Outreach Extravaganza!
February 14, 2020

This weekend we had three outreach events! One at MIT, one at Newton North High School, and one at Bowen Elementary School. But the rest of the team has not been idle! Let’s see what they’ve been up to.

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We started this week off strong with a trio of outreach events in rapid succession. We had the NNHS puzzle day and the MIT hackathon on Saturday, and the Bowen science fair on Sunday. At the Hackathon, a group of six LigerBots showed off our outreach robot and explained what FIRST is to anyone who was interested. At Puzzle Day, the strategy team set up a table and took part in the problem solving and outside the box thinking which characterised the event. And at the Science Fair, we had nearly a dozen coaches and team members showing off our activities and our robot to many curious elementary schoolers.

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It took a lot of preparation and planning, but all three were massive successes! We showed off our robot and spoke to many people who were interested in FRC and FIRST. We are always planning more, so stay tuned for the next event!

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The rest of the team was busy as well! The manufacturing group has been rapidly assembling the pieces of our robot into their final form. We have already begun integrating our mechanisms onto the chassis. All of the major components have either been added or are being added.

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Our finished shooter has been tested and mounted to the robot. We also added the drive train, intake, and carousel ball storage. Our robot is on track to be done in time for competition. We can’t wait to see how well it does!

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The awards team has been working on the essay for the chairman’s award, a prestigious prize that few teams are able to win. They enlisted the help of the strategy team in order to finish in time for competition. Awards is always a very important part of the team. The chairman’s award in particular, allows a team to automatically advance in competition by winning it.

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This week has been a busy one! Things are really ramping up as our first competition creeps closer and closer. Our robot is nearing completion, but there is still a lot of work to do. Stay tuned for next week’s developments as our team races to finish the robot! 


3 weeks until Competition!
February 9, 2020

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There is a lot of exciting stuff coming up for the LigerBots!

The manufacturing team has started building parts for our final robot and is continuing to work on prototypes for our mechanisms. In addition, we have been preparing for the three outreach events which we had over the weekend.

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Our electrical team has begun work on prototyping our electrical board. As they create a CAD of the board, they work out how to make sure our design can run our many systems within the confines of the robot.

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Our CAD team is starting to finalize the designs for our carousel and send them to our manufacturing team. Once the manufacturing team has received the designs they can begin the manufacturing process so we can begin the assembly of the carousel

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The first version of our shooter has been completed and is now being put through the testing process. During this time we will be testing the shooter’s speed and accuracy to find out what changes need to be made for us to improve the shooter.

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The manufacturing team has been making parts for our robot’s superstructure, what will hold our shooter, and has finished the construction of our chassis, which will serve as the base foundation for our drive train as well as the rest of our robot.

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This weekend,  we attended three outreach events where we continued our mission to further engage with the public about STEM through presentations and demonstrations. On Saturday, there was the Hackathon at MIT which was an educational event at MIT that invited High School students to learn more about computer science. At the same time at Newton North High School, we participated in their first Puzzleday where we talked about the problem solving skills we use on the team, particularly in our Strategy Council. Finally on Sunday, we went to Bowen elementary school for their science fair and showed off our robot and invited the students for some hands on chemistry by making Slime.

We’ve made considerable progress! Construction on the chassis is about wrapped up and we continue to work towards the final versions of our various mechanisms. A lot of outreach events and other developments are right around the corner. We hope you’ll stick around to see them through!  Our first competition will be coming up soon!


Progress Has Continued on All Fronts for the LigerBots!
January 31, 2020

It is officially the end of week 4 of build season, 3 weeks from our first competition of the season. We have continued to work on our Computer Aided Design, aka our CAD, which we use to create the plans for our robot, and have been developing many mechanism prototypes. In addition, our testbed robot is finished and ready to trial our components. We also started preparing for our upcoming outreach events at the MIT Hackathon and the Bowen Science Fair.

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Our team likes to prototype in parallel, which means each group makes a prototype of a mechanism at the same time. This allows us to test as many ideas as possible in our short build time. These prototypes allow us to test our designs and modify them before we put them on the robot. We are currently prototyping a shooter, an intake, a hopper (which stores balls), and a climber. 

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We have finished prototyping the shooter. At first, we started with a three-wheel shooter, but because of design difficulties, we settled on a hooded turreted shooter with two wheels. This makes the ball have a different path than the original shooter– instead of arc-ing upwards like a positive quadratic equation, it starts high and arcs downwards into the goal. Below is a photo of our prototype.

We’ve decided to integrate our intake with our climber, combining them into essentially one mechanism. Now, the question for them is whether we want to climb with one hook or two hooks, which we will resolve through more testing. This combo intake/climber mechanism is moved into CAD and now we are trying to make iteration one of all of the designs. Below is the CAD of the mechanism. 

Our strategy team has keeping it busy! One member is working on a growth analysis of all FIRST teams worldwide, tracking how they have been doing since their conception. Two other members have been working on a 3D plot showing OPR by DPR by CCWM, or a plot showing how offensively good each team is, how defensively good, and how many points they contribute on average to a match.  

Electrical has been busy training and practicing. They are mainly focusing on building a mock electrical board so they know what to do in a couple weeks, when we will have to wire the entire robot. 

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We are using our testbed robot, Roadkill, to show rookies how robots are built and give them a chance to work on a completed robot. Later, it will be used to test mechanisms before they go on the final robot.

The field elements team has been busy making mock ups of pieces of the field, so that we have something for our drivers to train with once the robot is finished. It can take a long time to make these because they must be built to the exact same specifications as the real field elements in order to be useful in robot testing and mock games. Below is our model of the lazy-Susan spinner that will be on the field for robots to spin. 

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The CAD team has nearly finished the complete design of our robot! Once that is done, we can move on to building the final mechanisms and attach them to our robot.

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In the meantime, we have a team working on the chassis and framework on the robot. They have finished the main cutting the parts for the chassis and have now moved on to the finer, more complicated parts of the framework. Also, our coding team has been working on the basic framework for the code and have all the subsystems defined in the code.

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Our Chairman’s team has been hard at work on our presentation about the team, which we will present to judges during competition. The award also requires an essay, for which we have been gathering data through a survey and interviews of team members. Below, Or-El and Coach Chuck discuss the presentation.

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We are moving steadily through build season and a lot is going to happen in the near future! We hope that you will be with us the whole way! Be sure to check out our Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ligerbots_frc2877/

 


Keepin’ It Busy on the LigerBots!
January 24, 2020

We’ve done a lot this week! Prototyping continued and many groups have finalized their designs. Groups like the shooter and climber have both had successfully  tested their prototypes. 

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This was a huge week for the Computer Aided Design team. The whole robot has been designed through CAD, but still needs a few modifications and edits. Once the design is complete, each team can start to assemble their mechanisms.

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The Chairman’s team has been busy with a team survey to gather information on team members for the presentation at our first competition. Chairman’s is a FIRST award that judges teams on how well they inspire their community through FIRST learning! We have also started the essay they will use for the presentation.

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The mechanical team has been adjusting the shooter and other mechanisms to improve their accuracy and have also started building and assembling arms for the intake. 

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The strategy team has finished their Offensive Power Rating spreadsheet, which is a system to tell how a robot will perform during competitions. They will use it to see how our robot compares to others in our area. 

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The team also has a couple outreach events in the coming weeks. We are going to be participating in the MIT Blueprint Hackathon on Saturday, February 8th and the science fair at Bowen Elementary School on Sunday, February 9th. At these events, we’ll present our robot and pass out flyers with information about FIRST programs and the Ligerbots. Outreach events are a great way to interact with the community and get people excited about STEM! 

 

This week has been a super productive one: groups have completed essential projects and tasks, but there are many more to come. The season is just getting started and we still have a lot on our plate!




LigerBots in a Furor of Design and Build!
January 17, 2020

This week was the first week of prototyping! With our designs decided upon, we have started to build prototypes of the different components of our robot.

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The mechanical design team has started work on prototypes for all the major parts of our new robot, such as the ball shooter, climbing mechanism, and the ball intake and storage mechanism. Once the prototypes are all finished and tested, we will decide which version of each system we want to use on the final robot.

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The design team has also started making computer aided design, or CAD, versions of the components, so we have a blueprint for how the mechanisms should be built and how they will look like when they are finished.

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Our strategy team has started a series of data projects to determine how we should build our robot. For example, strategy is researching if powder coated robots perform better than uncoated robots. Powder coating is a metal tinting technique used to change the color of metal so that it looks better and shinier.

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The marketing team has been busy as well. The graphics group finished the t-shirt design and the fundraising team is finalizing our sponsorship agreements. The team is also planning for a pair of sleepovers over the weekend, one for boys and one for girls.

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Build season is really starting to ramp up! Lots of projects are underway and many more are going to start in the near future. Things are going to get very busy very fast as we continue through build season. We hope you will be with us the whole way!