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Hello, Robolions team members, mentors, friends, and community members! Welcome to "The Fourth Law of Robotics," home to University City High School's FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team. We hope to use this blog to inform you about what we're up to.
We compete in the FRC (First Robotics Competition), an annual competition where we have six weeks to build a robot from scratch. This year's game is Recycle Rush. We'll post updates here to let you all know what we're up to with building (and competing with) our robot!
We also are now competing in FTC (First Tech Challenge), the next level down from FRC. The game was called Ring It Up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quorra's Camera and Other Progress

We have now mounted a functional camera to Quorra so that we can see what she sees! However, Dan's still working on the programming needed to let us connect with the camera feed without a big ugly wire. More on that when he finishes.

In Rookie news, we mounted the board to the chassis.... but it turned out Marquise wanted a different board cut, and his measurements weren't followed. This, however, is because we experienced a communication error -- this is why we need to consistently leave notes on what we should do at our next build session, and then READ the notes when we come in. But progress is undisturbed; we've successfully mounted Aragog's battery, and we're working on the CRio as I write! So, all's well that ends well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Captain's Log

Hey guys! This is your Captain speaking. I'll be writing these Captain's Logs posts every so often
to just give you guys a view of what our practices are looking like, what kind of progress we're making, et cetera.
Today we tested out a new schedule! We started the practice off with a meeting stating what we wanted to accomplish today, and wrote it on the board. I also announced the changes in our meeting set up. We now take a set 15-minute snack break, and this has improved our productivity considerably. Instead of having everyone sporadically taking breaks whenever they want, we are able to focus and get the work done, then take a break to refresh our minds.
We also found our old FTC Engineering Notebook from 2009. It was interesting to read through it and see the progress we made, as well as our reflections of frustration and impatience at times. I'm thinking that we're going to keep an engineering notebook this year as well, it will help keep us organized and give us time to really think about what we're doing.
I have to say, I'm especially proud of the Rookies for the work they did today. They set their goal, got to work, and achieved 99% of it today (they still have to finish bolting the board to the chassis, but that won't take long.) It makes me really excited for the rest of the season! I know they are going to do well!
Upcoming Events
Parent Night- December 13th from 7-8. Students, please arrive at 6 so we can get an hour of work done before the parents arrive.
Rookie Team Presentation- December 16th. !!!
7 practices until kickoff!!!!
Follow us on Twitter @Robolions3397
"Like" us on Facebook- UCHS Robolions
We'll keep you updated!
Signing out,
Gracie D, Captain

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Moving Right Along

We have now invaded, converted, and established our new room. We just need to move a bunch of cardboard, wood, and other materials in, and then we will have completely moved in! :D
As for Aragog, well, we've got the frame done and we're working on his pincers now. So far, we've decided they'll be 15 inches long and 3 inches wide. Why? Don't ask me, I don't think spatially. There's got to be some sort of reason, though. :P

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Work on Aragog

Progress is coming along well. The build team of rookies has just about finished Aragog's frame, despite some issues with the Stupid Corner that wouldn't line up right. Mr. Sarber explained to us two Golden Rules when it comes to solutions in building:
1. If you have to fit something through a hole and it's not quite working, you can always just make the hole bigger.
2. If all else fails, whack it with a hammer.
The second one was sufficient in this case.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

51st Post!

This is officially our 51st post on this blog.

....Why this is important, I don't know, but I do know that we have some updates for all our lovely readers/team members/random internet surfers!

This is week 2 of the Rookie Fall Challenge. The rookies are hard at work building a chassis and attaching the gear boxes and wheel mechanisms as we speak. It was difficult for them to start, but they have certainly progressed. We've seen leaders step up out of the group, and we've seen each person's skills begin to show as they set about their various tasks. As an older team member, I can say that we as the Mentor Team are very proud thus far, and cannot wait until December 16th, Doom D- errr, Presentation Day. Some extra practice dates have been scheduled in for the next few weeks so that they can get a few more hours to work.

In other news, next Wednesday is the FRC Open House at Hazelwood Central High School. We will be leaving the school around 3:30. The Open House is from 4-8pm, and we will be showing Quorra.

On November 19th and 20th are the FLL Qualifying Matches at Brittany Woods Middle School. The Robolions will be selling concessions in order to raise money for the 2012 season.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Moment of Silence, Please

It has come to my attention that the robot known affectionately to us all as Butter has been disassembled, after a period of about ten meetings' discussion. This news greatly saddens me. :( I must request a moment of silence, in memory of our buttery friend.


In other news, today we received our Fall Rookie Challenge for 2011. Our task is to design and build a robot that can move a soccer ball 20 feet into a 36-inch-wide goal. So far, we have decided on a robot that grabs and pushes the ball into the goal with its pincers. Expanding on that, we've chosen to decorate it with a spider theme and name it Aragog. But we're only just in the brainstorming stages, so it will be a while before Aragog is scuttling around anywhere.

Everybody's excited to see new faces and learn new names, such as Rashad and Kang. Looking forward to a great Fall Rookie Challenge and a great year! :)