Greater DC district Event 2017

3 weeks ago the team hosted the 2nd greater DC district event at Walt Whitman high school.  We set up the field in record time thanks to the folks at ilite who left so much of the field assembled after their week 1 assembly debacle. The weekend started of with some setbacks on the field as the team worked to repair the robot after nearly every match.  However, much to our good fortune our schedule kept providing wins because our alliance partners were able to carry us. This all changed as the weekend went on, our robot’s technical challenges were quickly fading and we started to figure out how to drive around the field and manipulate the game pieces.

Because of the good fortune, we ended up in 13 and were picked by the 8th seeded alliance captain.  As we started eliminations it became evident that we had a winning team, we knocked off the 1st seeded alliance, then the 4th seed and before we knew it we were one win away from winning. And that is when the bottom dropped out, literally, the entire bottom of our robot fell out during the 2nd finals match. We were replaced by a back up robot for the 3rd match of the finals.  And for 3 seconds it looked liked our alliance won, then our new alliance partner’s locking mechanism failed and they fell back to the floor.

All weekend was amazing.  nearly 3,000 people stopped by to check out FRC and we hosted a Jr FLL event as well.  Thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend possible!!!!

Congrats to the following teams;

Award Winner
District Chairman’s Award 1885
District Engineering Inspiration Award 1111
Rookie All Star Award 6543
District Event Winner 4242
District Event Winner 1885
District Event Winner 102
District Event Finalist 2849
District Event Finalist 5338
District Event Finalist 3650
District Event Finalist 1389
Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox 1719
Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers 422
Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi 2912
Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson 888
Highest Rookie Seed 6543
Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen 5338
Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors 2537
Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation 449
Judges’ Award 4242
Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation 4514
Rookie Inspiration Award sponsored by National Instruments 6504
Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories 4638
Team Spirit Award sponsored by FCA Foundation 5243

 

Here are some of the matches from the weekend

Build Week 4 2017 is in the History Books

What a week. awards, robots, planning for districts, designing t-shirts, testing final designs, finishing cad, assembling the drive train and more all happened this week.  On top of that we picked up nearly 8 new team members which brings us up to 54 students, making this the largest team we have ever had.

Let go by sub team

Awards – the awards team is putting the finishing touches on all of our awards.  we have awards due on Feb 9th and Feb 16th.  We also have a chairman’s video and a tech journal du by our first competition.

Planning for districts – we have a the pit map nearly worked out and are almost finished planning food. we are going to need a lot of help at our event being held at Walt Whitman High School on March 10-12.

Designing t-shirts – we are nearly done with our t-shirt design for the year.  Last chance for sponsors to get on the t-shirt is Feb 12.

Testing final designs – the team spent the first part of the week nailing down the geometry for the major robot components.  We are going into his season with a much better understanding of how different designs interact with the game pieces.

Finished CAD – now that our final testing is done we were able to complete our CAD. We should have something to release in the next few days.

Driver practice – drive practice continues for the 3rd strait week.  But tis was by far the coldest driver practice yet.  Since we set up outside things can get a little chillie.  Driver practice this week could have gone better though, we were plagues by breakages of all 3 working drive trains.

Drive train – the drive train is fully assembled and functioning.  We even used it for driver practice this week.  We were able to identify a few problems with the design and spent some time on Saturday getting the issues fixed.

Pneumatics – As part of this year’s drive train we have had to re learn pneumatic since we have not used them in the last few years.  We found a few leaks and learned how the pneumatics system as a whole worked.  Our system is now leak free and functioning correctly with 4 actuators.  This week we add 4 more.

Electrical – we now have our electrical board designed and mocked up.  We are putting the finishing touches on the CAD and will be getting that cut this week.  This will be the first time we have had a CNC electrical board and accounted for all of the wire runs and tubing runs.

Fabrication – We are up an running on one CNC machine this week and will soon have a second CNC running to do larger pieces. By this time next year the team will be able to make nearly all of our own parts as custom as we can design them.  This is a big step forward for us and should result in lighter more efficient robots going forward.  Also, our bumpers are nearly done.

The Robot – We are only a few days behind our schedule, but tis year’s schedule is aggressive.  We want to be completely done with the primary and secondary goals by the end of week 5 so we can work on our tertiary goals during week 6 while the code and drive team work out all of the kinks.

Scouting – our lead scout has joined the drive team this year, but that has not stopped him from putting together the stats on who we will be seeing at our week 2 event.

Coding – the team has been working on the driver station UI, octocanum code, manipulator code, vision code and Ohm (our initial build).  We have instituted code reviews and organized code merges.  This is has been helping ensure our code team that is 8 members strong aren’t wasting each others time.

Safety – we had some serious safety issue this week so we had a complete stand down and made everyone go back through tool safety training.  This was the closest we have ever been to a serious injury and definitely help put safety into perspective.  We may have lost a few hours of build season, but the time spent making sure we have a safety culture is worth it.

 

 

We Now Have A Booster Club

Some of our current and past parents have gotten together with Walt Whitman High School and started a Booster Club. Team 1389 Whitman Robotics Boosters, Inc. will be a non-profit entity that will help the team with fundraising, organizing and long term planning.  This is great news for the team on the fundraising front as this will open doors to the team to be able to apply for grants that it has historically not been able to apply for and target businesses that support non-profits.

As we have, the team will remain as a club at Whitman, this will not have any impact on our status as a club at the school.  The team will continue to act as it always has, this is only a change in the business operation to maximize our fundraising potential.

We will be submitting our 501C3 paperwork in the coming weeks and will work hard over the next 5 years to earn our accreditation from the IRS.  In that time we will be able to everything a 501C3 does.

 

The board consists of

Farish Perlman, team coordinator – Board President

JJ Biel -Goebel , lead mentor – Board Vice President

William Prinz, parent of Team 1389 alum – Treasurer

Elizabeth Williams, parent of current Team 1389 student – Secretary

Dan Chen, Walt Whitman teacher – member

Alan Goodwin, Walt Whitman principal – Ex-offico

Elizabeth Hillard, Walt Whitman Business Administrator – Ex-offico

 

Team 1389 and the new Board look forward to continued growth of the team.

If you have some time and want to help out we would love to hear from you.

Please Pick up the Phone and Help Robotics in Maryland

FIRST in Maryland Friends we need your help! See Delegate Kirill Reznik‘s message below. Call your Senators, Delegates, and the Governor to let them know how important state funding for robotics programs is in helping our children prepare for high skill and high paying jobs in Maryland! lease call his office at 410-974-3901.

From Reznik’s office on the Maryland Robotics Education bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support
Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, yesterday Governor Hogan announced that this year’s proposed state budget will fully fund all mandated programs, cut virtually nothing, raise no taxes, and come in under last year’s budget in real dollars.
Unfortunately, this miracle budget uses a number of budgetary gimmicks to reach that goal and uses a separate piece of legislation to eliminate a number of funding mandates. Though I have not seen the full budget yet, I have been told that the bill we fought so hard to get last year to provide for a grants program to the robotics programs throughout the State was included as part of his cuts.
Given the enormous power that the Maryland Governor has over the State budget by Constitutional authority I don’t know if we will be able to restore it. I will try my best, but I need your help. Please call your Senators and Delegates, and also please call the Governor’s office (governor.maryland.gov) and tell them how important this funding is to our children and their future. Let them know that in order to create high skill, high paying jobs in the State, we need to invest in STEM education, and not cut those crucial programs.
I hope that by the time this session is over I will be able to report to you that we have restored this program.

Sincerely,

Delegate Kirill Reznik

Contact the Governor’s Office

Whether you’re a citizen of Maryland or just visiting our great state, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

  • Mail:
    100 State Circle
    Annapolis, Maryland
    21401-1925
  • Phone:
    410-974-3901
    1-800-811-8336
    MD Relay 1-800-735-2258

Thanks for taking the time to contact the Governor’s Office of Maryland.

Governor Larry Hogan

The great drive train debate continues

After reading the rules and breaking down the game last weekend the team determined we both extreme speed and high maneuverability.  We looked at what the FRC 836 th robobees in 2016 were able to accomplish with a simple bot and tons of both. With that we have identified a few options for this year;

Over the last few days the team has been researching and testing to gain enough information to fill in a trade study and we are getting close to picking a winner.  Check out our current thoughts here.  We still have a few more days to gather as much knowledge as we can, making this one of the most talked about thinks on the team this week.

Here are some of our prototypes


FRC Kick Off

Kickoff is coming! Saturday, January 7th, our team, along with many others in the DC metro area, will converge on STEMAction to watch the live reveal of the 2017 challenge. The hint was released and the students have been talking about what they think that this years challenge might involve. A flying robot? Maybe not this year. The team will meet at 8:00 am on 1/7/17 drive to Columbia for the reveal and then return to Walt Whitman High School for the afternoon of planning. Beginning Monday, January 9th, prototyping will be going in full force. We will be closing down our lab next week to give both students and mentors a break and to enjoy the Holiday Season before Build Season. The team is getting excited and ready for kickoff!

 

Fall 2016

The team has had a very busy Fall. Three off-season events were attended by a total of 25 students, tech lectures covering topics from fundraising to electrical, to pneumatics, to mechanical have been attended, and most students have been to one of the tool training sessions. With almost 45 students signed up for the Robotics Club, the Fall has focused on teaching the new members as much as possible so that on kickoff day, everyone is ready and the focus will shift from training/teaching to doing and building.

And as a bonus, we had a few Alumni stop buy over winter break.

There is an Education Workshow This Weekend

Every year the Washington Chinese Daily News and McDonald’s team up to co-sponsor an Education Workshop to better prepare students for college and success.   This year they are focusing on Robotics and have invited several of the Montgomery County Robotics programs to participate.  The Walt Whitman Robotics Team will be doing some community outreach and demonstrations and inviting anyone who want to learn more about STEM sports to stop by.

Sunday at 10 AM – 4 PM at R ichard Montgomery High School
250 Richard Montgomery Dr, Rockville, Maryland 20852

You can find more event details here https://www.facebook.com/events/1102757229770012/

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2016 Tech Lecture Schedule

This fall is our team’s preseason, and as such the team will be busy practicing and learning to get ready for build season.  Much like playing sports, you don’t win the game when you step in the ice or field, you win the game in the months and days leading up to the game with your practice and preparation.  Robotics is no different, the fall is when we need to do as much learning and gain as much experience as possible so that in the spring, all we do is act.  Lats year the team started doing tech lectures to help get students up to speed on many of the critical aspects of running an FRC robotics teams.  This year we will be expanding our tech lectured so as to cover more topics and to help take our abilities to the next level.

Walt Whitman students, as well as students from other teams are encouraged to attend as many of the lectures as possible.  The more you know about every aspect of the robot and team, the more efficient the you and the team can be overall. Plus, their is always something new to learn.  All lectures will take place at Walt Whitman High School. If you are not a team Walt Whitman student please contact us at Admin@team1389.com if you are interested in attending.

We will create and update online material in preparation for each talk, so please check the web page for updates that could help you get smarter, better and faster.

 

We Want To Build an Advanced Fabrication Training Facility for MCPS

Over the past decade MCPS like other school districts across the US has been dismantling shop rooms as schools focus more on testing and college prep.  However, the need to for experienced advanced fabricators is growing.  Communities across the US are starting to feel the impact of this skills gap and are working with private industry to create a pipeline of people with the knowledge they need to make things.  Just today, GE purchased two of the world’s leading metal additive manufacturing companies and announced thei need to grow domestic manufacturing capacity.   (both of these companies were in Europe)  It is for this reason the Walt Whitman Robotics team plans to upgrade the Walt Whitman High School  shop room with new equipment. and start and advanced fabrication program.  The goal will be to teach 50+ kids a year how to do CAD design,  CAM design, additive manufacturing, circuit board printing, advanced CNC manufacturing and how to use a variety of industrial lasers.  This will be open to students at every level and STEM sports teams across the county.

The program will do much more than showing kids how to use a vinyl cutter.  We want to teach students that their ideas can be transformed into marketable commodities. One example from similar program in California;

 “They designed really cool ornaments for the holidays and we sold more than a thousand dollars’ worth of stuff. We just put together a coaster set for a local microbrewery. We’ve got a tremendous community of artistic people and small businesses that I’m sure would be willing to do what the brewery did. The kids have to go to the business and make the pitch and figure out what the cost would be by doing an analysis of material and time and all the other costs. I’m talking with a finance teacher we have to set this up as a business class on student enterprise, with real outcomes.” http://time.com/3849501/why-schools-need-to-bring-back-shop-class/

We are going to be looking for community donated materials, equipment, cash, and expertise to get this program off the ground.  If you are interested in helping build the next generation, please reach out admin@team1389.com, we can use all the help we can get.