Saturday, January 14, 2012

One Week Down, Five To Go

For the first week of build season, our efforts have brought about some impressive feats. In past years, most of our first week was spent with mentors and students discussing ideas and concepts. This year, we've really made some tough decisions and all of our subteams are actually on schedule or ahead of schedule because of it. If we can keep the pace, we should have sufficient time to debug our software and give our drive team some much-needed driving practice.

The mechanical subteam divided into several different groups at the beginning of the week. The amazing Ryan and his sidekick Jeremiah managed to put together a complete chassis that will soon house our robot innards. The bulk of the rest of the team finished a mechanical catapult that can launch the basketballs for this year's game from one wall to another. The device still has to be perfected, but with the team's head start I have little doubt the device will be through the next stage of testing within the near future.

The programming/electrical subteam spent the vast majority of the day working on a sensor that will allow our robot to "figure out" if there is a ball within its collector mechanism. If there is, the robot will push the ball into its hopper so that said ball can be shot into one of the many goals on the field. In addition, the programming team spent some time on the Kinect. After the breakthrough on Thursday that allowed the team to control various motors on our robot with hand and other body motions, the team is optimistic about its use and, if all goes according to plan (it never does, but we can always hope) we will have a working autonomous incorporating the Kinect.

A great week. Good job team. Go gears!

Andrew Rhine
Programming/Website Team

A Team Needs Team Members

Our team is made up of a group of highschoolers from all around central Indiana. Just for future reference here is a list of every student that is on the team thus far. 

Andrew Rhine, Andrew Shaffer, Anna Dodd, Ashley Martin,
Dakotah Waters, Douglas Cassell,
Hannah Shaffer,
Jeremiah Bennett, Jessica Bennett,
Madeline Van Ness, Maggie Taylor, 
Matthew Plamowski, Matthew Prymek, Matthew Shaffer, Michael Mckean,
Ryan Spangler, Tyler Moore, Zachary Lewis.

We wouldn't be a functioning team without our amazing mentors and awesome parents!

Our mentors are: 
Brian Zabel, Cheryl LeBlanc, Christine Rhine, David Cassell,
Gary Rice, Jackson Eflin, Jeremy Lewis, Mike Koch,
Nathan LeBlanc, Shawn Van Ness, Tim Moore.

Many thanks to the parents, siblings, and friends who are there for 1720!

Jessica Bennett

All the Links You Could Want

ATTENTION!!! PhyXTGears now has a youtube channel! Check it out and spread the word. :)

We do have another blog on the Muncie Star Press web site.

Then of course there is this blog. Spread the word to all your friends (facebook or otherwise).

This is our teams website.
 And another team site

Also, this wouldn't be build season without a robot game challenge!
Rebound Rumble Animation

Jessica Bennett

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Build Season: Day 6

What happen at robotics today? Due to the snow not everyone showed up, but one of the prototypes did get finished. And we got to play with a strobe light... I mean work on an idea for the robot (Ya that is right.)

Anna Dodd
Documentation Team

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Build Season: Day 5

Today Hannah Shaffer worked on putting the transmission together. Athena and Ashley Nagel worked on chassis cutting off some parts and putting them together. Matthew Shaffer worked on a CAD model for the robot. Ryan Spangler and Jeremiah Bennett helped level the prototype ball slinger and finished working on the thing that pushed the ball into the slinger. Douglas and Matthew Plamowski put the motor on the prototype robot. Nathan LeBlanc worked on spacing the wheels so that they would be even with the ball.   

Ashley Martin
Mechanical/Media Team

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Build Season: Day 4

Tonight, there were multiple teams working on several prototype designs, among other things.  We're still in the stages of figuring out what we can and can't achieve, which is where prototyping comes in.

The documentation team interviewed as many team members as they could.  These interviews should find their way onto the team's YouTube channel soon.

There are several different types of launchers being prototyped at this moment in time.  Some are geared towards getting goals from across the court, but we don't know if we can launch the balls accurately enough.  Others are designed to get easy shots up close, for a certain goal almost every time.  Another team is working on turning one of our old robots into a prototype.

The programming team worked on loading all the necessary software onto their computers.  They also hooked up the Kinect and a few other pieces of hardware.

Matthew Shaffer
Mechanical/CAD Team

Monday, January 9, 2012

Build Season: Day 3

Today we split up into different teams to start prototyping designs for the robot.

The prototyping team I was on worked on a launcher. Anther team worked on a three stage robot prototype. It picked up the balls of the ground, held them in the middle, and then fired them. My brother, Matthew, started working on a CAD design for the robot. We checked the kit of parts to make sure nothing was missing and unpacked everything.
We all had a good time and worked hard!

Hannah Shaffer
Mechanical Team

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Build Season is Here!

Hello everyone and welcome to team 1720's new blog!

Yesterday was the first day of our build season. This is when we find out what kind of challenging game our robot is going to play. This year the game is called "Rebound Rumble!" To see how the game is played you can watch the animation here:

After we found out what the game was, we went straight to work. Yesterday and today were spent thinking and talking about what type of robot we should build, what kind of strategies we should use and the different mechanisms we could use to help us do well in the competition.

From now until February we will be working on our robot six days a week to get it finished. Once it is finished, before we put it in a crate and ship it to Purdue University for "Boilermaker," our regional competition, we will be hosting a practice game here in Muncie. This scrimmage game will give us and other teams a chance to practice with our robots and work out some of the bugs before the real competition.

Until next time,
Jessica Bennett