Thursday, June 28, 2018

2018 RoboNanza

For the first time, we attended Intuitive Surgical’s “RoboNanza” that they host for FRC teams they sponsor.

We competed in a mini “Power Up!” with the half-field Intuitive had set up for teams. This was a great opportunity to strengthen our team-sponsor relationship.

To thank Intuitive Surgical for their sponsorship, we made plaques and wrote a thank you letter that we were able to hand deliver. Through this event, we were also able to bond with other local teams. This was a great event that we can’t wait to attend again in future years!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Relay for Life

RoboVikes volunteered at American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser by checking in survivors and organizing goodies for the event.

Later in the day, we demoed our 2018 robot, Mjolnir, in front of our sponsor Genentech’s booth. RoboVikes along with Mjolnir drove and walked around the track along side all the survivors and their families at Relay for Life.

We had a lot of fun hearing inspiring stories from the brave cancer survivors and giving back to our community through this event.

Friday, June 22, 2018

2018 RoboPlay Day

RoboPlay Day is an competition hosted for Camp Athena students to show off the programming they learned in an environment that resembles C-STEM Day at UC Davis.

With the help of the Camp Athena teachers, we set up and judged the competition. We also demoed robots from the high school and middle school robotics programs in the district to show the students what types of robots they could work with if they continued to do robotics.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Camp Athena

For the first two weeks of summer, RoboVikes mentored incoming sixth graders of Travis Unified School District. We helped teach them how to program LinkBots using Ch code.

We created challenges for the kids to complete using their LinkBots, troubleshot when the kids had errors in their code or had computer problems, and had lots of fun with the kids as they supervised them during recess.

This short summer camp was a way to get kids interested in programming and hopefully inspire them to join the robotics program that is available to them at their elementary school. Overall, both the students and the RoboVikes learned a lot that they will carry with them in future projects.

Friday, June 15, 2018

2018 Rookie Camp

Every year we host a “rookie camp” to introduce incoming RoboVikes to FRC.

We show them all the different aspects of our team and teach them how to small jobs in each of our different engineering committees so that at the end of the camp they can choose which committee they want to join for the next school year.

We also do a lot of team bonding activities to help the new RoboVikes get to know the veterans and feel more included in the team.

Monday, June 04, 2018

2018 End of Year Party

When the school year comes to an end, we have an end of the year party to celebrate. At the party we celebrate our graduating seniors with a slideshow and presents. We also thank our mentors for their countless hours of dedication to the team.

Team members also came together to surprise the seniors with gifts that they can take with them to college and remember the memories they made while being a RoboVike. These are called senior secrets and they included a baby bike for the engineering director and photo albums for the girl seniors.

Both the seniors and Mr. Green shared moments of laughter together after the slideshow They were very well decorated with chords and medals from their time on Team 701.

2018 Vanden High Exhibition

Every year, Vanden High hosts an “Exhibition Night” to show off all the hard work engineering, english, government, business, video production, and history students have accomplished all year.

The RoboVikes attended this event to show off our robot to our school and to draw new members into our team. Many of us were also there to present projects we created in engineering courses, such as custom stools and bridges.

Many of our peers were surprised and impressed with the amount of work and time that went into building the robot and our entire program. Overall, the exhibition was a rewarding experience, as it gave us a chance to finally show our friends and teachers what we were working on all year.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

2018 Fiesta Days

For the second time, we worked with two local teams, the RoboKnights and the RoboDogs, to build and show off a robotics-inspired float for our town’s annual Fiesta Days’ Parade.

Throughout the parade, we were chanting and cheering to show our community our team spirit and our enthusiasm for FIRST robotics. We also got to talk to a few different local organizations that sponsor our team. It is always a pleasure to thank them for their generosity to Team 701!

After the parade, all three teams went to Vaca High for a BBQ lunch to further strengthen the bonds with the robotics teams in our area. It was a fun filled day of community, sponsor and team relationships that are so essential to the  RoboVikes!

2018 Genentech Day

The past 5 years the RoboVikes have gone to Genentech for their Bring Your Son or Daughter to Work Day. We were invited to this event by Genentech to spread STEM and FIRST ideas to local youth whose parents work in the industry.

This event was also a great way to show Genentech, one of the team’s major sponsors, all the hard work that we’ve put in to our robot this season and to thank them for supporting Vanden Robotics. At Genentech, we demonstrated our FIRST Power Up robot to attendees and brough clawbots for kids to learn how to drive.

We were also given a tour of Genentech’s facility and the opportunity to learn more about the biotechnology field as a possible future career option. Overall, this event was a great learning opportunity for both the RoboVikes who attended and the kids and parents who wanted to learn more about FIRST robotics.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

2018 Foxboro Anniversary

The RoboVikes got the chance to celebrate the anniversary of one of our district's elementary schools-- Foxboro Elementary! Here, RoboVikes provided help as volunteers for general games, including dodgeball and potato sack races, as well as small robot games!

We were able to bring some claw bots with us and created a little game for participating elementary students which involved recycling water bottles in "recycle bins." Student's from Foxboro's Vex IQ program were also able to demonstrate their robots, and allow younger students to try out the robots which they could be building in the future!

Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 World Championships

We qualified for Houston Championships through the Engineering Inspiration Award sponsored by NASA at the Sacramento Regional. 

230 am Wednesday morning the robotics team set off for this championship adventure that has been worked hard to get to, both in season and fundraising for the competition.
We landed in Houston and went straight to work. We sent pit crew to work on the robot in order to get inspected very soon after. After that day the Robovikes went back to the hotel and relaxed to prepare for the next very busy day.

The robot performed mediocre at first but did much better as the day progressed. That night roboprom happened which was really fun.

The next day at the last match of qualifications, we finished strong 12/ 12 cubes. Then we went on to playoffs.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2018 Davis Regional

The Robovikes attended their home town competition in Davis California March 22- 24, 2018. Along side us in competition was Buckingham, Armijo and Napa who we cheered on greatly.

A few of our students were very generous with their time and helped team 3013 Vallejo Robotics. They were very appreciative and it was definitely a good representation of Team 701s outreach.

Because of our work in STEM and spreading it to our community, The Robovikes won Engineering Inspiration Award sponsored by NASA. This award is a second to chairmens, making it the 2nd most prestigious award in FIRST. The award includes NASA sponsoring our robot to be entered in the competition. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 Arkansas Regional

21 Robovikes, parents and mentors traveled to Little Rock Arkansas, March 8-11. We usually go to Idaho but this year we chose to compete in Arkansas instead.

Our drive gear got shredded because it was out of alignment and the bearing popped out. We reached out to other teams and a team came in clutch and provided us with the replacement seconds before our match. It worked out and we stayed high in the rankings.

For playoffs we ranked 6th and were alliance captains.

Although the MC could not pronounce their name correctly we cheered Armijo on very much and they went on to win the Creative Award.

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

2018 Media and Sponsor Day

After Bag and Tag our business team sent out letters of invitation to all of our sponsors encouraging them to come out and experience our finished robot. Because it was for the purpose of media, we were allowed to take it out of the bag and present it to our sponsors under the supervision of our non partisan mentor. We also published a press release and additionally invited ABC10 and other local news outlets to come be the media for the night.

We planned presentations by the President, Vice President, Engineering Director, Outreach Director, Business Director and Media Head. We gave the sponsors pamphlets that overviewd our team statistics and outreach, buttons and 3D printed key-chains.

A big thank you to the following sponsors and people who came this night to support us.
-Chris Flask from Genentech
-Solano County Board of Education
-Sue Brothers from Travis USD
-Joe Palesi- the contact to several sponsors including Vulcan Materials and Delta Grinding

-Barbara Bingley from ABC 10

ABC10's journalist, Barbara Bingley interviewed several students and videoed the robot to publish a news article on the 11 o'clock news broadcast. Here is the link to that video broadcast.


This year we decided to focus bag and tag on doing the final touches on final bot and then presenting our robot to just our families. Usually bag and tag consists of the team rushing to finish while sponsors and parents and new crews watch this hectic scramble. This year was a lot calmer and we had just our loving parents there to cheer us on at the end of the race.
The drive team took the robot ver to 
Once the drive team was back from Buckingham, we displayed the robot to our families. The whole team stood by to observe their hard work over the year being showcased.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Day 38: crunch time

It is crunch time and everyone is tired but it is the second to last day, so it is time to finish strong.

Our drive team went over to Buckingham Charter school to practice their ability to use the robot in competition. This meant that practice bot was gone all day because it was being tested. 
Go drive team!

With the robot mostly set up, Programming now had to set up all the robot parts and test if they worked.
However, along the way Mechanical and Electrical issues came up: the pneumatics weren't mounted
correctly, there was an air leak, the radio needed to be reconfigured and the limit switches needed to be mounted. Additionally, the banner sensor needed to be fixed and the springs on the puncher needed to be added.

In the end, Programming ended up testing and bringing up the robot after all the changes throughout
the day were made. They tested out the pneumatics, the puncher, the arm positions, and most importantly: the chassis.

Day 37: wrapping it up

The robot team was split between a small group of people practicing with the practice robot at armijo
and putting together final bot at Vanden. They tested their ability at shooting for the scale and switch.

At this point practice robot had a few chain issues and the intake broke a few times. Do not worry it was nothing that duck tape can't fix.

Programmers worked on group commands in order to make the co driver as efficient as possible.

It is very close to the end and the puncher of the final had to be mounted, the limit switches needed to be put on, sensors were tested, final touches being made to the arm. The Mjolnir plate was cut out and put on the puncher.

Scouting worked at figuring out errors they noticed after scouting the week zero competition yesterday.

The robot was ready to be put into the hands of Programming by the end of the day. Yay. Just in time....

Day 36: miscellaneous fixes

Mechanical is fixing the arm to final bot, making sure all of it works and attaching parts that got back from painting. Other students were mounting an air system to compensate for the climber. Then they added the intake and re-chained the arm. Some specified students lathed out custom spacers for the arm.

On the practice bot they fixed the chain from popping out three times. Then they changed the type of chaining being done by getting rid of a master link. There was a jamming problem on the puncher with it going too far and that was fixed.

Electrical mounted a camera and banner sensor. They moved a limit switch higher up for the puncher to reach.

Programming added code to be able to get voltage from the robot in order to have encoders be precise

They worked with mechanical to have puncher be able to work and test out places to shoot. After testing, the puncher worked and we got encoder values from the arm to have positions to use.

Design worked on miscellaneous 3D printing and some CNC work.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Day 35: lets finish as strong as our puncher

Today Robovikes had the day off of school as well as Monday which results in a four day weekend to finish build season strong.

Programming tested the intake, both pneumatics, and motors. They also tested the puncher to make sure it can go back with puncher plate on it. Then they worked on implementing motion magic on the puncher.

Electrical attached better limit switches. Then they cleaned up a lot of the wires on practice bot and installed more LEDs on the bottom of final bot.

Mechanical decided to push the puncher 3/4 way down in order to ensure springs are not catching and such. Then they are fine tuning springs and getting the shooter launching onto scale.

Day 34: pretty lights and tags with names

Electrical is inputing LEDs for under glow of robot. Also they are fixing a talon.

Design CADed bumpers and laser cut more nametags.

Mechanical is cutting out 1/8 spacers on the lathe to provide extra space. Also they fixed the slider by ensuring the ratchet was in the right place. Then they reattached the plate

Day 33: limiting our arm

Mechanical is mounting chain to the arm to raise it up and down on final bot. Also they are drilling and mounting the puncher plate.

Programming tested out arm positions. The rookies improved their typing skills, because there wasn't much to do for them. They tested out the intake and puncher system.

Electrical mounted limit switch for arm and wired limit switch for puncher.

We tested out the puncher going back and forth and tested out the limit switches to see if it stops. It did. Then we tested out the intake and made sure it was going the right way. We adjusted code to make sure it works and tested out the pneumatics on it.

Day 32: problems in progress

Programming had a meeting today to discuss plans for the final week of build season. They also worked on fixing an error that was causing a crash in the code. Additionally they tested out arm positions and adjusted PID. The arm went into positions like expected, which is very good.

Goals and decisions that were made for the arm today included that the arm is able to keep positions without burning out motors. Also it was determined that from here on we just need to check how it works with the other systems. After testing we decided collaboratively that we're keeping the current design of the arm as it seems to run efficiently.

Some problems that we had included when initially the robot slammed down really forcefully. This was fixed by adjusting the P of the PID. The brake wasn't engaging correctly, and that was fixed by adjusting the command in code. IN programming the values used for motion magic were too low, which was fixed by figuring out the math and adjusting the values accordingly.

The mechanism seems to work a lot better than expected, and the arm should be fine to duplicate from practice onto final bot

Day 31: practice 4 programming ✅✔️

Mechanical is filing chain plates. Also they are drilling and tapping pieces for pneumatics on bike brake. The transmission on puncher is done. Some members are using the arbor press to see if chain clamp works- it was somewhat effective.

Design is making polycarbonate pieces for the puncher. The air tanks are caded and will hopefully be machined soon. The heads are teaching their committee members how to do stuff right.

Programming is figuring out the pneumatics in order to be able to test out the arm subsystem. They were able to figure out a logic error in order to have solenoids work. They received the practice bot and worked on motion profiling calculations to work with the gear ratios.

Scouting is restricting the app to make it simple and adding two more match tabs.

Electrical is working with programming to get pneumatics working. The pneumatics started working so they moved onto figuring out an air leak. It turned out to be a cut tube so they fixed it up and will test tomorrow.

Awards is editing the entrepreneurship submission.

Day 30: springing into action

Programming is testing out motion profiling on the carpet outside to test out aspects of its movement that have been recently programmed.
They are looking over the calibration code for the arm that would be able to read our potentiometer and encoders that are on the arm. Some programmers will tested code on the arm once they get the robot to test it out

Mechanical is threading carriage rollers so that bearings will stay on when secured with a nut. They also worked on the bike brake system on final bot.

Mechanical members are working hard to attach bearings, stoppers, spacers on the arm and intake.
mounting arm brace gussets. Welding committee is working on the mjolnir plate as well as welding the intake and spring mounting.

Electrical attached pneumatics and ziptied wires to clean up the appearance of the robot

Design is CADing and prototyping the climber. At this point it is a spring loaded arm with hooks- a worm gear box with nylon strap that unwinds to open up. Also the punching plate was being cut out on the CNC

The overall goal of the day was to get almost all of parts ready for painting final bot. By end of this weekend practice bot should be fully assembled.

Day 29: a "pneu" start

Programming perfected calibration code, but it still needs to be tested. They also tested motion profiling on practice bot.

Design continued to CAD the climber. Also they modified the roborio and chassis plugs and printed more on the 3D printers.

Electrical attached pneumatics onto the arm.

Mechanical is helping electrical in mounting up pneumatics on practice bot while also fine tuning
puncher system.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Day 28: signal & secure

Mechanical fixed the stability issues that were presented the other day during testing in the puncher.
They attached intake to arm then they attached the whole arm to the drive base.

Later they worked on ensuring that everything on the puncher is secure.

Design drew up a couple of ideas for a winch climber. They also planned a cube holder for the
puncher and a new pneumatic holder system for the arm. Finally, they 3D-Printed plugs for robrio
and stop for end of box on chassis.

Once Mechanical is done fixing up arm Programming is going to rest out code and hopefully

Electrical is busy mounting signal light and trying to fit the plugs on the roborio.
Darius got a haircut

Day 27: malfunctioning motors

Mechanical attempted to use old software to test motors and pneumatics for an arm on practice bot arm. The testing proved good because it showed that the launching plate releases consistently. This is because of good pneumatics and a ball shifter.

Then they changed the mini cims to regular cims on the puncher mecahnism because it would not go back in testing

They tested the puncher again after the addition of the bigger cim and it exploded. Then they decided to tap a new hole to attach puncher again and better

Programming is testing code for puncher and continuing to calibrate command for the arm. Darius, the head of programming, decided that he needs a haircut. He has been so busy with robotics that he has neglected this necessity. 

Design is drawing out ideas for and cad for climber.

Day 26: every type of printing except paper

Design laser printed name-tags for each member of the team. Specific members also worked on designing viking themed key-chains to give away at competitions and to our supporters.

They first laser cut these models, modified the designs slightly, and programmed the 3D printers to
make them in a stronger plastic.

The rest of design committee brainstormed climber ideas.

They also 3D printed plugs / boxes for talons upon electricals request.

Programming had a meeting to discuss plans for this week and the progress made this last week. They worked on motion profiling on the carpet outside. Additionally they tested motion magic even more to get a better idea of how it applies to the competition this year. They worked on calibration to make the arm run more efficiently.

Scouting is sad because they work on database everyday.

Mechanical is improving the work space of the pit by sanding the top of the battery shelf which will need to be accessed quickly during competitions. They also carefully stained the counter of the pit.