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.
Build season has begun!
Build team is continuing to construct and modify the starter parts received from FIRST, and progress has been steady. A prototype idea has been agreed upon for now, and it is also still undergoing revisions and changes as the days go by.
Programming team has been working on code to get a basic bot up and running within a few weeks.
Marketing has been working on creating new flyers to hand out to businesses in the following months, and also posting on our social media sites.
Finally, it’s the anticipated meeting after the kick-off event! We’ve all been throwing out our ideas just seeing what is probable and what’s improbable. The main ideas that stuck were using a conveyor belt to lift the boxes and move them into different areas. The build team is set up on the whiteboard brainstorming specifics about the robot. They are trying to find a good strategy as well as the actual robot.
Our other two groups, which are marketing and programming, are figuring out their own problems. The marketing crew brainstormed and found a solid plan for this week. People have been given specific roles such as posting on the Robotics Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, and in this blog! The programming crew reviewed Java and thought about the problems that may come during the build.
Hello! It’s good to be back! This year the theme is 8-Bit games and we won’t know anything about the actual competition yet but we’re excited about the different theme. A link to a teaser for the competition is right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=MM_JWAON6PI. The whole robotics team is waiting for the time to go to Portland to watch Kick-Off! That’s when the season really starts and when we’ll need to work very hard for many weeks. The first meeting of the year for the Traip Academy Robo-Rangers was December 7th and today was the second meeting. Right now as a team, we’re creating many short-term goals for this and the next few meetings. Most of these goals aren’t very important like today it was: clean and organize everything.
The build team is going to work on fixing up the old robot as a sort of test to get used to dealing with the robot and the problems that the team may face in that process. The Programming team is going to be working on the coding and sort of the same thing as build team and some of them are new to it so they’ll have to learn. The marketing team is in the process of mailing letters to potential sponsors and organizing other ways to make money in any way possible. There are many new faces since last year and all of them will make great additions to the team and will help us especially in the weeks leading up to competitions. If anyone is reading this and knows any kids interested in some part of this even if they only like one piece of it then they can just do that.
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.