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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!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robot name suggestions, other interesting finds of the evening

Okay, so the title is a bit misleading. We do not actually have any suggestions for the name of our 2012 season robot. We do have criteria, however:

1. It must be clever.
2. It probably shouldn't be the name of a famous NBA player.

That's about it. The reason it shouldn't be the name of a famous NBA player is because Captain Grace says so. It's just too cliche- it's a basketball-themed game, and EVERYONE and their brother's robots are going to be named after NBA players. Of course, our last resort will be Lebron or Kobe or something, but I really want us to stay away from those...

So if you have suggestions for a robot name, leave it in the comments below. Soon here we'll have a poll so that our lovely readers, however few, will be able to have some input.

As to the second part of the title, I guess I should give an update on progress. We've got the chassis completely finished, and the wheels/gearboxes/motors attached. Mike's finished his ball-mover mechanism (the piece of machinery that, once the ball has been received, will move it up to the launcher. The board has been painted, black with gold lion paw prints walking across it, and there's been a hole cut in the middle for the launcher to be installed in. We're still working on the launcher- it's been a tough few weeks for that subteam. We always seem to hit a wall with it somehow. But we're hoping to finalize something within the next few days so that we can get to programming and testing.

This might be unusual for a Robotics blog, but, I'm figuring that many of our readers are themselves geeks, and geeks tend to like to read, so I'm going to make a  geeky book recommendation. If you haven't yet read The New Cool by Neal Bascomb, it's a great read. It's actually about a FIRST robotics team, and the teacher that brought them to where they are. It's incredible. It's great insight into the journey and trials and tribulations that a team struggles with, and it accurately describes the euphoria experience when all that hard work pays off in unimaginable ways. So, pick it up today!

That's all for now, folks! Stay tuned for the next post!

Captain Grace


  1. Wallace and Gromit is a treasure trove of robotics-related gags, as Wallace is an inventor. Off the top of my head, we could name the robot The Wrong Trousers (the technological pants from the episode of the same name) or Preston (the murderous robot dog from "A Close Shave").

    The Wrong Trousers would have an added reference in it, in that we could address the driver as Feathers McGraw or Penguin.

    Yet nobody else on the team seems to be a Wallace and Gromit fan... :( I really think you guys would like it, actually.

  2. Maybe 2012? Thats what we've been referring to it as.

  3. You should totally name your robot Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All

  4. The thing is, we prefer it when it's robot-related...

    Perhaps a Cyberman or Dalek name... Dalek Sec? Caan? Thay? Jast?