Throughout November, GRT has been competing between our two class periods in a competition designed to simulate build season for the FRC tournament. GRT uses this competition as training to discover and solve problems and to develop team coordination and planning to further prepare us for the FIRST robotics tournament.
During the month of October, GRT has been passionately working on the annual haunted house project for our community. We constructed pneumatically-operated "haunted house" mechanisms inspired by elementary schooler's drawings. We showcased our haunted house during the last week fo October at Juana Briones Elementary School.
In addition to haunted house mechanisms, shop time has focused on additional training during October for controls, drivetrain, pneumatics, CNC, welding, animation, and business. New members accepted into these subgroups will help our team in future projects.
Our team completed shop and safety training during the month of September. Everyone will be shop safe and ready for machining in early October. The three main training sections taught at GRT are lathe, mill, and hand tools. Some operations we taught were parting and turning for lathe, slotting and facing for mill, and a variety of hand tools and machines like the chop saw and hand drill.
We also had our GRT Beach Trip where the whole team spent time together at Monterey Bay. Everyone had lunch together and participated in an assortment of fun activities from volleyball, sand castle competitions, football, and hanging out at the water. At the end of our trip, we all hiked up the cliffside and took a group picture to commemorate the experience.
The Wheelchair project started during the 2020-21 school year (to make a spring mechanism that attaches onto a wheelchair and launches a soccer ball, allowing a young student to pass the ball with others) continued over the summer with weekend shop hours.We decided to switch from a spring mechanism to a flywheel since our original idea was more dangerous and bulky, less precise, and short lasting. The new flywheel design operates by compressing and dragging the soccer ball along a track with a spinning wheel. This summer we built a stand alone prototype to test and modify our design for safety and accuracy, and are now finishing testing and implementing new ideas onto our design.
The Trumpet Project team also worked over the summer to finish developing and prototype testing the trumpet mechanism: two 3D printed halves of a holder that houses a servo system and holds the trumpet on top of a stand. We met with the student we are developing this mechanism for to test out and improve our original design, tailoring it for his height, strength, and personal preference for playing. The controls group helped finish the circuitry and testing for arack and pinion system; however, we realized that a new housing section for the student's trumpet control pad would be needed. We are currently in the design process for the new housing design.
The Controls group finished improving and testing our robot's control mechanism and coding framework so that it moves based on individual commands. They tested a newly built tank teleoperation which drives the robot using an xbox controller, and assisted the trumpet project with writing code and wiring a circuit for pressing down the trumpet valves. At the end of the summer, we all learned how to wire the team's robot and wired two robot bases to use for practice and testing.
The Business group finished competing in our third annual KLA RoboGames run by our wonderful sponsors the KLA Foundation which give out awards celebrating different aspects of our team. We wrote for the Community Enrichment Award about the various outreach projects we are working on to improve our community and prote STEM, the Outstanding Mentor Award honoring our incredible mentor Ms. Granlund, the Innovation Award for our pitch towards creating a wheelchair attachment to allow an elementary schooler to play soccer with his brother, and the Leadership Award to acknowledge our great 2020-21 team captain Binh-Minh Nguyen.
At the start of summer, we held a weeklong summer camp for teaching middle schoolers code and design. We used TinkerCAD and VEXcode VR as an intro to code and challenged them to build a launcher out of household items to teach them the process of design.
We are now setting up a new community outreach project for our Business group to work on this fall.
Our DT group worked on the design and framework for our tank movement mechanism for our robot. Initially, we planned to use a two-speed gearbox to power a west coast drivetrain, which is a 3 wheeled tank where the middle two wheels are positioned slightly lower than the outer wheels. However, after deciding to use more powerful Neo motors for our tank, we switched over to a one-speed gearbox to save more space and are now CADing a prototype design for our robot.
Our CNC group learned how to give our CNC mill steps for machining (CAM process) for CADed parts and export it into code for our CNC. We spent time practicing how to CNC old parts and collaborated with our Wheelchair project group, CNCing parts for their mechanism. We hope to get the program we use for CAMing, MasterCAM, working on our shop computers by the start of our fall season.
At the end of our 2020-2021 GRT school season, we say goodbye to our wonderful seniors as well as continue to work on current projects and goals for the next school year. This year we participated in the virtual FRC 2021 season with submissions for the Animation Award, the Chairman's Award, the Game Design Challenge, and the Innovation Challenge. We earned an engineering design award for Game Design, where we created our own game including rules, a CAD model of the playing field, and a game animation.
Since the re-opening of the Gunn HS campus in March, the majority of our rookies came on campus to participate in hands-on shop training including lathe, mill, and hand tools training. Our 2021-22 shop trainers are working in the shop over the summer to build a teaching curriculum for the fall and continue to practice machining. This summer we are also participating in the KLA RoboGames (an event for FRC teams sponsored by Awards by KLA) and we have sent submissions for the innovations award, leadership award, community award, and mentor award.
Also this summer, our team has two active projects: the trumpet project and the wheelchair project. For the wheelchair project (which was also submitted for the innovation challenge), our Innovation Team is working to manufacture a mechanism that attaches onto a wheelchair and allows the user to play soccer while still in the wheelchair. Having finished the design process, they are now transitioning to in-person manufacturing for our device, which is named the Wheelchair Soccer Buddy. For the trumpet project, we are building a mechanism to allow a child who is physically disabled to pursue his passion in music. To do so, we are designing a trumpet standhousing servo-powered valve actuator, which will allow him to play in his most comfortable position and have the strength to operate the trumpet. We plan to continue building and testing our prototypes for both projects over the summer and finish the projects in the fall.
Our plans for next year are the build technical skills that we could not teach this year because of Covid limitations, to hold several team-bonding events such as picnics and camping, and to do our best working as a team and having fun building a robot for the 2022 FIRST Robotics season.
This year our shop leads worked hard to create training videos for our shop equipment as in-person hands-on training was not a possibility. During the last two months of the school year, our rookies trained in-person on the lathe, mill, and hand tools, while some learned pneumatics, welding, and CNC for next year. Overall, we had a very unique and new experience because of the social distancing requirements; however, we were able to make due with the tools at hand and prepare the team for working in the shop.
This year the controls group taught coding and electronics for Arduino kits to half of the team. They also wrote code for a galactic search challenge, which is to detect balls on a field, navigate to them, and collect them. Currently, they are exporting their code onto a new code organization system and working towards using motion sensors and computer vision to identify their robot's position on a field. They also helped design a control system for the Innovation Challenge Project for the Innovations Team.
This year the drive-train group learned how to CAD a swerve module using OnShape and to design a west coast tank drive for our next build season. During the swerve CADing process, our team received beneficial practice on OnShape which will come in handy for when we can build a robot for the FIRST season next year. One major accomplishment for our group was being able to successfully design the fork for their swerve module as it is one of the more complicated components of the set. Next year, they plan on learning how to machine their swerve part in the shop since they were not able to get much machining practice this year.
This year our animations group met with mentor Will Muto from Industrial Light and Magic to understand which animation techniques they should implement into their FIRST Animation contest. They spent the majority of their time developing their skills on Autodesk Maya animation software. Despite being completely virtual, they were able to collaborate with each other very well for their FIRST Animation project and are looking forward to working with each other next year.
April 23, 2021
For the past few weeks before Spring Break, we worked on our shop project. This year's shop project was to design a mechanism for the FRC game we designed in our game design challenge earlier this year called Operation Restoration. There were three main objectives of the game, and a few groups designed a mechanism for each objective. There was the pick and place which was when teams placed earth pieces onto the tray in order to score points and open the bridge. There was the shooter which was where water orbs are shot into the burning building at different heights for various amounts of points. Lastly, there was climb which was designed to look like a windmill and had the robots climb onto it at the end of the match.
Each group designed a different mechanism that was able to complete one of these objectives. A CAD for the base was provided to each group, and they CADed the mechanism on the pre-existing base. Here are a few images of what one group's mechanism looked like:
March 28, 2021
We have just wrapped up our 2021 build season! This year, because of COVID-19, the FIRST challenges we participated in were different from usual. We chose to work on the FIRST Innovation Challenge and the Game Design Challenge. The Innovation Challenge required teams to design a solution, create a business model, and present a pitch on a real-world problem. The Game Design Challenge had teams create a game that could be played by FIRST Robotics Competition teams. Our team split team members into groups for the Innovation Challenge and Game Design Challenge, while other team members worked in their specialized subgroups.
In the game design group, team members analyzed past FIRST games to help brainstorm ideas for a unique game design. After discussing the 4 different game possibilities that were suggested, the game design group decided on one game: FIRST: Operation Restoration. Then, members worked on designing elements of the exciting new game field using Onshape CAD. Other members created a Game Manual which was modelled off of previous FRC game manuals. Finally, a few team members created a game video and logo. Here is a picture of the game design team in their final Zoom call!
The innovation group was making a soccer ball shooter and kicker wheelchair attachment. They started off with three different mechanism ideas: a spring-powered paddle, a one wheel shooter, and a two wheel shooter. The innovation team split up into four different groups to CAD different mechanism ideas. One group worked on mounting the mechanism to the armrest and footrest and created a laser mount. After a design review with our mentors, we merged into two groups and cut down the mechanisms to the one wheel shooter and spring-powered paddle. After the merger, one of the groups worked on securing the spring onto the mechanism. They adamndomed the rack and pioneer system for the string and winch system, redesigned all of the kart and changed dimensions of the assembly. In addition, they worked on having the shock created by the springs to be absorbed. Currently, the innovation group is working on their pitch and presentation.
In the drive-train subgroup, training on how to CAD swerve has just been completed, which is important for the rookies to learn before the vets graduate. They are now beginning to brainstorm designs and gear ratios for a tank drivetrain. DT will most likely try to make a two speed west coast tank drive, since there is a possibility that GRT will use tank drive in a game with terrain that is difficult to navigate with swerve.
In the controls subgroup, they trained the controls rookies. Currently, controls is working on various projects. They are working on a galactic search challenge. The challenge is to detect balls on a field, navigate to them, and pick them up. In addition, controls is working on programming swerve, finding our position on the field from motion sensors and computer vision, and a controls system for the Innovation Challenge
The animation subgroup formed their team over winter break and went through animation training through January. Towards the end of January, they began working on the FIRST Animation and the theme was quarantine/lockdown. To address the theme, the animation team created an animation about a hungry cowboy who, upon going to the grocery store to buy food, encounters the Corona Virus which chases him all the way to "Desert Valley." At the Desert Valley they have a stand off after which the cowboy runs back home, exhausted and shaken from his adventure. They finalized and submitted the animation on February 25, and are currently planning out their next project.
Now, we are working on a new team-wide project where we are split into groups and designing mechanisms for our FRC game that we designed.