• youtube
  • google

2018 Build Season – Week 5

2018 Build Season – Week 5

Strategy has been working on team apparel, such as buttons and t-shirts. They were also working on the match planning excel sheet to update the game for this year. Mechanical has been working on fixing and updating the drive train and the competition bot. They have also been finishing up on the practice bot. A mechanical sub-team has been working on the new electric storage unit. It is almost complete and should be available for use at the competition in St. Louis.

The Modeling team has been creating and continuing to update parts for the competition bot. As well as prototyping on the 3D printer and making prints for mechanical for construct. Electrical was wiring the wheel units this week. They have also been assisting mechanical in the swerve drive modules. At the field we are having parts machined and powder coated for the final robot.

2018 Build Season – Week 4

2018 Build Season – Week 4

During Week Four of build season, the work on the test bot is rapidly getting close to a close with only minor technical difficulties. Modeling team has been focusing on getting prints of each part of the robot to the mechanical team for machining. Windchill’s recent issues have set us back a tiny bit, but the team continues to overcome this obstacle with minimal frustration. Many parts on the test robot have had to be fixed or changed due to dimensions, which mechanical team has been busying themselves with as well as the production of new parts and better parts for the competition robot.

Programmers got the test robot driving, systems working, and their codes adapted to fit with the many different elements of the robot. Electrical team finished wiring the test robot and now work quickly to begin wiring the competition robot with a better layout.

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!

2017 Regionals

The Mars Wars robotics team competed in two FRC regionals, the Central Illinois Regional and S.t Louis.

Our St. Louis regional came first on week 2. This regional consisted of a lot of testing on the robot itself along with practice for our drive team. There was a total of 52 teams with the winning alliance captain being team 1732 the Hilltoppers. We fought hard and made it into the elimination rounds after rising from low in the rankings. Being picked by the number 3 alliance put us on a team with team 3284, Camdenton 4H LASER 3284 and team 5147, the Hornets. Together we fought our way to the semifinals in which we lost the 3rd match, after losing one of our alliance’s robots along with our team’s climber. During the award ceremony, we were given the Creativity Award for our “Pizza Gear” which load balls into our shooter.

The Central Illinois Regional regional was much more exciting. After 2 long days of Qualification matches, we were placed second in rank, out of 40 teams, with a total of 9 wins and one loss, one of those wins in which we stopped the number one ranked seat, team 2481, the Roboteers, from going undefeated. We were asked to join the number 1 alliance in which we accepted, pairing us with team 2481, the Roboteers, and team 2220, Blue Twilight. We fought hard through the elimination matches, even setting a week 3 world penalty free high score, 506 points. Together our alliance won the regional and got our ticket to worlds, along with a shiny medal. During the award ceremony, we were given the Innovation in Control Award for our “Pizza Gear” which load balls into our shooter.


As we prepare for Worlds we would like to thank our sponsors for making this possible.

Click here to view our standings as well as videos of our matches and here to view images from our competitions.


2017 Build Season Week 3

Week three began the official construction of the robot. The mechanical team began to CNC machine the parts required for the drive train and frame. The week was also full of prototype testing and building. The modeling team has completed the robot design and worked in creating programs for the CNC mill to run. The programming team worked on setting up programs to run the prototypes from speed controllers. The electrical team worked on preparing the components to be attached to different locations on the robot and to each other.

2017 Build Season Week 2

The second week we began the prototype testing. In the video shown below you can see a test of our shooter. Below are the finished products of the mechanical’s team elements, such as the boiler and the hopper. The electrical sub team finished the Mars Car for Maggie and had her come a make sure it was fit to her needs for the official reveal at the open house. They also created a test board and created an inventory of this years electrical components. The programming team spent this week updating the firmware on the control system components as well as working on a test climb with last years robot, Sir Twerve a’lot. The climb testes involved many loud crashes cause by the robot falling to the floor. The modeling team created a more official design of the robot and made a better foundation of the robots function.

2017 Build Season Week 1

This build season we started strong, the programming team started with the tedious task of uploading the new software in order to be able to run this years robot. Meanwhile the mechanical team was hard at work constructing the field elements and prototypes. The strategy team, well they did planning (see picture below to understand). The electrical team worked on completing the Mars Car and preparing for the reveal at the open house. The most important team at this phase would be the modeling team. They worked hard on producing a accurate model to base to robot after. Several ideas were thrown around and a design was decided and began production.