This week was filled with quite a few setbacks, but at least with each setback the sub team grew, and each member learned from their mistakes.

Electrical was able to create a way to use the magnetic encoders if they get to use them. Though the encoders ended up being too large to use next to the gearboxes, so the work done on the code cannot be used for autonomous, but at least they learned how to work with and program the magnetic encoders. They were also able to cut the PDP board and wire the electronics together, they mounted the electronics to the electrical board, and were able to make progress on the camera tracking.

Meanwhile, mechanical encountered it’s own setbacks, such as various things needing to be readjusted because they got in the way of each other. They found that they were able to update things as they went along, and get the rope payload, and gear payload. A CAD was also done in order to help with the system integration.

Business/Graphics were able to send out the December-January Newsletter, and complete more button designs. They hope to get the rest of the survey results for the t-shirt orders soon, and have almost completed the back to the game shirt featuring all of the sponsors. You can find the weekly videos on our youtube channel here .

This week, five members were asked the questions:

How have you grown so far throughout the build season?

What achievement do you feel is most self fulfilling?

“I learned how to admit my mistakes. As long as I know what I did wrong, I can do better the next time. I think that being able to do something without someone telling you its wrong does sound pretty good to me. I feel that once I trust myself to do stuff confidently, I can do stuff without doubt. Which means FASTER.”

~Timothy Kaneshiro

“I have learned a lot this year about working in a team. I think that I’ve grown in my teamwork abilities because I have learned that there are things that we have to do even if we don’t want to in order to benefit the team. I’d say my most self-fulfilling accomplishment this year is just being a contributing member of the team.”

~Shadrack Nabea

“Throughout the build season, I feel that I have definitely learned a lot and and gained a lot of experienced these past few weeks. The achievement I feel as the most self fulfilling is getting the drive code and the gyro code working. I am not very skilled in that area but after I worked hard and spent a lot of time working on it, I could see myself becoming familiar with it and all making sense to me.”

~Lina Kang

“So far this build season, I feel as though I have learned a lot more about my team and the responsibilities of FIRST Robotics. We’ve gained two new members in the business team and they have both found their respective niches – Vanessa G. is our entertaining and charismatic video editor and Nolan is our naturally talented journalist. I have also learned just how hard working our returning members are – both Dom and Vanessa N. have to balance build season responsibilities with soccer, as well as a social life, and Gavril is determined enough to vectorize a train design and all of the logos. As far as business responsibilities, I have learned how to make Google surveys and have learned about the requirements for each of the FRC awards. I think we are also growing as a team because we were recently approached with a sponsorship offer – this is a new PR experience for the sub team, as well as an exciting opportunity for the team. It has been incredibly rewarding to spend more time with my business sub team members, but the most fulfilling personal achievement has to be learning to manage not only my responsibilities, but keep track of all the responsibilities of my sub team members. I think my adaption to pressure and time constraints embodies that hard fun aspect of FIRST, because the difficulty leads to a rewarding payoff – getting stuff done and being able to move post its! Also, I’m proud of finding the only box of cheese free taquitos in the entire NEX commissary (you’re welcome Orion). :)”

~Jessica Jones

The team had its first official sprint review on Tuesday, sprint review is where each sub-team takes time to explain the tasks they have finished throughout the week. This becomes important, and sprint is also a main part of communication between sub-teams.

Business was able to inform them about the t-shirt design, and complete the finals for the general t-shirt, along with the game shirt, revolving around this year’s theme, steamwork, and have sent out the t-shirt order form for the general t-shirts. They then worked on the button designs, along with completing the newsletter.

Though they struggled with dimensions and other measurements, mechanical was able to work on the practice frame and drive, along with making plans for mounting the gear payload. Though they are currently still working in smaller groups on various aspects of the robot, they hope to soon collaborate together on the final robot build.

Meanwhile electrical has been able to get the magnetic encoders to work and also finalize their plans as far as how the electrical board will be mounted, and where the talons will be located. They had to make sure that the drive program was ready for when mechanical gets them the practice robot, including wiring and preparing the electronics.

“I think some members tend to lack confidence in their own abilities despite the fact they are fully capable and have a lot of potential. I’ve learned many life skills including working within time constraints, communicating with others, and finding ways to effectively contribute to a team. ”

~Vanessa Gerber, Business

“In robotics, I have learned a great deal of technical skills. But more importantly, I learned how to work with a great deal of different type of people that I may not always agree with.”

~Orion Sun, PM

I’ve learned that GRIP and image processing is a lot harder than I had initially expected. It has posed a significant challenge and some parts of it are beyond my coding abilities as of right now. However, I am learning and getting better. Hopefully, I can assemble a working code somewhat soon.

~Tyler Birchard, Electrical

The week started off a little different for each sub-team, but one thing in common is that the new members have gotten barely used to everything, and have already been thrown right in, but the returning members and mentors don’t expect them to be experts just yet, and are there to guide them.

Electrical immediately got to work on the drive and winch programs. Even some of the returning members struggled a bit with the programming, but they were able to understand it when they applied themselves. Though the team had struggled with their measurements a little, they were constantly busy with new tasks, and working hard.

In a similar way, mechanical was constantly working, they had done two prototypes, each time they tested making adjustments in order to get the best results. They are currently working on the third prototype, and though they also had a few mishaps during the week, they are able to draw up the plates to send to the water jet, and start planning for their mounting.

Meanwhile, business/graphics have been working on the t-shirt designs, and buttons. While another group from the sub-team were working on interviews and the newsletter. This year’s theme seems to have many constant ideas, but they are struggling to come up with new designs to elaborate on.

The following questions were asked to at least one person from each sub-team:

How was the second week of build season?

What new experience has made the biggest impact on your life?

“Finally getting into the work of my sub-team I was able to get into work I’m knowledgeable in. It was a great experience to finally be able to design again, and feel satisfied with our products.”

~Gavril Ibaan, Business/Graphics

“Over this past week, we have certainly made progress. Most of the ideas are actual designs with numbers now. I have been working on the frame part of the robot, so that everything else has a place to mount to. I am sort of disappointed that our side doesn’t have a cool prototype, like the rope climbing development team. Still, we have a good design, and it has been fun trying to design a drive with 8 wheels, which is new for me.”

~Christopher Kaneshiro, Mechanical

“The designs are getting more and more finalized as we are almost finished with the final designs.  I am mainly working on the rope payload, and we are on schedule.  I was really excited when our prototype was able to lift a 100-pound robot 40 inches up a rope, so we are on the right track.  Right now, we are close to done with the design of the rope payload, so after the practice drive is all finished, we will be able to mount the rope payload onto the frame.”

~Michael Abagon, Mechanical

“This week I have been making sure that the electrical team is staying on task for the good portion of the time. Electrical has been working on camera tracking and has made tremendous progress from not knowing very much to getting the robot to recognize our targets. Other things are getting our drive code finished which also includes our code that controls the winch. The experience that affected me the most would be the camera tracking even though I didn’t work on it directly I enjoy seeing the progress that Tyler B. and Anthony is making.”

~Kaikoa Viveiros, Electrical

During week one, the members of the team went to kickoff the 2017 FRC season at McKinley High School to watch the game reveal. This year’s game is Steamworks, a steampunk themed game that includes getting gears to the airship to start the rotors, and getting fuel into the boiler in order to fly the airship. This game is the first one to allow a human player on the field, the pilot, as they are called, are there to pull the gear up, and start the rotors. On the first day, the team separated into pairs to read and analyze the game rules and divide them into sections. We used different organizational techniques like tree maps and scoring matrixes to better understand the game. The next day we began planning the robots for stimulation matches, after having quite a bit of stimulation matches, and brainstorming we agreed we would like to begin designing our robot to be able to load gears onto the airship, and climb up a 4 ft. rope, and hold there. We were soon able to look through the robot rules and make another thinking map for that. That same day, we split up into different groups of around 4-5 people and shared our ideas for how we would hang and take and install gears, The next day we split up into groups of what we wanted to work on, and after about two days came back together to share our end ideas. After voting on our final choices we split into our respective subteams.

The following questions were asked to three club members:

Are you excited about this year’s game design?

What was the blueprint idea you decided to work on?

“I’m excited about this year’s game design because there are a lot of different aspects to this game that makes it unique. There are multiple ways to play this game and I feel everyone will have a different approach to the game. The idea I worked on was a conveyor belt to position the gear to be scored. The gear would be loaded from the retrieval zone and transported to be vertical to be scored on the peg.”

~Bryson Goto, Assistant Project Manager

“I am excited about this year’s game because there are a lot of interesting aspects to the game that could make the 2 minutes and 30 seconds very exciting. The blueprint idea that my group worked on this week was a conveyor belt idea. It was a system that was able to top load the gears and install the airship.”

~Dominique Au, Business

“I’m excited about this game because the game elements are not as complex but still give a challenge.  This year seems to be an interesting game to watch. My idea was a gear retrieval/ input design that would have a funnel to grab a gear from the loading station and rotate down to a position to drive into the peg.  The peg would slot into a hole and allow it to slide up with the lift while not getting stuck.”

~Tyler Yoshioka, Mechanical

The team seems to be doing fine now, and everything simmered down. So now we seem to have noticed the time, and are trying even harder to race against it. Glad to say it’s all coming along fairly well.

Business has been catching up to their schedule quickly. After the logo was decided, we were also able to send in the order for the standard. Not to mention the general button designing has kicked off, as did the stickers, and banner designing has been able to get more work done.

Meanwhile Electrical and Mechanical were still having trouble with communication, as well as a bit of lack of knowledge. The electrical bed became a problem once again, during the planning they forgot to take into consideration the solenoids for the pneumatics. The communication also created a problem in deadlines. Through it all Electrical was still able to finalize their layers, and begin mounting them to the final robot. Along with creating autonomous coding, and creating the new controller layout for the new driver.

Despite problems with Electrical, Mechanical also needed to fix things such as the wheel guard due to the previous misalignment. Along with that many of the components that they had were colliding with one another. Though they were planning to only test over the weekend, they needed to solve problems with the minimal materials, and tools they had.

This week,  our Project Manager, along with two people from each sub-team were asked the two questions:

How have you contributed so far?

What more do you hope to offer in the last week of build season?

“I helped by checking measurements of their layout and the setup for cutting.   I also did layout and drill work for various parts on the robot.  At one point I helped organize and delegate tasks to the rest of the sub team, however I made an executive decision to resign my spot and start to do work.  For the last three days I hope to help to finish the positioning of the intake pneumatics.  I also want to help fix and repair the robot whenever it seems necessary to do.  Hopefully we will be able to have the robot running in the next few days so that we can practice driving.   That way we can learn the necessary repairs so we can do it easily when it comes time for the competition.”

~Tyler Yoshioka, Mechanical

“By not being lead anymore, it allowed me to focus more on the fabrication of the intake. This coming week, I plan to focus attaching the intake and making sure it runs smoothly.”

~Christopher Kaneshiro, Mechanical

“I had to take over leadership for the mechanical sub-team.  I have not been able to contribute to electrical due to having to manage the mechanicals.  I will encourage the team to finish a robot that we can bag by the end of the build season.”

~Orion Sun, Project Manager

Being in robotics I had learned a lot, I contributed to my sub-team by helping out in the tasks that they assigned to us. I hope to contribute to the team by helping them out in the last three days of the build season.

~Cindy Tsou, Electrical

I mainly worked on programming the functions of the robot like programming the pneumatics of the forklift and the intake and the drive train.  I also worked on the layout of the all the electrical boards so all the electrical components would fit within the robot and it works with mechanical design.  I hope to be able to finish the whole robot and finalize everything now that we are nearing the end of build season and also I hope to be able to work within the pit so that I would be able to contribute during the competition.

~Miko Abagon, Electrical

“As the lead of the business and PR sub-team, I organize the tasks that get done each week. Before the build season started I planned what we would be doing. Some tasks got pushed back but for the most part things that have to get done on a weekly basis got done. I hope to offer sanity support to those in the Mechanical and Electrical team because I know they will be under a lot of stress in the coming days.”

~Rachel Yasunaga, Graphics/PR

“So far I’ve been doing my best at updating these blogs. Though getting comments was sometimes difficult I would be able to finish before the week was done. That lead to me taking up personal button designing, and general button/sticker designing. During this last week of build season, I hope to be able to capture everything that happens, and finish the button designing, while of corse assisting in anything else my sub-team must finish that is more of a pressing matter.”

~Vanessa Nguyen, Graphics/PR

This week, everyone finally cracked under the pressure. It seems the lack of sleep finally kicked in, and the tasks given were more like obstacles we had to get through in order to save our souls. It was still a productive week.

Business contact the company willing to produce our banner. Though most of the week was taken up by designing. The concepts for the personal buttons have been finished, and the logo is going along swimmingly. T-shirt designs have been getting edited, and we happen to be two weeks behind schedule.

Electrical and Mechanical seem to be having trouble with the Electrical board, they all wrote down different final dimensions for it. Other than that the Electrical team was able to do cleaning for the Autonomous and Tele-op codes. Due to the miscommunication, they had the electrical components placed differently than how they planned, so they had to remeasure all the wire lengths from scratch. They have been making progress on the 4 electrical boards, as well as soldering and crimping wired.

Mechanical had mounted the gearboxes, and prepared all of the parts for welding by sanding and applying Acetone. They created a process they could use to mount the electrical board, which acted like shelves. They were also able to mount and test the prototype intake with the positioning of the pneumatics. They had trouble with getting the parts, some of the ones that they needed were sold out.

This week each person of choice from the sub-team was asked the questions:

What could you say about robotics so far?

Is your Sub-team on schedule?

This year marks the second year in my robotics career. To me, robotics has been a very fun and exciting experience because it has taught me how to deal with various situations. I have learned how to work under a time constraint, whilst doing other activities such as school work and projects. I like robotics because it makes me feel included, to be a part of something bigger than myself. Our sub-team has been behind for some time, but now we are caught up and moving quickly. We have resolved such impediments, all the while having fun along the way.

~Phoebe McNally, Business/PR

Robotics has been a useful experience that has allowed me to gain skills that are relevant to my future as an engineer such as welding and soldering. Though at times rather stressful, this program has given me the opportunity to work on a large project and learn to cope with difficult time and monetary constraints. My subteam has been swiftly completing our tasks, keeping on schedule as much as possible with the inevitable impediments that we are faced with.

~Kayli Chun, Electrical

Since this is my first year in the program, I started the season with almost no understanding of anything related to engineering. Now that the season is coming to the end, I can say that I have learned quite a bit, and I feel much more confident about going into engineering in college. My subteam has been, unfortunately, behind schedule for most of the season, but is now better on track to finishing on time.

~Rhys Matsumoto, Mechanical

This week the team seemed to face a lot of sub-team challenges, Electrical had a bit of trouble with Designing, and Mechanical had a bit of trouble as well. Funny how Business’ biggest setback was probably their own creativity.

Mechanical was busy fabricating the sides of things, along with helping Electrical with their board planning and mounting. They have had a fun and stressful week attempting to assist Electrical with the layout spacing, and though this week was a lot of trouble, they hope to have a finalized robot design soon.

Electrical has been stressing out over the board, but are glad to report that the draft has been finished, and they are waiting for a few more details before it is finalized. They had trouble with the continuous change in dimensions, they also managed to get some programming done in the week, including the Cheval de Frise, and defenses B and D. They also worked on pneumatic, as well as quiet a bit of coding.

Business had done the weekly updates as usual, the T-shirt design ideas were revealed, as well as a second vote for the standard. The highlight was probably getting the logo design down so now we will be working on one design. However the button designs seem to be impeding design. We hope to make a button for everyone, that would be used as a memento.

One member from each sub-team was asked the two questions:

What skill have you discovered about yourself so far in build season?

How are your projects coming along?

“This build season, I expanded my knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop. I discovered new ways to create things, and Rachel taught me some shortcuts that helped me significantly. I also got to work on my presentation skills by presenting logo designs and a sprint review. Most importantly, I had to learn to stay determined and creative to get the job done! Unfortunately, we weren’t receiving the feedback we wanted on our logo designs, so as a team, we weren’t able to complete them by our original deadline. We had to keep pushing them back, and we still aren’t finished. However, the newsletters, blog posts, and weekly update videos have been pretty successful, thanks to the lovely Vanessa, Dom, and Kailee.”

~Jessica Jones, Business/PR

“This build season, I learned how to harness the power of physics to design the forklift that we are using. I also learned how to use CAD in real world applications, and it has really helped me solve problems that is hard to solve without it. The build season also took my fabrication skills to the next level. Overall, I learned how to work hard and have fun at the same time. The projects are doing ok, but we are still behind. Recently, I have been fabricating pieces for the final frame, and I am also working with electrical to help them place and mount their electrical boards. Right now, the design of the forklift and the intake is still going on with the practice frame, so once that finishes, we will start the final bot.”

~Michael Abagon, Mechanical

“Throughout the build season so far, I expanded my knowledge on programming in C++ and all about the different electrical components on the robot. During this build season, I feel as if I was able to learn more about concepts that were once vague to me in terms of programming or wiring different things I learned about.  All in all, I learned more about the value of responsibility and commitment because every single one of us has a role they have to fulfill. So far, the electrical team has been making progress in our electrical board layouts and setups for the final robot as well as testing for various robot components such as our encoders, intake, and pneumatics; currently we are still making final adjustments to all of these aspects while working hand in hand with our mechanical team.”

~Raena Anne Baetiong, Electrical