Day 1. Jan 7, 2017

Kickoff Day!

We went to Katy STEAM Center for kickoff and to pick up our kit of parts.


After coming back we started to go through the rulebook and making sure that all of the students know what the game entails.

We also started to brainstorm ideas for the different subsystems of the robot:

  • Drivetrain
  • Shooter
  • Intake
  • Gear collector/mechanism
  • Hanging mechanism

The team was divided into 2 and each group came up with their priorities for the robot:

We then went through the priorities together as a team to finalize and combine our list. The students also put their names under what group they want to be part of:

Day 41. Feb 18, 2016

A lot of work was done on:

  1. Final robot intake (some parts were remade and the bracing is a lot better now)
  2. Drivetrain (all of the chain and wheels and sprockets are ready to put on, bearings are in the drive)
  3. Electronics (all of the electronics were neatly done and look/work amazing for now!)


The electronics are all done and are neat with Weidmuller connectors and andersons on everything. This helps with cleanliness of the wires.

Now just to put it on the final robot and organize/ziptie wires.


We did also get our aluminum wheels but most likely will not have time or weight (they are 2 times heavier) to use them. But hey fun offseason project to anodize them and put them on the robot!



Day 40. Feb 17, 2016

Final robot starting to come together. For some reason no pictures of the final robot being assembled… Will have to fix that but in the meantime here is out todo list for the next couple days. (this does not include programming, they have a lot of work)


Day 39. Feb 16, 2016

We finally got all of the tape measures and motors on the practice robot. These will be used to deposit a hook that we will use to winch ourselves up onto the bar.


We also got our anodized parts and put them together without any fasteners to see how it all will fit. We found out we are about 1/4 inch over our perimeter dimension. The reason is that some of the bends stick out more than others (yay doing everything by hand!). So we just got a dremel and had to dremel the sides off a little to get back in the 120 inch perimeter.




Day 29. Feb 6, 2016

Saturday, in plan this is the big CAD day to finish everything up but at first we decided to get all of the parts tested to see what was wrong and what we had to change on the robot. Today we had a lot of members show up and a lot got done.

Here is the list for CAD:

  1. Intake needs to move back as we don’t have a good handoff between the intake and the shooter.
  2. Intake also needs to be changed to fit between the 8 inch bumper rule from each corner.
  3. The shooter needs to be higher angle (a lot of testing was done today on the angle/trajectory of the shot and how it reacts to different angle/speed)
  4. Electronics are cramped so we need a good place for them in CAD and on real robot.
  5. Gearboxes could be moved down and we have a lot of space on outside of the wheels so we can shorten the robot.
  6. Bumpers need to be added as well as the supports.

Most of this was done but some of it will be done at home by some of the members. The parts will be cut after school Monday so there is time to check everything and get things finalized before then.

A lot of work was also done on the scaler. The idea we have been dilligently working on for the last 3-4 days had to be scrapped as it was not very well executed, did work well at all actually.

For the hanger the current prototype is a tape measure that will deposit a hook onto the bar which will winch us up as high as we need to go.

This will be easier as we have tested this and the big tape measure does not bend, takes up less space and will be very quick to go up to the climber bar. This should give us a lot more space to work with as well as this will be a much more compact system.

Our scouting group also created a sample template for scouting which will be iterated on to create the final scout sheet we will use at our regionals.


It is now week 5! Only 2 weeks left of build season and a lot to do!

Day 28. Feb 5, 2016

Today we did a lot of prototyping and figuring out what everything will look like and what it will do.

Here are the parts we worked on:

We got the shooter and intake on the current drive train and were able to test it a little:

Here is the shooter test:

Here is the drive going over different obstacles:

So far everything is going to plan.

We also continued to work on the hanging mechanism.

Day 27. Feb 4, 2016

Not a lot was done today as we had a decently bad turnout but we put the intake on the robot with just 2 2x1s of aluminum. This allowed us to see what the final dimensions and intake would look/act like.

We also planned for the following day expecting a lot of people as it is getting to crunch time.

The basic schedule for the next couple of meetings:

  1. Friday – final intake, shooter and drivetrain all together working
  2. Saturday – hanger prototypes done and tested, CAD finalized for final cutting of the practice and competition robot
  3. ┬áMonday – plasma cut the final robot (2 copies)
  4. Monday after school – clean up plasma cut parts (both copies)
  5. Monday night – bend both copies of the robot
  6. Tuesday AM – give one copy to anodizing
  7. Tuesday start building the practice robot (non-anodized version)

Tomorrow we will finish building everything and make a plan for what to change in the final CAD iteration and the final robot version.

Day 24. Feb 1, 2016

The chairman’s team met today to work on the essay and questions. Looks like major progress was done.

A version of the essay was sent to proofread to a former mentor of a team we know.

Another 2 defences are done. The moat and the rough terrain. They were done using liquid nails. Well see if liquid nails are better or as good as real nails.

The battery cart was disassembled and sanded in preparation for a “test” anodization. Well see how it turns out and hopefully the robot will look awesome as well.

Big build week coming up. All of the parts for the gearboxes, shooter and intake should be here tomorrow so assembly and tweaking will start tomorrow.

Day 18. Jan 26, 2016

After a couple of days break (hopefully the students caught up on school work) we came back together to continue working on the first iteration of our robot.

The programming team has been working on figuring out commandbase programming and getting just one motor to run using command base as a starter.


Today marked a success of that milestone. The programming team will now start implementing the drive base in the command base type environment so that when the drive is finished we can test. (this is scheduled for the end of the week)

A team was created to start working on the mechanism to scale and hang. They started prototyping something very similar to a winch. There are several other ideas floating around right now as well. We will prototype this mechanism this week and will hopefully start adding it to the CAD over the weekend.

As seen in the CAD we decided to go with the 8 wheel drive for now.

The parts were plasma cut at our sponsor – Lincoln Electric and bent using the generous support of the local FRC 3847 Spectrum!


It was a long night bending all of the drive-train and shooter parts. We had some issues bending the shooter parts as the final dimension of the width turned out to be a little wider than expected, but we realized what was wrong: we had the wrong radius bends in CAD so will change that for the next iteration. For now they will be modified to fit.

Here is some math that was done to compare our current prototype that uses CIMs and the final version that will (hopefully) use the 775pro’s (they have already been changed out from the CIMs, and just need to be tested):




The drive-train also had to be modified a little on the edges in order to be bend correctly but with a small adjustment it was bend and is ready to be put together.

The sprockets and hubs and basically a large vexpro order for the drivetrain came in today so we should be ready and have all of the parts to start assembly.

Next Steps:

  1. Put together drive train/gearboxes.
  2. Put together the shooter
  3. Slap our old/prototype intake onto new drive.
  4. Create a secondary intake/defense pusher on the front
  5. Finalize prototype for the climber
  6. Make changes in CAD based on shooter and drivetrain tests/fitment
  7. Fit climber onto the CAD
  8. Fit defense pusher onto the CAD