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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, February 19, 2013

Late Night Musings

As we approach the final moments of our build season, the robot is looking awesome and ready to go. She is still yet to be named, however- that decision will be made in the exact final moments.

She can now 'vomit' the frisbees onto the floor (or onto other robots!) but cannot yet pick them up. All that's needed for that to happen, however, is the attachment of a small piece of plastic. Other than that, all we need to do is tidy up the robot to get it inspection-ready, practice driving and fine-tune the coding. And naming the robot!

Here are some pictures of our progress today!

And that's all for today, folks! 


Today's the day. The final day. The day on which we must finish the robot.

As of now, the robot is in a fully assembled state. The feeder arm is attached, the electronics are all set, and the robot can drive. The arm also moves.

We think that this will be the first year that we will be able to participate in a few practice matches at competition prior to the actual rounds. In past years we have always spent that time finishing the robot- but lo and behold, we finished the robot this year! The only thing left to do is finish programming and tweak the arm so that it can effectively pick up frisbees. Dan is working on finishing programming the cRio, and Mike, Marquise and Walter are finishing mechanical stuff. So, it's go time! Let's go RoboLions!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Few Days Left...

We're getting down to the wire here. Bag n Tag day is on Tuesday! Can't believe that 6 weeks have gone by so quickly.

To update our followers on the progress we have made:

The robot (who is yet to be named) is now able to move. Electronics are configured and Dan and Josh are working on the programming, which has some kinks to be worked out. The feeder arm is able to be attached, however, we have it unattached right now so that we can complete it and do some preliminary testing before attaching it to the bot. It is currently painted shiny gold while our frame is black. No plywood this year- thanks to students at Ranken Technical College, we have a beautiful welded aluminum frame!

Bumpers are nearly completed as well. Our bumper design captain, Marquise, came up with a great design that allows us to flip the covers from blue to red in an instant. Much easier than last year's bolted bumpers that took 15 minutes to change.

Aside from that, we're just getting ready for the competition. Ordering tshirts, spirit items and spreading the word about competition! Which, by the way, is March 15-17 at Chaifetz Arena. More info to come later!

Speaking of events, if you're a fan of musicals, our high school (University City High School in St. Louis, MO) is putting on Footloose this Friday and Saturday at 7PM on both days. Tickets available at the door. Three of our team members will be in the show! It'll be awesome so come see if you can!

More updates will come as progress are made. As for now we're just working away!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Wheels On The Bot Go Round And Round...

As you all saw with the video, our robot is now in motion. Well, to be completely correct, it is not moving right at the moment- there is work being done on it. Nathan, one of our newest (and youngest- we've got a brave 8th grader here!), is working on building a shield to protect the electronics and inner workings of the bot. He's in the midst of testing materials and angles right now, to figure out the optimum combination to protect against breakage. We've thought about using green or cloudy colored plastic and using LEDs or a blacklight on the inside of the shield to create a colored aura-type thing! It could look like kryptonite. Ok, well maybe that's just me crossing my fingers for a cool, aesthetically pleasing robot! This will be the year!

In other news, we had to break out the first aid kit for the first time. And I'm about to have a grand ol' time describing the event in thrilling detail.

Enter Christine, new freshman RoboLions member. A diligent worker, Christine takes the greatest of care when handling tools. However, on this fateful night, there was one tool which would turn out to be her greatest adversary: The file. As she filed away, the file slipped and grazed Christine's finger, ripping tiny bits of skin from her flesh. Droplets of blood began to bead on the surface.

Ok, that makes it sound a lot more dramatic than it was. It was a tiny scrape, and she slapped a BandAid on it and got right back to work, no big deal. But we did have to open the First Aid kit to get a BandAid. Exciting, this is the first time this year.

The naming of the robot is still in the works. I think an election shall be in order soon, so far the favorites are looking to be Serenity, Hammurabi, Huitzilopochtli (don't ask), Nazgul, and Fluttershy. Oh, and Nazca. I kinda want to add Galadriel to the list, if we're starting an LOTR trend here. Comment to add your ideas to the list!

There may be more posts tonight, as progress continues, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 4, 2013


As of tonight we can now drive the robot. It is looking really good.

Here is a video:

-Mr. Wuggles