Wednesday, November 08, 2017

2nd Annual Spaghetti Feed

The second annual Vanden Robotics Spaghetti Feed was held November 4th, 2017. Each of the students in the robotics program sold tickets and invited their friends, family, teachers and community to our event held at Golden West Middle School.

There were several entertaining events for the night: Vex and Vex IQ demonstrations led by RoboVikes and students of the middle and elementary school robotics teams, a basket raffle, a dessert auction, and our competition robot and game presentation. We also offered the guests to buy Vanden Robotics merchandise. Leadership team shared about general team statistics, updates and goals. Also 5 RoboVikes alumni were present and shared with everyone how FIRST has helped them and where they are now.

Students volunteered to serve the spaghetti dinner and help run the various events for our guests. The spaghetti, bread, salad, desserts, and drinks were provided by the boosters and students. The raffle baskets were donated by local businesses in Fairfield and Vacaville. Thank you to everyone who helped make this night a success!

Overall, we were successful and raised $5,500 profit!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

2017 Capital City Classics

Capital City Classics was our second and last off-season competition and took place  10/27-10/29. Friday we set up for the weekend and proceeded to replace the radio during field connections and persevere through electrical issues in the pit.

This competition we decided to compete with two robots (701-Ragnorak & 9701-X1) and two separate drive teams. This had its challenges but by Sunday both teams advanced to eliminations and 9701 got all the way to semifinals. ("We were one gear away from finals" -Engineering Director; "You should write that in the blog" -President ;) Additionally, we won the Capital City Judges Award because of our outreach contributions to our school district, Migrant ed, and Camp Athena.

As we said in the previous blog, their were improvements to be made after our last competition, Chezy Champs; Autonomous, scouting, and spirit were definitely some aspects to work on. At this competition, we had a consistent autonomous, especially for 9701, great spirit, and comparable and reliable scouting data done by by veterans and rookies.

Overall this years Capital City Classics was quite successful for off-season and a major improvement from Chezy Champs.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

2017 Chezy Champs

Our first off season competition, Chezy Champs!

Real quick, throwback to last year's competition when we won the Judges Award! (We finally received the award from last year).

This year we put our new drive team to the test. Over the past two days. the drive team did pretty good considering the inexperience, and they improved from Saturday to Sunday. We did make a lot of small and careless mistakes that we hope will never occur again. Unfortunately, autonomous was not working well, so this warned us that auto is something we need to work on before Capital City Classic. We also had a problem with out scouting, as we had trained the rookies less than we should have. Considering the difficulty of scouting the fuel in this game, rookies kept making small mistakes that did result in inaccurate data. Since our scouting data is one of our proudest qualities, we are planning on focusing more time on getting accurate data in time for the next competition. We also plan on making more team cheers! As of right now our one team cheer is too long, so we have discussed ideas of short and loud cheers.

Overall, this year's Chezy Champs was definitely a learning experience.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Transitioning & Summer Events

As the school year starts, our team has begun the transition in welcoming all incoming rookies and taking upon responsibilities with a new leadership team. This year we had an influx of about 20 rookies, meaning that our team has increased to around 50 members with about half of them veterans and the other half rookies. In addition to this large increase in our team, our mentor, Mr. Green, has taken upon another job which leaves him less time to spend with us. As a result, our leadership team has taken upon more responsibilities for this year to ensure that our team remains productive. This challenge does have a possible positive impact, as this makes our team more student-led and strengthens the capabilities of our leadership team. We are all excited for this off season as we have more students to work on our hopes of creating 2 robots for off season competitions, but we must also face the challenge of keeping each member trained and productive. 

Coach: Mr. Green
RPM Executive Board:
President: Mark Crusoe
Vice President: Bernadette Aldrich
Secretary: Adrian Palezi
Financial Secretary: Jenny Rosell
Treasurer: Duane Murphy
Student Leadership
President: Eirene Ednacot
Vice President: Devina Velasquez
Engineering Director: Spencer Jaseph
Secretary: Sarah Bergendahl
Business Director: Alexandria Adams
Outreach Director: Tyus Green
Committee Heads
Design: Niklas Murray & Alvin Vo
Electrical: Devina Velasquez
Mechanical: Robbie Rosell
Programming: Darius Azure
Awards: Eirene Ednacot & Devina Velasquez
Media: Alexandria Adams
Outreach: Tyus Green

We also did a lot of summer events this year, such as Camp Athena, Imagine That, Preparing for China, and of course our Rookie Camp. The demos we hosted at Imagine That and Suisun Library help us show off our team and FIRST to our local community. Camps such as Camp Athena and Migrant Ed allow us to spread these ideals more directly to the youth in our community. Rookie Camp lets all the incoming rookies learn the basics of each committee in our team, so that they can familiarize themselves and decide which committee fits well for them.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

World Champs in Houston!

Our team's adventure at FIRST World Championship in Houston was an unforgettable learning experience.

Our team competed in the Galileo Division along with our friends, Team 6474 Armijo Robotics, who we helped start this build season.
We were able to go into Quarterfinals, chosen by our alliance members Team 2333, S.C.R.E.E.C.H., and Team 3959, Mech Tech. Unfortunately, Quarterfinals was the end for us, but we were grateful to even be granted the ability to play in Quarterfinals at Worlds. 

Some of the problems that we encountered during Qualification were velcro needing to be replaced, pneumatic tubing, and a difficulty connecting to the controllers. Despite these problems, we were successful with our gear intake, drive system, and climber, which worked consistently as we competed. 

Our scouting worked well during Qualifications as well, and was put to good use as we were able to share our data with our alliance during Playoffs.
Many team members attended the workshops that were held during the competition, and were able to gain a lot of knowledge, whether it be Robotics related (Media, Business Plan) or interest related (Space and Cassini information).

Overall, this was a great experience for our whole team, and our ambitions have grown even more as we strive to go to Worlds again next year.

World Championship Photos:

P.S.: We are currently working on a World Championship video that will be uploaded to our updated YouTube channel.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

2017 Idaho Regional

What happened in Idaho...

We ranked 3rd!
We were part of the highest match score of the event (425 points), had matches with 4 rotors scored, achieved 2 rotors in auto, and had 5 successful side autos in a row. We had the privilege of being the 2nd seed Alliance Captain with Team 1983, Skunkworks, and Team 5496, RoboKnights. Another good aspect about this regional was that our Scouting system worked perfectly, providing our team with good data for alliance selection.

Some problems that we had encountered during our matches was losing connection between the box and driver station, costing us a match. Additionally, we drove without chain for a few matches, which may have been the cause of the failed autos. There was also an incident where our climber motor unplugged. Despite these problems, our robot did well, earning many points with our gear mechanism and climbing.

Unfortunately we didn't receive any awards, but we were able to be one of the top-ranked teams at the regional!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 Sacramento Regional

No Sleep 'Til Houston!
We are on our way to World Championships!!!

On Thursday, a few members of our team went out to every practice match to practice our auto. Unfortunately it wasn't working, resulting in us having to diagnose and fix the problem. We spent time in the pits to fix the drive train issues with the shifter shaft and an unplugged talon. Members also spent some time pit scouting.

Friday was the first day of qualification matches, and we prepared for our matches, scouting, and speaking to judges. It started off as a promising day, as our first match was a win, but we continued to face problems that appeared in the pit as well as the stands. We kept encountering problems with drive transmission, a match where a battery was a plugged, and an air pressure leak. We also had problems with our scouting system, but provided a quick solution by utilizing our phones and laptops.
We had our 2 Dean's Lists finalists, Ben Aldrich and Spencer Jaseph, conduct their interviews. We also conducted a scavenger hunt for Golden West Middle School students during qualification matches, which proved to be a fun event for the kids and a way to be acquainted with different teams. Overall, Friday was a day full of anticipation, as our team tried our hardest to win each of our matches and await elimination matches the next day.

On Saturday, some members of our team immediately went to the pits to prepare for any possible Judges coming to us to talk. We only had 2 remaining qualification matches before alliance selection would happen. We did really well for our 2 matches, our alliance winning both of them, and were ready for alliance selection once it came around. We were chosen by alliance captain 199, Deep Blue, and 2073, Eagle Robotics, and we happily accepted. We moved on all the way to finals! At awards, we won the Gracious Professionalism Award and received medals for being finalists. Our biggest moment was being chosen as a Wildcard, allowing our team to go to Championships!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Day 35: The Finale...and a Potluck!

Today is our last day of Build Season! It is our Bag and Tag Day that we are celebrating with a humongous potluck with food brought from all of the families of our members. So thank you to all the parents that brought in the food to feed everyone!

We had a big new design idea for our robot that would solve our shooter problem. We decided to build an extending hopper that would essentially "agitate" the fuel balls inside the hopper in order for them to go smoothly into the shooter.

Thanks to the programming committee, who created the code for the extending hopper and made sure everything worked, everyone on the team was able to work on the robot until 9 p.m.

What a great build season! Good job everybody for working during these 6 weeks on our final robot and lets all hope for successful competitions.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 34: Get in Some Drive Time

For our second to last day until the end of build season, we focused on getting our robot ready to drive.

Our mechanical committee spent most of the day continuing to work on practice bot parts, assembling transmissions and such.

Our electrical committee soldered the co-driver station and wired the limit switches.

A few members of our team went over to Armijo to go and practice driving the robot with our established drive team for this season. During our drive test the robot broke and was fixed multiple times, and ended the day needing to be fixed tomorrow.

The gear intake was working really nicely, but unfortunately our shooter was not working as well. Our shooter isn't working because it continuously gets jammed, which is a problem we have to find a solution to by tomorrow. Also, our climbing mechanism failed to work properly, but there was a very easy fix for this that can be completed by tomorrow.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Day 33: Gear Pickup Success

Our mechanical committee finished installing the ramps inside the hopper. We tapped out gear boxes for practice bot transmissions and finished practice bot climber.

Our programming committee tested out final bot because all of the wiring was finished. We drove the robot for a little bit, and our gear pickup works well!

Our design committee figured out how to cut out plugs for our intake rollers for practice bot.

Our electrical committee wired the banner sensor and gear intake along with cleaning up the rest of the wiring.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day 32: Wire It Up

Our electrical committee made sensor cases and wired up the shooter, spike, and signal light.

Our mechanical committee finished welding the practice bot chassis. We lathed spacers for practice bot transmissions and continued to work on the practice bot climber.

Our programming committee tested out the final bot, but encountered some small setbacks when we realized some of the wiring was not finished yet.

Our design committee finished all the CNC work for practice bot.

We also had Armijo Robotics come over to look over their robot with us.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Day 31: Power Out

Due to the gloomy weather and lots of rain, our team experienced a power out for a few hours today. Nevertheless, we continued to work!

Our mechanical committee cut some long shafts on final bot. We moved on more to practice bot as final bot was transferred over to the electrical committee. We worked on the practice bot shooter intake, climber, and continued to weld the chassis. We also finished the frame for the co-driver box.

Our electrical committee wired power and continue connecting to it.

Our design committee spent the power out hours building the robot cart.

Our programming committee finished all the calculations for the Raspberry Pi. Our scouting crew were still working on fixing the strings, but managed to fix the database.