisms, or drivers may be able to see through cameras, if the robot has any. After the “sandstorm” has cleared drivers will take control of the robots and will work to earn points for their alliances. An alliance can score points by placing cargo or placing hatches on either the cargo ship or rocket ship to prevent cargo from spilling out. In addition points can be gained by going up various platform levels at the end game.In order for an alliance to advance, thy must win rank points, which is awarded to those who win matches and completely stock their rocket ships with cargo. The team is working to build a robot that will be able to complete these tasks, as well as hoping to allow us to succeed at our regionals.

For more information check out the FRC website https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/game-and-season

Week 1 Activities

The team worked on various ideas for the hatch, cargo (ball) and climb options. They began by using simple designs and methods (see photos below) to determine proof of concept. When things looked promising, they then started working on some simple prototype systems to further explore their ideas. By the end of the week, the team began discussing the pros and cons of each idea, and plan to decide the robot design to build during week 2.

Stay Tuned!


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Captains hard at work!!

Ready..Get Set…Build!

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Prototyping a cargo collector (ball) mechanism

Week 1 begins

Build season has begun! The team participated in the kickoff event with Team 4 at LA High Tech High School on Jan 5th, and we had a great brainstorming session for several hours with them. Here at CCHS, we had a kickoff party where the team, parents and mentors all got to see what challenges we face this year.

This week we have been discussing pros and cons of several design options. Tuesday we drew out half a playing field outside to get a firsthand look at the field. We drove the old robot around, had humans be robots and field pieces. From that, we learned a lot about what is possible, how long things might take, how fast the robot might need to be and various strategies we want to consider. From there, the team started making prototype devices to manipulate the cargo and hatches. Lots of discussion and fun, and some good ideas are coming out of this work. We are now exploring more options and building more complex prototypes, incluinding an idea for making the robot jump.

More to come…

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Robotics Team Agenda

Finishing Up Pre-Season Projects

CAD’s New Table:

Recently the CAD subteam has been designing a new table. The current set up is three desks placed side by side, which is not ideal. With this new L-shaped table design, the team hopes to provide more leg room for students working with the computers. It will also provide adaptable space for all computers along with the team’s new printer. The design started with CAD drawings that had accurate measurements and detailed drawings of all components, progressed to design reviews and modifications, and the team ultimately started construction. Right now the table is nearly complete, with final assembly and a laminate top to be completed before Kickoff. Both the CAD and Programming subteams are eager to see this table completed.

 

Team Merch:

The official team shirt is here! This week the team received the new shirts for the year. For $40 team members can purchase a customized mechanics shirt. This allows the team to look professional and unified when attending competitions. If the price of the shirt is a concern, talk to either Dr. Stout or one of the team captains to figure something out. Hooray! New shirts!

 

Workshops:

This week was the first week the new members became official Bagel Bytes. Congratulations everyone! The members were divided into their respective subteams and began subteam specific workshops.

  • Programming discussed different types of loops and variables used in code.
  • CAD members worked together to grasp a better understanding of their software, helped the Mechanics subteam plan out their practice robot, and starting printing out various items with the new 3D printer.
  • Mechanics began building their first practice robot.
  • Drive Train has been helping with the table project as well as making new stools for the room.
  • Publicity worked on raising money for this upcoming build season and competitions.

 

Mechanics Workshops Demo Robot:

The Mechanics subteam is creating a new demonstration robot to replace the disassembled frisbee shooter. This new robot design launches wiffle balls, and is built for young kids to play with at elementary school science fairs. The team also has plans to build a ball collector and add an aiming device. Recently the team has created a prototype and is now starting to critique/change minor mistakes.

Launch Party:

As the preseason ends, the new build season begins! The team will kick off build season with a team launch party. Here both students and parents are invited to the robotics room to learn about the future build season and start work on our robot. They will learn about the task the team’s robot will be expected to perform, what each subteam is responsible for, as well as what is to be expected from both the students and their parents. The launch party is a potluck so please bring something to share and come hungry, there will be plenty of delicious food. Parents, please respond on SignUpGenius about the potluck and team dinners. The launch party will take place towards the end of winter break on Saturday January 5 @ 1:00 PM – Don’t be late!

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Robotics Team Agenda

JPL Projects

 

For the past several weeks, the team has been working on a project for the JPL foundation. The task is seemingly simple, to lift a pipe so that it stands upright. Although it appears simple, our students have to carefully program and design their devices, so that they may be effective. Students from both the MESA and robotics clubs have organized themselves into three teams of nine people. The students were able to plan out their designs using the available CAD software, and managed to create a multitude of functional and creative designs.Some relied on physics, others on pure mechanisms, making the various devices a site to behold. The JPL project provides students with a way to exercise their skills, and work together on a project with others, to get a sense of what it would be like to practice their skills at a professional level. Requiring the skills of members of each sub-teams such as mechanics, programming, CAD, and drive team, these devices embody what it means to be a team player, and are a great way for students to get to know their teammates and to polish their skills. This competition ended recently and we are very proud of the hard work of both the MESA and our robotics students.

For more info about the project check out the official website :  Here

If you are interested in learning more about the MESA program click : Here

Pre-Season Projects

Aside from the JPL projects, other members of the team have also been working on some side preseason projects. Through these projects, both the new and returning members are given a chance to interact with one another and get to know their teammates. In addition, the new members have the opportunity to become exposed to work tools that the team will be working with throughout the season, brainstorm design ideas, familiarize themselves with the workload that will be upon them during build season, and the most important part, have fun!

 

Here are some of the current projects the team has been working on:

 

Phone Charging Stations

Shown above is the progress of the phone charging station.

The members have first researched and brainstormed ideas and then finally began the design process through CAD. Afterwards, they slowly began the construction, which as you can see has been coming along nicely. The team is hoping to use to charger station to hold the charging phones when we are staying late nights and so that they will be able to communicate with their parents.

CAD Designs a New Computer Table

Currently the robotics team has access to 3 computers, all of which are place on 3 separate desk tables. Since these desk were not built to accommodate 4 computers, with their routers, keyboards, and the multiple bodies of students, it was obvious that the setup needed to be changed. So the CAD team decided to take charge, and designed a new table more suited for the task. The sub team divided into groups, filled with both new and returning members, and each designed a new table to replace the old one.  Additionally, the students were given a strict deadline, similar to one in the real world in that it simply could not be pushed back. Thus, the team members had to practice time management and teamwork skills in order to complete their table designs on time, and be ready to present. Presentations were given from each of the teams, and they were expected to list the aspects of their design that made it unique, as well as functional. They were also asked to share the faults in their design as well as the amount of material it would take to built it. Then, they were all given feedback from an experience returning member, and sent to adjust their design in hopes of lessening the faults. Once again, they presented their designs, and a winner was chosen! The chosen table design included means of support, allowed for suitable amounts of leg room, and most importantly provided room for all the computers. Although the team was announced as the winners, their design was not perfect, as most things never are. Consequently the winning team was sent back again to tweak their design. Once finished, all the students involved in the project began to gather the materials for the table, which is currently being built.

An example of one of the table designs, made with the Fusion 360 software

Battery Cart

Another project the team is working on is the creation of a new cart to place the batteries of the robot. The previous cart was too wide and hardly able to move through a doorway. Hence, the team is seeking to create a new one, so that the transportation of the batteries is more efficient. New students were tasked with creating the new design, carefully measuring the old cart and adjusting it to be more mobile. Since the batteries are rather large and heavy, the cart needs to have a great deal of support, and the students need to keep the weight of all the tools which are also going to be place on the cart as well.  With the help of returning members, they have already come up with a complete design and putting the final touches on the measurements.

                                      

An example of one of the batteries this                                              The team’s rough draft

cart will be holding [expected to hold 2]  

                                                                                             

Team Merch:

This year, the robotics team is looking to purchase new team shirts and hoodies in anticipation of the two competition we will be attending. Looking to buy mechanics shirts, and possibly hoodies, these items will make the team look more professional when going to competitions, as well as make the team distinguishable in the sea of other teams. However, these mechanics shirts are anything but cheap, and with so many new members the price to buy them is sure to be high. Although the mechanics shirts are rather expensive, they are going to be customized, with the team name and logo on the front and back. Aside from the mechanics shirts, the team is planning to also buy several hoodies for the team, so when it gets colder the team will still appear unified. Since in previous years, students had to cover their team shirts due to the freezing cold competition spaces,making the team look less professional. In order to prevent this from occurring this year, students will be asked to wear their team gear on the outside layer of their clothing, either as a shirt or hoodie.

 

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Team 702 has been growing and busy working on many projects in preparation for our competition season.

Currently working with the MESA club with 3 JPL invention challenge teams. 27 students are working on the upright pipe challenge. Competition is this Saturday, Nov 17th

 

Important Dates:

Season Kickoff Party, Saturday January 5th 1 pm

End of build, bag night February 17th, 9 pm

Orange County Regional scouting trip, Saturday March 2nd

Monterey CA, March 21-25  Away competition during first weekend of spring break

Areospace Valley, April 3-6  Local competition during last weekend of spring break

 

 

 

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This year the robotics team will be partnering with the MESA group and Mr. Dien to compete in the JPL invention challenge. More news soon.

Meetings days are

Monday: Team meeting

Wednesday: JPL build

Friday: Demobot build and/or JPL build

Also the team will be participating in the Fleet Week robotics demonstration event, Monday Sept 3rd, from 8-5.

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Team 702 unexpectedly was invited to the inaugural Aerospace Valley regional, in Lancaster. We had a great time and although our 5-8 win-loss record doesn’t show it, the team did great. We were on the field for practice on Thursday at the first available slot and spent most of the day on the field testing out our auto code. With only 36 teams present, we had 13 matches for qualifying rounds (that’s a lot, we had only 8 at LA last year). That meant very short times between matches, so sometimes we went from the field right back into queuing for our next match. Happy to report that we were on the field competing for every one of our 13 matches. That’s a testament to our team and robot construction.

Regional competitions are more than just having a robot on the field. Our publicity team prepared a chairman’s award video, essay and interview for review. Our scouting team lead by Diana had to juggle team member availability. Our drive team had to keep up with (thankfully minor) robot failures. Our lead programmer had to contend with optimizing the code for competition. Our parent and mentor support group kept us us in the right place at the right time, and fed. Also a hat’s off to the AV team who put on this event, it was well done and we appreciated the food, seating and organizational efforts that made this en enjoyable experience.

Awards!?! The Bagel Bytes Team 702 has existed for 18 years now, and has won 3 awards in the past 17 years. This year we won 2 awards, which was rather unexpected since we won the same Innovation in Control award twice this year. It is very unusual for FIRST to award the same award twice, and particularly impressive since we won this from judges who are aerospace engineers who build automated drones. We could not have done this without the support of our mentors Scott and Wade, our lead programmer Keoni, plus the support of everyone on the team who built, supported and made possible the ability to compete this season. Our parents also made this possible with meals, money and signed field trip forms on short notice, thanks everyone.

 

  

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The robot is built and bagged! Now it is competition time. This year we will be attending the LA Regional competition at the LA Fairplex in Pomona. Team members going as part of the competition group already have their contracts and school paperwork in hand. All team members and their families are encouraged to attend, especially on Saturday. Parents please RSVP for the post-season party Saturday night.

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Work on the robot continues as we practice putting boxes on the scale and lightening the arm.

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