Team 1557 Build Season Summary

Week 1

  • Attended Kick-off and reviewed game video (at MDB)
  • Picked up and inventoried the Kit of Parts
  • Discussed game challenges and strategies
  • Brainstormed robot designs
  • Inventoried existing clubhouse tools and materials
  • Setup teams and facilities: PR, Programming, Electrical, Mechanical1(drivetrain) Mechanical2(arms/attachments), Mechanical3(pneumatics)
  • Constructed additional work table to facilitate multiple teams working concurrently at full production
  • Began field props construction


Week 2

  • Completed construction of field props
  • Continued brainstorming game strategies and robot designs (mecanum wheel design determination)
  • Determined basic drivetrain configuration (a result of off-season testing)
  • Reviewed new hardware documentation/configurations (eg. RoboRio and Talon SRX)
  • Began prototyping drivetrain assembly (nanotubes with wood framing)
  • Began prototyping mast and arm sub-assemblies
  • Brainstormed pneumatic solutions to support the arm prototypes
  • Completed electrical board prototype and handed-off to programming
  • Reviewed Chairman’s Award criteria and started mapping ideas for essays and video


Week 3

  • Electrical board prototype testing and configuration completed
  • Initial autonomous and Tele-op mode coding backgrounds completed
  • Drivetrain prototype completed and tested
  • Began programming tests with controllers and drivetrain prototype
  • Mast prototype completed (aluminum pipe tower with a chain drive trolley system for raising/lowering)
  • Continued to prototype arm subassemblies and supporting pneumatics
  • Reviewed new hardware documentation/configurations (eg. RoboRio and Talon SRX)
  • Basic drivetrain and chassis assembly tested and completed
  • Began Chairman’s Award Essays and reviewed team video footage of community outreach events
  • Continued discussing game strategies


Week 4

  • Completed electrical system transformation to final chassis
  • Continued testing and tweaking programming
  • Finalized mounting and securing of mast assembly to chassis
  • Robot drive capability testing and tweaking (video)
  • Final decision reached on arm assembly to be used (pneumatically-driven pinchers with fulcrums mounted to the trolley)
  • Arm assembly completed and mounted to the mast
  • Initial lifting capability testing started
  • Testing data reviewed and countermeasures suggested
  • Draft of Chairman’s Award essays completed
  • Video clips reviewed and organized


Week 5

  • Completed final electrical connection and configuration refinements
  • Completed final pneumatics mounting and routing
  • Completed chain-drive securing system (3D printed mounts for the channel)
  • First full-blown game simulation conducted (MDB)
  • Brainstormed ideas for securing the payload while the robot traverses the course
  • Prototyped payload securing mechanisms
  • Constructed upper-level arm assembly for securing payload during movement
  • Reviewed Youtube video of other teams’ designs and performance
  • Continued programming testing and tweaking
  • Chairman’s Award essays reviewed, edited and submitted


Week 6

  • Conducted additional full-blown game simulations
  • Tested all game-related capabilities including drive team, human player and pit crew
  • Identified potential performance issues and weakness
  • Completed final robot assessments and tweaking
  • Discussed additional game strategies
  • Conducted video interviews for Chairman’s Award video
  • Reviewed Youtube video of past Chairman’s Award video’s
  • Bagged and tagged robot (2/17/15 @ 7:30PM)

Build Season | Week 3

This past week mechanical has made great progress on the robot. While, programming has completed almost all of the code needed for the robot.


This past week programming has completed the code for ramp down firing.   They have also finished the code for ramp up driving.  Along with that, they have made some progress on automatic gear shifting (Last year driver would have to manually shift gears.)  One last major thing they have worked on is code using RoboRealm. RoboRealm is a vision processing software. We plan to use this to help the drivers align themselves when firing.


As was stated previously, mechanical has made major progress. First off, they have abandoned the double-staged shooting, as they have decided that a simpler firing mechanism is better.  Their main accomplishment last week was constructing a robot frame. They have mounted various objects onto the robot frame. They mounted the firing arm, vacuum arm, and other various components.

Also, the robot is able to fire into the high goal!


Electrical has finished  constructing a mock-up electrical board. After doing that, they started on making the real electrical board to mount onto the robot.


As a side note, PR has made major progress on the Chairman’s Award submission. So, hats off to them!


Build Season | Week 1 & 2

This year, we are playing Aerial Assist.  Aerial Assist is a game in which you, along with your alliance members, attempt to pass a ball down the court and throw it into the goal. As you might know, the past few years we have gone with a defensive robot design.  This build season, we have decided to go for a more aggressive approach.

Over the past two weeks, the build team has done two major things. First, they prototyped a vacuum system to pick up the balls. Secondly, they prototyped a shooting mechanism.  First, they attempted to prototype a mechanism where they could aim the ball without moving the robot. After that was unsuccessful, they decided to go simpler with a basketball-like shooting mechanism.  This mechanism is similar to a basketball shot because it has multiple stages. Stage one, the “elbow” lifts straight up. Stage two, the “wrist” launches the ball forward. This, double staged launching, makes it easier to overcome gravity and shoot higher.

The programming team has gotten a majority of the robot’s code in place, and started using a new command-based programming structure for the robot. This change has made programming the robot much easier, and allows them to have the robot do more complex actions with less effort. Because they have the majority of the code in place, they have started working on a vision processing system. This system allows them to hone in on the hot goal during autonomous, which offers additional points.

2014 Build Season

The FIRST FRC 2014 Challenge – Ariel Assist Begins!

Welcome to another year of robotics. We held our kickoff on January 4th.

2014 Kickoff begins for FIRST Robotics FRC Challenge. 12 Volt Bolt members view the event at Mt. Dora Bible School located in Lake County, Florida.

The Challenge this year looks interesting.

We are looking forward to a fun build season.