The FIRST Robotics build season ends in the middle of February school vacation, and the LigerBots went full blast right through “bag day,” putting finishing touches on our robot, “Chronos,” before we had to seal it in its giant plastic bag, where it stays until we compete.
While the electrical team mounted the pneumatics and wired the elevator, the group working on our Power Cube intake cut material for the next iteration of its design. Other students worked on getting the robot fit-and-finish up to standard by building bumpers and mounting the sponsor panel.
Meanwhile on the second robot, which does not have to be bagged, our programmers began testing code for driving and intaking cubes, and are currently testing autonomous modes.
On Sunday, February 17 the Ligerbots visited the build space of FRC 5422, Stormgears, who graciously offered us the use of their full size practice field on which to test drive our robot. While we were there we filmed our 2018 robot reveal video, which you can watch here.
While at the Stormgears build space, we noticed that the plates on the outside stage of our elevator were bending. The Stormgears made us a generous offer to use their pristine milling equipment to help us manufacture new steel plates, something that would have taken multiple days at our home shop, but was done in just two hours, thanks to them.
On the last day of the build season the team worked a twelve-hour day, finishing electrical details before removing the elevator and replacing the bent plates with the ones we made at the Stormgears. At the end of the work session we did more driving practice in the field house at Newton South. When we bagged the robot at 10 p.m, everybody celebrated!
In the next few weeks we will continue to practice driving and programming using the second robot, and will design mechanisms that could be added to the robot at competition.
We have opened our annual 3D Printed Design contest for submissions from other FIRST Robotics teams. Our team created this contest in 2016 when we realized there was no established FRC award for 3D printing, which teams increasingly use to build custom parts during the six-week FIRST Robotics build season. We hope this contest will encourage teams to start seeing 3D printing as a viable design solution for their robot. Teams can send their submissions to [email protected]. Please look here for complete rules.
The LigerBots also recently submitted applications for four major FIRST awards: Chairman’s (honoring the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST, ) Entrepreneurship, Woodie Flowers (given to an outstanding mentor) and Dean’s List (given to an outstanding sophomore or junior student). Our Chairman’s Award group is now deep into practice for their seven-minute presentation before judges at the FIRST Power Up North Shore competition at Reading High School on March 17 and 18 and at the Greater Boston competition at Revere High School on April 7 and 8. We are excited to compete for these awards at our two district competitions! Please come to watch us live as we compete at these events, or watch us in real time, online.