Newsletter 2021 Week 3

FRC 6800

“It’s not what you do – it’s what you are becoming.” – Dean Kamen

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 are almost halfway through our 2021 build season and this past week came with a lot of progress! Each of the hardware subteams have been working hard machining and assembling their parts. We made 76 parts between start of Wednesday and end of Saturday, taking us to 79% of our robot assembled! The Business subteam is grinding away at their tasks and getting ready to start some new projects. The software and electrical subteam worked in person and virtually to progress on code for different subsystems. Next week we are looking to start the final assembly of the robot.

INTAKE

Our goal was to finish fabrication of the intake subsystem and begin assembly. We manufactured all of our components on our new laguna router, along with utilizing Onyx material using our markforged printer. We had to learn a new program, vCarve, in order to CNC the polycarbonate panels. This slightly slowed down our progress over the course of the week. Next week we plan to finish the intake assembly and mount it on the robot. From there, software will be able to begin testing and integrating with their robot code.

SHOOTER

On the shooter subteam this week we began the manufacturing process as well as the assembly for the shooter subsystem. We’ve created all of the 3D printed parts along with all of the large parts. We ran into a few issues regarding an incorrect order for belts, requiring us to look through spare belts to find the proper size needed for the turret rotation mechanism. Next week we are going to finish the entire shooter subsystem assembly along with the production of many minor parts.

INDEXER

This week we learned how to use the Vetric VCarve software and operate the laguna router. With this knowledge, we were able to cut out parts for the throat, drum, shooter, and intake. One issue from this week was dealing with a lot of CAD inconsistencies shown in the finished parts with missing spacers and such, however we overcame these obstacles by using pre-made spacers and shaft collars instead. During week 4 we’re going to finish cutting out parts for the drum, and eventually begin assembling the drum so we have a complete spindexer to throat system.

LIFT

Our goal this week was to start the manufacturing process of the lift. We completed the lift fixture using the 1100mx CNC mill. We encountered issues this week through the design and manufacturing process. One of the biggest issues we had was getting the CAM to work as intended on the mill because there were many small errors in the CAM that kept causing parts to be a little off. Next week we are going to continue working on the lift and hopefully get somewhat close to finishing.

ELECTRICAL/SOFTWARE

This week we worked on the shooter subsystem including its state functions, limelight distance control, hood movement, and driver control. We didn’t really have any big issues this week, just a few small hiccups with figuring out some pneumatic documentation. Next week, we plan on testing our prototypes and we will then make changes in the code as needed.

BUSINESS

This week the Business team had several areas of focus. The first being our chairman’s content, where we worked on the 10k essay and started planning out the video. We are also in the process of updating our social media pages, while becoming familiar with our new camera. We put together and published the newsletter over the weekend which is always fun to work on. Next week we will focus on framing out the chairman video with the selected template, hopefully move to the revision stage on the 10K essay, and upload another blog post.

Evan Deeny

Hardware/CAD- Intake lead

In 2012, I was in 4th grade and I wanted to learn about engineering and I enjoyed the process of designing and programming robots, so I joined an FLL team. Nine years later and this is my second season on Valor. My favorite part of being on the team is the entire process of turning an idea into a robot. For my role on the team I am the design lead, lead of the intake subteam, and at competitions I am part of the Drive Team as Human Player. This week on my subteam I fabricated Intake components and finalized intake CAD. Next year I want to study Mechanical Engineering at either UT Austin or Georgia Tech.

Megan Antonios

Business

I started robotics in 5th grade because I really enjoy engineering and design. I then continued FLL through 8th grade. Once I got to highschool, I got a recommendation from a friend who was on the team and I decided to apply to Valor to pursue my interests. My role on Valor is to manage the website, design, and some of the digital content. This week I worked on newsletter formatting and competition material. My favorite part of Valor is the community it creates between all current and previous members. After high school, I currently plan on getting a bachelors in aviation, then becoming an airforce pilot.

Ben Helgeson

Manufacturing Mentor

I graduated from UT with a Bachelors of Science in Physics Space Science and Astronomy. I currently work at Applied Research Laboratories doing Precision Pointing Determination for ICESat-2, a satellite laser altimeter. I’m here because I was part of an FRC team in high school, and it was one of the greatest experiences I had and I hope to help bring the same opportunities to students. I work as a manufacturing mentor, making sure the students are using the machines properly and safely, and help machine and assemble parts and subsystems. The best part of being a Valor mentor is watching the students learn and grow and gain skills in the shop that they didn’t have before. That and watching a cool looking robot grow from nothing but a pile of materials.