This week we will begin reaching out to companies throughout the local region for support. We are going to contact a company every day and set up a time that we can meet and present our project, ideas, and history of the program. We hope the companies appreciate our work and are willing to aid us in our future successes. Making connections with the community will make this program one that will last for many more classes to come. Our program needs to be seen throughout the community to show what students can do and learn when given a task and tools to complete it. This program is a vital piece of learning for students who are going into fields dealing with math and science.
For the past week we have been brainstorming companies to present to and hopefully get sponsors from. Valent energy is one of the companies wed like to sponsor us because they seem very willing to be involved in our program, but i have no doubts that the companies we have selected will be more then willing to sponsor our program. We completed a general outline for a presentation that will inform them of our programs history and film from last years competition. Getting sponsors is a large part of continuing this program.
For the past week we have all been pitching ideas out to each other about how to design the new robot since this challenge is so significantly different from last year's challenge. We all are going to eventually learn how to use the new programming software but for now I am the only one working on programming which is alright because then i can teach everyone else how to use it much quicker than they can teach themselves. Another objective we have night now is community outreach so we have come up with a good pitch for companies in the area that are interested or even willing to sponsor us. Like last week, we are still brainstorming ideas on a new mechanism design for the robot to be most efficient but it really is not going to be like anything we have done yet so i see a great learning experience ahead of us all.
Our problem that needs solved as of now is mastering the new software, Robot C, and getting some community support from local businesses. Our programmer has been unable to succeed with the new software and we are looking into options to help move this process along. With any program, funding is required. Though we have a sufficient amount of parts to participate and succeed in the competition, some parts will go bad over time and will need replaced. A vital part of this program is community outreach. As far as community outreach is concerned, the team has yet to reach out to the community for support. We have plans in the near future to reach out for support from various local companies that deal with engineering.
On Saturday the challenge was released at noon, and all the members of our team came over to my house and we watched the game description on my TV. We briefly discussed the game and how we would go about completing the tasks. We decided that on monday we would begin familiarizing ourselves with the new program. Sometime in the next few weeks we plan to begin working on the field components and start to assemble the arena. One of our major problems last year was that we weren't able to practice before the competitions, and we often were unprepared for the competitions.
This last week the team has been working on getting over our most recent software hurdles. The new software, Robot C, is astoundingly different from our old software, Labview. Robot C uses simple coding to make the robot function, which is much different than our previous software which was very simple and used pictures and diagrams to help the user make the robot function appropriately. Within the week we hope to have learned this new software to the point that we can put together a simple robot that can drive and preform a simple task or two. Before long we shall be building prototypes for the challenge.
Saturday was the day that the 2014-2015 challenge was released and we are definitely in for an interesting year working toward the challenges beginning in early 2015.
I think one of our main goals will be to design good mechanisms to be able to get the balls into the tubes. Here is a link to the game for anyone who is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABmBxCwHV94
We are all very excited to welcome a new face on the team; Caleb Montgomery will be helping us try to get some sponsors in the area and do some more community outreach. We are looking forward to having an excellent season whether we win or lose. Last year we learned a lot at the competitions about being polite to people and assisting teammates if needed, so this year we will really be focusing on gracious professionalism and everything should go well.
On Saturday September 6th, the official challenge was released. The name of the challenge is Cascade Effect. The link to the description of the challenge is listed below. This challenge is very different from last year and appears to be more difficult due to the use of balls compared to the blocks used last year. The team met Saturday to review the challenge and to come up with ideas to build into concepts during the next few weeks. In the weeks to come our goals include learning how to use the new software, Robot C, effectively and to build several concepts to test our ideas to overcome the challenge presented to us.
- Tyler B.
We finally got the programming software. Scott's currently working on finding out how it works. Tyler, Dylan and I watched the challenge explanation at Dylan's house and it looked ridiculously hard. Tyler and Dylan said it may have been the hardest challenge they have worked on yet. We brainstormed a bit and were think of using a closing bucket with a scissor lift but we haven't an idea how we are going to get balls into the tubes fast and effectively. The drivers will have to be very good to make sure we don't interfere with other teams goals because any interference will cost us precious points. Its time to start working on our robot.
So far we know that the challenge doesn't officially start until September but we know that we still have work to do. The mobility system that we had on our robot last year is being completely overhauled and so we are working on getting our new programing software. This new software, called RobotC will help us to better create algorithms for us to control the robot with. For now we are waiting for the competition to be announced on September 6 and will go from there.
- Scott Z.