Monday, December 31, 2012


A very Happy New Year from all of us to you!!! We wish you all the best for 2013!

Now, to help everyone here in Muncie ring in the New Year we are taking our New Years Ball downtown again this year and setting it up for an amazing show that will be sure to help Light up Downtown! Here is a link to the local Star Press that has some more information on other cool things that are in the works for tonight.

Again, from all of us to you, have a happy, fun, and safe New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We keep on keeping on

Our ball is still in pieces across a couple of tables with it's multitude of wires still needing to be soldering into place. We are running low on time now, which is some times when we do our best work. We are two weeks away form our deadline to have this thing totally up and running! I think we can do it!

For one thing our program is pretty much ready to go... hopefully it works as well on the ball as it does in the computer!

Today we also worked more on the flashlights that will be a part of our light show on new years. There was also some more testing of our fog machine to get it just right for the best show possible on the big day!

Jessica Bennett

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Light in the Mist

Well... We are still working on the New Years Ball again this week.... Some progress has been made since last week. We had an extra work day on Saturday to get a little farther. And by the way things look now we will be having another one this weekend.

Right now most of our balls "guts" are on a table being re-wired. Then our programing team is still hard at work trying to get everything to work while staying somewhat organized. The programmers are also trying to find/make an app that will serve as a timer to make sure the program runs on time.

Oh yes... we are also experimenting with our new fog machine this week... let's just say it can make plenty of fog!!! Both the inside and outside of our building were pretty hazy by the time we were finished with it!

Jessica Bennett

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Work Continues!

This week we are continuing to work on the New Years Eve Ball. We have smaller sub teams this week working on wiring, then other mechanical aspects, and of course programing! Oh and we also got a new fog machine to play with! It's going to be really awesome this year when we take it down town Muncie!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Year is Just Around the Corner for us!

This week we continued to work on our new years eve ball! It's going to take us a while to get it up and running with all of the added changes we have planed.

At the beginning of our meeting tonight Mike went over some of the things we have to make. He listed some of the things we are changing and adding, as well as what we want our new program to do. Now we just have to work on programing, wiring, and some minor mechanical projects, oh and promotional media odds-n-ends. Including blogging and making flyers to hand out down town.

I don't want to give to much away, but I can say that this year the New Years Eve ball in down town Muncie is going to shine bright and that it will be coming in for a spectacular landing at midnight this year!

Jessica Bennett~

Mike, Hannah, and Asher working on wiring 
The New Years Eve Ball, on the inside

Oh, this is our finished practice field

Anna and Larry hard at work

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Awesome Things We Do

For one thing we made a new years eve ball in 2009 and we use it every year to bring in the new year in down town Muncie. This week we started working on it to make it look really awesome for this coming new year. There are going to be some great new things in store, and we are all hoping it works!

Last year we had a couple issues getting our ball to turn on and light up with all of the radio interference. So this year one of the major things we are changing is our radio receptor. Some of our other tricks involve lasers, fog machines, and really bright flashlights! Now I don't want to give to much away, so if you want to see our finished product come to the Cannon Commons, in down town Muncie and see it in person! If you can't make it for some reason, or can't stay to see it drop there will be plenty of pictures! I can say one thing, if it all works as planed (or even close to what we have planned) it's going to be totally AWESOME!!!

Jessica Bennett

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today was the open house, and there were many refreshments. Ashley set up the computers in the computer room so that each computer showed a different website displaying our team. Many prospective members came, showing interest in many areas of the team, including programming and driving. A few people even signed up to be team members.

We had some problems resetting Marvin's WiFi, but we got the issues sorted out after a bit. Marvin's wheel speed was adjusted, and we did some more shooting practice with Marvin, who had no major issues. Some of the team members worked with CAD to make some parts for the mechanical room.

Today went smoothly, and we are happy with the results of the our open house.We hope all who came were happy as well. And that those who couldn't make it will come and see us next year!

Madeline Van Ness

Monday, November 12, 2012

We Are Having an Open House!!!

Muncie/Delaware FIRST Robotics
Team #1720, The PhyXTGears
P.O. Box 218
Muncie, IN  47305

Contact: PhyXTGears                  
Google Voice Mail: 765.203.1720

FIRST Team 1720, The PhyXTGears Open House
Delaware County’s only robotics team. Come see what we are all about! Meet Marvin the ball throwing robot and Muncie’s exclusive New Year’s Ball!

FIRST Robotics Team #1720 - PhyXTGears Open House

November 13, 2012
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Morrison Mock Professional center, at the back of the Meridian Health Services building, by the Life Touch Calling center. 3620 West White River Boulevard, Muncie, IN 47304

The PhyXTGears [fixed gears] FIRST Robotics Team 1720, is holding an OPEN HOUSE to introduce High School students and the general public to the world of science, engineering, computer programming and media presentation. Open to students in and around Delaware County.

Our yearly open house is a great opportunity for High School students to see what’s available to them when they join a FIRST Robotics Team. When you join a FIRST Robotics team, you become a part of a huge community of high school students who are focused on one goal: to improve the world through the exploration of science and technology.

There are many benefits to joining a FIRST Robotics team: You learn how to work with other people, teamwork and team building skills, electrical skills, programming, media (including blogging, photo journalism, public relations, public speaking, and fundraising) mechanical and engineering skills, how to use CAD design software and so much more!

Additional Information about the FIRST Robotics Team #1720 - PhyXTGears

Team 1720 is a FIRST Robotics Challenge Team. ( We are the only team in Delaware County but one of many teams all over the country! If you are a high school student in or around Delaware County and are interested in anything about robots, including how to build, program, design and operate them, you need to check out PhyXTGears. Our new season begins soon!

PhyXTGears does more than just build and compete in FIRST Robotics competitions. For example, did you know:

PhyXTGears designed and operates the New Year’s “Ball” that drops in Downtown Muncie every year?

PhyXTGears holds a yearly scrimmage, hosted at Ball State, where we meet other FIRST teams from all over the US?

PhyXTGears participates in the yearly Crossroads Regional FIRST Robotics competition, to compete for a chance to go to nationals?

PhyXTGears gives back to the community by participating in a variety of volunteer efforts, like cleaning up parts of the Cardinal Greenway every month?

That participating on a FIRST Robotics team makes you eligible for a variety of college scholarships?

There are almost limitless opportunities to learn all kinds of skills that may not have ever occurred to you to even try?

That participation on a FIRST Robotics team looks really good on a resume?

PhyXTGears team members are available for for radio and print interviews. Contact Benjamin Bennett for arrangements. 765.749.8442


For more information, please contact PhyXTGears Google Voice Mail at 765.203.1720, or e-mail

*Team Member Notice*

A note from Tim that every current team member should be aware of:

Hi all,

With the lack of cleaning that went on last week in the mechanical room we have decided to meet at 5 pm on Tuesday. We really need to make sure we look impressive for the open house. The computer room looks great but we really dropped the ball in the mechanical room so everyone please show up and help us get things in shape on Tuesday.

Thanks Tim

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We're back at it again

First of all if this is your first time visiting our blog/website welcome! We are The PhyXTGears FRC (FIRST Robotics Challenge) Team #1720. We are the only team in the Muncie/Delaware County area, and we have high school students from all over Delaware and surrounding counties. If you are interested in getting more information about FIRST or our robotics program, feel free to e-mail us at Or visit FIRST directly at

This week our main focus was cleaning in preparation for our upcoming open house. Said open house will be next week (November 13th) from 6:30-8PM. Come out and see us at 3620 West White River Boulevard, Muncie IN 47304! *Note, if you are currently a team member please still come at 6 to make sure everything is perfect!

Other things going on this week include every one cleaning and sweeping. Tommy got the job of sweeping out the table saw. Trent and Matthew S. are still working to try and repair some of our shelves from last week. Dakotah fixed our welding equipment and was teaching people how to weld by the end of the night.
Re-arranging is in order
Caution! Welding in progress!
Madeline the broom master!

Hannah cleaning up after Madeline

Jessica B.
Blog and Media Correspondence Team

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rainy Day Robotics

Today is a rainy day here in Muncie but that doesn't mean we can't get things done! It's been sort of a do random things night.

Tyler has been working on parts for a saw. Garry is working with Moriah on making paper towel holders for our renegade paper towels! We can't have them rolling around our building! Trent is fixing some of our broken tools, and apparently we have a lot of them. Matthew S. is fixing some of our shelves, only it's the ones that have all of our sheet metal and scraps on them. So that means they have to be cleaned off all the way before it can be fixed in the first place. Michael has been practicing his welding tonight too.

There wasn't a workshop tonight but that means we have more time to clean and get ready for our open house on November 13th. Anna and Ashley have been working on photos and videos, while I have been working on blogging and press release things.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CAGE and other things

First things first, our alliance came in second at CAGE Match!  I believe this is the furthest our team has ever made it in a competition.

Not much needed to be done after the competition, save for general clean-up.  A few reparations and improvements were made to our machines and equipment, including the pneumatic display box and two saws.  Eventually successful efforts were made to fix our robot sizing box, which wasn't fitting together very well.

The software on the new year's eve ball was updated to display 2012-2013, rather than 2011-2012, in preparation for the coming new year.

As a final note, we now have two new sponsors!  Thanks to both Taurus Tool and the Industrial Center Credit Union for their support!

Matthew Shaffer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keep moving forward

Major announcements!!!
1) There will be a 1720 robotics open house on November 13th!
2) Donations are still needed for Cage Match so check your e-mail for the list of what to bring.
3) We will be meeting at 5:30 pm this Friday (the 19th) to pack for Cage, then we will be leaving early Saturday morning.

In other news, the workshop tonight was on the physics of gears. Here are a few of the notes.

-Driver - Gear with power turning it
-Follower - Gear doing something useful
-Idler - Gear turned by driver and turning follower
-Gear Train - Many gears in a row
-Geared Up - Large driver, small follower to speed gear train up
-Geared Down - Small driver, large follower to increase torque
*Note: You can not have both speed and torque you have to choose which one you need more.
Speed = RPM or RPS (Rotations Per Minute/Second or other time unit)
Torque = Inch-oz or Foot-pounds

In the computer lab today The Andrews and Maddy were working on building code for the robot. Anna and I have been working on team media and blog projects. That's about it for this side of the building.

On the other side in the mechanical room, several things have been happening. Several people helped Gary to get rid of an old vice that we can't use any more. Robot drive team practice has also been going on tonight, in preparation for Cage Match this weekend. The programmers also worked to put the robot back into tank drive.

Jessica Bennett
Mechanical and Media team

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's time for some changes!

Today a lot of progress was made in the machine shop trying to convert it to a partial playing field. So far most of the equipment has been moved and carpet has been moved in to it's place. Hannah and Madeline did their part by cleaning and making sure things stayed organized. Ashley was the photographer for tonight. Anna has been working on a sponsorship video, while I have been making sure our Twitter is up to date and the blogs are getting written. Also in the computer room the new set up is complete, with wires that are neatly zip-tied in place.

The workshop for tonight was on the Digital World. Mike talked about different kind of digital buffers (also known as gates) and Micro Controllers.

Also, in other news
1) If any one is planing on going to Cage Match all of your membership forms must be turned in ASAP!!!!
2) We need a volunteer parent to coordinate food and transportation for Cage Match so that we can get there and back and so that we have food for the day.
3) Heads up for planing people, so far we are going to be meeting here at Morison Mock at 5:30am Saturday October 20th to leave for Cage Match all together no later than 6am.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meeting Updates

This wees workshop was on Basic Electricity, if you missed the meting and would like to know more about this topic you can ask any of our mentors at the next meeting.

In the meeting we also talked about the upcoming cage match competition. We need to know at next weeks meeting (By 10-9-12) if you can or can not go. It is highly encouraged that any and all new team members attend and that all of the veteran members come to show the new members how things work.

There were also some other announcements about cage match:

The home page for everything cage is

  1) There is going to be some money available for senior scholarships this year from cage match. One of the ways they raise money for this scholarship is through a silent auction. Here is a link to the scholarship application and a donation form for the auction.

  2) There will be several contest that teams are encouraged to participate in this year.
     *The most blood donated to the Indiana Blood Center
     *The team that donates the most to the Ronald McDonald House
     *There will also be different things happening on Facebook and Twitter as well.
            You can see those here: Twitter Live Feed Facebook (for the Facebook link it will take you to a    
                 log in page first.

  3) There are also flyers that you can print and pass out to your friends and around your school. If you would like the flyers I will send you the pdf file.

Today some changes were made to the computer lab. We moved all of the computers to one side of the room and organized them. It gave us more space to work and made everything look much nicer. Some of the team also spent the evening working to fix Marvin (our robot this year) for cage match. He should be fixed and ready to compete just in time!

In other news we are also converting part of our machine room into a partial playing field. That way we can practice with our robot and fix it all in the same room. Before we would have to take our robot to the gym and pull out carpet there to practice anything. Then when something wouldn't work we had to take everything back to the other side of the building to fix it, and so on. This conversion is planned to happen next week after the workshop. So from 7:17-8:30 on October 9th we will be moving machines, laying carpet, and setting up the playing field!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Meeting of the off Season!!!

This was the first official meeting of our off season. If for some reason you were not able to join us or you are just checking us out for the first time, here is a overview of what we talked about.

~1720 Handbook

~New sign in sheet
     It now includes time in and time out slots to keep a better count of how many hours a student put in during off season and build season.

~Parents are now needing to put in 10 hours of volunteer time now through December to keep the team running and every thing in order.

~The amount of time a team member must commit during build season has been changes from 12 hours a week to 8 hours a week.

~Projects for next week (10-2-12)
1) Read handbook (both students and parents!)
    Students, be sure to study! There will be a test!
2) Fill out team application
3) Have parents fill out hold harmless liability form

~Every Tuesday until December we will be meeting from 6-8:30
     There will also be a workshop scheduled into every meeting from 6:15-7. Today was a workshop on safety.

     Cage Match is coming up! The date is October 20th with a sign up (yes or no commitment by October 9th)
     There will also be a boyscout open house on Tuesday October 2nd!

Projects to be worked on before build season starts
1) Finish fixing Marvin for Cage Match
2) Work on New Years Eve ball
3) Re-wire battery charger
4) Convert space to mini playing field
5) Re-make computer lab
6) Clean up (and keep it clean!)

Jessica Bennett

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Announcement Time!!!

The date for Cage Match this year is Oct 20th (which is a Saturday.) To get all the info see We will be talking more about this at our meetings and have a sign up sheet to pass around eventually.

Another major announcement:

What: 2012-2013 season start-up team meeting
When: Sept. 25
Time: 6-8:30
Place: Morrison Mock Professional Center
Address: 3620 W. White River Blvd (West entrance)
B there or B square!

Also, from now until November 1720 will have regular meetings on Tuesdays from 6-8:30 PM

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fun Fair and Other Updates

Hello everyone!
Today was an awesome day for a robotics demo!!! We had an awesome turn out and lots of interest in the team. If you are one of those interested in joining team 1720 and filled out a form you will be receiving an e-mail in the next month or so. If you are just now checking out the blog and would like more information then send an e-mail to

In other news we will be starting our meetings again in September. More on those dates to come.

Jessica Bennett

Friday, August 24, 2012


Just so you know all of 1720 has not just dropped off the face of the earth. We are still here, and all of us have just now come back form our summer break. (We take some time off after build season and boilermaker to enjoy the summer and to recover so that we can be ready to come back in the fall.) Today we are having a short meeting to set up and find everything we will need for a demo at the Meridian services free fun fair tomorrow. We will have C-4 out there from 11am-2pm, so if you are in the Muncie area you should come over and see us!

More later to come, and this is just the beginning....

Jessica B.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Here We Are Again

Today we worked. Well. Wait that sentence makes it sound like we don't work, but we do. Trust me, we do. Ya know those one people? Well yeah they worked on the shooter today and now they're practicing the feeding, shooting, and running around. See our robot is our kid. Ryan decided to call for things like they were puppies. Poor Zazzy Zaz Zaz got robbed several times today by the other team members. THEY STOLE HER HAT!!! O.O
-Ashley :3

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Off Season It Is....

Well..... Today has been a rather slow day. In the computer room the focus was on organizing our websites and finding places where we can get team buttons and other trinkets. In the machine shop Jeremiah and Ryan worked on a wooden cardinal named Bobby. Tim and Mike worked on the pneumatics on Marvin. The Andrew's and Madeline worked on programing, and gave a demonstration to the rest of the team too. Anna, Ashley, and Hannah worked in "the media corner" on budgeting stuff and searing for other things that can be used for our PR mission and outreach programs. Also... TEAM UPDATE, we are only meeting on Tuesday's now until we can find a day that more people can come.

Jessica Bennett
Blog/Mechanical/PR Sub-team

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First offical meeting

Tonight was our first official meeting after the debrief last week. Last week we went over the pros and cons of Boilermaker this year. We talked a lot about what we can do next year to improve our team and our robot.

Tonight we had a major clean up day to start the off season right. We probably will be doing more cleaning in the meetings in the future so that come build season we will be ready to build and not worry about missing tools. For the off season so far we have cut back our meeting schedule to one day a week (Tuesdays from 6:30 or so). Eventually if the mentors and the students have the time during the week we may end up having meetings two or even three nights a week.

So far we already have projects to work on over the off season. Mostly cleaning up but bedsides that there is a pneumatics display that is in progress, a NXT segway may be in the works too. During the off season 1720 will hopefully be working on our various outreach and PR projects, ranging from making sure we have buttons for Boilermaker next year to working on putting together items for demonstrations over the Summer. Things are looking good so far! :)

Jessica Bennett

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's Packing Time!!!

So today we are going to be loading up pretty much our entire workshop into a trailer along with our robot to take to Purdue for the Boilermaker Regional competition tomorrow. We will finish loading sometime this afternoon and hopefully we will be ready to go at 5:30 AM Thursday for an amazing and fun Regional competition all day Friday and Saturday. Check out for more regional information. Or if you have questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment. :-)

Jessica Bennett
Mechanical/Blog team

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Work Day

We just worked on our shooting and driving today. So far it is looking like the shooter design we have chosen is going to be more trouble than anything else. For some reason the balls all have different consistencies so they all shoot differently. Our next meeting is not until next Saturday. Hopefully we can have all the bugs in the shooter worked out in time before Boilermaker in March. It's looking better every day!

Jessica Bennett
Mechanical/Blog Team

Monday, February 27, 2012

Post Ship/Bag&Tag Day

There was not a whole lot to do tonight. Basically we just worked on getting the prototype bot in working condition. This means working on the program, fixing the sensors, making sure the turret works, and generally tweaking things. Hopefully by tomorrow we will have a drivable and otherwise fully functional robot so that we can work on our accuracy and driving.

Jessica Bennett


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Clean up day

Today was largely focused around cleaning up after build season.  There were a lot of tools and other things left lying around.  Other than that, we worked on assembling the second robot for drive practice.

The programmers discovered a 'very cool fan', while cleaning up their station.  Other than that, they too assisted with getting the second robot functional.  Other than that, almost nothing of note occurred.

Matthew Shaffer
 CAD/Mechanical Team

Week 6: Day 39

Tonight is our final day to work on our robot before it has to go into a sealed bag until competition. We finally got everything working and even did a little shooting practice in the gym across the street. We also fixed everything that didn't work at the scrimmage match, hopefully everything will still work when we get to Boilermaker...

Jessica Bennett
Mechanical/Blog Team

Here are some pictures from our "Bag and Tag" night.

We would not have a working robot with out our programmers!
We play tag too :)

Drive team practice

Almost a 3 point shot!

Ball sweeper

Bagged and Tagged...

Right at 11:59...
and put in a corner, not to be moved until Boilermaker.