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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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

   Hi! My name is Derek B. Mills, and I will be the blog writer for the 2012 FTC robotics team. And I will be frequently updating you on the progress of the robotics team.

  It's the third week of robotics and we've already established that we are ready to build the robot. So far we have the frame and wheels built which isn't that far but it's a start. And we have decided to just think of the design as we go along. It' going to take us about 3 1/2 months to finish. Its area is about under 18 inches squared, but as i said we are just determining the design and format as we build. Right now we are only planning to use 1 battery pack. We wish all of the other teams the best of luck, but for now that is all we have. We will keep everyone updated as much as possible.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back from Kickoff!

The team just got back from the FTC 2012 Season Kick-off! The students were antsy at the Science center as we waited and waited for them to debut the video. We'll post a link to the video soon, once we get to a location where YouTube is not blocked by the school firewall.

The game this year is called Ring It Up!, and the goal is to hang small plastic rings on a set of pegs. For those of you who are involved in FIRST and have been for a few years, you might recognize it- the game is a LOT like Logomotion from the 2011 FRC season. Here's a link to the site for those of you interested:

It's a normal 12x12 playing field divided diagonally with the rack of pegs set up in the middle. There are ring loading stations on all four sides of the field, and there are two corner-scoring racks, on which teams may hang the heavier rings to score a 20% bonus. At the end of the match, robots have the chance to lift up the other robot on their alliance for another bonus.

Right now the team is discussing rules and clarifications, term definitions, how to score points. Later they will start actually thinking about how to best design the robot. I can tell they are all excited to get to that point!!

It's going to be a great season! Soon we'll have another blogger, Derek, to blog for the FTC season. Until then, peace out!

Captain Grace

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Boot Camp and Other Happenings

Today marks the end of Day 2 of RoboLions Boot Camp! Students got to explore, discover and learn about robotics and the team specifically. They got a crash course in the brainstorming and design process, a safety orientation, tips on how to successfully manage a team schedule and build timeline, and finally, they got to get their hands dirty by getting into pairs and designing a container that would keep an egg safe and free from cracks after a 25 foot drop. (Videos will be posted on the YouTube channel as soon as I can get them all stitched together.) All of the groups except one succeeded, and we were very impressed with all of the designs. The students asked great questions, outlined and brainstormed, some even prototyped before putting together the final project. I can tell it's going to be a fantastic season, we've got a lot of really enthusiastic kids raring and ready to go.

Tyree and Jailen discussing their final design (shown on table)

Lewis and Lafayette constructing their container

Crissy and James putting together their design

We also discussed the details for the kickoff on Saturday. There will be a parent's meeting at the lab 10, we will have lunch and then proceed to the Science Center at 12. Afterwards will be, as per usual, the first brainstorm session. The brainstorm session will be facilitated by the older kids and the captains, but we're going to try to let the newbies start establishing their own pecking order and see who steps up and takes charge. Haha, well, something along those lines. The FTC season is going to be all theirs- they'll get the experience they need to continue to lead the team well after us three seniors graduate! 

Everyone's excited about the kickoff- hints posted online have led us to believe that it has something to do with 'rings'. The clues have been the Eye of Sauron (=LOTR=RINGS), telephone wires (telephones RING...), and the Olympic Logo (made of RINGS). And a bus. But who knows what that has to do with anything. Anyways, we'll keep you posted!

-Captain Grace