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 email@example.com. 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.
Name: Tom Calzini
Title: Safety Captain
Years on Team: 4 Years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “Safety (training the team for tool use and to ensure that the shop
poses no threat) and Mechanical”
Impact FIRST has had: “It made me realize that mechanical engineering is something that I do want to go into and that some of these people I will keep as friends in college and beyond”
Favorite 4909 memory: Detroit 2019
Plans After High School: College to major in Mechanical Engineering with a double minor in Biomedical engineering and nanotechnology
Ideal Job: prosthetic developer
Throughout the week, team ops has been focusing on brainstorming ideas for fundraising, community outreach, and ways to win awards. They have been focused on preparing for the Judges’ presentation. The judges’ presentation is a team interview which helps the judges decide whether they are qualified to deserve an award. The team has been preparing for this interview so everyone will be able to present the most excellent qualities of the team and answer any questions that follow after the presentation. The judges’ presentation is used by the judges for the recipient selection process. The team has been working very hard to compile all of the information that may be needed.
Hopper and 3D Printing:
This week, a few members of the team have been learning how to use the new 3D printers in the shop. With a new school came new technology and a space to help the team reach its highest potential. With the new 3D printers, they have printed sets of polycord rollers for the hopper. The hopper is an intermediate section of the robot that will move power cells (balls) from the intake to the indexer. They learned how to do some minor maintenance on the printers such as changing the filament, zeroing it out and learning how to manually change temperatures. They also worked on an indexer, which carries the power cells (balls) from the robot’s hopper to the shooter.
This week the newer members of the team have been making heavy metal parts. They had been guided by team mentors on the proper use of the machines and now are working on making the parts. They have made various parts for the lift, the intake, shooter, chassis, and storage. Not only have they made parts for the robot, but they have also been learning how to program, CAD, and understand the “operations” of the team itself.
This week, we worked on power cell detection with a pixy cam, distance detection with an ultrasonic sensor, and LEDs. A pixy cam is a camera that can run a built-in object detection program. We are using this to detect a power cell, allowing us to greater simplify how we collect balls autonomously. Next, we worked on LEDs, which will help us relay information to the drivers or just have festive colors during our matches. Our work on ultrasonic sensors will tell the robot how far away a wall is at any time; this helps the robot determine where it is on the field and how it is oriented during the autonomous period, helping us score points quickly and efficiently. All of the progress we’ve made will set us up for success in our first competition.