It’s a fast and furious season, with our mostly new team trying to get a handle on design and construction in what seems like a shortened season, with the new League play format underway here in FL. Since they don’t have anything to compare against, with the new league system, it’s just a busy build season, with a design that proving challenging to implement.
But we’ve got a dedicated and inventive bunch, who gamely went to our ROBOT League of Tampa Bay practice with their programming robot, outfitted with duct tape and cardboard so they could get in a few matches, to better understand the game.
But they got in some drive practice and a sense of what the robot needs to be able to do for effective game play. Then it was back to work, with another visit to Super Mentor Paul Markun’s at Tampa Technik, to work on our arm design some more.
Team members also got some outreach in, recently, at the St. Petersburg Science Festival where our last year’s robot, Otis the
Elevator, did a little show and tell at the FIRST pavilion there, and at the LI4E booth, where there was an enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed driving Otis around and making duct tape crafts – about the only thing we other activity we could do with the wind gusting at something like 30 mph, which made it challenging to hold our booth down (although the duct tape helped!)
Next stop: Our first “meet” (not tournament!) on November 17 at Hillsborough High School! Then we’re visiting the Society of Manufacturing Engineers after Thanksgiving, to show SME members this year’s challenge and our robot design (which we’ll know how well it works – or doesn’t! – by then).
We’re optimistic, though. Team members have been putting in long hours, working hard to
learn Robot C, CAD, keeping the Engineering Notebook up to date, learning the game and the
new league play format and generally becoming the best team they can be in the few short weeks allotted to them.
And we’ve got duct tape! We’re ready for anything!