Newsletter 2021 Week 2

FRC 6800

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson

Game Summary

Renewable sources of energy are everywhere, all the time. Working together in the 2020 season of FIRST Robotics Competition, INFINITE RECHARGE, we can support boundless innovation and create a society that’s empowered, inspired, and hopeful. In INFINITE RECHARGE, two alliances race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their Shield Generator for maximum protection. To activate stages of the Shield Generator, robots manipulate their Control Panels after scoring a specific number of Power Cells. Near the end of the match, robots race to their Rendezvous Point and rise to the challenge.

Sub-Team Updates

We made it to the end of Week 2 of a very unique build season! The main focus of this week was getting each subsystem from the final design stage into the final drawing stage to begin the manufacturing process. By the end of Saturday,the majority of the hardware subteams completed all their CAD content and are ready to start manufacturing, with the shooter subteam already underway. The chassis has been assembled and the electrical subteam will start wiring. The business team got a brand new camera and will begin documenting the robot progress.


Our goal was to completely finish the intake subassembly and tie down any prominent design issues present in our current iteration. We are striving to finish all of our drawings by the end of the week so that next week we can begin manufacturing. Luckily, we didn’t have any hurdles this week. We are planning to begin fabrication of the intake along with assembly for next week. We will use a combination of polycarbonate tubing and sheets. We are excited to integrate the laguna CNC router into our workflow to decrease fabrication time and expedite the assembly process.


Our goal for this week was to finish all the drawings and complete the final details on the design of the shooter subsystem. We started the manufacturing process for parts within the shooter subsystem, including essential plates that make up the frame of the turret. We have an issue with the formatting of 1 item in particular, a sheet metal model that is unable to be properly formatted for drawings. Next week we will continue to manufacture parts for the shooter subsystem and will likely be able to complete the assembly of the shooter by the end of next week.


The goal this week was to complete the remaining CAD of the drum and throat in the spindexer, and integrate them together with the rest of the robot. We also began manufacturing chassis rails using the manual mill. We had an issue with the shooter, as it was in the way of the throat, so we had to move the throat down and adjust the plates so they lined up, allowing the two mechanisms to mesh. Next week we will start manufacturing the drum, and hopefully the throat as well. For the drum, we are unsure whether the current dividers will work and we will possibly swap them out as we go.


This week on the lift subteam we shifted our focus and began setting up the new shop equipment, mainly the new CNC mill. It has a lot of new capabilities that will allow us to make parts faster and more accurate. Hopefully we will be able to start making parts on it by next week. We saw very few issues this week. Next week we will go back to working on the lift and begin manufacturing parts for the lift itself. It should be a fast process as the majority of parts on the lift are very simple. Once we complete the parts, we will start the assembly process to allow for testing the week after.


On the software side, this week we wanted to finalize our flowchart diagrams and base code for each subsystem, not including the shooter. For electrical, we started manufacturing our central module for the robot. We had a little bit of trouble with team coordination as part of our software team is working in-person and others are virtual. Next week, we plan to make significant progress on the shooter subsystem for code and possibly move forward on testing the base code for other subsystems as well.


This week our goal was to finish the mini essays and make progress on the 10k essay. We published the Week 1 newsletter on the website, and created the Week 2 newsletter. We started creating and organizing content for the Chairman’s video, which is needed if we win the award this season. One issue we had was learning how to use our new camera, and upload pictures to the photodrive. Other than that this week ran smoothly. In the upcoming week we will publish the new newsletter and continue working on chairman’s essays.

Rohit Chawla


I joined robotics in 4th grade in the FLL program because I liked the idea of many different STEM aspects coming together in a team environment. I also enjoyed software and wanted to apply it to something new. Then in highschool I did FTC my freshman and sophomore year, before joining FRC my Junior year. My roles on the team are Software Lead and Pit Programmer & Technician. This week, I worked on subsystem flowcharts where we broke down each part of the robot into state processes and functions. I also coded the drivetrain class and plan on testing it next week. My favorite part of being on this team is seeing everyone’s dedication and commitment to robotics culminating in a final robot we are all proud of. I also really enjoy spending time with new friends I make each year on the team. Once I graduate I want to further my knowledge by studying Computer Science in college.

Sarah Trudeau


In my early high school career I explored a range of STEM courses because physics and math have always been a subject of interest for me. My sophomore year I tried out computer science and my teacher was ViperBots head advisor, Irad Allen. Mr. Allen pushed me to join the robotics team my junior year, and I have loved every moment on Valor since. I aspire to learn continuously — Valor provides me the resources to do that. I am very grateful for my mentors who donate immense amounts of their time to this program. They have given me the human capital that I feel will help me to be successful in college and into my career. In the manufacturing stage of the season I am heavily involved in the machining process, and I work in the pit during competitions to troubleshoot problems. This week I worked to manufacture parts on the lathe. Additionally, I began to familiarize myself with the Laguna CNC Router. Next year I plan to study aerospace engineering in college, my goal is to advance the field of sustainable flight.

Matt Carroll

Head Design Mentor

I am an alumni of Texas Tech university with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Mathematics. After graduating I worked in the manufacturing industry designing and preparing sensors that were used in highly regulated environments. I have been involved in FIRST since 2009 when I joined my highschool FRC team, where I participated all four years of highschool. This is my third year serving as a design mentor for Valor. Currently I oversee the design of the robot, and provide feedback and guidance on students’ 3D CAD models and mechanical design. I also provide manufacturing advice and support during the assembly of the robot. During the fall I train students in 3D CAD and mechanical design, prepping team members for build season in the fall.