During the month of March we had the fortune of visiting the FM Engineers Club during one of their monthly meetings. Our President Grace Bailey, Marketing Captain Bailey Aanenson, Lead Programmer Andrew Vetter, and Safety Captain Cole Amundson were those that attended. This meeting took place at the Kelly Inn in Fargo. We went with the goal of thanking the club for their generous donation and explain what First Robotics is. There was also other various NDSU groups presenting alongside us.
It started with us getting provided delicious food by the FM Engineers which was shortly followed by their typical agenda. This schedule consisted of discussions on upcoming social gatherings and how to better spread engineering values to the community. After this task was completed, the presentations came on. We were last on the list and we listened to various college level clubs and groups present on their differing values and competitions. Our group had a smashing presentation displaying the goals of First Robotics and how we performed in our regional competitions. This led to a very nice appreciation visit for one of our great sponsors that we hope to continue being in contact with.
March 31st Eastwood Elementary-We recently attended our first elementary school visit at Eastwood Elementary in West Fargo, ND. We showcased our robot and our team to over two hundred 4th and 5th graders. We had the goal of teaching the kids about the opportunities they have for science, technology, engineering and math classes in the future as well as the opportunities they have for robotics through FIRST Lego League.
Through both a presentation and an interactive segment, we displayed FIRST values. First, we gave a quick presentation and showed a rocking video that received oohs and ahhs from the kids. Next, we gave a robot demo of SOLID, while explaining a couple of concepts our robot and answering questions about our team and robot. We ended our day with a noodle throwing contest to get the kids excited about FIRST Robotics and the physical aspects of the game. Through this visit we hope inspire these children to become interested in not only FIRST Robotics but to inform them about the all the opportunities available to them in STEM fields.
– Grace Bailey
West Fargo Robotics just won the finals as part of three team alliance Crimson Apple Herd!
At the end of day one and six of our qualification matches, we were 62nd out of 63 teams, but won the Imagery Award for the best presented team with our good looking robot, pit, and team ;).
At midday on day two with the remaining three of our qualification matches completed, we were 62nd, but we were impressing potential alliance partners with our consistent tote stacking ability.
We were picked 3rd in the 8 alliance draft process and then proceeded to battle through the playoffs as part of alliance “Crimson Apple Herd” (teams 2526, 93, and us).
And then in a high quality and closely-fought best of three finals, we won a close match one by 1 point and a thrilling match two by 2 points (119-121) to win the Duluth Lake Superior regional and earn a qualification spot for the 2015 FIRST World Championship in St Louis, MO on April 22nd.
A compilation of videos from the event:
Tomorrow (2/27) we compete in our FIRST Robotics Competition regionals in Duluth MN. Our first match is scheduled for 9:49 and we have 6 of them throughout the day.
The link below will show you our match times, scores, and has a live stream of the matches. Hope you get a chance to watch!
For the last few years I have the honor of being a member of the West Fargo High School’s FIRST Robotics team. Our practices which are typically five days a week are a constant working force that moves us forward to the regionals. Over these last few weeks we have been pushing countless hours into making a workable robot. There are many fields of expertise involved in building a completive robot that range from pneumatics to programming. I am a member of our team’s programing team.
During my experience in FIRST Robotics, my team and I have faced many problems that we had to overcome. Some examples include figuring out how our driving mechanism would interpret direction or vectors in this case. Another challenge that we came across was complications with setting up our gyroscopes (position sensor). On top of that, autonomous mode (the fifteenth second period before the game starts in which robots run on pre-programed commands) also had some issues as the robot design conflicted with our code we had programed thus far. Overall, I feel that we expanded on our problem solving skills and gained valuable life lessons in the process.
This year’s game is Recycle Rush. The objective of this game is to earn points through numerous tactics. Points can be earned by stacking totes on specified platforms for scoring, placing recycling containers over the stacks, or getting rid of litter (pool noodles).
There are two alliances within this game each consisting of three robots. Each Alliance remains on their side of the playing field. Alliances can earn points in numerous ways. They can do this by removing litter from their landfill zone or by putting litter on or in scored recycling containers. An Alliance has the opportunity to add points to the score of the other Alliance, by leaving litter unprocessed on their side of the field.They can also earn points through Coopertition or teaming-up with the other Alliance in that match. These points are given if there are at least four yellow totes on the step at the same time during the match. An Alliance has the opportunity to double their Coopertition points if they arrange four of the yellow totes in a single stack on the step.
The game begins with a 15 second autonomous period. Robots attempt to earn points by moving yellow totes and their recycling containers in the Auto-zone or the area between the scoring platform without human assistance.
During the Teleop Period (the last two minutes and fifteen seconds of the game) students drivers control the robots remotely behind the walls at the end of the field. Teams on Alliances can work together to place as many totes on the white scoring platform. They can earn additional points by recycling containers place on the scored totes. The higher the container, the more the points. All materials used are either recycled or reused by the team or by FIRST at the end of the season.
Pneumatics. Such a funny word, yet such an essential part to nearly any robotic system. In this year’s competition, one can expect to see legions of robots covered in tubing, compressors, and regulators.
The basics of pneumatics kicks off with a pneumatic schematic. This document details the essential components, beginning with the compressor—compressing the air to be stored in special storage tanks. With an automatic and manual release valve, the pressure will never get higher than that set in the game rules. Following the storage of compressed air comes a set of regulators and blocks. The regulators decrease the pressure to the operating levels needed and the blocks distribute that pressure to the cylinders. These cylinders, with a little push and a shove from the compressed air, move essential components on the robot.
With the completion of our schematic, we went forth with the building of our pneumatic panel. Starting with compressor, mounted firmly on the base. The remaining pneumatics snake their way around the robot providing life to the mechanical Frankenstein.
Now comes the most impressive part! With two different pressures, we are able to operate six different onboard subsystems with fourteen separate cylinders. With such an abundance of pneumatics riding on board, an acuity to detail is crucial.
And with that, the pneumatic schematic session comes to an end. Only a week left to build, the pressure is building, and our robot is fighting for life.
Excited to see the robot?! Come to our showcase night tomorrow 2/10 at West Fargo High School (801 9th St. E. West Fargo, ND) 5:00-7:00 pm.
The members and mentors of the team will be there with our robots and we’d love to have the opportunity to tell you about this year’s challenge Recycle Rush. During the evening we will give you a demonstration of our robots and show you around our facilities. Please RSVP to this event by emailing us at wfrobotics(at)gmail.com or leave us a message on our Facebook page: facebook.com/WFRobotics.
For more details, please see the Showcase Night Flyer