Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Open House Here We Come!!!

Tonight everyone is mostly working on cleaning for our open house on December 3rd. We will be showcasing our previous robots and all the great things we have to come here at 1720 Phyxtgears.

There will be short videos to show you all that we have to offer you. Videos for the Building, Workroom, CAD team (Computer Aided Design,) and for the mechanical side of things.

There will be light snacks (But they won't float away I promise!)

This is a great way to learn more information about our robotics team in case you are intrested in joining or just want to know a little more about the fun that goes on here at Phyxtgears. There will be a sign-up sheet available for you to sign if you are interested in joining so we can give you more information.

The open house is again on December 3rd from 6:30-8:30pm at our work shop in the Morrison Mock Industrial Plaza. We hope to see you there!

Jamie Bennett
1720 Blogger

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Working in the work room AND the Computer room!

Tonight has been rather busy as there has been a lot to do in the computer room, and the work room.

This evening in the work room people have been hard at work. Our most recent robot (Green Go) needed a wheel bracket job and so people are hard at work on those. "We are fixing Green Go" stated my brother Jeremiah. Ryan is pretty much in charge of doing things to Green Go. At the moment along with some other complicated terms here what went on: Ryan is working on putting brackets on the robot and he is working on getting the motors to move so they can change the belt sizes so they can turn the wheels. Along with other things, that's all I got from the Work Room tonight.

In the computer room, Anna Dodd has been hard at work on the videos for the open house. "The hours have been long. But I believe that the finished product will be well worth it!" Said Anna when asked about her work in progress.  Michael, our student animation mentor, along with other things and according to him an "Awesome Person." is working with Caleb and Jacob on some fun animation projects.

This Saturday we have a cage match at Brownsburg High it will be all day from 8-4:30, there will be thirteen other teams from across Indianan present. Some of the adults are working on the budgets and seating arrangements for the cars. It doesn't sound like much but we would be stuck here if it weren't for them!

So that is the update for this week! If I forgot someone or something I'm sorry but there is only so much awesomeness I can generate in one night, and if I included everyone in every article the whole blog would explode!

Hope you all enjoyed my first blog post,

Jamie B.
1720 blogger

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Time Exploring 1720

 There were several new students here tonight. They had a few demonstrations to explain what they are all about. The first demonstration was about CAD (Computer Aided Design). Basically, it was about designing parts to use on the robot. The coolest part was that you can actually print your pieces using a 3-D printer. Next, we talked about animation. Animation is separate from designing the robot (CAD) instead you make a minute-long cartoon. Programming is (in my opinion) the hardest of them all. From what I understand, programming is telling the robot what to do. Hearing about LabView for the first time was confusing. LabView is the program used to make programs for the robot.

Coming in and seeing what the robots actually looked like was surprising. While I was expecting to see a trim little model completely encased in metal, the real robots had wires all the over the place, plastic parts and steel frames. It looked cool, but not what I was expecting. I can't wait to see a robot actually work and move!

~ A Student Visitor

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back again, with fun things ahead!

Tonight went really well. We had a short meeting to go over a few plans for future events then just worked on things around the machine shop. Our team is now planing a get together for all our team members, just to hang out, relax and play some Frisbee! The next thing on our agenda is cage match around October, so we have a while to get ready for that still.

*1720 Parents!!!* Please be checking your e-mail for updates, our team can not run with out your help and participation! :)

*High School Students* If you are interested in joining our team or just coming to check out the program, NOW IS THE TIME!!! We are currently in our off season, which means it is time to recruit new members and find more sponsors too! If you are in 9th-12th grade and from around Muncie/Delaware County, and at all interested in anything PROGRAMING, ANIMATION, CAD, DESIGN, MACHINE WORK, SHOP SKILLS, PEOPLE SKILLS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, BLOGGING, WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY, ELECTRICAL, DOCUMENTATION, VIDEO, or WEB DESIGN... COME SEE US :D. If you have any questions at all about robotics or the FIRST Robotics Challenge program, please send an e-mail to phyxtgears@gmail.com.

*Others/Businesses* If you are interested in this FIRST robotics program, please contact us. We are doing our best to make efforts to gain more sponsors this year to fund our program but we need your help! Any one can be a sponsor, just send us a your contact info and we will follow up and get things rolling. We would love to have you as a part of our team! There are many benefits to being a sponsor too! Just let us know and we will get you more info. :)

Jessica B.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hello Again!

Here we are again! :) Tonight we had a day to let the parents talk about ways they can help us grow our team and to raise funds. Other than that it has been a really slow night. We had a lot of team members come tonight, so we put them to work in the machine shop working on miscellaneous projects. There were also several visitors today!

That's it for today,
Jessica B.

Monday, April 29, 2013


There will be an informal parent meeting Tuesday night during our regular team meeting. Please be there if you can, we need all parents to at least come to one of these meetings.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Getting Back Into Gear!

Tonight we had a short parent meeting to start off the night. If you couldn't make it tonight and would like the notes check your e-mail.

Other than that it was a pretty slow night... we just did a little work on our robot to fix the kinks and get it ready for any demos that we will put on and to keep it ready for Cage Match in the fall.

Jessica B.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First Meeting of our Almost off Season

The reason it is our almost off season is because we still possibly have two more competitions to go to. There will possibly be IRI (Indiana Robotics Invitational) In July or August. Then after that later in the year (usually around October) we will probably go to cage match. Then we will start our build season all over again in January!

Before then we will for sure have to do a lot of fundraising and team member recruiting as well. If you would like to be one of our sponsors for next year please let us know! Just send an e-mail with any questions to phyxtgears@gmail.com. Also, if you know any high school students from around Muncie/Delaware County who might be interested in joining a FIRST Robotics Challenge Team please let us know and I will do my best to get you the information you need. There are a lot of other things that we do besides building a robot too. We have sub teams for PR, programing, animation, media, and others as well. As we have more kids coming in we will need more adult mentors too! If you think this sounds like something you want in on, again, let us know!

Tonight was also a parent meeting, for them to see how this year went over all and what next year might look like for us. If you are a parent and would like a copy of the notes again let me know and I will send you a .pdf of the notes.

So that's it for tonight,
Jessica B.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Last Day of Regionals

Today was an interesting day for us at the FIRST Robotics Crossroads Regional. We only had three chances to play today in order to make a total of 10 qualification matches. These rounds are so that the other teams can see what you can so and so that each team can have a ranking by the end of the day. By the end of our ten matches we won five and we lost five. So that put us right around the 20th ranking spot. Basically the top eight teams get to pick two others to join them to form an alliance in the finals. Then those eight alliances of 24 teams compete in the elimination rounds of the quarter finals, semi finals and one final match to determine which alliance goes on to nationals. Sadly this year we did not get picked to play any of the elimination rounds. There were a lot of great teams out there this weekend, and we just weren't ready for it, but we gave it a good try! And we all learned something and had a good time out there as well. So now from here we get a week or so off then we will start meeting one day a week to work on random projects and hopefully do a lot of recruiting and fundraising in that time too! So until next time!

Jessica B.

There will be photos soon to come, but if you are dying to see some of them now, there are a few up on our Facebook page, Team 1720 Phyxtgears.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day Two!!!

Now we know what we can do and what we are good at. Now the other teams do to, so it can go both ways for us. We have a pretty good chance of being picked for one of the final eight alliances, at least hopefully after today we do. Today we won four out of seven of our matches! And we even got two fun awards for our creative pit design, I guess our lasers are a big hit!

Jessica B.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day One For Crossroads

Well, day one for us went like this: Leave Muncie at 4:30AM. Get to Terre Haute and unload our tools and what not. Set up. Put together the robot. Then make it to one out of our four practice matches for the day. Then test some more on the practice field. So yeah.... that has been it for today. Enjoy the photos! :) And if you can please follow us on Twitter @Team1720 and Like our Facebook page Team 1720 The PhyXTGears!

Jessica B.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So So Colse!!!

Today is our clean up and pack day! We have been hard at work sweeping, cleaning, and packing for the Crossroads Regional competition. Our robot has been patiently waiting in its bag for the day when it can be unveiled and taken out on the field to compete. We are so so so close!!! The craziness starts at 4:30 AM Thursday. The plan is to clean and pack today, then load up the trailer and pack all of our luggage into cars at Morrison Mock at 4:30 AM Thursday. That we can be pulling out of the parking lot and heading to Rose-Hulman by 5 AM!!! If you want to see a schedule of how things are going to go once we get to regionals click here. Otherwise we will be going from the hotel to the school then back again, and various meals in-between. P.S. our robot now has a name! It was put to a team vote and some of our choices were A.G.R., Bacon, Something Green, T.A.R. (the awesomest robot), and Thing 3. But the winner this year is GreenGo!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Things are really starting to come to a close for us. We are getting closer to our competition and there isn't much left to do as far as working on our robot goes. In the computer lab, I made name tags for the team members who are going to the competition so that the judges will know who is on our team and who to talk to if they have any questions.

In the machine shop we did more testing with our shooter and the lift mechanism. After that Ryan and Jeremiah took the shooter hostage and covered it in paint. Then Madeline was caught at the drive station doing something to our program. The end.

Oh wait! P.S. Some more name suggestions for the robot this year are now BINGO, Walt (After the inventor of the frisbee), and AGR (All Green Robot). We'll see what sticks! Which one do you think it should be? You can vote in the side bar to the right. If you have any more ideas to add you can leave a comment below. :)

Jessica B.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Work Day

Yet again today was a rather slow day for us here at 1720. Things look really different for us from when it's our six week build season to when we are waiting for our regional competition to when we are in our complete off season over the summer. Right now we are just sitting and waiting for our regional competition to come up. We will be going to the Crossroads FIRST Robotics Chalenge regional competition at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology the first weekend in April. So it's comming up and will be here before we know it! If you want to make the drive we would love to see you at the competition! Stop by and say hey or come and cheer with us! :)

That's it for today,
Jessica B.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Counting Down The Days!!!

So today has been a rather slow day. We have the bumpers pretty much finished now! The robot has had some updates made to it's program, and the autonomous program working now!!! Other than that only a little mechanical work has been done tonight.

Until next time (Saturday 1-5!)
Jessica B.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Post Build Season Meeting

Tonight was mostly the night to work on all things random, yet somewhat related to this years robot. (Which is still un-named by the way!)We had people working on the bumpers. People working on programing. More people on perfecting the prototype bot. While working on all things that have to do with getting the proto-bot to work. In the machine shop work included fixing the bands, working on the scoop and dump mechanism for the frisbees, as well as fixing an extension cord.

~Jessica B.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hey, It's Saturday!

Today was a fairly quiet day for us. We worked some more on our prototype robot, so that we can hopefully start practicing with it soon! In the computer room Andrew was working on finishing our autonomous program. Ashley and I got some of our numbers painted on to our bumpers today too. That's really about it for our work day.

Until next time (AKA Tuesday from 6-9)


*NOTICE!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP! WHAT SHOULD WE NAME OUR ROBOT??? We have two robots this year, so we will take the top two name ideas. One will be for our practice robot, the other for our actual competition robot.*

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crossroads Regional Information

Here is a link to the Crossroads web page. This page has all kinds of information about the regionals we will be going to this year. http://www.rose-hulman.edu/offices-services/first-robotics-regional/crossroads-regional.aspx

If you have any questions please e-mail me and I will do my best to find the answers.

Hope you are all having a great week!

~Jessica B.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post Build Season Update

Despite the fact that build season has been over for a week, we still have much to do before competition.
With the final bot bagged until competition, we've turned our attention to the practice bot. There are several issues that need to be addressed before we can actually practice with it. Tonight, there were two major projects. The shooter was updated, with parts being replaced or reinforced to allow smoother mounting and operating. Before tonight, the practice bot had actually been using bolts as axles, so a couple of students worked hard on making new axles.
In the other room, the programmers refined the autonomous program. Jessica worked on finishing the bumpers for our robot.
- Matthew Shaffer

Game Night ~ Friday night (the 1st) from 5:30 to 8:30 at Morrison mock. Bring your games and $3 for pizza and drinks.

Work day schedule ~ Saturdays 1-5 and Tuesdays from 6-9

Also if you are going with the team to Crossroads Regionals (including parents who are going with us), the $150 per person is due before/by Friday!

Then all team members and mentors need to go to www.usfirst.org > FRC > Registration > STIMS and follow the instructions for filling out the FRC team application.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Our build season has come to a close. We even bagged up our robot early this year! It's a new record for us at 11:30 pm!!! And everything on it was working when we put it in too! Well... there was a Trent in the bag at first, but he managed to get out eventually. *OUR NEXT MEETING WILL BE NEXT TUESDAY (the 26th), SEE YOU IN A WEEK!*

Last Day Countdown

Tonight we have to finish working on our robot completely. Our six week deadline is coming to a close tonight at 11:59 pm. We have to have our robot in it's bag before 12am Wednesday for sure! It has to be in the bag, and sealed with special red zip ties put on by our mentors. The ties have numbers on them so that when a mentor signs a paper they can write which numbered tag they put on.

Right now in the machine shop Tim is cutting key ways in gears. While Trent is supervising team members putting thinner bands on our pick up rollers. In the computer lab I have been blogging (obviously...) and trying to get logo stickers ready to put on our robot, in between working on the robot's bumpers.

We did get our robot to climb some tonight too! It is also driving and moving really well. Now we just have to perfect the pick up a tiny bit and practice shooting a couple more times before we bag it up for the end of our build season.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What We Did Today


In other news that is much more important.... today was a really good day for the team. We got the robot over to the gym and so far I think we have a few of the kinks worked out program wise... We did manage to get in a little drive practice too! We are soooo close to getting everything to work, which is a very good thing considering our "ship date" or "bag and tag night" is tomorrow! Now it's just putting the finishing touches on the robot and doing some drive and shooting practice before we put it in a bag for the next month until our regional competition in April.

Jessica B.

Monday Announcement!!!

Today we have to have our robot working! That way on Tuesday night before midnight we can out our robot in it's bag and seal it. We will be working from 6-9 tonight then tomorrow we will start at 6 then work until we have to stop at 11:59pm.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Well.... It's Saturday Again

Today was a pretty good day. We got quite a lot done! I got to go on a road trip to Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann's to get fabric for our bumper covers so I wasn't around for a while. I am told though that while I was gone:
Hannah made a bracket for a sensor, and that she is currently working on a replacement shaft for one of our wheels. Jeremiah made a mount for the climbing system and was working on that whole device. Matthew S has been mounting the shooter to the prototype robot. Thant way we can keep working on it after we put the other robot in it's bag. Tyler machined some parts for the robot. The Andrews have been working on stuff... while Madeline has been working on code. Ryan made different spacers and other random things for the robot, and was the one telling me all of this so he didn't have to blog.... so if it's wrong it's not my fault ;).

Jessica B.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Work Continues!

Today was a day full of hurry up and wait. In the mechanical room, the robot proceeded to remain brokded, apparently the fault was in the digital sidecar which was being a jerk and not working. Tim worked on a new motor mount to mount the special motor that does that one thing on our robot. He also made shafts for this motor and cut a key way because apparently motors are locked. I made it so the robot can float on a magical pillow of air blown from Mikes lungs (really it works by a winch pulling on an arm that is exactly 22.5 inches off the ground and 1 17/32 inches from the outside of the robot.) Yeah that's all that happened today at Muncie robotics.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Tuesday!!!

We are now hooking up the shooter, and are having a little trouble getting it to fit within the limit. The bands are going on the lift, and there are a few miner problems that are also being worked on.

Later in the evening we took our whole robot over to the gym to do a little test practice. It went pretty well actually. We made a few shots in a row with our new shooter and it was pretty accurate. It will be even better once we have it adjusted so that it will fire perfectly every time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Down to the Wire

We are to the final count down for this build season. We only have one more week left to finish the robot for this year! So far we have come quite a ways with out prototyping so now we really have to get going on our actual bot! For an extra work day, tonight was pretty quiet. We did manage to get quite a bit done though~

We have the actual tower ready to go now, and the drive base was finished a while ago. We are still working on the shooter part, and we plan to be testing it by tomorrow. For tonight though we have been working on other things.

With all of this going on in the machine shop there wasn't much being done in the computer lab.

In other news, THE ROBOTICS SCRIMMAGE MATCH IS THIS SUNDAY!!! So spread the word and invite your friends to come and watch a practice robotics match going on live in the old Ball Gym Sunday afternoon!

~Jessica B.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Today we did our first test launches of the new launcher. The distance achieved was spot on and consistency was pretty good for a first attempt. The CAD team cadded the cad for the launcher, again using the wonderful language of math to figure out where the guide for the launcher should become straight in order to hit the goal. The mechanical team worked on the axles for the frisbee pickup system, and started work on a funnel for the frisbees to enter the pickup. It doesn't sound like much but this was all accomplished by a group of seven to five people!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Back to Being a Saturday Again

Today we continued to work on our various prototypes. Which include the whole robot, the shooter, and the pick up mechanism. We also worked on the actual robot some more.

With the shooter we are changing our design again. We have gone from two linear wheels, to a band driven by two gears, and now to one wheel in the center of a large disk that will spin the frisbee around and shoot it out of the front. Similar to a clay pigeon shooter.

Because we are getting so close to our deadline there will be two optional work days. They will be this coming Monday, February 11th and Friday, February 15th both sessions will be from 6 to 9. Also, please bring in your mugs!!! Otherwise you will have to use the water fountain!

By Jessica B.

*Update from later in they day by Michael*

Today we changed the design of the shooter from a linear design to a circular one. The most astounding effect this had was that Matthew and I actually did math! It turns out you really do use trig functions in real life! Sine Cosine and Tangent saved the team a lot of headaches and time. 
On the mechanical front, the final robot is starting to come together, with the lift for the competition bot being started.

By Michael M.

Photos from Instagram via Ashley

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday, A Day For Stuff

Ryan and Jeremiah worked on the lathe.
I worked on the robot trying to get the lift system to work better.
Matthew worked on the new robot’s wheels.
Jeremiah also worked on the mill.
Michael worked on welding.
Christian worked on a part for the robot’s wheels.

By Asher Cougill

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Tonight was an interesting evening. We didn't have any one here to take pictures so this blog will have to be sad and lonely on it's own tonight. We did some work done on the robot though. It now has hooks and cables that will allow it to hang on (or climb) the tower at the end of the match. The actual robot now has it's electronics panel ready to go as well. The prototype bot is almost ready to drive too! We just have to work out a few small kinks then it should be ready to go by tomorrow! In a few more days we have to copy what we did right on the prototype and make sure that we can do it right again on the actual robot, then we have a robot for competition!

If you have seen the game animation and think of any ideas for names, you should let us know by commenting at the end of this post. We are running short on creative ideas for this years robot.

So yeah, that's it for today.

~Jessica B.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let the fun Begin!

Today was a relatively quiet night, not to many people came, but there were enough people to work on different things throughout the night.

Tonight we did a lot of work on our prototype bot, it got a new motor that drives the pick up system. We put new drive gears and bands on the drive train. The chassis of the actual bot got a bit of a makeover too. Parts of the wheels had to be lathed somewhat, then the motor mounts had to be milled some too. The shooter is still being added to and worked on. In the machine shop we are also trying to train more people to work the lathe and mill.

As far as things go in the computer lab, the CAD model has been getting an upgrade. Then the programmers were working on programming and wiring for the actual robots control panel. The Andrew's were also messing with one of our sensors to see how or if it would work for our robot. Anna has been editing videos and then I am doing this blog tonight! :)

~Jessica B.

Prototype Bot



Actual Drivetrain

Lift System