Our 2020 Robot Reveal was a success! Many of our friends, families, and sponsors took time out of their day to hear an overview of build season and see our robot “Mantis” in action. The night consisted of our team leads highlighting their specific responsibilites including managing the build process, building of the the subsystems, programming the robot, and a team operations update. The audience was able to gain insight into what it takes to build the robot and each of our subsystems; the intake, the elevator, the indexer, the turret, the shooter, and the climber. Once we finished talking about the robot, we conducted a robot demonstration by simulating an official match. We successfully scored power cells into the power ports and hung on the shield generator by climbing (see videos below). We thank all of you who attended and appreciate your support! Please see below for some pictures from the event.
This past weekend, Team 4909 traveled to Salem, NH to attend the Granite State District Event. The team arrived at Salem High School on Thursday to get their robot inspected and set up the team's pit. The pit is where the team keeps their robot between matches and is also where they hold all of their tools and spare parts.
The competition officially began last Friday with 40 teams from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont participating. Matches are played with a “Blue” alliance of 3 teams competing against a “Red” alliance of 3 teams. All alliances are randomly assigned and alliance configurations are different from match to match. Each team plays 12 qualification matches over the course of two days. After the team’s first 9 matches on Friday, they were in 2nd place. On Saturday, they played their last 3 qualification matches and ended up in 3rd place!
The elimination rounds began with the top 8 seeded teams picking 2 other teams for their playoff alliance. In regards to alliances, because of the team’s success in qualifying matches, they were given the opportunity to be an alliance captain for the 3rd seed! Using their Green Alliance scouting system, 4909 Bionics was able to distinguish which teams would be the best fit for their alliance. They selected Team 501, the PowerKnights, from Manchester, NH and Team 7822, Generals Robotics, from South Hamilton, MA. While the team believes they selected an excellent alliance, one of the robots from their alliance experienced trouble with their climber. 4909 Bionics helped them fix it and within an hour and a half, their alliance partner’s climber was in good shape. With a working climber, the team’s alliance was able to do a triple climb on the shield generator and they scored many points in each match, helping them advance to finals! The final match consisted of the fifth seed alliance competing against 4909’s alliance, the third seed. After a nerve-wrecking match, Team 4909 pulled through and won the District Event by just five points! As a member of the New England district, Team 4909 is ranked 1 having earned 74 points! This event was one of the most successful competitions that the Bionics attended to date!
Also, a junior on the team, Matthew Young, was named as a Dean’s List Finalist who will compete at the New England District Championships. After judging and being nominated by the team, according to FIRST, Dean’s List Finalist recognition is given to students who “demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST Core Value and interest in and passion for a long term commitment to FIRST.” This is the second year in a row that 4909 has had a member selected for Dean's List, and the team is proud to have such amazing members such as Matthew!
The team’s next competition is the NE District Greater Boston Event, which will take place from March 27-29 at Revere High School in Revere, MA. The team is excited to compete again and hopes that you will join them!
As our Build Season comes to a close, the team is excited to announce our 2020 Robot Reveal Night! This event will be held on March 3rd at 7 PM in the Billerica Memorial High School's Blackbox Theater. An invitation is attached below with some more information. Please be sure to RSVP!
Name: Avani Agrawal
Title: Team Operations Lead
Years on Team: 4 Years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “managing awards, team communications, fundraising, outreach, finances, sponsorship, and volunteering”
Impact FIRST has had: “FIRST provided me with the opportunity to broaden my horizons through Business Management. I became more confident in my ability to speak to judges and made lifelong friends along the way.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “Winning the Engineering Inspiration Award in 2019”
Plans After High School: Go to college and medical school Ideal Job: Surgeon and researcher
Week 0 Competition Details:
This Saturday, 2/15/20, the whole team will participate in week zero. It is held at Bishop Guertin High School and the team will be competing with 27 other teams. Week zero is a scrimmage competition for teams to see how their robot would stand against others. How well a team does at this competition will not contribute to the “standing” of a team. This competition is also a way for teams to get ideas from other teams that the team might use to improve the robot.
This week, Team Operations has been hard at work with preparing for week zero, the first competition of the season. The team also helped packed the binders and safety equipment for the competition so we can give the proper presentation for the judges which they also prepared what they were going to say to them.
This week, the engineering team’s focused on finalizing each of the systems. The climbing mechanism was completed in the allotted time, but it has not been attached to the robot yet. The team hopes to accomplish this by their first competition. The intake mechanism has successfully been assembled and is attached to the robot. Currently, the team is exploring ways in which to prop it up while int he teleop-period. The team also made minor modifications to the turret and indexer mechanisms. The main modification to the turret mechanism was replacing the Lexan hood with a metal one. Doing so provided consistent shots. They modified the indexer by changing the shape of the spacers in order to prevent the poly cord from slipping off.
This week, the software team's efforts revolved around gearing up the robot for competition. We worked on shooting accurately and quickly as well as working out the inefficiencies of our ball-feeding mechanism. Overall, our main priority was integrating the various systems of the robot. Hopefully, with the robot nearly come together, we'll be ready to succeed in Week 1 of competitions soon!
The team is still selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a brick of 300 $1.00 scratch tickets. Only 125 tickets will be sold for each set of scratch tickets. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket to be in the drawing you can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have another date scheduled for Sunday, 2/23 from 9AM to 5PM at O'Connors that we will be selling tickets outside of. Be sure to stop by to buy your tickets or to donate to the team! We only have a couple tickets left, so don't miss out! Make sure to check out our social media for more details.
The team is also hosting a restaurant night fundraiser working with Panera Bread this Thursday, February 13th, from 4-8 PM at the Panera Bread location in Billerica MA. 20% of the total raised funds will go to the team, and in order for the team to raise money a photo of the flyer must be shown when the order is taken. It can be a physical copy of the flyer or a digital copy from our website or social media. It's coming up fast, so don't pass up the opportunity! We can't wait to see everyone there!
Name: Jason Bishop
Title: Software Lead
Years on Team: 4 Years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “Programming”
Impact FIRST has had: “Introduced me to a lot of new people and new things to do.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “River Rage sophomore year getting a judge tee shirt for $16”
Plans After High School: Go to college for Computer Science
Ideal Job: Programer at any company
This week the team continued to manufacture additional pieces for the subsystems of the robot. They used various machines such as the bandsaw, chop saw, mills, lathes, CNC lathe, Velox CNC router, and the 3D printers. They had made everything from milled aluminum to 3D printed spacers. The majority of the parts were completed, and with these completed parts, they started to assemble and wire several components of the robot such as the shooter, intake, and the indexer.
This fifth week of build season, the team has been working on finishing all of the subsystems to be ready to put together, which includes the elevator. The elevator, which is 3 stages tall, will extend during the endgame, to allow us to earn more points by hanging on the generator switch. So far, the team has completed two of the three stages. However, an error with the 3D printer has slightly halted the team’s progress. Still, this is an only slight concern and is something that they can quickly fix, finishing the assembly within the next meeting or two.
This week, the software team was hard at work getting the robot up and running. The build team implemented a lot of new functionality, such as a turret (mechanism that allows the shooter to rotate independently) and the completed frame of the robot, so the software team coded and tested for much of the week. They also wrote a program that allowed the robot, using vision processing, to track the “power port” in real-time. The program was successfully tested, and they are now exceedingly close to creating code that would allow the shooter to adjust velocity to create a perfect shot every time. Also, they are now able to drive the robot and use the shooter's feeder mechanism. Once they had these capabilities up and running, they tested the robot's overall abilities. In parallel, the team also continued to work on creating an LED visual interface for the robot and work on using the Pixy Cam (camera with a sensor) to track the “power cells” on the field and use them for intake.