Newsletter 2021 Week 5

FRC 6800

I think an education is not only important, it is the most important thing you can do with your life. – 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 have made it to week 5 of the 2021 FRC build season! Despite the winter storm cancelling the Friday and Saturday meetings we had a very productive week! Software is gearing up to test the final subsystems that need to be mounted. Hardware is making a lot of progress and focused on final tweaks and testing. The Business team is preparing to submit content for awards which is very exciting! Next week we are looking forward to seeing a nearly finished robot for the Infinite recharge season!


Our goal this week was to completely redesign the current iteration of our intake because our first design had multiple design flaws and overlooked problems. At the end of our meeting on Wednesday, we had fully manufactured our second iteration and tested it on the chassis. We discovered that this second iteration solved the majority of our issues, but we still have small tweaks to make to really dial in this mechanism. We also spent most of the week completely redesigning the CAD to fit our new intake. Next week we plan to continue with more extensive testing, while manufacturing components for our third iteration. We hope to have our intake at a finished state within the next two weeks.


We installed the new pulleys that corrected the center distance required to fit the belts we had purchased. This allowed the flywheel to function properly with belts, rather than chains. We also installed the second motor for the flywheel. We still have not come up with a new system for the hood adjustment that will allow for us to increase the angle of our shots. Next week we will begin testing the new flywheel, seeing the difference between 1 and 2 motors, as well as test the flywheel and turret rotation in unison. With continued shot testing, this will allow us to finalize the desired shot angles required for an upcoming hood redesign.


We have attached the Spindexer to the robot for the first time. Then we began testing how well it is able to feed balls to the throat and ultimately the shooter. There were a lot of clearance issues with the pneumatic system as well as the side bars of the superstructure. Next week hopefully we will be able to run the robot with the full ball handling assembly on.


This week we manufactured the upper set of brackets which will support the shooter structure. Also we’re making some test bearing holders before the production 3D printing run for all bearing supports. This week we encountered very few issues. Next week we will test the 3D printed bearing holders and get 1 stage of the lift functional to test maximum extension and rigidity. It will also allow us to determine what changes need to be made before printing the parts for all of the stages.


This week for electrical, we began testing LEDs on our robot and began finding solutions to power the LEDs and raspberry pi. In software, we began creating an auto framework and test code to run the pi and the LEDs. We ran into issues with updating the raspberry pi at the school. We also had problems with deciding how to most efficiently power the LEDs on the robot. Next week we are going to put wiretracking on the robot for the turret and hopefully begin testing auto paths with the shooter and turret. We are also going to test the intake and spindexer subsystems after they are mounted on the robot.


The goal for this week was to once again wrap up last week’s newsletter and begin this week’s edition. We are still working on our chairman’s content for submission. With the icy conditions our in-person Saturday meeting was cancelled and that added some obstacles for our work. Next week we are going to finalize our 10k, start the Chairman’s video, and begin plans for the robot reveal video.

Andrew Cloran

Manufacturing and Design

I started robotics in 5th grade with a friend who was on a team and I was looking for something to do. He invited me to join and I continued every year throughout FLL, FTC and now FRC. This is my 2nd year on Valor and I enjoy using the shop to create completely unique parts. Using our manufacturing capabilities, we can create whatever the design team dreams up. This week I have been working on making the clamping brackets that secure the lift to the robot. At competitions I am the operator and I am the lift subteam lead. Once I graduate I would like to major in aerospace engineering at UT.

Trevor Lewis

CAD/ Hardware

In 7th grade I started robotics because I have always enjoyed building things and I wanted to test the waters to see if I wanted to pursue a career in engineering. On Valor, I work on the design team to help create the ideas and designs for our robot. I also work in manufacturing to bring the designs to life. At competition, I am part of the scouting team. My favorite aspect of being on this team is the comradery of the team, and I feel like we are really united which helps us further our goals. This week I worked on our intake redesign. There were a number of flaws with the initial design, so we started from scratch. I helped in the design, cad, and manufacturing of the new intake. I want to study mechanical engineering in college. I am currently unsure where I would like to go to school, I guess we will wait and see.


Business Mentor

I am the Director of Marketing at Headspring, a technology consulting and development firm. I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Marketing, and got my MBA from University of San Diego. This is my second year with Valor as the business mentor. I work with the business students to develop content for award submissions, maintain our digital presence, and engage with the community. I really enjoy being part of a program where students get to take on new projects with real-world application and grow their skills.