Today was the big one for our FIRST Tech Challenge teams. All three of our teams--11745 Red Scare, 11761 Theory of Robotivity, and 13227 The Mechanicats--had a competition up in Wylie East today, which meant for a very early morning for all of us (we consider 6:30 AM bus rides very early here at the Robocats). At the time of writing this, the competition hasn't finished yet, so to stay updated on our achievements out on the playing field, make sure to check out our Facebook page (although most of you came from our page, so you know what to do).
As for our FIRST Robotics Challenge team, we made a lot of progress by simply sitting on our buns. Today was filled with a lot of hashing things out in conferences that spanned hours and hours. The primary topic was our lift mechanism. As part of this year's game, Destination: Deep Space, one of the goals is to take these orange balls, called Cargo, and place them in spots up to nearly eight feet from the ground. To do this, we use what's called an intake and lift, where the intake grabs the ball and the lift lifts the ball up to the designated areas to place the Cargo, scoring us 3 points per Cargo. For the majority of today, our team was hashing out the design of the intake (varying from a box design to a trapezoidal design), attachments to the intake (including an extra piece of Lexan plastic extending from the mouth of the intake to direct the Cargo into the intake wheels), and other specifics. We used everything from physical prototypes to models in Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to backup arguments and help make a decision. Unfortunately, the jury's still out on a final design, but we plan to continue the discussion when we get back on Tuesday with our mentors.
The rest of the team worked diligently on arguably some of the more important aspects of robotics: the awards. Our Award Girls were busy rapidly and effectively developing our Woodie Flower's Award essay, where we nominate our best mentor who then goes up against the other nominated mentors from other teams. I myself worked on our Chairman's Award video, an essential piece of the Chairman's Award that conveys our outreach goals and success, ranging from our STEMConnect camps to WaterFIRST and our partnership with Water for Life.
Well, that's all for today. We'll see you next week here on our website blog!
The 5242 Media team will keep you up to date on progress here, on our website, with weekly updates.