Week 2

Week Two Overview

The recent team activities centered on updating the kitbot's wiring and transitioning old speed controllers to the latest software version. The successful firmware flashing to an old RoboRIO 1.0 paved the way for motor operation and machine driving. In the launcher group, tests on ring compression. Simultaneously, the articulation group delved into conceptualizing prototypes, while the base design subgroup focused on motor assembly, swerve drive testing, and CAD design. A decision matrix played a crucial role in guiding data-driven design choices, leading to advanced prototypes in CAD. Noteworthy explorations with THK rail for a linear extension system showcased its potential ease of implementation. Meanwhile, the climb team delved into investigating gas springs for arm deployment, emphasizing strategic arm storage. Challenges were met by the launcher subteam during shooting tests, necessitating safety measures against game piece breakdowns. The business-focused members strategically outlined the Impact Award presentation, aligning with evaluation criteria. Intake designs underwent revision for a lower profile, with quick progress in prototyping involving plastic and aluminum inserts. 

Jan 13 2024:

Kitbot Progress


Our kitbot was wired and we needed to update our old speed controllers for the latest software version. We had to flash the firmware to an old RoboRIO 1.0. Then we were able to operate the motors and drive the machine.  

The launcher group tested the ability to compress the rings. After a few tests they found that the rings were susceptible to compression in some directions but not very compressible in others.


Our launcher group prototyped and tested our latest version.  We were able score notes from about center stage range. We used 4in diameter x 2in wide Colson wheels. We will continue to test alternative wheels and various levels of compression.


The articulation group  worked on a data matrix and decided on a concept to pursue in prototyping.  


The base design subgroup fully assembled motors and the swerve drive. They updated the firmware on the motors, and tested them for faults. They continued to work on CAD and designing potential base solutions.  

Jan 15 2024:

CAD Robot Concept


All sub teams continued to work on their respective CAD models. An overall concept CAD was portrayed to help all team members see the vision of how the robot could potentially operate.

The team revisited the decision matrix to help our team make a data driven decision. The decision matrix compares the proposed design feature to the challenges and rates how well each design addresses each item. 

 We went over the decision matrix and chose the designs and ideas we wanted to pursue in more advanced prototypes. We prototyped in CAD, each group expanded on our whiteboard designs to recreate the best ones in CAD.


Jan 16 2024:


We were exploring with THK rail for a linear extension system. The solution can be implemented easier than some of our other proposed designs because we would need to fabricate less parts and we expect a high quality from the manufacturer. 


The climb team is exploring the potential of using gas springs to deploy arms to support our climb system. The discussion centered around using a latch to assist the spring to resist the force of the weight of the robot. The need for the arms be store lower than the center stage will be essential for our strategy to drive around anywhere on the field.

Jan 17 2024:


Impact Award

The Launcher subteam worked on collecting data into a spreadsheet that summarized the various shooting angles, distances, & shooting percentage for each test we conducted. We have been challenged by the game pieces breaking down as we have repeatedly launched the game piece at the speaker. 

During testing we set up guarding to ensure our team members wouldn't cross paths with an airborne game piece.

We have also considered launching the Notes at the Trap in an attempt to simplify our climb system set up. With the ability to score the Notes in the trap we would no longer need to raise and lower our system potentially 3 times per match.

A couple of our team members focused on the business part of the team began outlining the Impact Award presentation. They reviewed prior years presentations and came up with a plan to improve the presentation and essay for this year's submission. They are forming the outline that focuses on important talking points we want to ensure we highlight for the judges. They also reviewed the Impact Award Page on our website and FIRST's website to understand the criteria they are being evaluated on. 

Jan 18 2024:


Our intake designs have required a make over. The overall design direction will change after we reevaluated some aspects of our strategy and outside factors we have become concerned with. We are now working on a lower profile design that will fit under our bumpers. The revised design required our machining team to get kick started by making some inserts for an aluminum tube. They spent some time making both plastic and aluminum versions. They learned how difficult the aluminum version is to broach. The plastic version was easier to machine so we've been able to make more headway for our initial prototype. Great job by our students working through various tooling challenges with minimal formalized plan. A quick whiteboard sketch and they were on their way.

For our final parts we will create final part drawings that are within our team standards. Due to the quick nature of prototyping we didn't want to wait for the CAD team that was in the midst of a larger revision change for the overall robot.


The climb team worked on a spring loaded extension system that would be retracted using a winch system. They utilized some linear rails from THK to support the frame. During testing of the system, we had ball bearings pop out. We needed to reevaluate the support structure faults that we had due to our rushed approach for rapid prototyping. Notes were taken about how to improve the next revision.