FIRST Robotics Team 3597, the Robo-Rangers, was established in 2009, and had its first competition in 2011. Based in the small town of Kittery, Maine, the team has dramatically increased in size and diversity as it continues to promote STEM to surrounding communities. The diversity of the team has offered many new perspectives and outlooks on the challenges at hand. While gaining experience outside of the classroom, the team strives to inspire younger students to get involved with science and technology and fulfill the FIRST mission.
We got our t-shirts in today! Which means that now we can show off the great logo for Robo-Rangers tomorrow. This is awesome but something that isn’t awesome is that now the entire Robo-Rangers team is behind because of these terrible snow days. That have eaten up many of our very important meetings for building, programming, and marketing teams. We only have eight more meetings and we’re going to have to really persevere and work hard during them to do great in the next competitions. Well for the build team is now far behind and they’ll have to change their beginning ideas to accommodate this loss of time. The programming team will also have to work harder during the time that they have during the next eight meetings so they can make the robot do good in competition. The final team is the marketing which as I already said got the shirts in and we’re distributing them at the moment and tomorrow at school you’ll see the team rocking the new logo for the Robo-Rangers. We also are going to send out letters to many local businesses to ask politely for a donation (we’re begging for money). Also there will be a newsletter with that letter so they know about the Robo-Rangers and we will hopefully get a lot of donations from the various locations in Kittery and outside of it in Pease. We only have eight more days till bagging day and then we go to the competition and try our best!
In this past week, The build team has been put the chassis parts on the back burner, and have prioritized getting the main functionality of the robot (the gear lifter mechanism) to an acceptable state. The mishap with the chassis parts at the shipyard will likely be resolved soon.
The business team is still working on sending out letters to businesses for sponsors, and is cooperating with more local businesses to put up tip jars at order stands. They are also working on a news letter about the team that is currently in the editing stage.
In yesterday’s class, we achieved full capability of movement of the robot, in addition to the basic functions of the gear mechanism working correctly. A lot of robot development has been put on hold because we were waiting for C&C parts from the shipyard, but they finally arrived today. But there is one problem. The parts don’t fit, and half of them didn’t arrive.
The files and dimensions sent in for machining are all presumed to be correct after some analyzation. We’re not sure what caused this issue, but it will be redone soon and should not be too much of a setback for the build.
Cole Gilbert and the rest of the business team have started working on sending out sponsor requests to businesses and pease, and some in the Kittery area.
Despite some setbacks, we should be able to push through and have the chassis done within a couple of weeks.
January is almost done, and therefore we are 22 days from bagging (a handy countdown timer is off to the right of every page on the website). While we planned to be basically done at this point in the season, we’ve been at a major roadblock for the past week or two. Our contact at the Shipyard, who has been on paternity leave for the past month, hasn’t been able to help us machining our chassis, therefore we are chassis-less. For now, we are building around last year’s chassis, and tomorrow the heads of build and business, John and Cole, will go to a local machining shop, PTE Precision Machining, to get the chassis made. Even with this setback, we will push forward. Wish us luck.
We’re all still working hard on the robot and getting even more of the precious money. The one thing that we still need is people to be looking at our social media platform on Twitter @team3597, Facebook @roborangers, Instagram @frc3597, Snapchat @team3597. Each of the teams has still been hard at work on each of their pieces of the final product.
The build team is now working on the chassis of the prototype of the robot. The prototype is getting better each day and this is going to help us when we build the actual robot. This to help troubleshoot future problems and also to give us a visual on what we’re going to do and we need a robot as fast as possible. We can’t even start to build the actual robot yet because the chassis still hasn’t been made from the Shipyard yet. But once that comes in it’ll be full steam ahead because we’ll already have a plan.
The marketing team is as you already know still begging for money. But they’re also working on some side things like continuing to update our social media platform and making sure that people are checking that out. But also they’re still waiting for submissions for the logo contest going on in Traip now which is closing at the end of this week. So get those submissions in!!
The programming team is learning about how to program controller buttons for the soon to be robot. They still need to wait until the actual robot gets created.
Mainly all of the groups need to wait until the chassis gets made and then we can have all groups working hard all day. It could be here today or tomorrow so here’s hoping so we can finally get the hard work going.
We haven’t had a blog post since last season so we want to recap on what the new project is and what we’re going to be doing to get in a good place this year. The biggest part is it’s steam punk’d! Which means for most of you “I have no idea what that means.” But don’t fret because there is a good video on what the entire competition is and what the steam punk’d theme really is, check the “Game” page under the “FIRST” tab. The biggest part is the competition and if you skip to that time in the video it’ll tell you about it. Our teams have been hard at work for the past weeks working on the robot for the competition.
The programming team is working on waiting and staring at a loading screen until it finally starts working. The router has to be functioning properly and they’re working on getting it up and running so the robot can get onto the course and win some awards. Many members of the programming team are working with the build team so that we can be ready for when the router starts working and then we’ll be out and running making the robot. When we start programming we’ll be right on track to do great in the competition.
The build team is pushing forward on schedule with working on disassembling past robots and what not to get the robot design and prototype ready when we really start getting into the season. We already have an idea about how we’re going to win this competition with only working with the gears. Which will help because then we have our main piece in our robot. But now that we have that giant part done we’ll then start to work on how that’s going to connect with the base of our robot. We have already made our design for the robot and we want to continue working on it once we get our programmers working.
The marketing team a.k.a.”getting money” team has been working on many ways to get money like talking to local businesses in Kittery and Pease and also getting grants. Really getting money anyway possible so that we can do all of these up coming events and build our robot to the standard we want it. We’re also working on getting the word out in school by coming up with an idea of a school wide contest to publicize robotics and to get a great new, steam punk’d logo for robotics. We’re also working on getting the word out there even more through our social media bases like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat and those platforms we will be updating as soon as possible and as much as possible. So any kind of money in any way to help (except for anything illegal) just donate to our GoFundMe or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas.
But the biggest thing that you as readers can do right now is you can talk to any local businesses or any businesses to get our name out there for people to start to donate more money. Or if you’re a business owner thinking about donating you really should it’s for a great cause and it’ll create more and more kids looking for good jobs in the STEM field. Also if you’re a student tell all of your friends about robotics to join and get the team stronger next year (This will be good to talk about on your resume).
Well, at the time I’m writing this we only have seven hours left to our build season. Talia and I have moved to the back room because it’s so loud in the shop. The finishing touches and repairs are being put on the robot, as part of the belt tensioner in the lift arm broke off. We are also trying to redistribute weight in the robot to get a lower center of gravity. We were a bit tippy during testing last night, and would prefer to avoid that as much as possible during competition.
Taidgh and the rest of software are getting some last-minute debugging in while they can still test. The build team is working hard, although there is not much work to be done. The few that are working are working hard, but only about a half of them are working at a time. Teddy came in today with a ukulele, and is providing the team with nice music while we all work.
In other news, we’re putting on a community supper next Tuesday, March 1st at the Flatbreads in Portsmouth! Flatbreads is helping us out with this community supper, so make sure to be there to support your Robo-Rangers!
Thank you all for a fantastic season, and we hope to see you at competition!