Week 5 was used primarily to start manufacturing the parts that have been designed in the previous weeks. The team put the different parts together piece by piece, making sure each part came out the way they were intended. Other than the parts, the team also constructed the robot’s chassis this week. Once some parts were completed, the team installed them into the chassis in order to get a head start into constructing the robot.
This week, the team has made substantial progress towards the robot’s design. At the beginning of the week, our members discussed possible designs and prototypes. Now at the end of the week, many members are using CAD to test the discussed prototypes, and some are continuing to discuss the robot’s overall design.
Today, Saturday January 17, the Robolancers were given the wonderful opportunity to work with Springside Chestnut Hill robotics team, 1218 Vulcan Robotics. Today we just wanted to test out our mecanum drive, something the Robolancers have not used since 2010, out on regulation FIRST carpet. Mecanums have a bad reputation, for not being the greatest if you do not practice often. We came to Springside just to test out our drive, and 1218 helped us out the entire time. First, they gave us the opportunity to explore their amazing machine shop. We were instantly amazed; they had a lathe and even a CNC mill and they told us that we were allowed to use it whenever we needed to. Next they showed us their swerve drive that a few of their kids worked on for their senior design project, and it was truly inspirational knowing that students designed and built a fully operational swerve.
Talking about the swerve, we were able to gain insight on mechanical design, FRC sensors, and even programming expertise. Everyone on their team was extremely welcoming, sincere, and graciously shared advice for this current build season. This was probably one of our best days in the build season because we got to see our drive work and had the opportunity to work with one of the best robotics team in MAR. Thank you Springside Chestnut Hill for allowing use to work with you guys!
On March 14th and 15th the RoboLancers attended the FRC Chestnut Hill District Competition. In the previous year I was able to attend this competition, however, this year was my first time as a member of the pit crew. I had the opportunity to work on the mechanical aspects of the robot, repair various complications that had occurred with the robot, and prepared the robot to compete in the field.
Last year I was able to see the competition from a different perspective. I witnessed the different teams and robots compete out on the field and the illuminating spirt that was rendered through the teams. This year I was allowed to participate in the action that occurs behind the scenes. Pit crew was chaotic, everyone scampered to ready the robot for the matches. The mood was high paced and stressful. When in the pit, one is able to ultimately understand that the robot is never thoroughly complete.
Although our robot did not function to its full potential. I have to admit that being a part of the pit crew was one of the most extraordinary experiences I was able to be a part of. I am optimistic about the improvements that our team has decided to make on the robot and am excited and looking forward to attending next week’s Lenape-Seneca Regional Competition.