Thursday, November 27

Testing (1, 2, 3)

Happy Thanksgiving!

As the building of physical components of the robot has come to a close, the testing has begun! The mechanical subteam finished mounting some of the final components of the robot this past Monday. The robot is complete, save a few finishing touches.The coding subteam has commenced testing the robot in order to ensure that it functions properly. They will continue to test the code as well as the robot this next week.

The testing of the robot is not only an integral part of the mini-build season: it is also great preparation for the build season. Practicing time management is important because it enables the team to budget enough time for testing the robot itself. Team members also develop better communication skills through testing, due to the fact that it requires collaboration among the various subteams.

The business subteam has also been working hard in order to ensure that Team Phoenix's Barnes and Noble fundraiser will run smoothly. The event will take place on 04 December, 2014, and purchases will benefit Phoenix Robotics. Come and join us!

The link to the build plan can be found here:
Build Plan

Thursday, November 20

The Mini Build Game is Coming Soon!

On 08 November, 2014, Team Phoenix accepted the challenge of the systems subteam- to design a robot which could carry objects and dodge obstacles. The team has been working quickly and carefully in order to ensure that the project is completed by the much-anticipated Game Day (06 December, 2014).

The robot has been coming together piece by piece, thanks to the hard work of all of the subteams. The mechanical subteam has completed the drive chassis. The attachment has also been mounted. The coding subteam is right on schedule, and is ready to test the attachment using the code which has been written during the past few meetings. The team will continue to test both the mechanical aspect and the coding for the various components of the robot. The control board is ready to use, thanks to the wiring subteam.

Last Saturday (15 November, 2014), Team 2342 partnered with Merrimack High School's Team Chop Shop in order to run an FLL qualifying tournament. Team Phoenix's business subteam spent quite a lot of time preparing to help run this event. A big thank you to Team Chop Shop for working with us in order to host a seamless FLL Tournament! To all of the FLL teams involved in this qualifying tournament: congratulations on a job well done! We hope to see you all next year!

The link to the Build Plan can be found below:

Build Plan

Thursday, November 13

Making Progress!

Preparation for Team Phoenix's mini-build game is underway! The five subteams are currently working on completing individual tasks in order to finish the robot. The team members have been working efficiently in order to finish the individual components of the robot in a timely manner. If all goes as planned, the robot should be complete before Game Day (Saturday, December 6th).

 During the last two meetings, the mechanical subteam has made quite a bit of headway in terms of machining and assembling the drive train. From sawing and filing to utilizing CAD to design the components of the robot, the framework of the robot is sure to be finished soon. Thanks to the hard work of the wiring subteam, the control board for the robot is now complete. The coding subteam is right on schedule: they have finished the coding for the camera as well as the drive train. The business subteam has been working in order to prepare the entire team for the FLL tournament as well as other outreach opportunities. A schedule has been laid out by the systems subteam, and is updated whenever necessary, to ensure the utmost accuracy.

In addition to working individually, the subteams have been collaborating throughout the course of the project. The collaboration between the subteams is a crucial element of the mini-build season. It is also great preparation for the build season, which will commence in early January. Being well acquainted with not only one's own work but the work of others is not only beneficial but also necessary. After all, a team is greater than the sum of its parts.

Updated Build Plan

Tuesday, November 11

Barnes & Noble Bookfair

Christmas is right around the corner! Whether it be a paperback book hot off the presses or an ultra-portable book for Nook, our Barnes and Noble fundraiser is sure to help you to find the perfect gift for everyone, this holiday season! Come visit us on December 4th from 6pm to 8pm at Barnes and Noble. If you can't make it to the fair, please visit the Barnes and Noble website to support us online from December 4th to December 8th. The following code can be used at the checkout in-store or online: bookfair ID 11359767.

Saturday, November 8

Mini-Build Season Begins!

The Systems subteam created a game in order to practice picking up objects and maneuvering around obstacles. The object of the game is to pick up (and transport) as many tennis balls as possible from one end of the 16' x 20' field to the other. Each match lasts for two minutes: teams must drive a robot (with or without a camera) in order to score as many points as they can during this time duration. This mini-build game was designed with specific goals in mind. In addition to practicing for the build season, the challenge was created to promote teamwork and a general feeling of enthusiasm among the many members of Phoenix Robotics.

After brainstorming extensively, our team determined that we would build a medium-sized robot with a frame size of 18" by 26" in order to accomplish this task. The team felt that maneuverability and speed were both important in this challenge. In addition, the robot was designed to be durable so that damage would not be inflicted if the robot collided with an obstacle. The drive train of the robot features drive wheels as well as omni wheels. The omni wheels increase maneuverability while the drive wheels allow the robot to have traction. A roller with bristles is used to pick up the ball and keep it in place. It spins counterclockwise in order to accomplish this. In order to place the tennis ball into the goal on the opposite side of the field, the roller may be spun in the clockwise direction.

The team is currently hard at work, in terms of constructing the various components of the robot. The five subteams are using a "divide and conquer" approach in order to accomplish this task. After fifteen more hours in meetings, a fully functioning robot is scheduled to be ready for the mini-build game, which we are awaiting with great excitement and anticipation.

The links to our build plan and manual for the mini-build season can be found below:
Build Plan