Follow our latest adventures!
From outreaches to shop days to networking events and beyond, there is never a dull day on our team!
Over the past two weeks the girls have made great progress on our robot. We finished the basic drive train for our robot, and are currently working on the processing program for Autonomous. The ball collector we created and tested was modified from our robot, Nox. It is designed to collect balls by working like a vacuum without bristles. We brought in new materials and through trial and error were able to adjust the ball collector for smaller balls. For the gear delivery part of the challenge we are working on a slide and catch mechanism that in the end will put the gear on the spoke.
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope your holiday was filled with lots of Raspberry pie and pi. The Firebirds have been super duper busy this season of Thanks! Attached is a picture of the things we are most thankful for, including YOU!
We spent time lately working hard on the Eaglebot challenge. Our girls have been spending more and more time trying our best to create an awesome robot! We have focused a lot of time and effort on the kicking mechanism, which is on the robot and able to run! We have been able to kick the football really far and cannot express how excited we are to showcase with our fellow Eaglebot teams!
We are going to be hard at work again this week and today will be headed over to Norwood for mentoring the FLL kids, so we will keep you updated!
These past few days have been very busy! We have spent a LOT of time both in the shop and outside of the shop- always being productive girls! This weekend the girls focused a lot on the kicking prototype and eventually developed a mechanism which has been mounted onto the robot! We have also refined code and the robot's frame has been completely extended. We also spent our Monday at Norwood Fontbonne Academy mentoring their FLL team! We were able to teach them a lot about sensors and watched their presentation, giving them some helpful tips!
We had such a busy day today! School ended at 1:30, so our girls ran downstairs (safely, of course :) to get started on the Eaglebot as soon as possible. The girls talked about the different drive trains available and the pros and cons to each one. With the original drive train, the programmers continued to work on getting the robot up and moving. The prototyping girls worked on the kicking mechanism and really advanced the kicker from the last time. They added more surgical tubing in order for the kicker to have more power when pulled back. The girls worked vigorously in the shop until about 4:30, then headed down to Wawa for dinner. After eating, girls headed over to Wyncote elementary school in the Cheltenham school district to show our robots at the school's STEM night. Alongside Simple Machines, 423, we showed our robots from Aerial Assist and Stronghold, letting the kids drive and play with the bots. They also had a chance to build cars out of Legos and race them! It was such a neat experience and everyone had such a great time!
It's been a while since we've updated you with our team life and boy do we have a lot going on!!! We are working on a robot for the Eaglebot challenge, which will be held on December 8th, as well as all our regular to-dos. Today we mainly focused on the Eaglebot challenge.
The Eaglebot challenge is a FIRST Robotics Showcase presented by NRG and The Philadelphia Eagles (fly eagles fly). We will be competing against 3 other team from our area in a couple of different challenges which you will hear about in our upcoming daily blogs. We have been working so hard and brainstorming like crazy, and now we are on to the technical part of the robot. Our girls all met in our shop today in order for us to divide and conquer as many of the tasks at hand as possible. Our build team worked on prototyping our kicking mechanism for the challenge which requires the robot to kick a football. They also widened the frame of our stronghold practice bot so that we could use it for Eaglebot, worked with motors in order to find the best way to position them on the robot with all the mechanisms we'll need for the challenge, and worked on speed controls for the motors. The speed controls are super cool because our girls can use a stand-alone mechanism to power the motors, making trial runs much easier (especially for our hard-working programmers!). The finance team met together and discussed the recent sponsor commitments and donations made to the team. The programming team was able to get the robot up and running while learning a few new skills along the way. The awards/outreach team prepared for our upcoming event, the Wyncote STEM night, brainstorming fun activities for the kids like balloon-powered lego car races! Our media team worked on the website, updating the blog and theme, as well as brainstormed ideas for our sponsorship video! Today was such a productive day and we can't wait to tell you about all our upcoming events, stay tuned!
Today, we competed in Ramp Riot at Wissahickon High School. It was such an amazing, fun-filled day. We finished the qualifying matches in 7th place, and then became the 7th alliance captain. Team 365, MOE and team 1403, Cougar Robotics were also on our alliance, along with team 3961, the Redbirds. We made it all the way up to the semi finals, and even received the Judge's Award during the awards ceremony! We also had some special Firebirds alumnae come and visit us. Thank you to team 341, Miss Daisy, for hosting this wonderful competition, and making us all have a fantastic time in our last offseason competition for Stronghold!
We greeted campers in the morning, just like everyday. We started out by continuing the list of tasks to be programmed into the robots. Some of the ones completed today included...SENSORS!
The campers were so excited to finally use the sensors and their use of each one was impressive. One of the tasks to be completed using the touch sensor, for example, was to have the bot back up while the sensor is being pressed and stop as soon as it is released. My personal favorite (this is Annie here) was the ultrasonic sensor. As shown on our instagram, the kids were able to program the bots so that they will never run into anything when they used the ultrasonic sensors.
We then ventured over the 5181's shop to check out their Stronghold robot and the shop they build and work in. It was really neat to be able to see someone else's (basically) home.
On our way back from the shop (it's across their campus from where the camp is held) we got caught in torrential downpours and while some of us were making ponchos out of trash bags and umbrellas out of plastic tablecloths (really, robotics shops have everything!), others were embracing the rain and soaked up every last drop. Kate and I decided it would be a good idea to race each other across campus. That is until we ended up walking around the rest of the day in soppy shoes and socks.
Then we found out the challenge for tomorrow:
With a partner, have your bots pick up a marker and write out "LA SALLE".
I'll leave you with that and update you tomorrow on how the challenge goes!
(This is being written from the point of view of a Firebird)
Today started off bright and early at 9am, per usual. The camp we are doing this week is an Introduction to Lego Robotics with LaSalle Robotics 5181. The course is done through Lego Mindstorms and every day consists of different challenges and tasks that must be completed.
We greeted the campers and got to pair up with a camper. Each of us got to work 1:1 with our partner and helped them with whatever they needed. Some of the tasks they were to complete individual included programming their robot to move in a figure eight motion, or having it play a song, but only while it’s moving. The kids have been having a blast getting to work on all of this and all of us are having a fabulous time helping them.
The challenge today was to program a song and dance for their robots. Each of them were given 20 minutes and collaboration between themselves was allowed, but not with any of the high schoolers or mentors. While they all worked intensely on their routine, all of the high school ‘counselors’ got to just hang out and have a snack break. We all grabbed some paper, and the dance-off began. We rated each dance routine and the competitiveness boosted everyone’s interest in the challenge. After all the dances were done, we all got back with our partners to continue working through the list of tasks to be completed throughout the week. By the end of the day we all found out the winner of the competition and were told a hint at tomorrow’s.
Can’t wait for another fabulous day with all of our friends!
(Firebird girl here, not the robot)
Today we had the opportunity to walk drive our robot in the Whitemarsh 4th of July Parade! We took Firefly (robot from Aeriel Assist) and got to show off how cool robotics is! So many people were amazed and we had an absolute blast!!!
We started the day by packing up all we needed and heading over to the parade. We sat in the back of the car and the robot got go wherever he pleased while parading. We decorated him in American flags and had a whole lot of fun handing out candy to kids and playing ball with Firefly. All the kids we saw were amazed and we even got a couple barks from the attending dogs.
After strutting around town, Firefly was a bit tired so we settled down in the tent and showed everyone how the robot worked and gave kids the chance to have a hands-on experience with him. Not only was shooting and throwing the ball fun, but they were so interested in the technology behind it!
We're so glad we were able to present STEM in such a fun and exciting way today!
esterday I was lucky enough to have been able to go to WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications) Tech it Out event with a few of the girls. We were able to experience some crazy Virtual Reality things such as the cave at Villanova and VR goggles. My favorite part, though, was showing off my skills to people who have never seen anyone like me.
We were able to see all our friends from Comcast and Arris as well as make a whole bunch of new friends. The girls and I introduced so many new people to FIRST and everyone was blown away by how much we learn and the fun we have.
While the girls were showing me off, they were able to drive me like they never had before. I had so much fun and when I saw all the people passing by recording and taking pictures of me, I realized just how impressive I am and how lucky I am to be able to represent how much fun STEM can be.
We got to listen to some talks on Virtual Reality and the girls even got to try some different heads sets on and bring their own Google Cardboards home with them. I didn't get to see the VR but watching the girls experience it for the first time was crazy! They were able to walk around the cave at Villanova and what the girls got to do was amazing! They had their own goggles on and could walk around the room they were virtually in and at times could even pick things in the room up and move them!
Lastly, we got to listen to a panel called 'She Came, She STEMed, She Conquered'. I loved this so much because the girls got to hear from people to whom they could relate and got advice from people doing what what they want to do. The girls on and running the panel were so great to listen to and really gave the girls some good insight.