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From outreaches to shop days to networking events and beyond, there is never a dull day on our team!
I would like to tell you what happened today, but I have a situation to deal with. Today's adventure involved a story of betrayal. It's time for me to cut the ties with someone who I one held near and dear to me (physically and emotionally). Today, Talon #5 decided to quit on me. Normally, I would be sympathetic, but I'm feeling really let down and betrayed right now. So to start today's blog, I would like to write a letter to my ex-friend (words and phrasing inspired by my favorite boy band, NSYNC, and their song, Bye Bye Bye):
Dear Talon #5,
I have no idea what happened. You promised me you would help me with my boulder intake motor. Then today during our test, you just stopped working. What the heck? You're probably gonna start a fight when you read this, but you're out of my life now. You can't hurt me anymore. My builders removed you from my electronics board and put your replacement in. I loved you endlessly, but you weren't there for me. Now it's time to leave and make it alone. I know I can't take no more. It ain't no lie. I wanna see you out that shop door, but the builders are probably going to try to fix you. I just wanna tell you that I had enough. Bye bye bye.
Ok now that that's dealt with, I can tell you what else I did today. Most of the time was spent with the drama you read about above, but we also got some other things done. Some of my builders are working with making modified wheels for my tape measure mechanism to keep the tape from straying. Girls also practiced their driving skills with Brother.
Today was a tough day for me emotionally. Good riddance, Talon #5. You're dead to me.
If you were wondering what's up with the blog title today, it's in a new code that my programmers taught me today. They're working with binary (which also happens to be today's blog title.) This code will help them with programming my autonomous switches. I have three switches (A, B, and C), each of which can either be in the up position or the down position. The different positions create two different values - 1 and 0. All of the different combinations of positions will allow my programmers to give me different autonomous programs. I will know which program to use based on which position my drivers put my switches in at the beginning of each match.
The builders focused on two tasks today: my bumpers and Brother's new frame. For my bumpers, the girls finished setting up the wood and brackets for my two front/side L-shaped bumpers. Now only my straight back bumper remains! After that, the girls will need to add pool noodles, fabric, and numbers. Brother's new frame has all of its spacers and pillow blocks attached.
Build season is wrapping up. I can't believe how quickly this time has flown by! In just over a week, I will be sitting around in a plastic bag. I know that my team will still come to visit me, but it won't be the same. However, the end of build season means that competitions are coming closer. Those will be my time to shine!
Wow! You will not believe the things that I did today. Let's start from the top. Just like every day, my team came in and started to work on me. Their goal for today was to get my hanging stuff working. But before they could work on anything, they needed to make a little bit more room. My space is so tight right now. They decided to move the lifting motors forward one inch to create the essential space they needed. This meant that my limit switch for the ball had to be moved. It is now above where the ball comes in, and it will stop it if it goes too far. Once everything was bolted in again and all of the wires were lined up, the girls could move on to my hanging mechanisms. For my tape measure, they worked on adjusting it. They made it a little bit shorter in some places and a little bit longer in others. A lot of the time was spent on mounting the Lego wheels and making sure they were perfect. Their angles need to be lined up just right in order for them to grip the tape measure well. Luckily, by the end of the day, everything was running smoothly. Some other girls spent the day testing out my lifting winch. They added in ropes and bolts to hold it all together. Then, the craziest thing happened. The girls lined up my hook, and the motors actually pulled me up! I was hanging! The team was so excited. Seeing me hang also brought up a concern with my hook. It wasn't stable enough, so the girls are working on a new one.
The programmers worked on a few different things today. They started working with some switches that will allow me to have more that one autonomous program. Before each match, the girls will think about what they want me to do. Then, they will put my switches in the correct order, and I will know which program to use. While the girls mounted and wired the switches, the programmers played with programming them. They also spent some time working with an issue that they discovered yesterday. For some reason, if Brother's camera gets unplugged, he stops working. They are doing research to figure out what's going on.
Brother's new frame got some pillow blocks for his wheels today. His wheels aren't in yet, but the girls are getting the frame ready so that when they come in, he can start up. Some girls also worked on my bumpers today!
I have one last piece of exciting news for today. The flag that will fly over my driver station is finished! It is so beautiful, and it makes me proud to be a part of my team. I can't wait for competitions!
I had sooooo much fun today! My team got to the shop bright and early to work with me. First, they addressed some concerns that people were having. They added tape to the metal parts of my boulder intake to avoid scratching them. They wired up some things that were finalized. They also added in my radio permanently and cleaned up the wiring. They added a limit switch to my boulder intake so that when it comes in, the drivers won't bring it in too far. That could make controlling it tricky.
Most of today's time for the builders was dedicated to working with my tape measure mechanism. During the morning, the builders were trying to find ways to conserve space and downsize the mechanism. They tried using smaller motors, but they were going crazy fast. Then, they tried to work with Legos to make a gearbox. However, the motor was spinning so fast that it melted the Lego gearbox. The builders spent the afternoon and evening working with the original design. Hopefully at some point tomorrow, they will be able to test it out!
Robot's new frame made a lot of progress today. His holes are slotted just like mine are for the wheels. The girls are working on adding on to the basic frame now. They are holding off on taking the gearboxes and electronics off of Brother until they really need them so that he can keep practicing in the meantime.
The programmers are continuing to work on the autonomous code. They are making major progress every day and I am so happy for them!
In case you were wondering why the title of today's post is Battle Bots, I have a reason. Tonight, as things were winding down, Brother and I had a great idea. We asked some girls if they wanted to drive us around for a little. We let them start off with some basic things like driving under the low bar. Then, we started fighting. It was so much fun! I would like to say that no one got hurt, but Brother's pool noodles got pretty shredded. We loved shoving each other around and racing. I also showed off my new skills on the moat to Brother. He was really scared when I got stuck the first time. We figured out that I just have to go full speed in low gear. I can't look back or hesitate. It's a really bumpy ride but it's also so fun!!!
Well, now Brother and I are powered off so we can't play anymore. In fact, he's already asleep. I'm pretty exhausted from our little battle. I think I'll go to sleep, too.
Today was absolutely wild! In fact, I'm so exhausted because I spent so much time moving around today. Well, I'm not going to ruin the surprise and tell you everything. I'd rather show you with my latest vlog. I hope you enjoy!
Wow! Look at me go! No one can stop me now - I'm on my way!
I hope that you are comfortably seated because what I am about to tell you may be shocking. Something crazy is happening to Brother. This whole time that I've been jealous of him, he has been jealous of me. He has been wishing that he could drive over bumps and hang and kick boulders like me. Well, today, Brother decided that he's not going to sit around wishing anymore. He told the team how he felt, and they are giving him some major upgrades. In fact, he's becoming my identical twin! No joke, friends. He will look just like me. I'm so excited for him! The girls were working all day on copying me. They are starting off with the frame, and, slowly but surely, his new self is coming together.
Meanwhile, the girls continued working on my design. Today, my compressor was wired. The girls also worked with my tanks today. Also, some girls mounted my battery case with a collar. The collar will help to keep my battery in place, especially when I am going over bumps.
I am so proud of the programmers!! They reached a major milestone with the autonomous program today. Brother is now driving around without the help of controllers!
I really hope that Brother doesn't let this whole twin thing get to his head. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that we will get to be closer than ever. I just hope he remembers who the original Robot is around here.
Brother has been practicing his driving a lot today. And for Brother, with practice comes a lot of crashing. Luckily, he didn't break himself again today. Every day, I sit quietly and hang out with the girls while they work on me. Brother, on the other hand, drives around like a maniac! Hopefully, all of the practice that Brother is getting will help the girls. By the time I am practicing with them, I hope that there won't be as much crashing.
Today, the girls continued to work on my design. They mounted my compressor. To address an issue with routing my battery cord, the girls did some wiring and cut a slot in my battery case for the wire. Every step of the way, the girls are trying to consider the bigger picture and ensuring that everything is considered. Meanwhile, the programmers worked diligently on cleaning up the autonomous code.
It's been a long day. I'm so thankful that I got to spend it with my team and Brother. As the girls say, I'm feeling hashtag blessed (whatever that means).
All I knew this morning when I woke is I know something now I didn't before. Today is Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday!!! I couldn't go too crazy on the snacks today because I have an 120 pound weight limit, but I certainly took the time to celebrate with Brother. However, in the middle of our celebration, something crazy happened! Mrs. Soley, one of the mentors, came down to the basement during the middle of the school day. Apparently there was an issue with water upstairs so she had to cover us with tarps to keep us safe. No more partying for us. I guess it was for the best, though.
Once the girls came down to the shop, it was time to get working. The builders kept focusing on getting me back into a functional state. Some girls bent plastic into a box for my battery. Others continued to mount the things I will need for my superstructure. I am changing everyday - it's unbelievable!
The programmers were also hard at work today! They spent a lot of time cleaning up Brother's code. Other girls were spending some time practicing with Brother today. He still needs to drive around more, though. I always hear him crashing.
To some people, it might not look like I've changed much each day. However, in my perspective, all I know since yesterday is everything has changed.
Today was the first step toward improvement for me. As soon as school ended, my team started working on fixing me. Some people worked on the guard for my ball collector chain. Others worked on adding PVC in the gap between my wheels to help me slide over obstacles more easily. Some girls also were working on the rearranging of my superstructure. Slowly but surely, my design is coming together.
The programmers were also up to some neat work today! The gyro code is coming along and Brother is trying his hardest to figure it out. Some girls had a lot of fun playing with Brother today!
I just realized that I haven't been telling you all about the amazing work that is going on with the team's awards. Every day, a group of girls has been working on the Chairman's essay, presentation, and video. Other girls have also been working on the Woodie Flowers nomination and the Media and Technology Innovation Award. I love what they have accomplished!
Build season is going by so quickly! I can't believe it!
Today was crazy to say the least. I started off the day with my builders finishing up my ball gatherer and working on my tape measure mechanism. The tape measure was extending really nicely, and everyone was really excited!
Then everyone wanted to have me try going over the defenses again, especially the ones I was having trouble with yesterday. When I tried to go over the moat, things went crazy. My battery fell out and I freaked out. My builders knew that something about my design needed to change because they really want me to be able to go over the moat. However, moving the battery isn't exactly an easy task. My team spent a lot of time today playing robo-Tetris with me. They thought about what they could shift around to make room for my battery. Nothing is definite yet but they are working out a plan.
The programmers got a lot done with Brother today! His gyro is functional now, and they made a program that will correct his orientation if it is wrong. They are now using this technology to help with the autonomous programming.
Build season is crazy! I never know what's going to happen next!