10 March 2009

Ready for Chesapeake

This past weekend, several team and members mentors worked to build the upgrade parts for "Recycleable."

There's a new pinch roller assembly that will replace the conveyor; It will provide not only a mechanism to retain balls while the ramp is up, but will also provide some velocity to the balls on exit. That should allow us to better deliver balls to the opponent's trailer.

The other upgrade is the ramp lift drum assembly; granted, it only increased in diameter by 1/2" but that added speed, plus the ability to position the ramp while loaded with balls and not have them dribble out.

Lastly, there's a new ramp, sans conveyor. Lighter, faster, able to leap tall buildings, yada-yada-yada.

So, on the bus ride to Annapolis, we'll have a plan-of-attack meeting to map out precisely who does what to which.

How well things go from there is entirely up to our competitors...

04 March 2009

Some photos from GSR

Hello everyone...

Not much here but photos, which capture the enthusiasm of T166.

Students and mentors alike enjoyed the weekend, and were recipients of the Rockwell Automation Innovations in Controls award. Thanks, of course, to the hard work of the students and their mentors.

Here are but a few images...

02 March 2009

GSR thoughts...

What a weekend. We're always in the company of strong teams at GSR, and so it isn't surprising that our machine didn't fare too well. We played the game as best we could and have been thinking of ways to improve the machine for battle at the Chesapeake Regional. Finishing the weekend in the middle of the pack isn't a bad showing, IMHO.

The feedback from the Chairman's review was positive, illustrating that we're a strong team, but need to stretch our influence beyond the local area. I suspect that the things we have done to help the teams we met in Wisconsin wasn't stressed heavily enough... there's always next year.

We did win the Rockwell Automation Innovation in Controls award, presented on Friday. The judges were certainly impressed with the controls our software team built. Their eloquent explanation clearly demonstrated that the students designed, developed, coded and tested the entire package, with mentor guidance and coaching. This was all theirs.

Lastly, I was nominated for the Woody Flower's award. Again, running up against strong competition, the winner, Kristen Kelso, is clearly more deserving than I for all the things she has done over her 13 years with the FIRST program. That award couldn't have gone to a better person, and I am honored and humbled to be considered in the same company as those who were this year's nominees.