Update! 2016 build season, weeks 1 & 2

It’s been a while! But I am happy to tell you that a new season has started, and the team is going strong! We owe this to our sponsors – a big thank you to all of you who has supported us, as this wouldn’t be made possible without your support.

This year, we have ten members in our team, which is twice the number we had in last year; one of them is an exchange student from Hong Kong.

Kickoff & week one

The six-week build season started off with the kickoff event in early January. A video was shown to teams, introducing us to the game this year, called FIRST Stronghold. It is a co-op game, with six randomly-chosen teams drafted into two bigger teams. The objective of the teams is to, unsurprisingly, defeat the other team by crossing the enemy’s defenses, laying siege to the enemy tower and scaling it, ultimately capturing the tower. After watching the video, we as teams went to different rooms so we could discuss strategies. The time we spent in Buffalo where we attended the kickoff was not enough, however, and we continued to discuss the tactics to be used in our usual meeting location after the event.

Early in the week, we had to make decisions quickly so that the team could start working. In other words, we had to decide our team’s strategy to play the game. At our second meeting, we reached a consensus regarding the strategy we are using, as well as the type of drive train we are using: the tank drive. As obstacles play a major role in the game, tank treads can help us to tackle them. Team members then set off to work. We began working on prototypes as well as obstacles, which we built out of wood. The senior members of the team also worked on the design of the robot, using 3D modelling software.

IMG_0887

Team members discussing tactics.

IMG_0921

Our team members and mentors studying the parts given to us.

IMG_0940An unconventional way to test a prototype.

 

Week two

In the second week, we continued to work on the obstacles and the robot frame, in addition to the electrical board, the gearboxes, and our standard and flag. By the end of the week, we finished building nearly all of the obstacles, and the gearboxes were assembled. Parts of the robot frame has been assembled, and the electrical board is mostly wired. Overall, it has been a productive week.

IMG_0972Putting the base of the frame together.

IMG_0980A mentor giving out instructions to a rookie on building the obstacle.

IMG_1165The electrical board, about halfway done.

 

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