Days 7, 8, 9, and 10

Day 7:

Today was another busy work day, and much more progress was made today. We planning ahead for the long weekend, many groups set up plans and goals to accomplish by Monday.

Flywheel Shooter

Today, a lot more progress was made on the shooter. Grant, the Isaacs, Kayla, Rohan, Maddy, and Miguel worked together to add an automatic feed system using polycord as well as other fine tuning and adjustments. For testing purposes, this will be run off of a 64:1 Bainbot motor. Today and tomorrow will be focused on making a consistent shooter (goal is 95%), and firing rate will be improved after consistency tests, starting on Sunday. Our goal for the weekend is to get a simple and fast feeder that can also take in balls from a theoretical hopper. We made a lot of progress today, and by the end of the day, we were making about 60% consistency. We have many ideas, including different hood materials, countersinking some holes, and adjusting/improving the feeding system. Most of the day tomorrow will be fine tuning and testing.


Knotted-Rope Climber

Isaac Ash-Johnson and Nathan Seelig continued to work on their climber prototype. The idea of this climber is to have a winch with slots in order to catch a knot in the rope. Currently, their prototype can catch the rope and hold a large amount of weight, but they will strive to work on a more final version that can be more durable.

Dual Wheel Climber

Today a lot of ground work was done in order to get towards a working prototype. Although visually not a lot of work was done, a lot of planning and testing was done. Bethany added a motor, and has started working on replacing the 80/20 with wood so she can put bearings in them. She plans on getting a working prototype by tomorrow.


Pneumatic Tubing Active Intake

Today Poorva, Josie, and Maddy worked on improving their design, making it much more sturdy, efficient, and less rickety. By adding stabilizers, they have made it also more consistent. Tomorrow they plan on adding a wood or cardboard backing and sides to the prototype to help funnel balls and keep them from going all over the place.


Dual Wheel Shooter

A new shooter prototype was started today by Carson and Katy. This design will be two wheels spinning in opposite directions that will propel the ball forward from a spot further away than up against the boiler. Today they specifically addressed adding a feeding funnel and increasing accuracy. Tomorrow they plan on refining the funnel



More work was done today on the catapult shooter. The team of Tomer, Rohan, and Kyle worked on finishing the catapult and testing it. Although they did get around to testing it, the catapult fell into two pieces during tests. Tomorrow they plan on replacing the broken metal pieces and improving their design.


Day 8:

Another huge day for prototyping, as we had a full 9-9 day at robotics (12-9 for those mentoring FTC). Many prototypes were tested and improved. In addition, we planned to evaluate our current shooters and decide if we can do an effective high goal, or if we should set our sights on low goal. The results of the tests was that it is advantageous and effective for us to make a robot that can shoot high goals. In addition, Chris finished the boiler assembly and brought it to the high school. It is very beautiful, and came in just in time for a lot of the shooters to be properly tested.

Single Flywheel Shooter

Today the flywheel shooter V.1 was finished and was sent out to go under fine tuning and adjustments. The team of Grant, Miguel, Rohan, Kayla, and Isaac Wenc finished their feeder, and focused on accuracy. At one point in the day, we had a very consistent shooter, breaking our goal and hitting about 98%, but something happened to it and its accuracy plummeted. Tomorrow we will start work on an efficient feeder that can intake from a hopper. We will plan to have this finished and tested by the end of Monday. Our goal for that day is to break 1 ball/second and 90% accuracy.

Dual Wheel Climber

Today Bethany finished switching chain and stabilized shafts and motors so the prototype can function properly. Although in its current state, the climber cannot actually grab and put the rope into the position required for climbing. Tomorrow she plans on filing the wheels and being able to grab the rope.


Today, Kyle, Tomer, and Sam finished repairing their catapult. Throughout the day they tested their catapult, but every single test resulted in something breaking, and they did not get it to function how they wanted. Tomorrow they will work out the kinks and try to make a better shooter.

Dual Wheel Shooter

Today, Katy worked on her prototype in terms of accuracy and consistency. Although she put a lot of work in, she analyzed that this design might not be the most efficient for this years game, and it will probably not hit the 80% consistency mark without a ton of work. Tomorrow she will make tweaks to see what will happen. She also is looking for somebody else to lead the project.

Gear Ground Pick-Up

Josie and Carson started a prototype for picking up and scoring gears from the ground. It will be run by pneumatics, and it will also be able to rotate 90º from the ground to score it. They finished the day by adding the pneumatics, but tomorrow they will work on adding the rotation ability.

Gear Collection Box

Aaron worked on a simple version of a gear prototype. This will be a mostly passive system, that is essentially a bucket that can effectively grab gears from the human feeder station and score them on the air ship. Today he focused on making the box sturdier, and tomorrow he will strive to make it more consistent.


Day 9:

Today we continued to work on our prototypes, and many of them are starting to enter their final stages and preparing for presentation of prototypes on Friday. In addition, a table for our vertical bandsaw came in and got hooked up. It is a very helpful tool, and we are very glad to add it to our room.

Single Flywheel Shooter

Today we worked on making an improved feeder and also adding something that can intake balls from a hopper. Grant, Maddy, Christopher, Isaac Ash-Johnson, Aaron, and Isaac Wenc worked on moving the poly cord, adding a wheel/hopper agitator, and also adding a “rolling pin” before the shooter to more accurately control the balls from the poly cord conveyor. The prototype was also tightened and adjusted to be more stable and possibly accurate. Isaac Ash-Johnson also changed the sprocket on the Flywheel shaft. Although we did not get to testing today, we made many improvements and plan to be testing tomorrow.

Dual Wheel Shooter

Today, Katy worked on improving the accuracy on this prototype. She completely remade the feeder in hopes that it will increase the accuracy. She is also looking for help on this prototype. Tomorrow she will be working on an automatic feeder.

Gear Claw

Josie and Carson worked on the gear claw prototype from yesterday. Today they attached it to a plate. They plan on possibly making it go up and down tomorrow.

Pneumatic Tubing Intake

Today Josie Maddy, and Poorva worked on improving their prototype. Today they added a hopper and made a bunch of small changes in order to make it more consistent and efficient. Tomorrow they plan on improving their hopper so the balls funnel and come out better.

Gear Collection Box

The gear collection box was worked on and improved a lot today. A passive funnel was added to get the gear into one position. Aaron, Isaac Wenc, and Same also made modifications to the size. They plan to test their prototype tomorrow.

Dual Wheel Climber

Today Bethany finally got her climber prototype working. She fixed all of her issues with grabbing the rope, and the prototype can successfully grab the rope and pull itself up. Tomorrow she will work on improving it and attaching it to titanium to see how it stands up to more weight.

Day 10:

Today we had school off, so we got a full 12 hours of work time in. Many things got accomplished, and we were glad that we were able to have this time.

Single Flywheel Shooter

Today we completely redesigned the feeding system for the shooter. After testing we found out that the poly cord was only useful for about a quarter inch, so it got redesigned to feed the balls with two wheels instead. This was a huge accomplishment, as it can feed balls into the shooter very fast and efficiently, and it has also increased the shooters accuracy a lot. After end of the day testing, the prototype can shoot 1+ balls/second and has an accuracy of over 90%. We believe that this can be improved with the implementation of a hopper and mechanical systems instead of a human feeding the hopper. We do not have any plans for this prototype in the next couple of days.

Dual Flywheel Shooter

Katy continued to work on her prototype for the dual wheel shooter. She mostly worked on creating an intake to the shooter and adjusting accuracy. Tomorrow she will continue to work on the intake and improving accuracy.

Gear Collection Box

This prototype is starting to be improved, as it is starting to be combined with a couple of other ideas to try and make a good box prototype. Aaron and Carson will start finalizing dimensions for this prototype tomorrow.

Dual Wheel Cimber

Today Bethany and Maddy attached the climber to titanium. Upon attaching it, they found a lot of issues with friction. Their plans for tomorrow include trying out different ratios and ideas in order to try and get this prototype to work.


Day 5 (Rest) and Day 6

Day 5:

Today was a break day for our team. The only things that happened were meetings and delivery of some parts. At the build leads meeting, we decided to order both a set of single speed and dual speed gearboxes so we can try both of them and figure out which ones we like better. Other than that, it was a nice relaxing day for our team members.

Day 6:

Today we continued to work on our prototypes and improving them. Many prototypes finished the proof of concept stage and a more finalized/nicer designs are being made.

Flywheel Shooter

Today, the flywheel shooter had a lot of updates and tweaking. Although most of our time was spent on re-adjusting things that should not have been moved, Elizabeth, Miguel, Kayla, and Grant made a lot of progress on the feeder, hood, and overall structure. By the end of the day, we finished the feeder and wheel adjustments. We tested a little bit which showed about 68% accuracy, but tomorrow we will be fine tuning the shooter and making small improvements. Miguel will also be stabilizing one of the polycarbonate sheets on the conveyor/feeder.

Pneumatic Tubing Active

This prototype just finished getting out of the proof of concept stage, and so Maddy, Poorva, and Josie started working on the nicer design. The proof of concept showed that it could intake many balls at a time and lift the balls up into a hopper. They will also be working on different styles and comparing them against each other, such as a polycord conveyor.

Two Wheel Shooter

This is another shooter that has started to get into the proof of concept stage. Today, Katy, Carson, and Sam got a base set up, gearboxes mounted, and wheels were chosen. Tomorrow, they plan on adding a feeder system.

Two Wheel Climber

Bethany continued to work on her prototype that was started a couple of days ago. Today she made the wheels, motors, and sprockets more securely mounted, and she also added a motor with chain to drive parts of her design. Tomorrow the plan is to add another motor, replace some duct tape with spacers, and preform a lot of tests.

Gear Collection Box

A new prototype to collect and score gears was started today by Aaron, Blake, and Sam. This prototype will aim to be small, compact, and efficient. They also created a passive gear alignment system. Their goals for tomorrow include adding/being able to score it, and also making it easy to mount to a robot.

There has been a lot of great progress happening in the past couple of days. Keep it up team! Here’s a picture of cheesy poofs for inspiration:

Day 4


Once again, prototyping was the main focus for the meeting today. Many prototypes were improved and a couple more have been started. At the team meeting tonight, we had brief overviews from each of our present leads. At the end of the meeting, we voted on which drive train we would like to use for this year. The style that we decided on was a six wheel, dropped center, tank drive. We will also be planning on using 4″ by 1.5″ colson wheels on our drive train. Many of the drive train specifics, such as gearbox (single or dual speed), tank drive style, and gearbox speed will be decided at the engineering team meeting tomorrow so the students can do additional research and bring a more educated opinion to the table.

Flywheel Shooter:

The flywheel shooter got some upgrades, including a different wheel (pneumatic wheel), a feeding system, and side rails to help guide the balls. The improvements that were made increased the prototypes accuracy a lot, bumping it up to about 80%. The goals for Thursday will be to adjust the spacing on the pneumatic wheel so it can hit the ball straight on (yes, a huge issue that actually surprises me on how well it works in its current state), improving the feeder system by moving it and extending it and increasing its speed, and changing the sprockets/ratio for the mini-cim to flywheel. We hope to achieve a much higher accuracy by the end of Thursday, and possibly work on increasing the feed rate of the shooter. Based on these tests, weights may be added to the flywheel in order to keep the speed of the flywheel when shooting a stream of balls.

Pneumatic-tube Active Intake:

The students working on this prototype (Josie, Poorva, Maddy, and Rachel) finished their proof of concept for this design. They made a couple of improvements to the overall structure of the design, as well as adjusting spacing on the tubes. Their goals for tomorrow is to make a more finalized/nicer design that can bring balls up to the top of our hopper efficiently.

Wheel Climber:

Bethany has started a climber prototype, which essentially consists of two wheels that will pull the robot up the string. Early tests have shown the design working moderately well, and the plan for Thursday is to finish testing on how well the wheels guide the rope. Another goal is to add guides to the ascender, which would make it easier to line the robot up with the rope.

Days 1, 2, and 3

Kickoff (1/7/2017):

Today, we had our kickoff in the south commons. We started the day with a pancake breakfast, which then transitioned into our kickoff presentation, and into the online broadcast. After the game was revealed, we split up into a couple of different groups to read and analyze the game, Steamworks. In addition, we taped up a mock field to give us an idea of spacing and placement of certain game elements, and give a better understanding of the distance between certain game elements, such as the boiler, airship, and human player zones. Throughout the day, we analyzed different strategies and design approaches. Towards the end of the day, we held a strategy meeting, in which we made a priority list and decided our day one strategy. We decided that our strategy will include being able to finish gears, climb, and score balls into the high or low goal. The high or low goal will be decided by the accuracy of our shooters by Saturday next week.

Priority List

1) Drive Train

2) Gears

  • Acquiring the game piece
  • Storing the game piece
  • Scoring the game piece

3) End Game (Climber)

4) Autonomous

  • Gears
  • Fuel

5) Fuel

  • Acquiring the game piece
  • Storing the game piece
  • Scoring the game piece

Day 2 (1/8/2017):

Today we started on prototypes for gears, picking up fuel, and scoring fuel. There were also students working on a first draft/proof of concept for a climber.


For the first version of the shooter, we decided to reuse a shooter that has been started for a different project a couple of weeks before build season. We started the day by improving it, adding a superstructure or frame so it can stand up by itself, and added a hood. After initial tests with directly connecting it up to a battery, we found that the current shoot, with banebot wheels, would shoot the ball up until it hit the ceiling. We later connected it up to our robot from last year, Midnight, so we could try variable speeds. We ended the day with an accuracy of about 60%.

Fuel Pick Up

There have been many different materials tried in our rapid prototyping stage. Materials tried include noodle, various forms of wheels, surgical tubing, and many more.

Day 3 (1/9/2017):

Today we continued to work on the prototypes that were started yesterday. The blog fill out form went live today, and was apparently not communicated very well, as there was not any submissions. Later blog posts will have more detailed information, so sorry for any inconvenience. This is from what I saw being improved/worked upon.

Prototypes – Lead

Flywheel shooter (fuel) – Grant

Catapult (fuel) – Kyle

Tubing active – Poorva and Josie

Acquiring Gears – Katy

Also, here is a picture of raspberries because I found them already uploaded herePlaceholder Image