Welcome back Robotics Families!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and I cannot believe that the
start of school is only days away..

Robotics is going to get started and there are many events that the team
has coming up, before build season begins.

There will be more information to come, but for now, please find the
attached paperwork that must be completed before any student can
participate with the team (this includes working in the lab or being able
to attend events).

The attachments include;

welcome letter
member sign-up form
student/parent contract
medical liability waiver
emergency medical card
checklist

All forms must be returned *no later* than Friday, September 9th (details
are in the attached welcome letter).

If you have any questions, please let me know.

There will be another email forthcoming with opportunities for
volunteering!

We look forward to a great year!

Best!

Farish Perlman
Team 1389
Team Coordinator

We need your lessons learned

Now that the 2015-2016 FRC season is over, we need to switch gears to the 2016-2017 season. But what does the 2016-2017 season look like?  Well we need to figure that out.  So we have two meetings coming up that we encourage as many students, parents, volunteers, school administrators and community members to attend so that we get as much input as possible.

  • Agenda items for May 7th
    • 2016 recap / lessons learned
    • 2017 goals
    • May plan
    • Federal lobbying
    • Banquet
    • Seniors
  • Agenda items for the 21st
    • 2016 summer plans
      • starting teams
        • FTC
        • FLL
    • 2016 fall plans
      • Off seasons
        • Battle O’Baltimore – Sept ?? 2016, Baltimore, MD.
        • Girl power – Oct ?? 2016, Flourtown, PA.
        • Rumble in the roads – Nov 5 2016, Newport News, VA
      • training
      • fund raising
    • 2017 spring plans
    • picking team leaders
    • picking drive team
    • lab cleanup
    • Communication tools
  • Lab Cleanup May 23rd, 25th and 27th

 

Event with the week off, a few of us just couldn’t stop thinking about robots.  Check out these cool little lego variants of Maelstrom we made. What have you been up to?

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We have a plan

Tonight we met to go over our performance last weekend. Lots of great insights into where the team did well and where we can improve.  We also went through the schedule for the next week and identified our priority list of things to do.

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Here is what we need to get done

  • Vision code – pushed to after second event
  • Main code part 2 – started
  • Strategy part 2 – not started
  • Scouting system part 2 – not started
  • Communication system part 2 – not started
  • Competition documents part 2 – not started
    • Tech Journal part 2 – not started
    • Judges Packet part 2 – not started
    • 1 sheeter part 2 – not started
    • Pit Video part 2 – not started
    • Chairman’s presentation part 2 – not started
    • Bill of Materials part 2- not started
  • Pre-competition scouting part 2 – started
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey part 2 – started
  • Climber pushed to after second event
  • Defensive Cheescake – not started
  • Refurbish robot cart not started (lost new cart at competition, need to start again)
  • Paint Pit – pushed to after second event
  • Upgraded alpha turret and arm – not started
  • Fix bumpers – started
  • Add camera mounts and two cameras – started
  • Identify parts we need to order – Complete
  • Organize pit – not started
  • Score in auton code – started
  • integrate NavX – started

20160316_181106

 

Review and planning meeting today at 4:30 pm

Today the team will go over what went well, what did not go so well, what we need to change and what we want to do more of so that at the next competition in Edgwater in a week and a half we see improvements. we will also ask everyone if they want to do something different at the event, would they like to try a different role.

We are also going to announce a policy change for the team, for every event going forward all students will get a minimum of two days off prior to and after each event to make time available to study.  This means our stop work day for the Edgwater event in March 23rd.

Since we did not meet yesterday the list of things to do has not changed much, but we have added a few hings

  • Vision code – started
  • Main code part 2 – started
  • Strategy part 2 – not started
  • Scouting system part 2 – not started
  • Awards part 2 – not started
    • Chairman’s video part 2 – not started
  • Competition documents part 2 – not started
    • Tech Journal part 2 – not started
    • Judges Packet part 2 – not started
    • 1 sheeter part 2 – not started
    • Pit Video part 2 – not started
    • Chairman’s presentation part 2 – not started
    • Bill of Materials part 2- not started
  • Pre-competition scouting part 2 – started
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey part 2 – started
  • Climber pushed to after second event
  • Defensive Cheescake – not started
  • Refurbish robot cart not started (lost new cart at competition, need to start again)
  • Paint Pit – pushed to after first event
  • Upgraded alpha turret and arm – not started
  • Fix bumpers – started
  • Add camera mounts and two cameras – started
  • identify parts we need to order – not started

 

 

Presenting our 2016 Robot: Maelstrom

Maelstrom is the result of a thousands of hours of work put in by Walt Whitman students, volunteers, parents and sponsors to play this year’s FRC game Strong Hold.

Specifications:

Drivetrain Speed: 12 ft./sec

6 wheel west coast drive with 8” wheels

14.5” inches tall

Single fly wheel shooter capable of 13 ft. max shots

Over defense shooter arm can be raised to any angle up to 90 degrees

Shooter arm fully turreted

All motion encoder enabled

Navx field location capability

3 Auton Modes:

Damage low bar

Damage rough terrain

Damage ramparts

Robot Has Demonstrated:

Score 2 high goal cycles in 2 min

Score 4 low goal cycles in 2 min

Defeat Low Bar

Defeat Ramparts

Defeat Rough Terrain

Defeat Rock Wall

Carry Boulder over all Defenses

Robot Plans to Demonstrate:

Defeat Mote

Defeat Portcullis

Defeat Chavel De Freis

Defeat Sally port with Partner

Defeat Draw Bridge with Partner

Score 4 high goal cycles in 2 min

Score 6 low goal cycles in 2 min

Score boulder in Auton

 

Everything you want to know and more about this year’s robot can be found in our tech journal

 

 

Today we load in

We are as done as we can be, and we have put every last ounce of energy that we could into our robot, pit, awards, event docs and preparation that we could.  Unfortunately we lost a few students along the way to robot sickness.

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On the bright side they are expected to make a full recover tonight once we start setting up for the event we are hosting. Just in case you have no idea what is going on at Whitman this weekend check out these videos to get you up to speed. Here are the details of the 2016 FRC game, Stronghold.
frc-2016-hero

Here is a brief video that explains the game we are playing this year.

Check out the cool team standard one of our potential 2017 team members made us.  You will see this waiving before every match.

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Here were some pics from last night

2 Days left till the District Event at Walt Whitman High School

We have an event at Walt Whitman High School in 2 days and it would be really awesome if you stopped by.

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We opened the bag again last night and had a lot more success getting systems working.  We were able to test our new drive train code.

Our drive train code enables driving in two ways; tank drive without encoders, tank drive with encoders to allow the drive team to select the right driving style for the match or the tactic.

  • Tank drive without encoders takes the control input and sends a drive power number to the talon motor controllers.
  • Tank drive with encoders takes the control input combined with rotational count from the encoders on each side of the drive and sends the number of rotations the motor controller needs to complete per second to each motor controller. The control inputs may also specify a turn in which case the Roborio computes the wheel rotation ratio that the robot will need to complete the turn.

We also worked on the battery cart last night and continued to find issues with the bumper mounts.  We also found a spot in our bumper where the noodles had shifted and we need to go in and add more pool noodle.

pool noodle

We also had an admin meeting last night where we went over the final logistics for the event

Thursday

  • All students pick up t-shirts
    • If you requested a name on it, bring your $5

Friday

  • all students meet at gym at 2:30 pm and start to help with event setup
  • at 7 pm the pit team will move the pit and the robot down.  They will need to get the robot inspected by 10:30.
  • safety glass students will need to get team’s to sign up for safety glass table duty
  • scout team will complete there pit scouting
  • setup will be done by 10:30 pm

Saturday

  • all students arrive at front of school at 7:30 am
  • pits open at 8 am
  • student ambassadors will need to go get trained
  • pit team works on keeping the pit open
  • judging team works on talking to judges in pits
  • drive team preps for matches and goes to driver training
  • 10:30 am opening ceremonies
  • 11: qualification matches start
  • 8;00 pm end of event

SPRING-FORWARD_2016

Sunday

  • all students arrive at front of school at 7:30 am
  • pits open at 8 am
  • 9 am qualification matches start
  • 1:30 pm alliance selection
  • 2:00 pm elliminations
  • 7:00 pm event ends and all students help clean up
  • 10:30 clean up finishes

Tell a friend to stop by. every student and parent should invite one non robotics person to stop by the event so that we get more people interested in robotics.

concern

Here is what the team has left to do;

  • Drive train – done
  • Bumpers – done
    • Red – done
    • Blue – done
  • Electrical board – done
  • Turret arm prototype – done
  • Turret arm – done
  • Turntable – done
  • Shooter – done
  • Vision – pushed to after first event
  • Main code – started
  • Strategy – done
  • Scouting system – done
  • Awards – started
    • Chairman’s – done
    • Wood Flowers – done
    • Entrepreneurship – done
    • Dean’s – done
    • Chairman’s video – started
    • Media award – done
  • Competition documents started
    • Tech Journal started
    • Judges Packet – started
    • 1 sheeter – started
    • Safety Binder done
    • Pit Video done
    • Chairman’s presentation started
    • Bill of Materials – started
  • Pre-competition scouting – done
  • Inviting local leaders to events – done
  • Bellypan – done
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey – pushed to after first event
  • Reveal video done
  • Climber pushed to after first event
  • Defensive Cheescake – pushed to after first event
  • Wiring installation – done
  • Driver Selection done
  • Team Standard – started
  • T-shirt – done
  • Battery cart refurbish – started
  • Refurbish battery leads done
  • Refurbish robot cart pushed to after first event
  • Paint Pit – pushed to after first event
  • Alpha turret and arm – done
  • Mechanical stop to arm for starting – done
  • Shooting arm guides – done
  • Fix bumpers – started
  • Chavel de Fries mod – done
  • Add camera mounts and cameras – started

We added a new video of the intake in action

Here are some pics of the robot

 

 

 

 

3 days left

We opened the bag for 2 hours last night and re-attached the arm.  It took a lot longer than we expected, so we did not get nearly as much time to test the code as we would have liked.  Today we are going to open the bag for another 2 hours to get some of the drive testing done.  If that goes well, and our coders think it will, then we will be able to focus the rest of the time on shooting at the high goal from the batter.  If we can hit the high goal from the batter 2-3 times a qual match and get a breach, than we believe our alliance will be in good shape to pick up 3 ranking points each match.

Today at 5 pm we have an administrative meeting for the entire team.  If you are coming this weekend please plan on being in the lab for 30 minutes starting 5 pm to go over paperwork, schedule and responsibilities for the upcoming weekend.

Tell a friend to stop by. every student and parent should invite one non robotics person to stop by the event so that we get more people interested in robotics.

Here is what the team has left to do;

  • Drive train – done
  • Bumpers – done
    • Red – done
    • Blue – done
  • Electrical board – done
  • Turret arm prototype – done
  • Turret arm – done
  • Turntable – done
  • Shooter – done
  • Vision – pushed to after first event
  • Main code – started
  • Strategy – done
  • Scouting system – done
  • Awards – started
    • Chairman’s – done
    • Wood Flowers – done
    • Entrepreneurship – done
    • Dean’s – done
    • Chairman’s video – started
    • Media award – done
  • Competition documents started
    • Tech Journal started
    • Judges Packet done
    • 1 sheeter done
    • Safety Binder done
    • Pit Video done
    • Chairman’s presentation started
    • Bill of Materials – done
  • Pre-competition scouting – done
  • Inviting local leaders to events – done
  • Bellypan – done
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey – pushed to after first event
  • Reveal video done
  • Climber pushed to after first event
  • Defensive Cheescake – pushed to after first event
  • Wiring installation – done
  • Driver Selection done
  • Team Standard – started
  • T-shirt – done
  • Battery cart refurbish – started
  • Refurbish battery leads done
  • Refurbish robot cart – started
  • Paint Pit – pushed to after first event
  • Alpha turret and arm – done
  • Mechanical stop to arm for starting – started
  • Shooting arm guides – done
  • Fix bumpers – done
  • Chavel de Fries mod – done

 

Here are some pics of the new arm.

 

 

 

5 days before our first competition

We are 5 days away from the first FRC district event at Walt Whitman High School, and we are starting to get excited.

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Here is who we are going to next weekend.

Team Number Team Name Location Notes
449 The Blair Robot Project Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
615 Knights Washington, District of Columbia, USA
686 Bovine Intervention Frederick, Maryland, USA
836 The RoboBees Leonardtown, Maryland, USA
1389 The Body Electric Bethesda, Maryland, USA
1418 Vae Victis Falls Church, Virginia, USA Rank 11, Score 21,Auto 197, Scale / Challenge 120, Goals 37, Defense 610, OPR 35.12.

  • District Event Winner
  • Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation
1446 BAE League of Extraordinary Engineers Washington, District of Columbia, USA
1885 ILITE Robotics Haymarket, Virginia, USA
1915 MTHS Firebird Robotics Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2186 Dogs of Steel Chantilly, Virginia, USA Rank 20, Score 18, Auto 112, Scale / Challenge 70, Goals 46, Defense 425.
2199 Robo-Lions Eldersburg, Maryland, USA
2537 Space RAIDers Columbia, Maryland, USA
2819 Team Dynamite Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA
2849 Ursa Major Columbia, Maryland, USA
2900 The Mighty Penguins Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2911 CoolBots Washington, DC, USA Rank 38, Score 5, Auto 34, Scale / Challenge 30, Goals 4, Defense 170.
2912 Panthers Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2914 TIGER PRIDE Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2961 Crimson Tide Engineers Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2963 AnaDroids Washington, District of Columbia, USA
2964 Robopanthers Washington, District of Columbia, USA
3283 3283 Coyote Robotix Clarksburg, Maryland, USA
3650 Robo Raptors Waldorf, Maryland, USA
3748 Ragnarok Robotics Ellicott City, Maryland, USA
3793 CyberTitans Frederick, Maryland, USA
4099 Falcons FIRST Poolesville, Maryland, USA
4242 Fresh T.E.C.H. Washington, District of Columbia, USA Rank 13, Score 20, Auto 216, Scale / Challenge 130, Goals 42, Defense 520, OPR 25.9.

  • Judges’ Award
4456 Mech Cadets Washington, District of Columbia, USA
4464 Team Illusion Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4514 Calvert STEAM Works Huntingtown, Maryland, USA
4638 Jagbots Germantown, Maryland, USA
4821 Team Vulcan Washington, District of Columbia, USA
4945 Titanium-Wrecks Snow Hill, Maryland, USA
4949 Robo Panthers Riverdale, Maryland, USA
5115 Knight Riders Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
5569 Tech Titans Washington, District of Columbia, USA Rank 37, Score 5, Auto 95, Scale / Challenge 70, Goals 13, Defense 340.
5587 TC Williams High School Alexandria, Virginia, USA Rank 10, Score 22, Auto 158, Scale / Challenge 110, Goals 48, Defense 450, OPR 21.79.
5830 The Irrational Engineers Lanham, MD, USA
5841 The Patriots Frederick, MD, USA
5979 Apex Columbia, MD, USA

 

We are starting to get our videos ready for next week.

 

We did some damage to our to do list this weekend, but we still have a lot left to do and only 3 days left… The stress is on now.

Here is what the team has left to do;

  • Drive train – done
  • Bumpers – done
    • Red – done
    • Blue – done
  • Electrical board – done
  • Turret arm prototype – done
  • Turret arm – done
  • Turntable – done
  • Shooter – done
  • Vision – started
  • Main code – started
  • Strategy – done
  • Scouting system – done
  • Awards – started
    • Chairman’s – done
    • Wood Flowers – done
    • Entrepreneurship – done
    • Dean’s – done
    • Chairman’s video – started
    • Media award – done
  • Competition documents started
    • Tech Journal started
    • Judges Packet started
    • 1 sheeter – done
    • Safety Binder done
    • Pit Video – done
    • Chairman’s presentation started
    • Bill of Materials – started
  • Pre-competition scouting – started
  • Inviting local leaders to events – done
  • Bellypan – done
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey – started
  • Reveal video – done
  • Climber – not started
  • Defensive Cheescake – started
  • Wiring installation – done
  • Driver Selection done
  • Team Standard – started
  • T-shirt – done
  • Battery cart refurbish – started
  • Refurbish battery leads started
  • Refurbish robot cart – started
  • Paint Pit – not started
  • Alpha turret and arm – done
  • Mechanical stop to arm for starting – started
  • Shooting arm guides – not started
  • Fix bumpers – not started
  • Chavel de Fries mod – not started

 

 

 

 

Let’s define done

The plan was to test the arm.  We were able to get some testing in, but since the arm was not really done the tests were not complete.  So we still have more work to do before we open the bag up and get testing on the robot done.

definition-of-almost-done definition-done-lrg definition-of-done-Scrum

Testing we did yesterday

  • Shooting at high goal from various distances. Looks like max high goal shot distance is 13 ft
  • Shoot at low goal from various distances. Looks like the max low goal shot distance is 22 ft
  • Intake speed test. Looks like the intake roller can still be faster, we may gear it down less to near 20:1.  The mecanums on the intake work great

We ran in to some issues yesterday.

  • The fly wheels motors required some disassembly to resolve and lose motor coupling issue
  • The fly wheel compression as is will not get us the distance we need
  • The wiring on the left fly wheel motor needs to be repaired
  • The intake motor was dying randomly.  We disassembled the gear box and found no issues. We reassembled and it returned to high speed initially and then slowed down and stopped again
  • We will need to trouble shoot the intake gear box and get the outer intake roller installed
  • We decided to use all 8 mecanums on the intake to eliminate deadzones
  • The intake motor is extremely hard to maintenance with the current outer polycarb shape, we may want to modify the shape near the corner to make repairing that gear box easier

We are also getting down to the wire on our competition docs, awards and signage for the event.  We have a lot do do before Wed, so we will need all hands on deck to make sure we are ready.

On a positive note, we made really good headway on the new robot cart and battery cart.  We should have those finished on Monday.

Here is what the team has left to do;

  • Drive train – done
  • Bumpers – done
    • Red – done
    • Blue – done
  • Electrical board – done
  • Turret arm prototype – done
  • Turret arm – done
  • Turntable – done
  • Shooter – done
  • Vision – started
  • Main code – started
  • Strategy – done
  • Scouting system – done
  • Awards – started
    • Chairman’s – done
    • Wood Flowers – done
    • Entrepreneurship – done
    • Dean’s – done
    • Chairman’s video – started
    • Media award – done
  • Competition documents started
    • Tech Journal started
    • Judges Packet started
    • 1 sheeter started
    • Safety Binder done
    • Pit Video started
    • Chairman’s presentation started
    • Bill of Materials – started
  • Pre-competition scouting – started
  • Inviting local leaders to events – done
  • Bellypan – done
  • Pre season scouting and risk survey – started
  • Reveal video started
  • Climber – not started
  • Defensive Cheescake – started
  • Wiring installation – done
  • Driver Selection done
  • Team Standard – started
  • T-shirt – done
  • Battery cart refurbish – started
  • Refurbish battery leads started
  • Refurbish robot cart – started
  • Paint Pit – not started
  • Alpha turret and arm – done

Something really cool also happened yesterday. We heard from one of our founding members who shared some of his info about the 2005 season and where some of the original members ended up.  Check out the updates to the team’s 2005 page and our alumni page.