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2018 Build Season – Week 3

2018 Build Season – Week 3

During Week Three of build season, the strategy team enthusiastically interviewed each subteam on their progress through the week. By this time, the modeling team had completed the basic design of the robot and were working diligently on lining up parts with mechanical team’s machined pieces. They finished up adjusting models, deciding what pieces were structurally sound, and changing the placeholder parts. Programming team worked on updating their software and starting on the coding for autonomous functions. Electrical continued wiring up the basics of the robot, troubleshooting, soldering, testing batteries, and making an effort to organize extra electrical components.

Mechanical team continued to work hard on machining parts, crafting the elevator system, and deburring the machined parts. All the while, strategy finished out Week Three with starting on the playbook, completing the scouting databases, reviewing team updates, and putting together this article.
Overall, this season is looking pretty productive! Written portion of the driver test also took place in Week 3.

2018 Build Season – Week 2

Brought to you by George Lucas –

During week two we progressed with great speed and efficiency, putting us well ahead of where we were last year at this time. The modeling and mechanical teams got busy working on the drivetrain for the robot, nearly finishing it. They also completed a claw prototype for the robot. The strategy team was also being productive by creating their Kahoot game, which was played amongst the whole team on Saturday. The purpose of the game was to get all of the teams up to date and familiar with the rules. The team members who finished in the top three were allowed to get lunch first, which was some delicious Sloppy Joe’s. There was also some work done on the practice playing field this week. The switch was fixed to the proper dimensions and the scale was finished and modified with noodles for safety reasons.

In non-competition related news, the electrical team made a good deal progress on the MarsCar this past week. They put the brake drum onto the car and sanded off the old paint. Finally, they planned how to arrange the LED onto the car.

2018 Build Season – Week 1

During Week One, we immediately got to work on the Sunday after kickoff. We worked diligently on deciding our main priorities and also developing questions to ask and receive answers to once the Q&A was opened. Once we had a general idea of our robot, we started designing. It was a challenging work week for the modeling team to repurpose one of our old robot models to be able to hold a system that can pick up the POWER CUBES. We also worked on developing many different ideas of climbing on the narrow bar that was provided by FIRST.

The modeling team was hard at work developing the first models of the robot to then be CNC milled, 3D printed, and machined. Mechanical team worked in the woodshop, making the SCALE. With that almost completed, the team took a lunch break for some pizza from our local Casey’s. After a few slices of pizza, glasses of lemonade, and jokes shared, we continued to work on the SCALE and finish our first prototype of the elevator and claw for handling the POWER CUBES. Finally, with a few adjustments to our plans and a list of what needed to be changed; we concluded Week One of the build season.

Mars/Wars 2018 FIRST Power Up – Kickoff

On January 6, MarsWars held their annual season kickoff meeting at Metamora Township High School. Before the 2018 competition video was released, the students on the team split up and went on a scavenger hunt all around the school. Three of the team’s seniors, Charlotte Wilkes, Grace Cushing, and Ryan Meyer, spent several hours creating tricky clues for the scavenger hunt, many of which were related to FIRST robotics. One veteran teammate claimed he loved the scavenger hunt because, “it was a great team building experience and a good way to get our brains working before the start of the build season.” After the scavenger hunt, MarsWars enjoyed a hearty team breakfast that was provided by the team’s very supportive parents.

Finally, after weeks of anticipation, the competition video was released. Everybody was hyped for the arcade theme of this year’s game, FIRST Power Up, and the team was immediately overflowing with ideas on how to design this year’s robot. To organize our thoughts, students and mentors divided into six smaller groups and began brainstorming ideas. We spent roughly an hour discussing strategies and deciding what our top priorities will be for the build season. Eventually we plotted out some rough sketches of all the main components we want to include on our bot. We are looking forward to the exciting competition season ahead. Power up, MarsWars!