Hello alumni, sponsors, and fellow robot enthusiasts! If you are looking for an update on what the Firebirds have been up to, look no further. The Firebirds have been very busy over the past few months adjusting to a hybrid learning system and starting on our fun offseason activities!
First things first, a message from our Vice President of Business on this years Quizzo:
Even though 2020 has looked different than we imagined, Quizzo 2021 is going to happen! This year, Quizzo takes place, virtually, on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 7 pm. It is going to be live: scored by current Firebirds and MC’ed by one of Mount’s Chemistry teachers, Mr. Jerkerwicz. And of course, we are still going to have raffle baskets! A benefit to this new virtual model of Quizzo is that you can bid on baskets in advance by using the website, OneCause. This website along with the registration will be published at the end of January and continue to be updated until the night of Quizzo!
Your team members can be people in your “pod” or you can social distance with friends or family! We wanted to make Quizzo as fun (and semi-normal) as possible while still being safe. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com.
Hope to see you there!"
Through the generosity of our sponsors and the dedication of our girls, we have been able to start two FTC teams this year!
We are proud to present FTC team 18436, Basan, and team 18437, The Valkyries. Each team is made up of girls in the purple and gold cohorts respectively, due to the hybrid system the Mount has adopted. All girls on each team have less than two years of robotics experience. Lets see what both teams have been up to!
Basan has been hard at work prototyping mechanisms for the intake, indexer, and outtake. I asked some of the girls to describe the prototypes they have been working on.
The Valkyries have also been in the prototyping process developing an intake, indexer, and two outtakes.
This year, some of the juniors and seniors on the team are working together to create a real life BB-8! Two of our builders, Sophia and Nora, are currently using CAD to map out a robot design and determine the parts best suited for the robot. Our senior programmers have decided to use a Raspberry Pi and a Servo Hat to control the bot. So far, we have setup the raspberry pi to receive values from an xbox controller, started research on using beam break sensors with the Raspberry Pi, and begun developing an object avoidance program using a Raspberry Pi Camera and a Pi Zero.
Senior Brynn Lintner decided to make a new type of robot controller: an electronic glove! The idea began with using a gyro in a glove so that when the user turns their hand the robot would move. Then, the idea expanded into flex sensors in the gloves’ fingers to allow control of other mechanisms. The sensors would allow the programmers to use different bends of the users fingers to control a multitude of the robot’s functionality. With this in mind, the parts were ordered and Brynn has begun working with an Arduino board, the flex sensors, and gyro to put it all together and create the gloves.
Ivy Hill Equestrian Society:
Before winter break, one of our girls, Sarah Farrell, was designing tags for the horses at the Ivy Hill Equestrian Society. When we return to school, she will use the X-carve to engrave the tags!
Thank you so much to our sponsors for making this happen! Check back soon for more updates on the weekly happenings of the Firebirds. See you soon!
Hello Dearies! Welcome back to the blog! It is officially the end of Week 4!! As everyone knows, Week 4 gets pretty rough, the way we combat that is with dancing! If you check out our vlog (hint hint go watch the vlog!) you'll just how much dancing we've done! Though we dance a lot, we work even more! Soooo let's get to the week recap!
The Chairman's girls worked suuuuuper hard this week! They have did amazing work with scripting out the presentation, figuring out important topics, and dividing the points between the girls. They edited the essay. And edited. And edited some more.... and guess what. THEY FINISHED THE ESSAY AND SUBMITTED IT! WE ARE OFFICIALLY ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE FOR CHAIRMANS! We are so so proud of these girls and are so thankful for everything they've done to get ready for this.
Our Business Plan have also been underway this week! We are currently in the editing process of our business plan and hope to have most of it down by the end of this week! Thanks to Kristen for making it look GORGEOUS
For Scouting, the grind never ends! Our Scout Master, Liz has been working on new more user-friendly scouting sheets. We are sticking with our paper handouts this year because it is very successful for our team and are using more visual aids to help the freshmen scout!
And since I can never do K-Dawg justice her she is again:
"This week, the programmers finally got their hands on the robot! The sophomores and freshmen designed, built, and mounted an electronics panel (it has two levels, is very fancy, and has been named Jimmy John due to its sandwich-like appearance). They also wrote code for the robot’s main mechanism controls. The junior and senior programmers continued to work on vision processing and spent approximately four hours mounting retroreflective tape (special shoutout to any other poor souls who spent their Saturday trying to angle tape at ~precisely~ 14.5 degrees). They also wrote code for some of the processes that our team will be automating during the season, such as the endgame climb and a few specific positions for the cargo and hatch mechanisms."
So that is all for Week 4! We sadly had two days where we weren't allowed to be in shop, but we still made some amazing strides towards the end of this build season! As they say in Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again! See you in Week 5!
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This past week, our school community has grieved the loss of Sister Kathleen Brabson, our school president. We have come together as a community to remember her legacy, her love, and her compassion. One of our favorite stories of her was, every year, while sitting in our chapel, she would tell each and every one of us to look at the ceiling. To look at the many stars painted in chapel. And pick one. Keep it in your head. Your heart. Your soul. That we are forever imprinted in that chapel as our star will be there to represent us.
We feel as though this story is a sign for us. That even in Deep Space, we can look for our star, and know we are home. And look around and see all the stars around us and know we are not alone and our sisterhood will forever stand beside us.
With this news, we are also announcing that we will be dedicating this season to the memory of Sister Kathleen. Her love for the education of women, and STEM education is a passion embedded in our team, and encouraged by her support. We know that will her watching over us, no matter our season's outcome, that we are loved and supported by her every step of the way. Spes Messise in Semine, The Hope of the Harvest is in the Seed.
With that being said, Sister Kathleen's dedicated to hard work has allowed us to continue on and get back to work as Week 3 has come to a close. So we'll start off with our normal quick roundups!
*You will be getting another bulleted list like last week #sorrynotsorry*
Now like always I didn't write this section, but the text conversation that happened between Kate (Head Programmer and President) and I was too great not to include so enjoy:
Ellie: "hey k-dawg could you give me a brief overview of what happened in programmy land last week?"
Kate: "absolutely e-money:
This week, the sophomore and freshmen programming team built a whole electronic board! They wired up a roboRIO, radio, VRM, and a few Talons to get some practice before wiring the electronics 2019 robot, which they will be doing in the next few weeks. They also successfully got the gyro function of the navX working, which will be essential for any programs to be run autonomously during the sandstorm period. The Raspberry Pi subteam have managed to get images streaming from the Pi to the SmartDashboard and are now working towards finetuning GRIP programs in order to automate a hatch placement program."
Ellie: "I hate us"
The Chairman's team is making aamaaaaaaazing progress! They have finished a working essay that could be submitted right NOW! That being said they believe they can sharpen it up a little, plus we want to add a few things! They have also made a concrete decision on what they want this year's theme to be and how they'll implement it! It's extremely cool and fits this year's aesthetic perfectlyyyyyy! Dariya and Lex have also started doing Dance Brainstorm Sessions where they express what topics they would like to include while showing off their best moves! These girls are ahead of year's previous and they're on track to making this season reach the stars!
*More bullet points, yay!
Now that's all for this week, see you all next time! We're the 433 Firebirds and you're watching Disney Cha--. Whoops, wrong place, sorry! We're the 433 Firebirds and we're blasting off into DEEP SPACE!
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Hello blog! Welcome to Deep Space Week 2! I'll keep this intro short as we go into what we've been up to this week! Also keep an eye out for our new Build Season Vlog which will be coming out soon!
Sadly, we had final exams this week so our shop was closed from last Saturday to this Thursday. We've been sure to make up lost time by getting right back into shop though!
This Friday we had our annual Quizzo event, a trivia night we host. We not only do 10 rounds of trivia, but we raffle off baskets and do 50/50! This year our very own Mr. Palac won the 50/50! We thank everyone who made this night through donating baskets and sponsoring the event. Also, a huge shout out to our school, the Mount Saint Joseph Academy, who always allow us to hold this event and to Mrs. Gregori who is the main reason this night runs so smoothly!
Our builders have made A LOT of progressive this past week. We have:
Though I could update you all on Chairman's in long winded bullet points, our amazing Business Vice President and head Chairman's girl Dariya best explains it, "Hard at work this week, the Chairman's team finished the first draft of the essay! (This is the fastest they've finished it in a couple of years, so they're very excited). Also they began planning their theme, let's just say, stars are aligning for this to be a perfect presentation. *winky emoji & star emoji*"
Since we discovered other people write much better paragraphs than I do, we now have our lovely President and Head Programmer Kate talk a little bit more about the work on the programming side, "For the past two years, our programming team has been functioning under a philosophy we like to call, 'Type now, research (maybe) later.' This year, our programmers are taking a different route. With the new challenges of the Sandstorm Period and vision processing, Junior and Senior Programmers have been researching extensively and have succeeded in getting their Raspberry Pi up and running. Now they are working toward both displaying image streams on the SmartDashboard and processing images using GRIP. The sophomores and Freshman Programmers this week upgraded a past robot to run with 2019 FRC code. They now have that robot running basic autonomous program with two cameras for our drivers to use when simulating the sandstorm period. They have also begun to experiment with a few different types of sensors to determine which ones we want to use on our 2019 robot. Gooo Programming!"
Important Media Update!!!
STARTING TODAY WE ARE DOING A 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL! We will be posting every Monday through Friday a throwback photo starting from 1999 all the way to 2019! So make sure to keep an eye on our Instagram (@firebirds433) and share it with all your friends!
So that is all my birdies! We hope to see you next week! Keep building and don't go crazy as we start Week 3!
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Heeeellllooooooooo! Welcome back to the happiest place on earth! Since Week 1 is officially over, we NEED to fill you guys in on what we’ve done this year! So let’s start!
Since we’ve covered girlPOWER and most of September we’ll start with October!
This is just the beginning of the amazing things that happened since we’ve been gone! Now that Week 1 is at a close, we sadly will not be in shop for a little while due to Finals being this week, BUT we will be back on Thursday! And meanwhile, we are prepping for our annual Quizzo Fundraiser which is this Friday! If you haven’t gotten a table there’s still time left or if you would like to make a donation to the event feel free to reach out!
Good luck to all the other teams and we can’t wait to Blast Off into DEEP SPACE!
*Remember to watch our new vlog!*
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Hi Blog! It's been awhile! Don't worry we're back once again!
We've done quite a bit this summer, but that's a story for another time! Today, we're here to talk about one of our favorite events—girlPOWER! For those that don’t know girlPOWER is an annual offseason event we run, POWER stands for Preparing Outstanding Women Engineers through Robotics. What makes this competition so unique is the drive teams are required to be made 100% of women! This event helps encourage girls to get more involved on their team and give them a chance to show off their skills! Like always, this year was so much fun and a huge success!
First, we would like to thank our sponsor Penn Community Bank for making this event possible and to all the volunteers who made the day so special!
This year we got to watch girls from 15 teams have the chance to POWER UP once again! Experienced and new girls all got the amazing chance to try and drive their robot (some for the very first time ever!). “GirlPOWER is an amazing event because it gives a whole new set opportunities to team members who normally would not get the chance to drive or be in the pit.”
Though many girls are often slightly timid to drive their robot for the first time, the President of the Firebirds, Kate, said it best herself, “Through these opportunities, girls are able to become more confident both within their teams and within FRC as a whole.” The experience level doesn’t matter but the chance for these girls to put themselves out there is the most important part.
Not only do girls get to drive their own robot, they sometimes get the chance to help with others! Our drive team leader, Bridget, was actually able to coach Team 423 during some of their matches. When asked about the experience she said, “This year I especially loved girlPOWER because I got the chance to coach 423 Simple Machines. Doing this gave me the opportunity to see first hand how all girl drive teams really benefit girls interested in becoming a part of robotics, but might not get the chance to do so with male mentors and a team in which the majority members are boys.”
GirlPOWER also fosters friendships between teams and emphasizes the Gracious Professionalism in FRC, 433 drive team member, Gabbi said, “Another part that I love is the camaraderie among teams. Everyone cheers on the other teams and i am so happy to be apart of a wonderful community.”
This event is designed to introduce the public to robotics as well. Many members from our community and all around come to girlPOWER as their first introduction to FIRST and FRC. Though confusing for some at first, the community of amazing FRC families are always willing to sit down and explain what is happening to each other. To see the growth of such an amazing program is always an extra perk of hosting this event.
Congrats to all the teams for doing amazing this year, as well as all the girls who put themselves out there to try something new. We hoped all that could attend had an amazing time and we hope to see you next year! And don’t forget to POOOOOOWER UP!
P.S. CHECK OUT OUR GIRLPOWER 2018 VLOG (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hJoGam8lsg)
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Hi! Nice to see you again, it's been a while. Yes, it’s true. Our birdies did graduate, yes they are leaving the nest. No, this is not our last goodbye because once a Firebird always a Firebird (you are a honorary Firebird if you get that High School Musical reference).
Down below you’ll find some amazing little snippets about each of our senior birdies from this year written by the girls on the team! They talk a little bit about where they will be heading, but also look back and see just how they’ve impacted our team!
Jess Jha -
Jess has been a Firebird since her freshman year. She has worked tirelessly on the business team for her four years here. Jess will be attending Drexel University as a Software Engineering Major this year.
Alexann Konyk -
Alex has been on the team since her freshman year and has been contributing to the team ever since. As human player and button maker, she kept our team spirit and the scores high. Alex was nominated as a Dean’s List semifinalist in her junior year. She will be attending Villanova University as an Engineering Major.
Alex Reyes -
Alex has been part of the team since freshman year. She was our first driver . Alex has played a big part on our team from head programming to head of our drive team. Her sense of humor helps our team get through the build season. Alex plans volunteer at our future competitions and will be attending William and Mary majoring in Chemistry and Psychology.
Annie Fowler -
Annie joined the Firebirds in her freshman year and has been on the Chairman’s Award Subteam for three years, working with outreach. Annie served as the Vice President of Social Affairs as a sophomore, Executive Vice President as a junior, and President as a senior. She will attend Eckerd College and major in Marine Biology.
*Now as a quick update for our 2018-2019 season: We have elected our officers for next our upcoming season! As a change for this year, we have actually created 2 Vice President positions: a Technical VP (who deals with more with the physical robot) and a Business VP (who will deal more with the business and behind-the-scenes work). Together they will be able to cover more of our team and help us run it more efficiently!
Now we are honored to announce the following girls as leader for the 2018-2019 season:
President: Kate Przydzial
Technical VP: Brigid O’Neill
Business VP: Dariya Brann
HUGE congrats to our birdies, we know they’ll help make our next season an amazing one!
As always, keep up to date with what we are doing on our social medias which are linked below! And keep an eye out for an end of the summer update that will talk about everything we’ve done this summer! Again, our birdies are leaving the nest, but they will always be able to come visit their second home: the shop. We love you girls so much and we know you’ll go on to do amazing things!
(PS: For any FRC Teams, girlPOWER registration is open! If you haven’t registered yet, feel free to use the link below and register your team’s spot before it’s too late! https://www.firstfirebirds433.com/girlpower.html)
Hiya Blog! I’m sorry we’ve been gone for so long, buuuuut we’ve had a veeeeeeeery busy 2 months! And by busy, I, of course, mean the most amazing, wonderful, exciting 2 months we’ve had! As you’ve probably guessed, when build season ended we jumped right into competition season. So let’s break this down week by week to make our amazing season a little easier to understand. (Get ready for a long one!)
We didn’t compete during this week, but we started all our prep for Westtown! We did lunch and after school drive team meetings where we practiced on our second bot (his name is Bowser!). Our drivers got some intense practice so we would be ready for our first competition. We are also suuuuper lucky to have an amazing Firebird Mentor/Superstar Dad who built us a rolling battery box and storage cart to add to our pit (they are the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen (and yes i may be biased because I’m in the pit… and I might have cried when he rolled them… hey we don’t judge! #tearsofjoy). So now we had 2 amazing carts (THAT HE EVEN PAINTED FIREBIRD PLAGUES TO PUT ON THE SIDES OF THE CARTS [we had some amazing girls design and carve them out on the x-carve machine!!!] AND I WANT TO CRY AGAIN). But yes we spent some time here packing and oooooooof courseeeeee CHAIRMAN’S PRACTICE!!!!!! We did a lot of work on our presentation, for those that don’t know, we actually had one of girls design a video game that the judges could play with a customized Firebird Avatar!!!!!! It was suuuuuuuper cool and I think I fell in love with it! (can you tell I presented for Chairman’s yet?). But yes! Week one of competitions was wiiiiiiild (even though there was no competition because ya know #poweruppowerouttage was a real thing, we <3 Hatboro). And nooooow we are ready for Weeeeeeeek Twooooooooo!!!!!!
Time for our birdies to fly! This week we were competing at Westtown with some amazing teams! We had our six hours of unbag where we carved extra intake arms on our x carve machine and assembled them. And we fixed all the issues we found on our practice bot during the prior week (also shout out to our drivers and programmers because we ended up taking up more time fixing mechanical issues than we originally thought #doingeverythingwithalmostnothing) (#whysomanyhashtags) (#sorrynotsorry). We packed and of course continued our drive team practices and Chairman practices. But the real fun started on Friday! We got to drive to WESTTOWN!!!! (it was very cold and we had to stand outside… you think we would learn to bring winter jackets) But we got in, and we did our work (#workit), we were the first to be inspected (WE PASSED) and guess what? We were the first on the field to practice!!!! Well… we were the only ones on the field at the time. Somehow we lost that practice match… (thanks Ron for all the fouls) *DISCLAIMER WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY GET THAT MANY FOULS OUR ROBOT WALUIGI ON FIRE IS A GOOD BOY AND DID NOT DO THAT* We went into qualifications the next day excited to play for the first time! We actually had a very strong first day and were hoping to continue this streak into the next day! We did come across a few issues. By a few I mean two, but 2 very very annoying ones. First things first the pulley on our elevator broke (... more than once) and the rope kept fraying in that one pulley and eventually would snap. We were prepared though and fixed our pulley and rope and continued on. Then came the storm. Our intake. We discovered that weekend that all the pressure and force from intaking cubes was concentrated on our right arm… the screw holding our intake would actually loosen itself and eventually would actually strip itself. This made the entire back wheel to just fall on the field. Luckily for us, our design could run independent from that one motor and would actually be able to intake cubes like normal. Luckily we finally came up with a way to prevent that from happening which just required a more precise way of tightening the screw. By the time we 100% fixed it, it was Sunday. We headed into our last day with our heads held high and had another strong day. We ended with 7 wins to 5 losses, the first time we’ve ever left a competition winning more matches than we lost. Though we weren’t picked for an alliance, we were next on deck to go in if a robot was unable to compete. So while other packed up we headed to the stands with a few girls keeping watch in the pit just in case. We went through the afternoon with a few scares of having to go on, we got to the finals and it seemed that we weren’t going to go in. But the second finals match, we get volunteers sprinting to our pit saying we need to go on for another team. So, we quickly got our robot together, quickly walked (no running in the pits!) and got our drive team together and competed in the finals! Though we didn’t win our match, we were able to walk out of Westtown with silver metal and a determination to do even better at SCH!
SCH BABYYYYYYYYYY! We spent this entire week fixing our robot from Westtown, more driver practice, and EVEN MORE CHAIRMAN’S PRACTICE! We spent the week prepping again for a second competition (Note: 2 weekends in a row is a marathon… bring caffeine). We also had an extra/new thing to pack!!!! The amazing mentor/dad that made us the storage carts… MADE US A ROBOT CART THAT IS GORGEOUS AND CAN BE USED AS BUNKS AKA I CAN FIT ON THE LOWER LEVEL OF IT AND IT’S REALLY PRETTY AND THE WHEELS LOCK AND CAN MOVE SIDE TO SIDE. OH MA LORDY (1640) ITS SO PRETTY. Let’s just say we were all very excited (and yes I did take a nap on the cart).
But let’s get to the fun part…. FRIDAY SCH COMPETITION BABYYYYYYY!!!!!! So ya girl is also the safety captain and I had a goal. That goal was to take over safety at SCH. SOOOooooOooo we had girls making really really cool safety handouts and spoiler alert! I WON STAR OF THE DAY AND IT WAS REALLY COOL AND I HAVE A PIN. Well anywho we did REALLY GOOD AND WE WERE AN ALLIANCE CAPTAIN AND IT WAS SO SO COOL!!!!! Plus we had a suuuuper fun alliance! (#allcatholicalliance) *shoutout to E=McD and LaSalle Robotics!* Though we didn’t make it past quarterfinals we had an AMAZING second match where we played our hearts out (#wholehearted) and we ended up winning and let’s just say there are some fun pictures of us close to crying waiting for the results for that match to come up! After that we cleaned up, and let me tell you, I was super proud of all the work our entire team had done, from every little detail, to every circle up before shop or competitions, I truly was a proud mama bird who couldn’t ask for a better team. After our final match I was ready to bring Wallie back to the shop and start prepping for next year, I didn’t see a way we could move on.
But the impossible happened. As we are going through awards, all of our amazing friends were winning awards, most of the team’s competing for Chairman’s had gotten awards, and we got down to the final two awards. EI and Chairman’s. As they announced 1218 for EI, and we still hadn’t won an award, many of us were sure we were going to walk home empty handed, but oh no that was not the case. They start to talk about the Chairman’s award, they slightly mention a flame, but there are many fire teams. Until, you hear, “they each put in 4.33 hours of community service”. Now cue my ungodly scream that could be heard for miles and our entire team shrieks as they announce TEAM 433 THE FIREBIRDS!!!! WE WON CHAIRMAN’S AND WE WERE ACCEPTED TO LEHIGH!!!! Our spirits were lifted and we were ready for Lehigh.
Well… We didn’t compete but this was the week where everyone got sick, so we limited shop and made it more of a please don’t get everyone else sick type of week.
Hatboro Horsham! Take 2! (no power outages I promise!) We had some amazing mentors who volunteered their time to ref and judge #firebirdpride #guitarherohannah ! We also helped LaSalle Robotics prep for Chairman’s and they were amazing and we can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next year and for all the years to come! That’s about it! We had lots of dreams of robots and Lehigh and Penn State Ice Cream!
LEHIGH BABYYYYy (wow I say that a lot don’t I?) So quick (hopefully) recap of what all happened! Wednesday! Pit Crew drove up and set up out pit, we had lots of fun decorations, lights, and another new pit cart!!!! If you can’t tell we are all very excited over new pit additions. Thursday morning was a wild wind. We got in got inspected and started on the practice field while we coordinated scouting with 272 Cyber-Crusaders and practiced Chairman’s! Our programmers were on overdrive working with Autonomous and did some amazing work (gotta love Auto Quest! Shout out to our amazing programmers!)! We also GOT SPIRIT WINGS!!!! YES WINGS LIKE ACTUAL GOLD WINGS FOR THE STANDS IT WAS AMAAAAAAZING!!!! Once matches started were stayed consistently in the middle of rankings, but that being said we couldn’t be happier with out. Also an important factor: everyone actually enjoyed the pizza, usually everyone is complaining about eating pizza for the 100th time but A+ for Lehigh!
We ended our party in pits, but that didn’t end our party all together! We headed to the STEM Soiree (hosted by the Robovikings so huge thanks to them!)! We had so so sooooo much fun and I may be a little biased, but I think we were the life of the party (#dancethenightaway). We danced until we felt like our feet were going to fall off, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! We all went home/to a hotel that night and tried to get as much sleep as possible, even though that wouldn’t be much! We headed into Friday tired, but super excited and filled with the fun memories from the night before! All day our Auto was rocking it!!! Though we did drop in the ranks, we are again super super proud of what we did! Also shout out to my pit girls for never panicking more than like twice a day, and two our scouters for being amazing and doing a great job, and of course all of our amazing cheer squad for being the loudest in our hearts! ANNNNNND WE PRESENTED CHAIRMANS!!! Coach Farrell and (the love of my life) Annie, learned about the Chairman Squad’s ‘freestyle practices’ where we say our entire presentation in the most exaggerated and funny way possible! We had an amazing time presenting and loved being able to spread the message of our team and FIRST! We ended this night with giggles and laughs, and a few of our girls even end seeing some of the volunteers eating dinner together (can’t escape MAR, but never upset about that!) SATURDAY!! We had a really fun morning and got right into our matches, errr well, maybe not. We got re-inspected and we are about .25 lbs overweight… Wow man, zip ties and electrical tape really add up… So we took some decorative pneumatic tubing out and we were ending our day at 119.95 lbs... good enough for us! Well our matches went pretty well! We did have one accident that ended up splitting our intake arm in half, but our pit crew did an amazing job at fixing it for the next match! Again I’ll say it once more (and maybe more in the next few sentences) we are amazed and soooo proud with how our robot performed! Though we didn’t get picked for alliances, we jumped into the stands to cheer on all of our amazing friends competing! Once we got to awards, we got a little nervous. But, to our excitement (and I mean A LOT of excitement) WE WON THE SPIRIT AWARD! We are so honored to get this award at Lehigh, our team may be small, but our hearts make up for that and no matter who you talk to you’ll get some amazing answers about our team and some amazing cheering in the stands!
We want to thank all the volunteers from this season and our mentors for making it amazing! Though we did not qualify for Worlds, the memories we made this season are even better than that! And though our competition season ended, the Firebirds don’t stop! We’ve already started making plans for next year! Here’s a quick bulleted list of what we’ve done so I don’t bore you all with another paragraph
So Yes! We’re still very busy! But thanks for flying with us this season, it’s been amazing! And don’t worry we’re not going anywhere!
If you want more from the Firebirds, check out our other social media platforms!
Hello Birdies!!!!! Welcome back to WEEEEEEEEK SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIX AND BAG AND TAG (and potluck!)!!! Whaaaaaaat? This doesn’t make sense, build season is over? I feel like I’m being lied to right now. This past week has gone by so quickly I’m surprised I remember what happened this week! Well before I forget let me explain to you all the wonders of Week 6!
Builders: Our builders didn’t have to eventful of a week. It was very much a “test-break-fix-test-break-fix-repeat” type of feeling. We did a lot of little things like adding Loctite to anything and everything, removing pieces just to put them back on, making cables, creating NEW HANGERS (or at least the hook part), and just truly breaking lots of things that shouldn’t have broken. Keyword: Should not have. We spent a looooooot of time wiring up our entire robot so we had 2 fully functioning bots for the majority of this week. ONE REALLY COOL THING: WE MADE OUR BUMPERS AND THEY’RE GORGEOUS!!!! THEY HAVE FLAMES AND WE USED A REALLY COOL STENCIL!!!!!!!!!! I’M CLEARLY VERY EXCITED! Now for the Bag and Tag Builder Update: We’ve done a lot of work with our intake and elevator adding little bits and bobbles to perfect them and fix some arising issues. Let’s just say it’s 8 PM on Bag night and we’re still fixing stuff. Today, we did a mock inspection for our new drive team girls (which include pit and programmer girls). Luckily, we passed with flying colors! And we even had time to set up our field! As Build Season is over we are continuing to come up with ways to modify our competition bot during our unbag time!
Programmers: Our programmers were extremely busy this week. They not only got their hands on both robots for the first time but they made some extreme progress the past few days. FIrst things first: I want to say how much work our programmers have done on our Auto code, and just how good it’s going. As someone who understands programming very little, I almost passed out when I saw our Auto work for the first time. They also did general driver testing and practice for our new driver and to just figure out some of the little issues. We had a problem with some heavy drifting, but luckily that is mostly worked out now and the remaining kinks will be worked out on our practice bot. Something they are super excited about using PID loops, which will help them get the desired accuracy they need for Auto. As we finished with Build Season are programmers are still hard at work working with our practice bot!
Now for some basic updates!!!! Veeeeeeeeeery important (to our amazing editor aka me at least), we’ve uploaded our “Break Yo’ Bot” submission for AndyMark’s contest! It’s an 8-bit Office parody of when we broke our elevator. Next news our practice bot’s name isssssssss: BOWSER! Our competition bot name will be announced very shortly so don’t worry, but for now it’s a secret!
Potluck! This Saturday we held our annual after build season potluck where we have fun, eat some great food, watch some cool videos, name our bots, and most importantly name our nominees for Dean’s list and Woodie Flowers Award. So read below to the amazing people that are nominated this year, as a quick note: We are so so so very proud of them! They’ve done so many amazing things for this team and we can’t imagine the Firebirds without them! So a huge thank you for making our team a family and being such an important part of it!
-Kate Przydzial - Vice President and Head Programmer (Wizard)
-Brigid O’Neill - Pit Boss
Woodie Flowers Award
-Hannah Farrell - Firebird Alumnus ‘11, Current amazing mentor, Fieldbook of FIRST and Firebird facts
So Yes! That’s how the past 2 weeks have gone and I hope you’ve all had a great time whether you’re building your own robot or just being a supportive parent/friend/mentor! We’ll keep up with updates whenever we do fun things (and don’t worry we might throw some fun vlogs out there just to remind you all of how much fun the Firebirds are). So for now this is the last Build Season Blog Post of 2018! Thank you for reading and BUH BYEEEEEEEE!
Break Yo’ Bot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us7wMOyegsE&t=36s
Hiya Birdie Bloggers!!!! Welcome back to the best FRC blog in err…. Flourtown? We’ll go with Flourtown. Wow almost done, one more full week and then I won’t know what to do with all my free time! (Don’t worry we’ll still keep you updated on what we do weekly!) Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for--the amazing build and programming update! So wait no more!
Now, sadly, our programmers have been at a standstill when it comes to working because we’ve had to make some extra modifications on our elevator before handing it over to them. Though, we have no worries and they’ve done all the prep work they can for when they get there hands on this bot and even finished the electronic panel!
Now our builders have been veeeeeeery busy again! Not only have we been finishing up our practice elevator but we have the competition elevator frame mounted and the intake arms mounted as well. That being said, stringing the elevator has been a challenge. After a week of trying to string the elevator with rope, and sadly failing due to some very intense tangling, we have come to a possible solution. As I type we are currently “chaining up” the bot. Instead of rope we are using chains to run the first stage of our elevator and using rope for the remaining stages. So far it is looking pretty good. (As a quick warning I’m writing this on a Friday afternoon, and staying true to the Firebirds, we will most likely make sufficient progress in the next 48 hours so there may be many editor’s notes). Some other little things we’ve done: spray painting, more spray painting, and even more spray painting. In conclusion: our teams loves spray paint.
UPDATE: Chains were a BIG no, and actually made us go over our max height, sooooo we went back to rope! BUUUUUT ROPE IS WORKING! We’re all pretty happy and gotta say super relieved cause this elevator has been a huge problem this past week. We are now making some adjustments to our climber to compensate for how we fixed our rope problems.
We’ve had a day off due to bad weather, so sadly our shop was closed on Wednesday, and the following day was the Eagles Parade in Philadelphia (Fly, Eagles, Fly!), so our shop was a little quiet this week. Believe it or not, we have made in incredible process this week and are super confident going into Week 6! But don’t let us fool you, Week 5 has been filled with crazies, just like expected. There was a lot of dancing, WaWa, and some crowns made out of robotibal materials! And don’t worry Bridget has continued to play Kesha and Harry Styles all day in the shop… Our mentors now know all the words to Praying by Kesha. And of course our crazy vlogs are still being filmed even with all this happening, so keep an eye out for that and I’ll post a link down below!
Now that’s all for this week, been pretty crazy, but exciting as usual! Be ready for WEEK SIX!!! Are you and your team prepared for the final week? And as always if this hasn’t filled your daily dose of Firebirds… CHECK OUT THE VLOG!!!!!