2020 Build Season

Week 1:

Excited by the teaser video, the team arrived ready for kick off on January 4th.  To start the day off, we split into teams and played a mini version of the Amazing Race.  As we ran around the high school trying to find and complete all of our roadblocks we had a great time building our team synergies.  Then we were back to watch the reveal video. Excited by the challenge in front of us, we set to working through understanding the rules of the game, then we had a rapid “design” session that jump started our overall robot design. We then split in to our subteams and got busy working on the different aspects of this year’s robot.  The modelers started to design the different parts of the robots while the programmers were working on downloading the new software. The marketing team has been busy working on updating our pit design and getting our Super Bowl Squares fundraiser kicked off. Anyone who wasn’t busy with those tasks was helping build and assemble the practice field.  With a lot to do in a short amount of time, the team continues to test prototypes, design and program. Check back next week for updates!

Week 2:

A lot has gone down this week. One of the main objectives of the game this year is to shoot a ball into a goal to move on to the next level of the game while getting as many points as possible. The team had designed two prototypes, creating a part for the robot to shoot the ball into the goal with optimal success. On Monday, one of our prototypes couldn’t handle the power used to operate it and exploded one of the wheels. The problem was fixed and the team began testing the shooters on the practice field (which has been almost completed). Our team had a lot of fun messing around with the shooters and has made for a great morale booster, being able to see the fruits of their labor. 

Week 3:

With so much that has been going on the past two weeks, the transition into this week was really easy. Another one of our teams have fallen into the limelight this week with their astonishing work so far: the climber team. The final obstacle in the game is to attach your robot to a hanging bar, keep it elevated above the ground, and to balance the bar (watch the reveal video yourself for more information). Our team has been working hard, readjusting the technology from last year’s robot to fit this year’s climber. Much of the robot’s design is being kept under wraps to prevent spoilers, but the strategy for this part has extended our overall abilities, making us an even better alliance member. Next, the marketing team has been redesigning the layout for the pit during matches. The pit has to fit all of the team’s necessary tools, have plenty of storage for a clean work space, and plenty of work room for the team to use between matches. With the general layout finished, the team has begun  making and ordering the parts of the pit. Finally, our school had its 8th grade night. All 8th graders who will be becoming freshmen next year were invited to go around the school and visit the different extracurricular around the school. Many of the students had shown a great interest in Mars/Wars as they watched last year’s robot spin around and do tricks and were given the chance to play with some of our miniature robots. We have great hopes for next year’s team.

Week 4:

This week, our mechanical team worked on the frame of the robot, making sure everything fit and nothing was hanging off of it. They also began to make a “ball hopper” (another one of the parts for the ball shooter) and made some of the smaller parts of the robot like the hinges, pins, and bolts. There was a brief mistake with the ball hopper since the modelers made a few changes while the mechanical team was in the process of making the part. Thankfully, the problem was easily fixed and the part is being further developed. Our team has also finished putting together another one of the pieces for the practice field: the color wheel. During the games, our robot will have to go up to a color wheel, make a certain amount of revolutions, and then also be able to turn the wheel to a specific color. Our programming team finished up the programming for the color sensor and has connected it to part of the robot that will mechanically turn the wheel. The color sensor is now ready for testing and we can’t wait to see how it goes! Make sure to check in next week to read about how the testing went!

Week 5:

Despite one of our practice days being cancelled because of the weather conditions, our group still completed a decent amount of work. The arm for our robot that is supposed to spin the color wheel has been attached to the robot and is functioning. Also, the ball shooter has been completed and can be attached to the robot. Earlier this week, our programming team was having a hard time with the new code, so they spent the majority of their time trying to debug it. The marketing team spent their time this week putting together some of the finishing touches for the pit and have put together two different fundraisers. (Make sure to check in again next week to learn more about the fundraisers.) Now the team is looking into customized team buttons and temporary tattoos.