This year, we started programming right after kickoff. Our team had a fairly large programming team consisting of the following people: Matt Arroyo, Dale Keith, Sam Lewin, Liz Maurais, Cody Paquette, and Jacob Tilton. While waiting for the CADD model and the prototype, we began lessons in Java and object oriented programming, led by our mentors Mr. Lewin and Mr. Narkis.
Things like classes, arguments, and strings were discussed. Seeing as the members of our programming team all had different computer hardware, configuring the development computers took a long time. Once we had something to work with, we began programming things like the odometer and the drive train. Sharing code among the team was a breeze thanks to our use of Subversion, located on a server inside our Programming Den. Day after day, our programming team was hard at work pondering ideas, fixing bugs, integrating software with hardware, and scribbling down ideas on windows that were used as whiteboards. The programming team was a very tight knit group this year, helping out each other whenever possible, while still providing a challenge to overcome.
Software development is key to the success of the robot’s performance on the field and the we hope the group’s effectiveness will translate to great execution during the competition
As the 2012 build season came to a close, our team reached several milestones and finished strong. Last Saturday,our team had our 2012 robot driving on our test carpet. This allowed the drive team to practice with the robot and also gave us a chance to discover any problems. Our team spent Sunday, Monday, and part of Tuesday refining and perfecting the robot and the software that runs on it. Over the next several days leading up to the Granite State Regional, our team plans to produce spirit items, practice driving with our test robot, work on robot software, and test the software on our test robot. Our team also plans to refine the 2012 robot shooting mechanism (which we removed before bagging the robot). The shooting mechanism will be attached to our test robot for use during this week and then be reattached to our current robot on the practice day (Thursday) of the Granite State Regional.
Speaking of the Granite State Regional, we have a downloadable invitation for all visitors available here. If you or someone you know can’t make it to the regional but still wants to follow the action, you can follow our live blog (which we will be conducting for the second year in a row) throughout the day on Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd. To access the live blog starting Wednesday February 29th, just go to our home page and click on the link. We hope you’ll join us then.
Good luck to all teams during the competitions. A video is posted below showing a taste of our 2012 robot. Enjoy and we look forward to seeing everyone at the competitions. Only 4 days until Granite State Regional!
On Friday night, Team 501 held tryouts for the 2012 robot drive team. A carpet was laid on the floor to simulate a surface that is similar to the actual FIRST field. The carpet featured a “penalty zone” and several objects that the students had to lightly come in contact with. This helped drivers learn accuracy and helped simulate objects on the competition field. Students were give three practice laps to get used to the field. After the three practice laps we’re completed, a “quiet lap” took place where students were timed on how long it took them to get around the field. Going inside of the penalty zone resulted in deductions during the quiet lap. Once the quiet lap was completed, a “loud lap” was conducted. This was performed to simulate the crowd and noise levels during a match at an actual FIRST competition. The loud lap was important for potential drivers to experience what it is like to actually drive the robot during a competitive match.
Our 2012 robot drive team consists of the following people: Nicole Lyle (GHS Junior), Sam Lewin (GHS Sophomore), and Isaiah Cote (WHS Senior). Nicole will serve as the driver, Sam as the operator, and Isaiah as the human player. In case of emergency, we also selected a backup drive team. The backup drive team will consist of Connor McLellan (GHS Junior), Erin Morrison (WHS Senior), and Jacob Tilton (WHS Freshman). Connor will serve as the backup driver, Erin as the backup operator, and Jacob as the backup human player. You can learn more about our drive team by going to our Current Team Members page. Everyone who tried out for the drive team did a great job and put in a great effort! With ship date only days away, the drive team better start practicing!
Go Team 501
3 days until ship date!
Below is a photo of our 2012 Drive Team and Backup Drive Team
As build season winds down, Team 501 is hard at work completing our robot. Over the last two weeks, the main chassis continued to make great progress as well as the test robot. During Week 3, basic driving tryouts were held using our test robot. Students were challenged to navigate our test robot around an obstacle course. The video is available on our Photos and Videos Page This was an important preliminary test for the full Drive Team tryouts coming up towards the end of week 5. The software team continued to implement a custom GUI (Graphical User Interface) for this year’s driver station computer. This will help provide a clear indication of what is going on with the robot while on the field. Ship date is coming up!
After kickoff everything becomes crazy and everyone is constantly running around with their heads cut off. The team has held many brain storming sessions and had an awesome rules reading party. There have also been various other meetings to starting thinking about how we are going to get the robot to other competitions and how we are going to work on raising money. The team has also been hard brainstorming ideas for this year’s spirit committee. The team is going to continue to work hard and every free second they get to be ready for the first competition that the team goes to, which is the Granite State competition. The competition starts on March 1st and lasts until March 3rd.