Throughout build season, Team Operations has been working on rebranding the team by changing our logo to accurately represent 4909’s image. The team has continued to create and release safety quizzes each week. Read more about our safety program in our website’s safety section. Members have also been working on our submission for the Woodie Flowers Award. The Woodie Flowers award recognizes an FRC mentor who demonstrates “gracious professionalism” and inspires students in the principles of engineering. Team Operations has also begun to prepare for the competition season. This includes writing our team business plan, safety plan, and more. In addition, the group has been planning outreach events and fundraisers, so be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks!
The shooter group has made a lot of progress with their CAD and started manufacturing parts this week. The beginning of the week heavily focused on making progress in CAD. Members designed the pneumatic system for the two-position flip-up hood, and added a motor and pulley for the indexer wheel. The group determined the best way to mount the shooter onto the robot by making custom gussets and creating a mount for the light. Students worked with the software group to add sensors such as a color and beam break sensor. At this point, the shooter design is complete, so members have started manufacturing parts like box beams, hex shafts, and support beams. The intake and climber subsystems have been integrated into the shooter CAD, and students are finalizing their designs today with design reviews.
This week, the intake group finalized the geometry needed for the four bars used to deploy and retract the intake to fit inside the robot. Members then integrated the intake assembly onto the final robot CAD. The group looked at different options for gas shocks, and after testing a few out, ultimately decided which one best fit the group’s needs. After color-coding the shafts and other parts of the intake, the group attached multiple components including a neo 550, compliant wheels, and belts. Before installing some of the components like the belt, the team had to design and add on spacers. Members calculated the gear ratio for the neo and decided the placement of the mechanum wheels so that they center the cargo as it comes in contact with the robot. At the end of the week, the group discussed where to place the piston on the intake so it can extend and retract.
The climber group spent this week redesigning the hooks the robot will use to climb the hangar. On Monday, members split into three groups; two worked on static hook designs, and one worked on a dynamic hook design. After discovering their designs did not work halfway through the week, the static hook groups decided to brainstorm alternatives. The static hook is now complete in CAD, and members have been fixing some bugs in the dynamic hook CAD. The team plans to hold a design review for the climber subsystem next week.
Name: Tanmay Sonawane
Title: Mechanical Team Member
Years on Team: 3 years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “I am a member of the intake group.”
Impact FIRST has had: “Robotics has been a great after-school activity. I got to know about robotics through Mr. Flanagan and I feel that I made a good decision by joining the team. I have learned the importance of teamwork and how various engineering tools are used. It is still astonishing to me how high school students, with the help of a few mentors, can build such a complex robot.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “Working on Control Panel Manipulator in 2021 season.”
Plans After High School: “I am planning on going to college, most likely UMass Lowell.”
Ideal Job: “Data Scientist, but it can change.”
Members of the software team programmed a motor for the intake prototype this week. Their objective was to rotate the engine using the Logitech controller. Students successfully linked the RoboRio 2.0 (the computer that runs the code) to a laptop, allowing the controller to function properly. The group is currently working on pathfinding and writing code for the robot during the autonomous period of the game.
Name: Caleb Kinscheck
Title: Build Lead - 2022 Shooter Subsystem
Years on Team: 1.5 years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “I am the build lead for the shooter group. I’ve been working on CAD and machining and am responsible for helping assemble the shooter subsystem.”
Impact FIRST has had: “I’ve been involved with FIRST on and off for a bit. I did FIRST Lego League when I was younger, which is when I was first introduced to building and engineering. Now that I'm in high school doing FRC, I've been able to feed that desire to build great things which is something FIRST has given me the opportunity to do.
Favorite 4909 memory: “Working with Matt (2021 Robot Lead) on the diff-swerve last year”
Plans After High School: “I plan to go college for an engineering degree. I’m trying to go for biomedical engineering or mechanical engineering. I'm not quite sure what exactly I want to pursue yet, but I’m going to try out both and see what works for me.”
Ideal Job: “I think it would be really cool to build a robot that can do surgery or design something that can help people who are blind.”
Our ninth annual build season has kicked off! Team 4909 started off the week together as a team going over the RAPID REACT game and making a “need/want/nice to have” chart. The developed strategy was then used as the groundwork for our robot’s preliminary design. With this structure, members then split off into groups to design this year’s subsystems: intake, shooter, and climber.
This week, the climber group analyzed the geometry and efficiency of potential designs, then chose one to work with based on the robot’s requirements. The purpose of this subsystem is to allow the robot to successfully pass through a set of rungs in the hangar (climbing structure). First, members created their own concepts for a climber that would be able to reach the highest rung. The group reviewed all the designs, created a pros and cons list, and ranked them on several criteria. Based on that, the group was able to pick and modify a design and begin developing it with CAD. Afterwards, they discussed hook actuation, or stimuli that help the robot move from rung to rung. Students also looked at various climbers from past FRC robots and learned how they work to help refine their ideas and to maximize functionality of the subsystem. Next week, the group will continue to modify their current design.
The team has been sending out weekly safety quizzes that all members must complete during build season to maintain a safe shop environment and ensure that all members are familiar with 4909 safety guidelines. Soon, these quizzes will be available for everyone to access in the safety section of our website.
Team Operations is currently working on rebranding our team, submitting for the Woodie Flowers Award, this upcoming season’s business plan, organizing outreach events and fundraisers, and more.
During the pre-season, we focused on training rookie members and refined our skills and knowledge to prepare for build season. The mechanical team made improvements to our 2019 t-shirt launcher for the school's annual Thanksgiving Game Pep Rally. It was a great way to provide new members with valuable hands-on experience and expose them to our shop environment prior to the start of the build season. The t-shirt cannon was very popular among the students at Pep Rally and was a fun addition to the event.
We are incredibly excited for kickoff this Saturday, which will officially mark the start of build season and beyond!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more updates, information on the team's accomplishments, and ways to support us!
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