We had our first competition ever as a team this past weekend! When we got to the site everyone got acquainted with the space and was pumped for the weekend and what it had to offer. We were all so busy and the whole experience was nonstop!
But we definitely had some bumps in the rode! In the first match, the programming had an issue that the grabby grabby wouldn’t open, so they just drove in circles around the switch.
In the second match, the autonomous worked, not during autonomous period though, only after. It spun the bot in circles very viciously. It was a little funny because our robot burnt a hole in the ground, so staff wasn’t happy, but we learn from our mistakes!
On Saturday our scouting table was taken before we arrived, so we had to move to a table in the hallway near an outlet. On Saturday's match in the first round, the autonomous worked well.
Some issues we ran into were:
For the switch, bumpers were too thick so it couldn’t fall into switch.
Angles were too hard to control, but manageable.
The steering was opposite, presented problems. Despite these small hiccups, everything else went perfectly and very smoothly.

The team ate a lot of pizza for lunch and the communications team got social media posts up and running.

Lots of scouts came to our pit and asked questions about our intake, climbing, etc.
There were lots of scouting and they asked questions to better understand our robot and our team. For example:
“What can it do?
"Java or c++?"
"Can it climb?"
"Can it support other bots?"
"How long have you been a team?”

We were rewarded the Rookie Inspiration Award, rewarding our professional team for our organization and maturity for such a young team. Since we have experienced our first competition, we are ready and pumped for the next one coming up this weekend.


Below are some pictures of the weekend and a picture of the Rookie Inspiration Award
plaque we were rewarded!


















Debrief:

We are narrowing down to the end of the build season, we are all working to reach our goal to have a successful working robot for competition. We have been adding some days after school to be able to finish the robot on time, which is a great help! Each team lead is doing their job and leaders and all of our sub-team members are working as a team to get the robot running.

Accomplishments:


Fabrication:

The fabrication team has continued working on the game pieces this week. As a team we moved all of the wood outside so we had more space with the growing game elements, which gave more space to the robot builders and the fabrication leads.








Electronics:

The electronics team continued doing the pneumatics and coders for the second robot. The coders are used for the autonomous. They have also attached all of the machinery onto plexiglass, which makes the inside of the robot look pretty awesome. They have also prepped the fun multicolored lights so when the bot is almost complete, we can attach them easily.

Treasury:

This week, the treasury team has updated all of the invoices on an organized spreadsheet. They also worked on the sponsorship requests which we will be sending out as soon as possible. In terms of pieces for the robot, they also finished up ordering the elevator mechanism and pieces, which really got the building team up and running.












Programming:


This week the programming team fixed some minor coding errors which was an easy fix. They also redid some code that was redundant for the intake of the power-cubes. 









Actuation:

This week, actuation has received all of the parts for the elevator and has started to assemble it, which is a key part of the robot and it's function, for it will be carrying ht power cubes up onto the scale. The team has also finished the complication intake, and are beginning to attach the ramp to the bot which was completed last week.


Communications:

Our communications lead Maddy designed and ordered a banner for our pit station for the competition. They have also managed what they need for the pit station and have worked on designing pins for distribution. The stickers that were designed and produced a while back have arrived and are ready for distribution for the team. In addition, they have been creating and updating the blog of our progress for our viewers!


Challenges:

Since the build season is coming to a close, we are all rushing bit to reach our goal. We may be trailing behind, except seeing how we are moving forward and accomplishing great things every day, we will get right on track in no time. It is crazy to think that the first competition we will ever be competing in as a team is coming up in March. This is making our team excited, but also a bit nervous. So there is some anxious energy in the room, but for a great reason! 

Debrief:

We only have two more weeks of build season! We are on a major time crunch but are all working hard.

Actuation:

The planetary build box arrived for the actuation team which was exciting. The team started to figure out how that piece functions and how it will contribute to our robots. We also got more parts for the elevator, so we can continue building! Onwards!

They are still trying to finish up the awards, which is a written essay to possible receive an award to get money for the team. Those have not been sent out and will be soon.Communications:

The communications team continued uploading images and posting on all our social media platforms, keeping people interested with our process posted with what is happening. They also worked on the awards. They continued to update out website (Ellipse9814.org).

Treasury:

The treasury team is trying to get a lot of companies approved by Bennet in order to send out more sponsorship emails.





Fabrication:

This week the fabrication team continued working on all of the needed game elements so we could start putting up the entire game floor together. Since the fabrication group only has two weeks left to pull all of the game elements together, they ave been focusing on the elements instead of helping our other groups like before. All hands are on deck.











Electronics:

This week the electronics team has been working on the LED lights for the robots which will let up make our bots glow with different colors! This is not a necessity for the bit, but it is a cool little addition since we like going to extra mile. :) They have all other parts done and ready to go, but as sometimes checking them to make sure everything is working properly.





                                                                                    Programming:

The team smoothed out the driving system and continued working our small bugs in the autonomous system. So essentially they fixed issues with the coding so all is working smoothly to to our favor.










Challenges:

Like I stated before, we are running out of time, so we are on a time crunch. Making sure everyone has something to contribute to the team is a he factor to our success and will bring us to victory, as long as everyone is doing their part.

Debrief:

This week we made a few trip to Home Depot to purchase more wood for the game elements. This week we have all been running around everywhere and have been trying to pump out game elements. As a team we finished the elevator and ordered the final bits to complete the elevator.We are right on track and are make great progress!

Accomplishments: 



Fabrication:

During the Monday exploratory, the fabrication team continued finishing the scale and discussed how to make the switch game element faster and more efficiently. We were finally able to get our hands on more wood this week thanks to the trip to the hardware store. They continued to look at the elevator lift kit for instructions











                                                                                    Activation:

During the first exploratory, actuation worked on the elevator. The elevator slide is coming on Wednesday so the team talked about what they will do to the slides once they arrive so they are really to putt all together, hopefully wasting less time. They also are waiting for orders to arrive. they have the CAD robot done. They also attached the pneumatic into the "grabby grabby."





Treasury:

The treasury team helped out with writing the essays which we will need to send in for specific grants which will really help out the team financially. The treasury also began to work on the budget re-analysis after purchasing needed materials and jerseys!




                                                                                    Communications:

During exploratory, the communications team learned that they would be needing to write a couple essays for the team in order to ask for some grants and sponsorship money. They also spoke with Luc about the jerseys that they ordered last week.


Programming:

The programming team continued to program the robots forward/straight movement, (the robot will now not lean to the left or right when going forward thanks to the programming team). They worked on the autonomous period, and continued looking at the vino. We also had a visitor come in so the programming team was in charge of showing the visitor our process and where we were at in the process.

Electronics:

As usual the electronics team worked on wiring the 2nd bot and making it as identical to each other as possible so we have clean and consistent runs with the two bots which act and run the same. The 2nd con pressure is on its way so they waited a couple days. They mounted the pneumatic onto the 2nd bot and made sure it was attached properly and securely.





Challenges:

We lost a couple member son the communications team so that was defiantly a bump on the road, so we ha to replace those members. Thankfully there were many people willing to step up and take charge which is great! We are also realizing the limited time we have to actually complete this robot, since we are already half way through build season. So we need to step it up, which we are sure we will!
Debrief:

This week was the first day of the robotics exploratory and after school practises!  This is extremely exciting for our team because the ball is really moving now! The first day of exploratory on Monday was a debrief meeting, where the team members all communicated how the schedule is going to be for the rest of the quarter. Today (24th) is the 2nd exploratory and we are not starting to accomplish things in this 45 minute block in the day. We also discussed the food arrangement for the after school days on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since we will be living in the Lab Room for 3.5 hours, we need to be fueled! We came up with some options and will be deciding how we'll be dealing with the food asap. All hand are on deck for building the arcade elements, it's a hard but super exciting time!

Fabrication:
Today the fab. team designed mounts for the elevator and discussed the mounts for the ramps on the robot and how they are going to be placed. The fabrication members are also trying to pick up the speed of building the game elements, since we only 28 days left, which is defiantly a time crunch.

Activation:
This week the activation team continued working on the robot's clamp (the thing that grabs the power cubes). We attached the blue nitrile (pieces of fabric which makes the power cubes not fall out of the clamp's grasp) to the sides of the metal which is connected to the "grabby grabby." They also made a prototype of the ramp which will be carrying another team's robot.







Programming:
They are almost done with the teleoperated period, and are waiting for the fabrication team to finish up the game elements to keep on working. They began to make a bottom to employ the ramp to the robot since the ramp is now already designed. On Wednesday they had a meeting concerning the autonomous period.











Communications:

This week the communications team finished up the jersey design and were able to order them for each of our teammates. They got their approval from Luke and Lili, and we got a thumbs up! They have also been dealing with financial things including needed parts and wood. 

                                                                            


 Electronics:

Today, they focused on helping out the fabrication team build the game elements. They need to go to the hardware store and purchase needed parts. They also placed where the motor is going to be on the robot -minus the circuit breaker and the PCM. Then they fixed all of the things for the first bot and organized the bot and it's mechanics. They also tried setting up the Gyroscope (which basically is a omarion sensor.)  The electronics team also continued wiring the 2nd robot and made sure that everything is secure on the first robot with the plastic strips.
Treasury: 
This week the treasury team kept sending out emails, applying for money grants and sponsorships from companies; the more money we can get the better! They have also sent more email to parents with information about the current status of the team and the progress we have made. 






Challenges:
So far our challenges include -

Staying quiet when one of the leads are speaking or when there is any important info. we need to be aware of.

We are also still trying to obtain the needed materials for the rest of the arcade elements, which is a slow process, but we are getting there.

Not being distracted from our work and progress (video games on laptops)
Sticking together like a family through this challenging but fun process.

Making sure that everyone has something to do at all times. We are trying to give everyone on the team the best experience with us, and that comes with everyone working on a task at all times.

Debrief:

Today is our last day at intersession, so we really wanted to push through his day and get a lot done, which we did as always. We were given the opportunity to meet again as a team tomorrow to work on the bot; it is not mandatory but it would defiantly help us move farther along the building process. There was a lot of action today in the back building workshop; it was hectic but super fun!

Achievements:

Programming -

Their main goal for today was to start fixing the pneumatics coding error. So the actuation and programming team teamed up to fix this problem. This was difficult to figure out; there was a leak in the machinery, and it can be very hard to find that leak in such a small and complicated mechanism, to they needed extra help to jump over this obstacle.




Actuation -

The actuation sub team finished the ramp photo-type, along with finalizing any changes that they will be making for the next actual ramp. They also began working on the 2nd "grabby-grabby" (power-box clamp). Some began working on a mini project outside of the robot where they took Ramsey's white boards with his permission and cut then into rounded squares with magnets attached magnets so we could put little white boards onto of our mega white board so we stay more organized as a team.

Fabrication -

Today we learned how to use the power toll which allows up to cut out perfect wholes into hard wood. A lot of our pieces for the arcades game elements needs holes, so we got to finish all of those game pieces. Along with that, we continued to assemble the elements. So far we completed parts, 1and 2, so we are working on game piece three.





Electronics -

Today the electronics group set up the charging station for our nine robot batteries (they are very high quality batteries, each takes a day to charge!) They also continued the process of wiring the 2nd robot, but ran into some minor bumps.







Communications -

The communications team will have a pretty consistent plan for each day, so nothing drastically new will be coming their way. As always, they handled the social media accounts, continued to register for Davis, and proceeded to send informative emails to parents.

Treasury -

Yesterday and today has been a nerve-wracking two days for the treasury members. More sponsorship letters have been sent out and more have replied. We heard we were given one thousand dollars by a generous donor and many parents have offered to donate, which is fantastic! We are still waiting for the response of: the 49'ers, Ace and the US Army.

Challenges: 

Today the electronics team ran into some trouble with the pneumatic of the robot. Some parts are no responding to the power sources. To find the problem, they are going through each chord and testing to see if it is responding to the power from the battery. It is important that we figure this problem out as soon as possible so we get back on track, which we defiantly will. And once again, we still need more materials to continue building, and we are waiting for important mechanisms and parts of the robot to come from the mail, so we are waiting patiently!

Here is a programming member after the pneumatics of the robot was fixed!
Debrief: 
Today's progress mostly encompassed the beginning process of constructing the team's 2nd robot, where we will duplicate all of the mechanisms and structures, eventually leaving us with 2 twin bots; (we need two identical robots; one for team practice and one for the competition).

Achievements:

Fabrication-

Today's the fabrication team continued to built the arcade game elements and is in the middle stage of  putting the different pieces together. Unfortunately we are still missing needed wood in order to finish up the cutting and drawing stage. We also started to design a protection mechanism for the electronics and pneumatics of the robot.




Electronics -

The electronic members began to wire the battery for the 2nd robot. They began to cable the different power chords to the chassis and connected all of the power sources to the functioning mechanisms like the wheels.








Programming -

Their main goal today was finalizing drive system to possible bot drivers and beginning pneumatics which is a branch of engineering that uses gas or pressurized air. The programming members have been busy with prepping the basic functions of the bot so the rest of us can begin working on our portion of our 2nd bot. They had the challenge of different machinery breaking down. 






Actuation -

The main thing the electronics team achieved was wiring our second robot and to begin constructing. The 2nd bot is always a bit easier since we already know the design and different parts/mechanisms needed for the robot. They also worked really hard on the ramp and they made changes to change for the final real construction, pointing out the pros and cons of the ramp's design.











Communications -

The communications sub-team worked on the social media platforms, king sure all accounts are connected and up and running. They also completed the important task of signing up for Davis, which is the very first FRC robotics competition that we will be competing in... EVER! And as always they were busy with sending important and informative emails to parents.





Treasury -
Today the treasury group did the exciting task of sending sponsor emails to the 49er's, Ace and 2K. We have many connections! The treasury team has been raising a good amount of money for our team and we are so appreciative for their hard work. The image eon the left shows our team discussion at the end of the day about the t-shirts/jerseys that we will be purchasing.




Challenges: 

We are having challenge with groups not being able to move onto their sub-group's next stage because they are relying on another group to finish on a specific task. For instance the fabrication team in not able to begin their daily goal to design the protection cage for the electronics and pneumatics because the electronics team is still not 100% sure on where all the mechanics will be placed. Essentially slows down our progress, but we will bounce back and get back on track. I think I can say that we all started to feel a little drained from the past two weeks, but we are dedicated to finishing up this intersession on a strong note, ready to begin the exploratory.


Debrief:

Today was another successful work day where Ellipse 6814 broke into our groups and continued our work from last week. We are getting closer to having a well-build robot that functions. Our team had a driver's meeting, (the individual conducting the robot and driving it in the course during the competition) where they decided who will be the teams bot driver, who is obviously an essential and member of the team. 

Accomplishments:


Fabrication -

The fabrication team is finishing up drawing dimensions and cutting wood pieces for the arcade, and today we actually started constructing the game elements, which will be a tedious and important task. We want this arcade to be as identical to the real arcade as it possible can so we can have accurate runs with the bot.






Actuation -

We made the prototype ramp which enables other robots to get onto of our robot at the very end of the competition. This will be giving our team's robot more point and will help out our alliance teams. There are still some changes that the actuation team needs to make but this is a great base to grow on. The team is CAD'ing as well as searching for parts needed.












Electronics -

Today the electronics sub-team was able to make the bot move with ease! This is a huge step of our team and we are know technically able to compete! The bot can reverse, move forward and turn around quickly and smoothly. They are on track!




Programming -


This group is continuing to program different parts for the bot, including the stick tank drive and the intake mechanism. They set up the GitHub program which is a collection of version control codes which is an easier way to code. They also tasted out the robot in the gym and it was a great first run!









Communications -

Today the communications discussed different team jersey/shirt designs, which we will wear to all competitions to represent our team, Ellipse 6814. The image on the left is the base design of our team shirts.

 


Treasury -

The treasury team was able to raise another $5,000 for our team expenses! They have also continued to send emails to possible and current
sponsors/parents.









Challenges:

One challenge we are facing is making sure our sub-teams keep on communicating with each other, keeping everyone in the loop of what has been achieved and what is up next to do. This way we can start connecting everything together. The sooner we do this, the sooner we can get up and running. One other issue is that the fabrication STILL doesn't have enough wood, we also came across some difficulties with construction because the weather is not permitting us to begin building due to the rain.


Debrief:

Today, we continued work from yesterday and also started some new projects in each sub-team. From now on, we will be in the development and creating stage of the process. One big accomplishment we made as a team was getting all parents supporting our team by signing up for the potluck tomorrow on Friday for a debrief and explanation of who we are, what we are doing, and what they can do to help out the team.  

Accomplishments:

Programming - 

Today in programming they tried to make the two motors run with exact synchronization, letting the robot move smoothly with the same running speed on all six wheels.They also completed many smaller tasks.
Fabrication - 

The fabrication team continued building the game elements and we were able to get some more wood from team member's homes, the goal is to get the arcade up and ready to go!


Electronics - 

The electronic group's main goal was to attach and secure all of the technology/mechanisms that they worked on yesterday onto the robot base. Now we can start building form that.




Actuation - 

Today in actuation, the team started prototyping game pieces, which includes the power cube claws/grabber (picture on the left) and a ramp out of black foam for the endgame of the competition. 




Treasury - 

Today the treasury leads continued working on the sponsor list/targeted company list from yesterday. This means that we can gain more money so we can continue advancing our robot and team.







Communications -

The communications team started on the daily vlog, so we took videos of each sub-team and asked them to summarize what they were accomplishing today; the video vlog will be coming out asap. The team also created the important design shop rules as shown to the left.





Challenges:

One challenge we have is making sure that there is something for everyone to do at all times, that no one is standing around waiting for a task to be completed. We want to make sure that we are sufficient and are getting the most out of our limited time. There is also a lack of focus at times because we get so excited! We also have a difficult time containing liquids inside mugs, which obviously is a large problem in the space, however, this can be easily solved with the team's cooperation.


Below is Jaia, the Actuation lead taking a quick break.