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On Saturday January 7, The Hawaiian Kids started their 2012 build season by attending the annual Kickoff Presentation at McKinley High School in downtown Honolulu. All the robotics teams on the island of Oahu were in attendance. As well as some from other islands. The event started early at 5:30 A.M. and everyone welcomed the four new rookie teams for this year.
The Kickoff Presentation is an annual event that FRC teams wait all year for. The purpose of the event is to announce the year’s game and is the official start of the six week build season. Also, this is the time when the robotics teams pick up their kit of parts. The kit of part is a collection of parts that are crucial to create their robot.
This year’s Kickoff was finally here and we were all ready to find out what the game was. So when the video announcement aired every student was as focused as could be. By the end of the video the students were already discussing ideas on the new game, “Rebound Rumble”. The point of “Rebound Rumble” is to shoot miniature foam basketballs into hoops of three differing heights. But there is a catch, there are “bridges” somewhat like balancing tables that are in the middle of the field that must be used to cross if one does not wish to go over a bump. During autonomous time period a Microsoft Kinect may be used for issuing commands to one robot per team. After Kickoff, Team 359 returned to school and did what they could to prepare for this build season. Everyone couldn’t wait to get their jobs started and take on the next six weeks of hard work.
Today was planning and idea day for Team 359. We decide to start the day by breaking into groups and reading the rules for a better understanding of the game and its many tricky rules.
Each group selected a few tricky rules and presented to each other for this years game “Rebound Rumble” Then, after a quick break we started thinking about what we wanted the robot to do during the game(strategies) for autonomous, driver control, and the endgame. Later we discussed our thoughts on the robots design and capabilities. Students, mentors, and even alumni joined the discussion and shared ideas.
After our discussion was completed we broke into our various sub-teams and began work. Documentation was hard at work on updating the web site, creating the video, and taking pictures. At the end of the day we were satisfied about the amount of work we had finished.
Only a few days into the build season and The Hawaiian Kids are wasting no time. Our whole team is working hard to make this another great year.
Our machinists were hard at work testing prototypes for the new drive train. Meanwhile, the Construction Support team started building a playing field for this year’s game. That way our drivers will be able to practice driving and the programmers can program the robot. Away from the actual robot, the Documentation group stayed committed to their jobs. The Visual Media team took their daily photos and videos while the Website Creators updated Team 359’s website. The Composition & Public Relations (CPR) team even got started on the team’s Sustainability/Business Plan for the season.
To top things off, we also had a visit from Deborah Patterson, from the Monsanto Fund. We showed her our facilities and demonstrated some of our previous robots. Our lead mentor then conversed with her and thanked her and her company for the generous donation to our robotics program.
It’s only day three of build season and the Hawaiian Kids are slowly but surely working towards an excellent season. Our Construction Support team is almost done building the “bridge” for our practice field and they also began constructing the backboard structure which includes the hoops needed to score. Not only does this help our drivers practice, but it also makes our programmers’ jobs easier to program the robot.
The Programming team worked on deciphering the software that needs to be used to program the robot which was provided for them. They also came up with ideas on how they are going to integrate the Microsoft Kinect into their robot sensor arsenal, either in autonomous or on the robot in general. As always, Team 359’s Visual Media team were busy taking extensive video of all divisions hard at work
We are halfway through the first week of build season and not even the rain will stop us from completing our tasks for the day. With our website team hard at work continuously updating the the website, the visual media team continues recording for their weekly videos. In another room, the Communications and Public Relations (CPR) members continued updating the team’s Sustainability & Business Plan. Team 359’s programmers used CAD today to model the drive train. That way they will have a better understanding about what will or will not work. They also continued working on deciphering ways to use the Kinect system with our robot. Nearby, our construction sub-team finished putting the bridge together and completed sanding it. On top of that, they finished painting the scoreboard. So now they just have to wait for the basketball hoops to come in so they can complete that part of the practice field. Lastly, every member of our team took a basic safety test to show how much they know about safety in general. By the end of six weeks our goal is to have each and every person a safety expert.
Week One is almost done and Team 359 is flying through with their tasks. The construction support team are ahead of schedule on building the playing field and it is almost complete. Meanwhile, our machinists are working on axles, and a prototype drive train and shooter. As for the documentation part of the team, the visual media team started putting together their video for week one of build season while simultaneously videotaping every action performed. Working on their own projects, CAD continued drawing our drive train with their expert precision. Communications and Public Relations (CPR) members began working on the team’s Engineering Inspiration Award binder. As for Team 359’s System Controllers, they converted all of our old robots codes into the current programming software. With week one almost done this year is looking great for our team.
On the final day of week one, Team 359 accomplished a lot today. The Construction group began working on the shooter mechanism and the swerve drive train as well. They are also in the final stages of completing the practice scoring grid. Our animators continued working with CAD and drafted the storyboard for their new animation. In the other room, the visual media team uploaded and edited the footage for their Week One video which will be up tomorrow. Meanwhile, the website creators did some editing of their own while updating the team’s website. They worked with the safety captain today about what things needed to be added to the “Safety FIRST” page. The Communications and Public Relations (CPR) group worked hard throughout the day to finish the “Profile” section of the Engineering Inspiration binder. Helpful mentors even came in and started working on team buttons and omiyage to give out during the competitions. One week down, five more to go for The Hawaiian Kids and things seem to be going pretty well for everyone.
To view the Safety FIRST! article for week one, click here.