Name: Saketh Mynampati
Title: Software Lead
Years on Team: 4
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: “I am the software lead for Team 4909. I oversee all the software parts of the robot.” He coordinates with build leads and talks about what each subsystem needs to achieve.
The Impact FIRST has had: “FIRST has helped me determine that engineering is the path I want to pursue in the future, and building a real-world-scale robot each of the last 4 years was an exciting process every time. On Team 4909, the students primarily design and build the robot, which is definitely great real-world preparation. I was able to have a leadership position and communicate with the other team members to get opinions and their point of view on what they think is best for the robot, and I've really enjoyed the creative engineering process that I have been involved in while being a member of this team."
Favorite 4909 memory: “Being at competitions; I loved the hectic pace of the competitions, the environment, and the fun memories that come with it.”
Plans After High School: “I plan to attend college and pursue a major in engineering; likely electrical or biomedical engineering. I also want to be a part of/run a STEM outreach program.”
Ideal Job: Something involving research and development
The team has been so busy over the course of the past 2 weeks since we put out our first build season blog. Today marks our first Saturday in person meeting of the season!
Team Ops has been working on the Innovation Challenge, while brainstorming many ideas. This week, the group narrowed them down to two, and has explored the problem for each idea. After discussing how to solve them, the group began writing an executive summary for both ideas, briefly looking over and modifying them at the start of each meeting. After working on both summaries, the team has decided which idea they will be submitting to FIRST. Aside from the Innovation Challenge submission, the team had their second Mooyah fundraiser of the season this past Wednesday! We were happy to see so many faces, and the team is very grateful for all the support. We hope you enjoyed your meal! Additionally, Team Ops has also posted our first senior spotlight this past week. Each senior spotlight talks about a senior’s experience with FIRST on the team, as well as their goals for the future. Keep checking back each week to learn a little more about each of our seniors!
The intake/indexer group has been mainly focusing on student training and designing. This past week, members have diligently created a prototype of their system in CAD. Veteran members have been training new members how to use specific features of the software. The goal is to bring the group up to a level where they are able to work collaboratively and productively together. With a CAD model of both the intake and indexer, the group is excited to start manufacturing both prototypes soon. A detailed list of hardware to procure for the intake prototype has been made, and the next step is to transition to CNC machining of designed parts.
Throughout the week, the swerve group continued to work on refining the first design iteration to prepare it for manufacturing. The group also made several minor changes that we believe will improve the performance of the system and also increase its reliability. The majority of the work left for the first iteration is manufacturing the components, assembling them, and testing to see how it works. The group will be collecting data on how well the system performs and using this feedback to improve the design before manufacturing a second iteration, which will hopefully be a more polished design. The team is currently in the process of 3D printing several of the prototyping components and will begin assembly as soon as those are finished.
Throughout the week, the shooter group has been developing and fine-tuning the CAD prototype, with hopes to begin manufacturing parts very soon. The group began with the plates on the sides that keep the whole structure together. During this initial stage, members went into the more detailed aspects of CAD and learned many key functions that Onshape offers. As the design was developed, additional adjustments were made to improve the mechanism. Some of the modifications made were adding several holes for refining locations of additional parts. These modifications provided support and relocation for the motor. The group started adding more specifics to the CAD design, which helped visualize how it would operate. Members learned how to make custom pulleys and how to calculate the correct belt length for a pulley system.
The Control Panel group has been nearing the end of the CAD prototype for our build. To gather some helpful feedback from other members of the team, the group created a presentation to be sent out. After some feedback was received, the group decided to change some aspects of the CAD design. First, the group began designing the color sensor mount with a piece of Lexan that would be mounted on the gearbox to optimize an accurate read. After a few calculations, the group assessed that the control panel’s height was above regulation. To fix this error, a new mount had to be designed, or the height had to be reduced on the current design to become more durable. In order to move on with prototyping, the group must determine how to make the design fit under the control panel while keeping the same height of the color sensor.
Since the beginning of February, the software team has been hard at work preparing for our team’s new robot, Mantis for the At-Home Challenges, which will require a great deal of autonomous control. To accomplish this variety of tasks, the software team has split up into multiple groups each meeting: one for building our prototyping robot, Frankenstein, one for working on smoother handling of the robot, and one for computer vision in order to help us succeed in the autonomous At-Home challenges. We’re nearing completion of the Galactic Search challenge, which requires a camera and autonomous driving. The software team will continue discussing some of the essential things we’ll need to include on the upcoming robot.
Don’t forget, our team's Mooyah fundraiser is only one week away! Our team is so excited to be partnering with Mooyah again because they have made contactless ordering so easy. To place an order online, be sure to follow the steps explained below to use our code. If you are ordering in store, simply show the flyer below or mention Team 4909 to the employee assisting you with your order. Last October this fundraiser was very successful for the team and, with the help of all of you, we are hoping for an even better outcome this time around. Thank you for your support, we can’t wait to see you all on Wednesday, February 17th!
Name: Chelsey Mathews
Title: Team Operations Lead
Years on Team: 4 Years
Areas of Focus and Responsibilities: Chelsey works on Team Operations, which means she helps to run the team as a small business and doesn’t focus on building the robot. For the past four years, she has done a lot of event and fundraising planning for the team. She has also worked on the website, social media, and has helped write applications for FRC’s “submitted awards.”
Impact FIRST has had: “FIRST has had a huge impact on me. It’s a great organization to be a part of, with great values, that teaches students so much more than STEM. The biggest thing I have learned is improved communication skills over the last four years. I feel much more comfortable speaking to a large group than I did four years ago.”
Favorite 4909 memory: “My favorite memory on Team 4909 was going to the World Championships in Detroit, Michigan in 2019!”
Plans After High School: She will be attending Westfield State University to major in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Ideal Job: Her ideal job is as a fourth-grade teacher in a small public school.
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