Name: Jared Botte
Years On Team: 4
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: Robot Lead- Overall development of the robot and integrating the different subsystems and mechanisms.
Impact FIRST has had on Him: "It has given me more opportunities. I was able to get an internship and learn lots of vital communication skills as well as many engineering skills"
Favorite 4909 Moments: "The lab with the heat gun, hugging the 'pneumatic hugger', and when Beckford threw the glow stick out of the van on the way home from Worlds."
Plans After High School: To attend a college for some sort of interdisciplinary engineering.
Ideal Job: To engineer something, to help people and change the world.
During the past few weeks, the software team has been busy setting up our electric control system to be used for the competition robot. In addition we have established the base framework of our code for the season, streamlining the process for development once the mechanical part of the robot is complete. As part of our base framework, we have also got some basic motion profiling working, which essentially allows us to tell a robot to follow a path consisting of multiple points on the field. Motion profiling will enable us to do our autonomous modes quicker and more repeatably, thus enabling us to be a strong competitor on the field.
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Over the past week, the team has been creating a CAD model of our robot before we begin fabrication. Using online modeling software, we can access and work on our project from anywhere at anytime, which is much more convenient than the software that we have used in years past. When we create a CAD model, we make a design that will be used as a blueprint for our robot. In order to complete this task, we have divided the team into groups. Each group, or subdivision, is responsible for designing one specific subsystem for the robot. We have successfully designed some of the subsystems like the chassis, which is the base of the robot. However, some systems are more difficult to design and require more time than others, such as the climber. Despite some unforeseen roadblocks such as the recent snowstorm, we have found ways to keep moving forward on our tasks whether we are working on it at home or organizing an online get-together.
Name: Nick Benjamin
Years on Team: 4
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: Team Ops Lead, responsible for everything that is not directly robot related.
Impact FIRST has had on him: "First has provided me with an environment to not only develop my engineering skills but also expand my communication and leadership abilities."
Favorite 4909 Moments: "The "green tornado", when we plugged the gyro in backwards and the robot kept spinning. And going to worlds."
Plans After High School: "I plan to go to college to study mechanical engineering ."
Ideal Job After High School: "Design and build my own motorcycles."
The team operations group focuses on awards, fundraising, volunteering, mentoring, and social media. One of Team 4909’s primary goals for the 2018 season is to apply for 3 awards offered by FIRST: The Woodie Flowers Award, the Entrepreneurship Award, and the Dean’s List Award. The Woodie Flowers Award is presented to an outstanding Mentor of a robotics team who best leads, inspires, teaches, and empowers their team using excellent communication skills. The team will be selecting one of its mentors and writing a 3,000 word essay on why we believe they deserve the award. The Entrepreneurship Award recognizes teams with a comprehensible business plan in order to define, manage and achieve the team’s objectives. The Dean’s List award recognizes a Junior on the team who exemplifies the principles of FIRST, and is submitted by the team’s mentors. For more information on FIRST‘s awards, click here!
Be sure to check out our social media pages!
Facebook: FRC Team 4909 - Bionics
As we wrap up Week 1 of Build Season, the team continues to analyze the new game, FIRST POWER-UP. Earlier this week, the team came together for a large-group discussion to analyze the new game and rank different tasks based on their difficulty and feasibility. As a part of our brainstorming session, the team split up into multiple groups focusing on three major components that were identified: the cube intake, the climber, and the cube manipulator. These different groups also constructed a few prototypes in an attempt to test their designs. The designs are being recorded in engineering notebooks for future reference. Before any prototype can be constructed, it must be completed in the form of a CAD design. CAD, standing for Computer Aided Design, is a method of using computer applications to create an electronic “blueprint” for the prototypes. At the same time, programming side of the team was creating a plan of action for the deployment of the new robot’s code by understanding everything our robot must accomplish during gameplay.
The Billerica Memorial High School robotics team 4909- Bionics, is having a fundraiser at the Panera in Wilmington, MA on Monday, January 15th from 4pm to 8pm. Please print and present the following flyer (hard copy only- electronic copies are NOT accepted). Panera will donate a percentage of their sales to our team. Please support your local robotics team and dine at Panera this coming Monday! They are located at 228 Main Street, Wilmington.
Saturday, we celebrated our favorite holiday, kickoff day! This year, we joined team 2876 - the Devil Botz at Burlington High School. After enjoying breakfast and some team building activities, everyone filed into the auditorium to watch the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge revealed live. We split into groups to analyze the game manual, talk strategy, and set up a mock playing field. In this year's game, Power Up, teams compete to tip the "switches" and the "scale" in their favor to score as many points as possible. Robots have to place Power Cubes on to the switch and scale in order to tip them down. At the end of the match, the robots need to climb up the side of the scale for a large point bonus. Here is this year's game reveal video:
What have we been up to?
The main attraction of Robotics is the competitions and build season, but much of the work for these events happen during the preseason.
We have made great progress in improving our team’s knowledge this year! We have been teaching and training the rookies in the areas of mechanical, electrical, and business. We have also updated our inventory and restocked our medical supplies. We attended two pre-season events—River Rage and Battle of the Bay. During these events, we play the previous year’s game. We also demonstrated our team’s abilities by showcasing our robot, Boxtop, at MRSI Systems in Billerica. Currently, the team operations group is working on the Entrepreneurship Award, community outreach, fundraising, and mentoring the local FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League robotics teams.
In November, we competed at Battle of the Bay in Alton, New Hampshire. This competition is an offseason event for the 2017 First Robotics Competition (FRC) game, Steamworks. After five rounds of qualification matches, we finished in 8th place out of 28 teams. We finished high enough to be an alliance captain in the playoffs. We selected team 3467, Windham Windup and team 2370, iBots to play with. All playoff rounds are best 2 out of 3. We won the first two matches in the quarterfinals and put up our event high score of 320 points. In the semifinals, we also won the first two matches which put us in our first ever event final. In the finals, we faced team 238, Crusaders; 1073, The Force Team; and 1729, Team Inconceivable. The first match we lost 396-252. In the second match, we pulled away at the very end and won 301-252. In the third and final match, we led the entire way and won 302-185. Our 2017 robot, named Boxtop, was battered and bruised throughout the entire day but still kept running enough for us to win our first event in team history! Thank you to team 3467, Windham Windup and team 2370, iBots for being great alliance partners!
The green alliance scouting platform
Team 4909 is excited to announce the release of The Green Alliance (TGA), a revolutionary new scouting initiative. The Green Alliance Scouting Platform has been designed from the ground up to enable teams to share data beyond any event, district, or region. This influx of data is especially beneficial to teams at higher levels of play as they have more data to reference in strategic decisions and picking alliance partners. TGA consists of a cross-platform application and a community of the members of FIRST who are willing to gather scouting data for the collective.
Collected data will be accessible to all teams involved via a secure website. Currently, we have over 30 teams throughout North America committed to collect data from district and regional events. The Green Alliance is actively seeking new teams to join our mission to help consolidate scouting data, on a global scale.
If you would like to learn more or join The Green Alliance initiative, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.