Northern Horizons team 7416 went to the NE District UNH Event in Durham New Hampshire from March 29-31. Our team worked really well together and placed 9th overall, out of 40 teams. They made it into the alliance selections were captains of the 6th place team, along with teams 166, “The Chop Shop” and team 5902, “The Wire Clippers”. Our alliance was defeated in the first round of the quarter-finals but they came away with the Rookie All Star Award and the Highest Rookie Seed award. Our team is also placed 17th overall in the New England district, out of 203 teams. This placement allows the team to move onto the District Championships at WPI, April 10-13. The team will compete to move on to FRC Championships in Detroit, MI on April 24-27.
We could not have won this alone. So many teams were there to help us along the way, including Orange Chaos 4564. They took us into their pit and helped us get our robot up and running after we had a few problems. Our alliance partners came by and helped us with the hook, bumpers, and overall help with the robot.
Eric, Lemon, and Andrea were the drivers, Nickel and “Bubs” were the technicians, Emani was elected FRC’s Social Media Assistant, and Nathan, Coltrane, Phoebe, Gabe, Richard, Ana, Laura, and Johanna were the driver coaches, human players, and team scouts.
Today was the last of the build season and we spent this time driving. It was also Mountain Day, where the entire school goes to Jay Peak to ski and swim in the water park. We got back just before 6 pm, ate dinner, and practiced driving for 2 hours.
We got ready for Bag and Tag, so we made sure the code was working, the robot was working the way we wanted it, and we tidied up the wires. Then it was time to say goodbye to Murphy.
Robotics is over for a week before we have to head out to the competition on Februay 28 at Salem H.S. in NH.
5:00 – Today the team continued to work of the robot and putting together the binder for the judges. Bagging the robot is tomorrow, so the team is making the last changes to the robot and test driving the robot. Emani worked on team gear and sponsorships. Most of the team worked on the robot. Eric, Andrea, and Lemon worked on driving the robot and testing the actuators. Gabriel worked on the binder and photographing the team. Johanna worked on the binder and the website. A part of the team worked on programming. Today was very busy for the team and we are looking forward to the first competition.
3:45 pm : Happy Saturday! Since we have to stop building soon Nathan has decided to open the Ilab today and tomorrow so we have time this weekend to modify and drive our robot. We have mostly made small modifications and driven the robot. Since today is not a mandatory meeting for the team people have been popping in and out here and there as they can.
Currently Andrea and Richard are working with Nathan to modify the lift. Since the lift can rotate 180 degrees is has been hard driving Murfy and keeping the hook in place. As the robot moves the lift swivels since there is nothing holding it in place. Nickel has placed a stopper by the lift so it can only rotate 90 degrees but that does not hold it in place. Now Richard and Andrea are trying to use an electromagnet to hold the lift in place after it rotates 90 degrees. This has been challenging since we have a small magnet that does not have enough power to hold the lift in place. In addition, we will not be able to get a bigger one in time. So they have been experimenting with different angles, placements, and metals to see what will work best.
Everyone is welcomed to drive the robot and practice lifting the robot onto the platform. Lemon is one of our main drivers and she has been practicing driving Murfy. Since it was hard to tell when to lower or raise the actuators when ascending or descending the platform, we added some velcro as a marker.
Nickel is going to build the 13 inch platform so we can work on climbing the six platform then the 13 inch platform which is seven inches from the top of the six inch platform.
Lemon and Nickel were able to relocate the circuit breaker as well. When the actuators were placed on Murphy, Wilco had to remove the circuit breaker since it was in the way. Now it is by the wheels on a wooden platform and out of the way.
Since we have made all the modifications we can think of today, Murphy was moved upstairs. Since there is carpet upstairs, we practice driving upstairs so we can mimic the conditions of the game. Wish us luck!
Today, the team was busy working on the robot. Nickel helped to make a shelf for Murphy that puts the turntable that the lift is on, in a “robot turntable shelf sandwich”. Ana worked on soldering for the linear actuators. Richard worked on CAD and rewiring the robot. The robots rewiring is complete. Eric worked on the Lidar system and Nathan C. Everyone was on track with their individual projects. Nathan C. later went on a trip to Home Depot with Johanna and Gabriel to get more materials. Laura, Lydia, and Ana worked on reaching out to more potential sponsors. Phoebe worked on supporting and helping everyone in their individual projects and Emani worked on following up on current sponsorships. Johanna worked on the website and also soldered. Nickel is currently working on making new wheels for the actuators because one of them broke. Also, Nickel is working on the robot with Lemon.
5:00 – Murphy made it back in time for Valentine’s Day and the team couldn’t be happier. Nathan and Lemon we able to go down to Wilco and pick Murphy up during A-Block. He now has three actuators welded onto him. Two in the very back and one in the middle angled downward. Since Murphy was at Wilco, robotics was canceled yesterday, but this weekend the I lab will be open so we can spend as much time with Murphy as we can before we have to stop building.
Most of the team is working with Murphy at the moment. Wires are being stripped and soldered, the actuators are being tested for efficacy, wheels are being attached to the bottom of each actuator for stability and to minimize fiction, the code is being written for the actuators to name a few things we are doing. By tomorrow, we should be able to test drive the robot and tie up any loose ends. There are a few adjustments we need to make to the robot in a certain order because of the actuators but overall, Murphy is looking pretty good.
2:53 – Today, Nickel painted the robot’s hook neon green while Richard applied the bumpers onto its corners. They plan to install the LED strip so that the camera, which will soon be added to the robot, will be able to see the lift. Johanna and Laura are diligently working on updating the website by uploading new photos and adding an entry to the blog. Erik is perfecting his robot driving skills and is helping Nickel with the LED addition to the robot. Gabe helped bring over the linear actuators, which were larger than the group anticipated. Emani and Lydia just finished talking to five potential sponsors, including Home Depot, Dunkin Donuts and Shaws. Coltrane is teaching himself how to use CAD, and Ana is making a sign for the Robot’s name. Lemon is helping build the robot with Nickel and Richard and going around to help wherever it is needed.
4:20 – Laura and Johanna worked on the website and researching what should be in the team binder to hand to the judges.we could not find anything that helped us significantly, so Emani emailed other teams to ask for their insight. Bubs worked on putting in the bumpers with Lemon and richard. Bubs also worked on planning placement for the actuators. Emani talked to the school about getting more sponsors and she set up a meeting for getting team sweatshirts and polos. Emani also talked to a member at WPI about team binders, and she has started to put together a safety kit binder. Nickel fixed our grinder in the workshop. Phoebe worked on cutting wheels.
Today was a little tough for the team because this is the final build week until we have to bag up the robot. The team continues to work hard to get done what needs to get done.
As the robotics team works to complete the robot, the end of week 5 became a reality for the team. Laura completed the bumper covers and applied the labels on all of the covers. Nickel worked on the lift and refined the hook. He added a stopper block to the rotation block and added “smush plates” to the lift. Richard added the motors to the gears and started to work on the lifting of the robot.
Ana, Lydia, Lemon, and Nathan C went to Home Depot to get some more machine screws and dremel cut-off wheels (and snacks), to bring to the rest of the team.
As we starting thinking about how “Murphy” was going to climb the platform, we realized we were short motor controllers, so we purchased a few more from VEX. Then we looked at the motors we had and noticed that the plan we had to raise the robot was not going to work, due to lack of space on the bot. We came up with a different plan and decided to go with Linear Actuators. We purchased a couple of them from Progressive Actuators and until they arrive, we will practice driving and fine-tuning what we have.
Still, to do we have to put the bumpers back on the robot, code the new motors controllers, and possibly move some of the components around to make room for the linear actuators.