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Build Season: Beginning to End

Week Zero

A new beginning

After attending the kickoff event at Ventura Adult School, we received our robot kit, saw a video introducing this year's game, and began work on our robot.

Day 1- Strategy was discussed, robot chassis was started, electronics were organized, and pizzas were had.

Day 2 - Chassis was mostly completed and electronics were mounted on a board. The computer was loaded with Java and readied for Roborio imaging. Sounds very technical!

Week One

Smooth sailing

Anytime you have a connector in the system, it's one more place for failure.

Ain't that the truth. This Wednesday's meeting saw us tackle the wiring. Male/Female, cutting, stripping, whiskers, connectors, it was all a new discovery. We had a lot of fun, talked strategy, exhibited Gracious Professionalism, and got a lot of wires connected. Motors, batteries, next comes the RoboRio connection.

Day 2 - We installed a program on the RoboRio!!!!!!!!! Victory was ours! Now, we just have to get the Talons to work...or do we? We will.

Java - here we come! (Oh yeah, throw some robot construction in there as well. There's that.)

We have a logo!

Logo in the upper left corner!

The Camarillo Business Academy , CBA, has graciously provided the services of the Graphic Design sections of their Multimedia class in order to create a team logo. Through a Creative Brief, we were able to serve as a client, with the classes, the design team. After careful consideration of over 50 logos, we selected the winner.

Week Two and Three

Thank you Mr. Terryberry!

This week saw trials and tribulations; what you would expect when installing on systems, to run to different systems. First we couldn't get the Java to the robot. How will the robot run without the code, you ask? Well, you could kick it, but it's going to hurt...a lot. Instead, we spent a lot of time, a lot of Googling, and we solved the problem. TA DA! Our robot runs autonomously and with a joystick. VICTORY!!!(Yelled out in a William Wallace accent.)

We've been hard at work wiring, setting up a pneumatics system (thanks spell check), learning to drill, learning to solder, learning to use rivets. A SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO OUR MAIN MENTOR, MR. MARK TERRYBERRY. Without him, our robot might be a lovely paper weight!

We've also hit a funky snag getting firmware (we've learned to, like many in the software and technology business, hate firmware.) The firmware won't load on our wifi connector. Hours of work...lost. We're learning. We'll get it going and then wifi will take us to hifi!

Bzzzzt. Beepeeeep. Ping. Zeeeeerrrrttt.  

Tech Drawings

Thank you shop class!

Have you ever read through tech drawings? Probably not. Forget Melatonin, we've got the solution for you.

In all seriousness, we've shared tech drawings with our shop classes and they are going to collaborate with us on creating several field elements, enabling us to test out our robot and strategies. If this ain't common core, we're not sure what is. Can you say Cross Curricular Collaboration? (Go ahead, say it. It just rolls off the tongue.)

Week Three

Robot gone mobile!?!?

Oh, you're still there? We didn't see you. We're still here, been here, 3 days last week, we're here tonight. It's Wednesday, the smell of Kirkland's popcorn floats through the air. A test drive out in the parking lot broke a zip tie and sent the electronics astray. Luckily, the other ties held and it's not a total disaster.

Last week, we, after 6 hours of working on it, finally took the radio home and, minus the interference of the school's wifi, got the thing working. Firmware; enough said. We also have pneumatics. Now, we just have to program it. Easy! We're working on getting 2 remotes to work at the same time. I can't remember why, but probably has something to do with a driver and a controller of the scoring mechanism.

We also drove the robot in the gym for the local 8th graders. That was fun.  

Week Four

Losing track!

Well, in all of the shuffle, we lost track of which photos go with which week. We took the robot apart today, back to scratch. Funny enough, it only took about 30 minutes to put it back together. However, this time we riveted arms on it, for a robotic arm. We also are getting game pieces created by our wood shop classes. Thanks for the support Mr. Wachtel. Speaking of support, we probably wouldn't have a robot without the help of our star mentor, Mark Terryberry. We'll have to do an entire post on Mr. Terryberry.

In addition to riveting today, we've pumped up our pneumatics and finally got it working with the remote control. We daisy chained several air canisters together and we can now carry lots of air. (Not a technical term, but the actual act of that thing firing is pretty cool.) We also drilled and cut metal. Yes!

We have a week left until we have to bag the bot and are now working on the scoring design of our robot.

We bagged it, once again, photos are above, but a bit out or order. Confusion has set in, as the deadline for bag and tag looms.

Week Five

Let the good times roll!

We're working on our electronics, securing them for the competition. We'll throw them on a temporary robot, try to get the motors for our arm (scoring mechanism/weapon) to WIN, and practice our scoring soon. Now, all we need is 6 more months to work.....Wait, you say the competition is in a few weeks...