Weekly build logs

"Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress." - Charles Kettering


Happy Kick Off!! Today marks the start of our six-week adventure in building our robot. Working together we brainstorm our robot design. After the amazing kickoff video we started brainstorming on the parts and systems of our robot(s). After a delicious lunch, we decided to split up into three groups where two groups discussed different ways to throw the “fuel” into the boilers and the other group talked about the drive train and other drive components.

The first group talked about using a flywheel and curved metal component to send the “fuel” flying! In the second group, they talked about using a kicking arm to do do high throws into the top of the boiler. And in the last group they figured out the best, and most efficient way to transfer power to the ground!

After the brainstorming phase the groups started to collect resources to begin the drafting of the robot components.

Members who have been on the programming team in previous years taught the new team members how to code in Java. In Java, they learned how to program the essential controls and how to set up the base systems of the robot. They used programs such as "Eclipse" and "Scratch" to accomplish this.
After people learned the general language the veteran members taught them how to extract and set up the software on their computers.

In mechanical, Max and Felix cut the majority of wood. Cameron helped find all of the components and the motor that was used for the ball projectile. Hunter drilled holes in all of the wood, and worked on setting up stuff. The team created a great starter prototype of the ball throwing components. We have to give major props to Sam and the work that he and others did on AutoCad to create a 3D model masterpiece of the the robot. Quinn was the general helper with most tasks and helping in the ways that he could.

The marketing veterans took 2 students under their wings: Terry and Josh. For starters, they were taught the basics of HTML using Github and the templates off of HTML5 UP. The new people were also given access to the Github and Google Docs folders. The team updated the Facebook page and the website weekly log. The log shows the progress of the creation of our two robots and the people behind them.

mechanical is currently separated into two different “sub-teams” -- a group of mostly veterans and seniors headed by Sam Skoglund and another team consisting mostly of rookies and “roamers” headed by Cameron Kramer. Both teams were focused primarily on prototyping the designs of the robot. Kramer’s team started working on the flywheel design. Skoglund’s team focused on the climbing mechanism via a winch.

programming team is headed by Sam Scheidecker. However, on this day he was with the software development team (completely different from the robotics team) and programming was instead headed by Matthew. They spent the day updating all the computers and doing other things to fill their time.

This year there's little difference between the electrical and the mechanical teams.However, none of the things that electrical would be focused on were able to be used. So the only notable mention is that the electrical team worked the test firing mechanism.

Marketing team, headed by the Great Shalamath Jacquez (because he wrote this) has the most diverse workload to do. Divided into three smaller teams by workload, they worked on finishing up the “thank you” notes for the sponsors, worked on the daily log on the website that we built up and took pictures of the other teams working. They are also the team that worked on this journal.

The main thing that we worked on is our plywood holding system for the wood we always acquire. We also completed the thank you letters for our sponsors (Huge thanks to all of our sponsors!!). Our next major project is creating a video to promote FIRST Steamworks to the students and staff.

Today, electrical started resurrecting Blinky -- our robot from the 2011 competition. The team worked on getting the various electronics back into the chassis. By getting Blinky back up and running, the programming team can have more practice with programming and will be prepared for the 2017 game.

In programming, let's just say that computers are frustrating sometimes. The programming team had to upgrade our programming computers and already came across multiple problems. Needless to say, today wasn’t as productive in programming as we’d hoped.


This week, with the first Saturday of the build season over there was tons of work to be done by everyone on the team. The mechanical Team broke into several different groups to create their respective builds, while the Marketing Team went off to record everything that the students had accomplished. The programming Team went off to upgrade their computers and begin working on Blinky, our test bot, and Electrical Team went for gold.

In addition, there was much of the same, though this time there was a significant amount of work being done by the programming Team, as they finally got all the prerequisite work done. Blinky was finally ready to be worked on.

Marketing team banded together to start working on some of the bigger projects for the season, such as the vinyl, Team 2232 T-shirts, reaching out to social media, newspapers and also working to get everything ready for our Week 0 competition with scouting stuff and other crucial items. programming had finally been successful in downloading their necessary programs and got our old bot, Blinky, up and running once again.

Meanwhile, mechanical began to start working on the final design of our robot for this years competition and building the field components to test the robot after it has finished being constructed. Electrical team began to help constuct the robot's frame and began to help programming with building the code and trying to get it to run properly.

All the while, other members of the group helped out with making buttons and learning to create videos to help broadcast our field of specialties.


On Tuesday programming was finally able to get their robot's camera up and running and continued to work on pneumatics. In addition, the mechanical team got the upper frame cut and taped to prepare for welding and started to prep for putting the frame together. Marketing began to work on our robotics progression video and worked on readying t-shirts as well as working on the banquet video.

After taking Thursday off due to conferences, a miscellaneous group of students started to work on the electrical components within Blinky. Mecahnical was continuing to work on the frame of the current robot, as well as adding motors. Marketing began the process of creating team t-shirts by creating the screens, a template to be used on all student and mentor shirts. The programming team worked on setting up the various programs for the new robot and compiling the programming from the previous robot.

Despite us only having worked 2 days this week, we were able to accomplish so much that now we are actually ahead of the game. However, this doesn't mean we can slow down and take it easy. We have to keep working hard in order to maintain our hard work and success so it can pay off.


On the last Tuesday of January, mechanical started to put the final touches on the new robot to make sure it would be in running condition for programming. In addition, mechanical worked on building the field components. Also, marketing started working on the team t-shirts with the help of the students who brought their own. Programming crept closer and closer to solving the mystery that was the old robots programming and continued to begin the process of programming the new robot.

On the second of February, marketing started to teach younger students how to use html, worked on scouting and finished t-shirts for the team. In addition, marketing continued to work on the banquet video for the end of the build season. mechanical and electrical started to wire the new robot, install motors and worked on gearboxes. Programming continued to work on the raspberry pi.

On Saturday, mechanical began to start putting chains on the secondary robot as well as completeing the frame for the first robot. Marketing continued on the banquet video as well as teaching kids html and adobe premiere. programming started working on the raspberry pi again.


The programming Team, now complete in most tasks, waits for the progress of the mechanical Team, which is moving forward smoothly. The Marketing Team split into separate ways, with one working on the website and the other working with the Field Components.

While the Business Professional of America (Sam) was doing busy work, the rest of the team gathered in the tech room for some closer bonding. With the electrical components nearing completion, the Teams began the finishing touches for the field components and the bumpers.

By the 11th, we finally have a working robot thanks to the hard work of the programming and mechanical teams! In addition, Marketng resumes teaching our younger students and continue to work on our banquet video, scouting lists, vinyl and bumpers.