Thursday, October 3, 2013

First Things First: ROBOTICS!

School started last month, and the robotics team is back to working on...robots.  You can read about our nail biting experiences with Mindstorm Middle School Robotics in The Robo Games Trilogy, high school all girls Vex adventure in Competition Made for Nerds, and High School Robotics.

This year's a little different—Our team is called the Omnicats. We're competing in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) rather than last year's VEX Robotics Competition.  What does that mean?  FRC is a little bit more complex, for a number of reasons: 1) the robots are bigger; 2) we're not limited to VEX robotics parts (meaning more materials are acceptable); 3) the games are more complex.

What's the challenge this year?  "Ultimate Ascent" requires that we build a robot that throws frisbees through a slot.  Check out the video for the challenge this year.

We're tweaking the robot that last year's senior robotics team built for this competition (because some things definitely didn't work out). We are building a new chasis from scratch using
a new mechanum drive system, and we are working on new code, and have a new
intake system for the frisbees. It's a long process...but definitely a fun and rewarding one at the end of the day.

My friends working on dismantling last season's robot.
Even though I have to be in school from 8 to noon on Saturdays to help out with the robot, I enjoy it because my friends are there with me.  And besides, it's not like we don't have the time to goof off.

See?  We're not always working.
Anyway, robotics is a great chance for me to unwind after a long day of school—they're not joking around when they say that senior year of high school is tough!

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