Build Season Update!
February 10, 2023

The LigerBots have been hard at work throughout the build season, and we’re excited to share with you our progress so far!

We launched into the start of the season strong: throughout preseason, we worked hard on training our CAD team and our new members, with our CAD team working on making complex mechanisms like continuous elevators.

CAD model of a continuous elevator mechanism for mock 3DD, which was centered around the 2018 game

In addition to giving first-years CAD experience throughout preseason, we did a mock three-day design (3DD) prior to build season, where groups within the team created mock designs of robots.

Prototype of the intake brainstormed during Mock 3DD

After kickoff, build season officially began! We started with the actual three-day design process, where LigerBots students brainstormed and designed all the mechanisms for the robot this year.

Then, the CAD team set out to create sketches, and later in-depth models, of the mechanisms we planned for this year’s robot. Prototyping intake mechanisms also began during the first week.

Prototype of the pinch claw, a possible end-effector (a device attached to the end of a robotic arm)
Sketches by Elliot brainstorming possible ideas for a roller claw, a type of manipulator able to draw in and release an object through a powered roller.
LigerBots build leaders catch up on progress within each mechanism.

During the second week, the CAD team delved deeper into the CADing process to finalize mechanism designs on OnShape, the mechanical team worked in the shop to test prototypes and manufacturing parts, and this year’s prospective drive team completed tryouts. We also began assembling the chassis—the base frame of the robot—and other mechanisms, some of which were designed during 3DD. We also finalized our swerve drive and superstructure frame, which holds up a pivot gearbox along with a rotating and telescoping arm—this design will allow the robot to reach high nodes and pick up both game pieces during competition.  

Team members Kavya and Phillip test a linear claw mechanism for grabbing objects.
Juliana and Roshan assemble a pneumatic-powered roller claw.
Lulu, Yutong, and Coach Noa test the straightener, an intake mechanism to rotate fallen cones to an upward position

By week three of build season, we were able to fully build the chassis as well as create some mock swerve modules—which allow for smooth, controllable movement—that the drive team could practice with. The programming group also worked towards creating a working auto-leveling system for the charging station to ensure that the swerve drive and maneuver securely on and off the station.

The FIRST Impact Award team has also begun to finish up rough drafts for the award essay, executive summary, and the award video—all of which we will be presenting to FIRST judges. The marketing team has also prepared for a Women in STEM fair, held at Newton North this past Saturday, as well as creating team merchandise, the team booklet, and the competition pit banner.

LigerBots students attach mock swerve modules to the chassis.
Front of this year’s t-shirt design in adherence with the FIRST game theme, featuring Thaddeus as a lineman for LigerBots Power Co.
LigerBots members help younger students create slime during the Women in STEM event on Feb. 4.

As we approach the end of build season, we’re super excited to show off more of what we’ve been doing! Everyone has been in high gear throughout build season, and we’re looking forward to showcasing our hard work at our first event.

This a friendly reminder to consider helping the LigerBots through our NorWex fundraiser! For any proceeds made to NorWex, the LigerBots receive 25%. The fundraiser ends on February 20th.

As always, we’d like to acknowledge our sponsors for making possible our progress this build season: Rotary Club of NewtonHonda VillageTeradynePTCVillage BankRaytheon Missiles & DefenceNewton Schools FoundationNewton Public SchoolsRockwell Automation, as well as the Cao, Chaudhury Karim, Franklin, King, Preston, Saitz, Sangiolio, Wang Ji, Schwartz, Nedeljkovic, and Housman Family. Your support is greatly appreciated!