Tag Archives: Robotics

KickStarting our New Season!

We’ve started fundraising early for the new season, and have just launched a TDT Kickstarter campaign .  We’re proud to be starting our 6th season as a FIRST Tech Challenge team this year. As a community team, though, we do not receive school or large organizational funds but pay our own way by raising money through a modest team member fee, sponsors, and fund raising. Annual expenses include registration, competition entry fees, robot parts (motors, servos, computers, gears, raw material, etc.), software, travel, and other team-related costs. Coaches and mentors are all volunteers.  Additionally, this season, we plan to build our own 3-D printer , both as an educational project for our students, as well as to be able to produce custom parts for our robot.  All funds are ultimately used to help ‘build’ future scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians and business leaders.

Support from our friends, community, or anyone wanting to encourage young people to follow careers in science and technology is deeply appreciated, and goes farther than contributors may realize.  While building a robot and competing with it in the annual game challenge is fun, it’s also immensely instructive. Our students learn:

  • Problem-solving, design and prototyping
  • Teamwork, communication, and collaboration
  • Shop skills, such as drilling with hand drill and drill press, using band, table, and chop saws, and shaping plastic, metal and wood
  • Mechanical engineering skills, such as fabricating parts, assembling components, and working with motors, gears, servos, & pneumatics
  • Electrical engineering skills, such as wiring, working with circuit boards, and troubleshooting electrical issues
  • CAD & CAM skills
  • Software programming skills
  • Public relation skills, such as public speaking, marketing, branding, and team promotion

Contributions to our KickStarter fund are being made through our nonprofit sponsor, Learning is for Everyone, and are  tax deductible as permitted by law. Contributions of any size are valued and appreciated!  Your support will not only help our present team, but also our future students, as parts, tools, and knowledge are handed-down to the next generation of team members. And you’ll get some cool bling in gratitude for your support – pins, handmade duct tape gear, t-shirts, hoodies, plaques and the TDT VIP treatment!

We hope you’ll visit our page and consider contributing to  Team Duct Tape today, in encouragement and support of the success of our leaders of tomorrow.  Thank you!


Thank you, SME!

Many thanks to the the Florida Suncoast Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for their generous support of Team Duct Tape. Suncoast SME is a long time benefactor of both TDT and Middleton Robotics at Middleton High School, not just financially, but by including us in their meetings and tours, and encouraging us to share back our team experience throughout the year.

SME was among the first organizations to open its doors to TDT when we began five years ago, and students got some of the first outreach experiences at SME meetings, sharing their season build, CAD and programming work, and welcoming students to the amazing tours they arrange with area industrial and technical facilities.

This evening, we toured the Collaborative Center for Emerging Technologies at St. Petersburg College-Clearwater with them. CCET is an open manufacturing factory work environment  designed to train future engineering technology and manufacturing employees.  The Center includes a Solid Works Design Center and  Additive Manufacturing-Rapid Prototyping, and provides technical certifications for workforce readiness.  In short, it’s an awesome facility!

Thank you, SME, for all you do to help Tampa Bay’s emerging young professionals!

Tesla Take 2

A little driving guidance at Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013

It’s been a busy spring so far!  Fresh off the State Championship in early March, we’ve been able to keep Sheldon the Robot running all month, first at the Orlando Regional, then at the coolTECH business expo, and at the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire.

This week we’re heading back out to Orlando for the Tesla League Take Two off-season

TDT at coolTech 2013

Demoing at Orlando FRC Regional

FTC event, where team members will be able to take advantage of some CAD, build and programming classes before enjoying some scrimmage time with other teams.  It’s a great opportunity for team members ingto get to spend some stress-free time with other teams, and fine tune some of their teamwork and build skills.

After that, we’ve got a fun project lined up as part of the LI4E Makerspace Project team,  participating in the 2013 Red Bull Creation challenge!

And the year is still young!