Thank you to Intertech for supporting FIRST! Learn more at http://www.intertech.com/
Thank you to Intertech for supporting FIRST! Learn more at http://www.intertech.com/
Members, please go to wiki.andersonrobotics.org, and log in using your Google credentials. If your name is not tied to your account (like if your email is just a bunch of numbers or something), email Mark or Sperry with your Google username. Thanks!
Work is finally starting on the website. Content will be cleaned up, and a complete overhaul of the website is in the works. Hopefully the new site will be easier to navigate, and much cleaner than the current setup.
Sorry we haven’t kept you all updated over the past two months – build season and competition prep distracted us! We’ll be heading down to San Antonio tomorrow for the Alamo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Still a few loose ends to tie up tonight, but we’re excited to compete!
Here’s some details about what the CANs have been up to since the end of January:
- We designed, built, and bagged a robot with an almost complete 3rd level corner climbing mechanism and not so complete disc system designed to help support our alliance.
- We hosted our 6th annual “Austin Robot Roundup” end of Build Season Practice Event. We hope it was beneficial to the 11 teams who joined us!
- We submitted what we think is our strongest Chairman’s Award Essay to date – in addition to Woodie Flowers Award and Dean’s List Award entries and our Business Plan – for Judging at Alamo.
- We’ve been working on a 2nd robot to help us finish our designs and make adjustments that we’ll bring with us to Alamo as our 30lb allotted carry-in limit. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten as much driving practice in as we had hoped!
- We’ve been refining and hosting CAN (Careers, Academics, & Networking) Talks – http://cantalks.org/about.html. We hope that teams will be able to attend these talks with us in the future!
- We’ve been spirited! We updated our mascot costume (just a little) and made three really awesome button designs. We hope Alamo teams will like them! We’ve also worked on our pit display.
- We’ll be wrapping up preparation tonight, packing during the day tomorrow, and then sending down our load-in crew ahead of the rest of the team, who will arrive on Thursday morning.
We’re so excited to see and compete with all our friends at Alamo this week! Best wishes to all teams competing at Week 5 events! Safe travels all!
First, we have a disappointing announcement. We made the decision to drop out of the Orlando Regional. The plan was for the team to stay at Disney World and visit the parks for a few days following the regional. Unfortunately, we were not able to raise all the money in time – it’s a really expensive trip for 30-some people. We’re aiming to continue raising and saving money so that we will be better prepared to make this trip happen next season.
It’s almost the end of Week 3! We’ve made lots of great progress, but we still have so much to do!
We’ve focused our attention on the challenging level 3 climb (on exterior corner) and being a support bot (scavenge off the ground and low feeder and feed discs to alliance partners). The team came up with some really interesting designs that we’ve run with. There’s been lots of prototyping and CADding and we’ve made great use of our 3-D printer as well. We’ve made sure to have strategic design and contingencies built in should we not reach our goals.
Since the end of week one, we’ve had team members practice driving our test drive base. For the first time ever, we’re building two robots so that when we bag up the official one, we’ll have an identical copy available to practice with. We’ve had a few hangups putting together the VEXPro drive bases we selected – the recommended parts specifications were not right for our selected configuration – but we have things under control now and should have both fully functional in the next day or so.
Our Business and Marketing division have made great progress. We have just a little more editing to do on our Business plan. The Chairman’s Award essay is going through some additional work and revision until we’re satisfied. Thankfully, with Alamo being a week 5 event this year, we have even more time to prepare our Chairman’s presentation and video. Lots of interview footage has already been collected for the Chairman’s video. Team members and mentors have also been busy preparing our Woodie Flowers Award and Dean’s List Award submissions. In addition, we designed 3 great buttons and have made almost 1000 buttons total. Here’s hoping we qualify for Championships so they won’t go to waste!
Have a great 2nd half of build season, everyone!
Last Saturday, the CANs joined 15 other teams at the local Kickoff event in north Austin for the reveal of the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Game – Ultimate Ascent. Our team was given the task to design and build a robot to score frisbees in goals and climb a large pyramid… if it were only that simple. Check out the game rules in the link for more details!
Team 2158 had a very successful first week of build season; our mentors are remarking that the progress we’ve made already makes them feel like it’s Week 3 – compared to our previous seasons – and not the end of Week 1. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
After the game reveal and valuable workshops at Kickoff, the team returned to Anderson High School for several hours of reading the rules together as a team. We met again on Sunday to do in depth scoring analysis and review potential game strategies. We divided into groups to brainstorm strategic match sequences and, after each group presented their match strategy, reduced these divergent strategies down to into an overall team strategy.
On Monday, each team member was asked to contribute ideas for mechanisms aligned with our overall strategy. Team members brainstormed individually, provided rapid mechanism input to the team, and then split into groups again to discuss their proposed mechanisms and provide notes for the Design Team.
Tuesday onward, the team divided into their six departments to work on necessary projects while the Design Team – comprised of a few members of some of these departments and our engineering mentors – flushed out mechanism ideas, produced mock-ups, and worked on prototypes of our final design plans. Our Mechanical division assembled a drive train for testing purposes and driving practice. The Electrical division setup and wired the control system and collaborated with the Programming division to configure the CRIO and establish a basis for controlling the robot. CAD has been busy converting supplied Kit of Parts and Field elements into Solidworks compatible files in preparation for producing designed robot components and layouts. Our Strategy division created a score-countering calculating spreadsheet, initial scouting sheet drafts, and are working on building the Field elements we’ll need for testing and for Austin Robot Roundup – our end-of-build practice event in February. Finally, our Marketing/Business division has continued to work on drafts of our award submissions – Chairman’s Award, Woodie Flowers Award, and Business Plan - and a variety of spirit materials – button designs, mascot costume, and this year’s special team giveaway.
We have a busy day ahead of us and lots of tasks to complete! Best wishes to all teams as we head in to Week 2!
This weekend, teams will be gathering for the reveal of the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition game at local Kickoff events around the country. The ausTIN CANs will be joining other Austin area teams at the Hill Country Bible Church Northwest early on Saturday morning for the local Austin Kickoff event.
The team has been busy preparing for the 2013 season all fall. Our 30 students have received training in electronics, mechanical engineering and machining, CAD, programming, strategy, and business and marketing. We’ve already begun preparing a variety of award submissions and have organized our state-of-the-art machine shop at Anderson High School. We’re excited to put all we’ve learned into practice to design, build, and compete with our newest robot at the Orlando Regional and Alamo Regional this March.
Stay tuned for more updates as the 2013 build and competition season progresses! We look forward to seeing many of our friends again this spring! Happy Kickoff!!
Teams from all over Texas will be gathering in the state’s capital at the end of July to participate in the 2nd annual Texas Robot Roundup. The event will be held at Anderson High School in Austin, TX on Friday, July 27th and Saturday, July 28th. Team 2158, the ausTIN CANs, are excited to serve as hosts for thirty-six teams from around Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley.
In addition to planning the Alamo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in San Antonio each spring, the Alamo Region (www.alamo-first.org) works to provide Texas teams with an additional opportunity to play during the off-season at Texas Robot Roundup. Teams will compete in the 2012 FRC game, REBOUND RUMBLE, on an official field provided and staffed by AndyMark, Inc. Additionally, Texas Robot Roundup will provide teams with other unique opportunities, such as a Mentor Tournament, Robot Skills Challenge, and workshops and presentations on a variety of topics.
Texas Robot Roundup is an opportunity for FRC teams, both veteran and rookie, to come together one more time to share experiences, learn from each other, build new friendships, practice and compete with their robots, and have fun. This is also an opportunity to bring new team members, mentors, volunteers, and sponsors up to speed on what FIRST is really all about.
Texas Robot Roundup has been made a possible through the generous support of Title Sponsor National Instruments and Platinum Sponsor Time Warner Cable, the Central Texas Robotics Alliance planning commitee, and volunteers from across the country. We truly appreciate all your support! For more details on the event, please see: www.roubotroundup.org (or click the link above).
We look forward to seeing you soon! Go teams!
Event Director, Texas Robot Roundup
Mentor, ausTIN CANs – FRC Team 2158
Assistant Regional Director & Volunteer Coordinator
Alamo Regional, FIRST Robotics Competition
Thanks to everyone who supported the ausTIN CANs throughout the 2012 FRC season!
ausTIN CANs, team 2158, was mentioned during the FRC Championship Opening Ceremonies. Ray Hsu, K-12 Program Manager at National Instruments, talked about the team’s involvement in designing a better knee brace. Popular Mechanics interviewed the team about this special project while at Championships. Check out the article HERE!
The team had a great time competing and, despite some technical problems along the way, was also recognized with some surprise Championship hardware – the Galileo Division Coopertition Award! ausTIN CANs also made some great new friends. The team is so grateful to have had the chance to compete at Championships for the first time since 2007. We look forward to hopefully earning our way back next season! But for now, it’s off-season time! We hope to see you all at Texas Robot Roundup this summer!
We leave in one week for the FRC World Championships in St. Louis! As of right now everything is almost done, we have made improvements to the shooter mechanism on the robot. We have also made improvements to the website as you can see, and we have also maximized our spirit items for worlds as well! So wish us luck as we leave for worlds next week!