Cinco Ranch New Year Pow Wow VEX tournament

Event website here.

Six ausTIN CANs VEX teams planned to travel Killeen to compete in a tournament on 1/12/19. However, with a last minute cancellation of that venue, only one of our teams was able to switch gears and go compete in the Houston area instead. Many thanks to the tournament hosts and to our mentors for getting us registered so late!

2158K took their (newly redesigned) bot to Katy where we met the friendliest hosts on a beautiful and spacious campus. It was a pleasure to compete in such a setting, and we were happy to see some familiar faces there. Still, we missed having our fellow CANs there.

The tournament started off well and then… it proceeded to reveal some areas for improvement. All to be expected with a redesign, but still a little disappointing. (Did you know it is POSSIBLE to earn zero points in a quarterfinal???)

Team K did take home the Design Award which was well-earned. Congratulations!

Design Award

Design Award

FRC Deep Space Launch Date!

The ausTIN CANs team met Saturday January 5th to get started with FRC Build Season. While watching Dean Kamen on the big screen was fun, the highlight is getting our hands on that game information and starting to plan our strategy. We had some members travel to Dripping Springs to pick up sample game pieces. LOVING that yellow safety goggles poster, which is already hanging in the shop and is well coordinated with our team colors!

Let the planning begin!

Anderson VEX tournament Dec 8th

Excitement for this year’s VEX game, Turning Point, continues to build.

Anderson hosted 34 teams for a tournament on 12/8/18 and the cafeteria was buzzing with excitement. ALL of these teams demonstrated such graciousness and patience, as there were some significant delays due to technical difficulties in getting started. But, true to VEX creators’ way of thinking, solutions were imagined and carried out on the fly and the qualification matches were ON.

Congrats to our Tournament Champions; that was an exciting Final match!

The Skills field was a popular place to be, with some awesome scores achieved.

Murchison Hosts Austin VEX Tournament

December 1st, 2018 was the date for Turning Point tournament held at Murchison Middle School. CANs had a strong presence, both as competitors and as volunteers.

Congrats to some trophy winners; you will see them again at State level competition!

Tournament Champions: 2158A (“99.5% reliability”)

Design Award AND Robot Skills Champion: 2158R (“Rotisserie Chicken”)

(photos coming soon)

Night of the Robots Dec 2018

December 7th saw Anderson bustling with youthful enthusiasm as we hosted 60 elementary school students for a night of fun. The cold and wet thunderstorm raging outside was no match for the excitement inside the building. Friends enjoyed demonstrations, robot themed activities, and hanging out with the team over dinner and a movie. Stay tuned for news about our next event!

VEX teams to San Antonio November 2018

Several ausTIN CANs VEX teams made the drive down I-35 to compete in the East Central ISD Fall VRC Tournament- Turning Point held on November 10th, 2018.

Overall it was a good day for the CANs, with an all- Anderson Top Alliance partnership entering the final match. With a stalled drive and a worthy opponent, the CANs lost that match 18-24. While disappointed in not taking home the Championship trophy, the teams gained some valuable experience and also secured 2 awards:

2158X earned the Excellence Award and is now qualified to compete at State.

2158R earned the Design Award, which also qualifies for State (a double honor for them!)

Kudos to all the CANs and their parents who participated in a long day of travel excitement:







And, again, a shout out to our Mentors Mr. Wrencher and Robert for all your support!

The hosts were fantastic, and even put out a welcome sign.

The hosts were fantastic, and even put out a welcome sign.

Last minute troubleshooting

Last minute troubleshooting

Alliance partners in Quarterfinals

Alliance partners in Quarterfinals

Strategic planning

Strategic planning

Final Match!

Final Match!



Houston Maker Faire first VEX event of the year

First VEX tournament of the season in the books! 3 teams traveled to the Houston Maker Faire for a fun 2 day tournament October 13-14, 2018.

Congrats to 2158R (qualified for State by winning the Excellence Award; they also took home the Robot Skills Award), 2158K (Undefeated Tournament Champion), and 2158X (Alliance 2 Captain). All 3 teams did well in Skills (#1, #2, and #3 for the tournament!) and came home with a few new ideas for finessing their designs.

Many thanks to our Mentors for making the trip.

Those convention center hallways can be very long when you are carrying toolboxes!

Those convention center hallways can be very long when you are carrying toolboxes!

REC rep Luis was so enthusiastic about seeing those new V5 motors in action!

REC rep Luis was so enthusiastic about seeing those new V5 motors in action!

Legos and Drones and LEDs, oh my! Houston Maker Faire was an exciting venue.

Legos and Drones and LEDs, oh my! Houston Maker Faire was an exciting venue.

Point counting at the end of a match

Point counting at the end of a match

Team dinner following Day 1 of tournament

Team dinner following Day 1 of tournament

What do you do on the night between tournament days? Fine tuning and new programming, of course!

What do you do on the night between tournament days? Fine tuning and new programming, of course!

Nice match!

Nice match!

Robot Skills Winner: 2158R

Robot Skills Winner: 2158R

(Undefeated!) Tournament Champions 2158K with their alliance partners 1814D

(Undefeated!) Tournament Champions 2158K with their alliance partners 1814D

Excellence Award Winners: 2158R  This award was the only one of the tournament that qualified for State tournament in February. Great job, CANs!

Excellence Award Winners: 2158R

This award was the only one of the tournament that qualified for State tournament in February. Great job, CANs!

Texas Robotics Invitational 2018

Texas Robotics Invitational 2018

Trophy Time!!!

The ausTIN CANs took home a beautiful trophy as tournament champions at the 2018 TRI tournament hosted by Spectrum in Houston.

We were hosting a summer camp at our school the week of the tournament, so only 4 students could make the trip.  Skeleton Crew time!

The event started out with some frustration. The bot had some connection issues that resulted in some problems with moving for a few rounds of play. However, we got it operational again.

Jersey Voltage, 4587, was the Alliance #1 Captain. Together with the RoboWranglers (148) they had the wisdom to select us as their third Alliance partner. Angel Robotics (1339) was added as the fourth Alliance partner and we sailed to victory together. (They carried us.)

Team members (Jon, Mary, David, and Malik) did a great job of working beyond their typical skill sets to overcome some challenges found during the matches. Many thanks to Nathan, our Remote Programmer, who was able to talk us through some rough patches. And a shout out to our rotating team of Mentors who made the trip!

Austin Robot Roundup!

Today is a big day for us and all teams because we have 4 days left until Bag Day, and today is the Austin Robot Roundup! For those of you guys that are not familiar with ARR, it's an end-of-build-season practice event for teams in our region.

Before ARR, we had to set up the entire field at our Cafeteria. It was a lot of work, but many team members worked together to get it done!


And here's the final look of our field. Looks great, right?


This year, Lady Cans (2881), RoboWarriors (2583), and ViperBots Valor (6800) came.

Sadly, RoboWarriors aren't in this picture :(

Sadly, RoboWarriors aren't in this picture :(

Before we get into the details, take a sneak peek at our robot!


Teams are here, bring the robot in!

Since the competition season hasn't started yet and we are not quite finished with the robot, you're going to be seeing many colored blocks covering the robot. Sorry:(

Since the competition season hasn't started yet and we are not quite finished with the robot, you're going to be seeing many colored blocks covering the robot. Sorry:(

Even though it's a fun day at ARR, we can't stop working on the robot because we only have 4 days left until the Bag Day. Wait, but working on robots is fun!


A great thing about ARR is that we get to talk to other teams about our robot and also about their robots.


ViperBots Valor, Lady Cans, and RoboWarriors are all doing so well!

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Don't worry, we're doing great as well.

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Well, we hope to see everyone's fabulous robots at Hub City and Alamo Regionals. Good luck!


Day 29 of Power Up

Sorry for the large gap in between Day 18 and Day 29. Our team has been very busy due to essay submissions and crazy robot building :(


Last week, we finished our drive base and mounted a temporary lift from REV Robotics. Some team members stayed until 3 AM to get this done. Sounds like the hardest fun ever!

Big news! After finishing the drive base, we were able to get some driver practice


Another big news, with our Manufacturing Class, we completed the Switch and Scale! We're now  waiting for more driver practice and Austin Robot Round Up! (February 17)


Similar to last year, we are making our own wheels, which always requires a lot of work. But it's worth it!

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Now that it is Week 5, we are getting more excited about Bag Day and competitions (Alamo and Hub City). We hope other teams are enjoying this great year as well!

Day 18 of Power Up

Welcome to Day 18 of Power Up!


The Chairman's team has started memorizing and practicing for their presentation, and they're looking forward to another great Chairman's presentation.


Busier than ever, the Manufacturing Department is still building parts, and they can't wait to start the assembly process!

And of course, the Electronics Team is always working to help with more prototypes and mechanisms!


Good news! This year we are working to create an amazing scouting app.


Programming and CAD are continuing their work, so don't forget about them!

Howdy Qualifier & Expo

Last weekend, four of our team members have volunteered at Howdy Qualifier & Expo, at College Station!

Four including the person who took this picture.

Four including the person who took this picture.


Greg and Elena were a judge assistance and queuers, and Leah and Cindy were Buddies and Reviewers for FLL Jr.


We also had chances to talk to many FLL teams about their robots!


In the end, it was amazing to help out at this huge FLL qualifier event!


It was our team's first time participating at FLL Jr. event, and it was fun to be a Buddy and a Reviewer.

We were tired from the long drive to College Station, but it was definitely worth it!

Day 8 of Power Up!

The Week 2 of build season has started! Things are going as we planned, because everyone's working and new things are being done everyday! We are already excited to go to competitions (Hub City 3/7 - 3/10 and Alamo 4/4 - 4/7) and meet other teams.


Continuing on from Thursday, we are manufacturing parts for the drive base.


And of course, this manufacturing process is possible because of the accurate CAD drawings.

Let's take a look at our busy machine shop!


And today, the Chairman's Team officially started working on the essay and presentation. Memorizing the JFK Speech was a good start, I guess.

Day 6 of FIRST Power Up

Welcome to Day 6 of FIRST Power Up! Today, we have a low attendance of mentors and students, but we are still working hard for the robot

Two very important groups that weren't mentioned in previous blogs are Programming and Marketing. They have been working in smaller groups compared to Prototyping Groups, but they're still getting so much done.


Hint: Amazing robot vision can be expected this year


And of course, prototypes were getting finsihed, achieving its job of approving the concept of mechanism.


The best part of the day - CNC machine! Usage of CNC machine at our ATC (Applied Technology Center) came very usefully when making robot parts. Last year, we CNCed the drive base wheels, which was something new and amazing for the team.


Day 3 of FIRST Power Up

Welcome to Day 3 of FIRST Power Up! Today, we continued on with cube intake and drivebase prototypes. Now that the Strategy Team has set our plans for the season,the prototype groups now have a set goal for the robot.


Before getting crazy with prototypes, it's important to stay organized during the long, but short six weeks of build season. At anytime, Karsyn always tries to keep the entire team organized.


Prototype Groups from Day 1 are now divided into several subgroups within mechanisms. This group is using the robot from 2015 FIRST Recycle Rush to do a cube intake prototype. Different parts are tried and added, data is collected and calculated!


The second cube intake group decided to use different parts and a different way to approach this game. More traction and guide to intake the cube!


The third group of cube intake efficiently used the laser cutter to prototype!

All three prototype groups are making an incredible amount of progress everyday.But between all this busy progress, the ausTIN CANs don't forget to:


help each other,


work with others,


and involve everyone!


2018 FIRST Power Up Kickoff!


The 2018 FIRST Power Up is finally released! We hope every team is excited to start another great season. For anyone who didn’t check it out yet, the game animation is linked below.

Today, 27 students and 9 mentors attended the kickoff and meeting! After reading the rules, the entire team gathered to decide the needs, wants and wishes about the general robot functions. This provided a detailed picture of what kind of robot we want to have on the field.


The NEEDS included: manipulating the cube, climbing, moving quickly, cubes on the switch, cubes into exchange station, cross the line during auto, and durability.

The WANTS included: cubes on the scale, configurable auto stage, slim design, video feed to driver station, pick up cubes from any position on the ground, auto-aligning climb, and position sensing.

The WISHES included: win a regional, side climb, variable climb height, scriptable auto, pick up cubes from the pyramid, and LEDs.


Then, we decided on 3 prototype groups, which were:

1) Everything (every function available to score) with front climb
2) Vault, Switch, Climb 

3) Everything with side climb.

In total, we were divided up into 5 groups:


CAD (currently for drivebase),




Prototype Group #1- Everything with front climb,


Prototype Group #2- Vault, Switch, and Climb,


and Prototype Group #3- Everything with side climb.

Our team is working harder than ever to get a solid idea on this year's robot. We are excited, energized, and ready! 

Fixed Ideas (Accomplishments):

1. Dimensions of the robot

2. General mechanism ideas for the cubes and climbing

Reminder: We are attending the Hub City (3/7- 3/10) and Alamo Regional (4/4- 4/7). See the Calendar for more information.