Week 7 Newsletter

Team 6978 Week 7 Update

February 2024

Thank you for all your support of our team! Without your sponsorship, this build season would not be possible. Here is what we have been working on over the past week.

The Practice Field

Over the past weekend, we visited the practice field of Team 1114. Within just an hour, we managed to exhaust one of the motors on the practice robot. On the brighter side, our testing of the competition robot showed some progress, although there is still ample room for improvement.

This video is a demonstration of our autonomous program

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Media Team Update

In the upcoming weeks, we'll embark on the task of revamping our website. We plan to update pages with outdated or missing information and give the entire site a more appealing look.

When participating in competitions, it's crucial to present ourselves effectively. To enhance our team's visibility, we've crafted a banner design that we aim to have printed soon.

Next Steps

In the upcoming week, we're focused on enhancing the competition robot by installing LEDs and additional cameras. The completion of the practice robot takes precedence, as it provides a platform for refining our offensive capabilities. For the competition robot, we still need to connect a router, for which we've 3D printed the holder, and finalize both sets of bumpers. Our strategic plan involves making extensive use of the practice field in the meetings leading up to the competitions.

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Week 6 Newsletter

Team 6978 Week 6 Update

February 2024

Thank you for all your support of our team! Without your sponsorship, this build season would not be possible. Here is what we have been working on over the past week.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

We initiated the robot-painting procedure last week, and it proved to be a more intricate task than one might think. The initial phase involved dismantling the robot and subjecting its components to sandblasting for thorough cleaning. Subsequently, we applied paint using electrostatic powder coating. Following this, we placed the parts in an oven, allowing it to reach a temperature of 400°F, a process that typically takes up to an hour. Once the oven attains the desired temperature, we leave the components inside for 5 minutes to complete the coating process. After cooling, we reassemble the robot.

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Robot before being painted

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Robot after being painted

Testing

Next Steps

During this week, our efforts were directed towards minimizing the workload on the driver and operator through increased automation of various robot functions. A notable addition was the Autoshot system, leveraging our enhanced vision program to determine the robot's position. This system calculates the optimal angle and velocity for shooting a note. Utilizing these upgraded tools, we engaged in extensive practice sessions aimed at successfully shooting into the Amp and Speaker. Ultimately, our hard work paid off as we accomplished a three-note autonomous run.

In the upcoming week, our plan is to explore the possibility of utilizing Team 1114's practice field to enhance our driving and operating skills. As the competition dates draw near, the majority of our focus for the next week will be dedicated to improving the reliability of our robot and finalizing the autonomous functions.

Week 2-5 Newsletter

Team 6978 Week 5 Update

February 2024

Thank you for all your support of our team! Without your sponsorship, this build season would not be possible. Here is what we have been working on over the past week.

A visit from the MPP

On Saturday, February 10th, Quickstrike welcomed a visit from Sam Oosterhoff, MPP of Niagara West. During his visit, students provided an overview of this year's game and conducted a demonstration of the robot. The discussion delved into the intricacies of the robot's construction and assembly process, exploring the diverse skills necessary to accomplish these tasks.

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We explored the potential skills and abilities that students can acquire through robotics, emphasizing teamwork and confidence-building. A notable aspect is that many students who may not have a typical interest in sports find a valuable avenue in robotics teams. Within this environment, they develop hands-on building experience and enhance their self-confidence in their abilities.

Testing

This week, we concluded testing on our four-wheel shooter. Our upcoming objectives involve incorporating vision technology to autonomously adjust the shooter's angle, allowing precise shooting from any location on the field. Additionally, we successfully completed testing on our climbing mechanism, a strategic move that promises valuable points towards the end of the game.

Our focus persists on refining our two-note autonomous program, with the ultimate goal of expanding its capabilities to collect three or four notes. A significant aspect of this effort involves the implementation of a path-following system. Leveraging encoder sensors on the drive motors for the drive train, we employ odometry tracking and differential drive kinematics to precisely monitor the robot's position on the field. To execute this, we utilize a closed-loop feedback controller, ensuring accurate path following during gameplay.

Here's a video of our autonomous program:

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Next Steps

In the week ahead, our agenda includes the disassembly of the robot for sandblasting, followed by a fresh coat of paint in our team colours. Once the reassembly is finished, we'll proceed with extensive testing and programming, complemented by visits to the practice field for additional driving tests.

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Week 1 Newsletter

Build Season has begun!

January 2024

Thank you for all your support of our team! Without your sponsorship, this build season would not be possible. Here is what we have been working on over the past week.

Kickoff

Quickstrike Niagara had an eventful weekend! Saturday was Kickoff, which is when the new game is revealed for competition season. During our meeting on Saturday, we reviewed the game manual and examined it carefully. We divided the manual into sections, assigned a group to work on each section, and then each group presented their section to the entire team. This ensured everyone understood the game. Afterwards, we talked about the different ways to play the game and different strategies we could use to play at competitions.

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Prototyping

With guidance from mentors, students divided into two groups to explore different mechanisms. The first team explored how to create a shooter for the notes. They created a wooden ramp to angle the shooter and tested it to become functional. With a steel plate, the group attached a motor with a wheel so the note would slide up and shoot out. The second group worked on a pick-up device to grab notes from the ground. They also created a steel U-shaped bracket with a motored roller to move the notes into the robot. We are now working on solidifying our designs and ensuring our concepts work consistently.

Testing

On Tuesday, we began testing our shooter. Using the prototype we designed earlier in the week, we were able to ensure our shooter design was reliable. We were able to clear the height of the speaker!

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Next Steps

During the upcoming week, we plan to test the pick-up mechanism, develop a climber, and improve/calibrate the shooter. Thank-you for helping our community team reach so many youth! Without your sponsorship, we would not have made such a large impact in our community!