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

Saturday kicked off the new week, midweek the Sprint Review revealed that the business team had shown the week one and two updates, along with the finished pit design. The Electrical team reported what had happened during the week. Along with the dismantle of the old robot, and completion of brainstorming for autonomous. As well as plan for the wiring bed, and how they still had a lot to do. Mechanical was glad to inform us that the prototype for the intake/retrieval, along with the idea for the forklift pulley system was done.

Electrical immediately began the limit switch, which only allows the robot to carry a maximum of one ball.  There was a lot of planning and mapping for the electrical beds. They ended up mounting the components on the second and third layer. However, they had to redo it thanks to a change in dimensions. A lot of programming was done in order to test the robot’s ability to function properly. They also had the task of finding and configuring the camera which allows the driver to see what the robot sees from the robot’s perspective, along with working with sensors a bit.

Mechanical leads were trying to organize the team’s week to ensure that everyone was on task and doing the correct thing. They had mainly worked on the forklift prototype. The forklifts outline required calculations for the force acting upon the lift, as well as calculations for the air usage for the different tasks the forklift will be up against.

While Electrical and Mechanical were working on that, Business had updated the video and blog, and though they had many tasks a bulk of their focus was on logo designs, and T-shirt designs. The logo has been narrowed down to five. The pit and button materials had been ordered, and the standard first round designs were finally revealed.

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

How was your first half of the robotics build season?

What’s your least favorite task?

“Robotics was much more fun than I had initially anticipated, although I wasn’t expecting to not be able to enjoy myself; it proved itself to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. My least favorable task is the existential reality of which we perceive the world around is nothing but fiction devised by our cognitive function in order to receive stimuli in order to make sense of the lifeless and dark world that resides outside our senses.”

Gavril Ibaan, Business

“My first half of the robotics build season was a rather exciting compared to previous years, mainly because, in a way, the team got involved in this year’s game much sooner with our: physical game planning, concepts, and prototyped models. Personally for me, my least favorite task has to have been typing out this comment, it was a little too difficult finding a least favorite task.”

Alejandro Sánchez, Electrical

“The first half of robotics was at first slow but picked up toward the 3rd week. It started with a lot of planning obviously, but then we started prototyping and putting together our final designs. My least favorite task would have to be doing PO’s and inventory, it was tedious and long. ”

Jay Pang, Mechanical

On the first day of the second week, everyone finished up their last minute additions to the prototype robot, just before presentation. Many people had similar ideas, vertical intakes, and arms. However there was one different from the rest, consisting of the forklift design. After presentations we grouped everything up. Options being three different wheels, treads, 10”, and an extra idle wheel. Winning the most votes was 10” wheels. After the wheel decision, we made the vote easier by saying fork or arm? In the end the forklift was deemed our best option. The final thing of the evening was splitting up into our sub-teams.

The next day, each group took their place, of course starting up the Scrum board officially was a task to be done. Electrical set out to begin soldering, Kayli Chun was put to the task of teaching and critiquing soldering skills. While they worked on soldering, they also had to research in order to start the planning of teleop and autonomous, including how many buttons was needed, and what it would do. Along with the configuration of materials already in possession.

While Electrical did all that, Mechanical had done a little of their own planning, and research. They took a field trip, to City Mill to observe a few forklifts to get a better understanding of the kind of machinery they will be working with. They had also begun the ball intake, and the drive train. After much debate, they had also decided on dimensions, and the amount of wheels that would be needed (Wheels were delivered later that week). Along with deciding the spin of the roller intake, and the capture area dimensions. Still in progress was how they would be getting the intake to flip out of the frame to be able to gather a ball.

Business team had decided budget, and updated on the website. They had to get interviews, and comments for the weekly website blog update, and video. Due to ending up ahead of schedule they updated their SCRUM board with Week three objectives. During dinner everyone was restricted on going out on thursday in order for them to get opinions on the team logo. The team standard is almost done, and research for a camera has been in discussion.

During the final day of the week, a few students from the mililani middle school robotics team came over to play the 30 minute simulation game, and experience a bit of everything that happens during FRC build season in high school. Thank you Vivian, for helping us with everything!

This week, one person from each sub-team has been asked the questions: What task have you found the most enjoyable? Along with how do you feel about the first week with your Sub-team?

“I enjoyed planning out the electrical layout. It provided a “real life” scenario in which I had to problem solve in a way I have not before. In school, there is always one correct answer and in engineering there are no wrong answers. I think this week with my sub-team went pretty well. Everyone was on task and the communication is getting better. We all know when we will and will not show up and plan accordingly.”

Bryson Goto, Electrical

“The task that I’ve found the most enjoyable was editing and presenting the video. I liked to go through all of the content and make a video that people can enjoy. I enjoyed presenting the video because I liked to see everyone’s reaction to my edit. So far I am having a lot of fun with my sub-team. I like working with the pictures, videos, and the graphic aspect of the team. I feel like I really fit into this sub-team and I really look forward to coming to robotics and being with my sub-team.”

Dominique Au, Business

“I enjoyed thinking of ways to fix all of the problems that came up during our design process. We encountered so many issues and I thought it was really fun to have group discussions and discuss with my sub-team what we could do to fix the many problem. I feel like the forklift team of mechanical members work really well together and feed off of  each others ideas which really helped to speed up the problem solving. I really enjoy working with my sub-team they’re fun to work with.”

Nicole Brewer, Mechanical

During week one, the team went to kickoff the 2016 FRC season at McKinley High school to watch the game reveal. This year’s game is Stronghold, a medieval themed game that includes seizing opponent alliance’s castles and maneuvering defenses such as drawbridges and moats. On the first day, the team separated into groups of three to read through the game rules and divide them into sections. We used different organizational techniques like tree maps and scoring matrixes to better understand the game. We were sent home with homework to come up with the best scoring strategy.

Q: Did you enjoy your group?

Yes! They were a lot of fun to work with! I’ve never participated in any kind of robotics event before this, so it was nice to see familiar faces and be introduced to new ones, all while taking in a new experience. I really enjoyed the fact that all of my team members were on the same page and shared the same sense of humor. It was easy to talk, share,  and discuss ideas, and I really appreciated it when my team members would take time to explain some of the rules and terms to me, as again,  I was new to all of this. Their perspective was extremely valuable to me, and overall I think we worked well as a team.

Jessica Jones, Business/PR

The next day we came back, and split up into alliances and began the simulation game. Most groups had two or one person show up that day.Though some may have forgotten their numbers, they figured it out in the end. The simulation, had many people doing many different strategies, including Chris and his low bar, scaling robot. We can’t forget the defense that caused Orion pain. So though the simulation wasn’t the best, we all seemed to get rather competitive. We left halfway through the game and decided to pick up where we left off on the third day.

Q: Could you realistically make a scaling low bar robot?

I think it is possible, but extremely difficult to design. With the proper mindset, anything is possible.

Cindy Tsou, Electrical

On the third day, we reset the game instead of picking up where we left off. After playing three rounds non-stop of simulations, and figured out strategies that worked well, we all sat down and discussed what didn’t work, and what did. After much discussion, and back and forth arguments, we settled on defense categories A,B, D, and NOT Low Bar. The idea of hanging was still to be determined, but many people were on the fence.

Q: What strategy worked best for you?

We always had one person go into the low bar, and the other two robots would breach the defenses and carry boulders over to the low robot or to the other side. The low bar robot would shoot boulders into the high goal. We would have liked for our low bar robot to hang. In the end, we didn’t always win, but we had a pretty consistent score.

Chris Kaneshiro, Mechanical

On Tuesday we began reading the robot rules, and then made tree maps that had to be finished by 7:00, man the robot rules were long, and the testing questions after. After the final group finished their oral test, we discussed hanging once again. Many people had their ideas of hanging, and though not many spoke, the discussion of hanging lasted quite a while before we decided to put it on the back burner.

Q: Did you finish the map on time?

We did finish the map on time. However, since AP Night was on the same night, we had less time to do it, so the concept map wasn’t as good as we expected it to be. It still helped us internalize the rules of the robot.

Michael Abagon, Mechanical

The fifth day of the week crept up on us, and it was time to brainstorm! Robot dimensions. How to pick up the ball? Should we store it? Maybe we should do a vertical or horizontal intake. Ramp? What would be the best? Is this too many motors? How do I minimize motion? While all of these questions went on in our heads, each group still settled on an idea. If you drew it to scale you probably used the 2.04” to 10” ratio.

Q: What ideas did you share?

Well, I came up with the name for the Cheese Wedge design. I thought that Michael’s Arm was an interesting design (which I also named, inspired by Susan’s Arm). That’s about it.

Ian Eshelman, Electrical

The sixth day came in the blink of an eye, and after a bit more brainstorming the prototype build began. Most people started on their presentations, and many in general continued the build modification after modification. The mentors that walked around had amazing input, and seemed to be genuinely intrigued by everything we did. Most people had similar ideas, however in the end of the day we were modifying till the very end.

Q: What design did you use?

We went with a forklift design because it was simple and effective. It was something that we were familiar with as we could reference an actual forklift used in stores. We began with a generic ‘forklift’ and designed it to fit the game better. The mentors helped a lot in improving our idea to be effective and efficient for our designated team game strategy.

Rachel Yasunaga, Business/PR

The final day of the week, and we had a good turn out. The robot prototyping persisted, and I’m sure by the end many of us we’re seriously tired, though most people probably thought they were done, the mentors still had much information to share. May be if you create this sturdier? Have you tried to do a vertical intake? Yes, we all thought at that time, It was perfect , but we all know we needed their help in many aspects. We all went home, and finished up our presentations to kick off next week.

Q: What advice did you receive?

Throughout the week, I was told to keep the design simple and efficient, and to think ahead.

Tyler Yoshioka, Mechanical