End-of-Season Recap

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End-of-Season Recap

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since our last post, so here’s a recap of what’s happened since Yakima.

We finished our 2018 competition season on a high note. At the Auburn Mountainview District event, we were ranked number four, becoming finalists with the second alliance. We went home with the District Event Finalist Award and our first ever Engineering Inspiration Award!

At the PNW District Championship in Portland, we were the number seven ranked team in the entire region. We became alliance captain of the sixth alliance, picking 4513 and 2976. We made it all the way to semifinals! We may have not won any competition awards, but our amazing CAD subteam won four awards at the Autodesk booth.

With our strong finish at Portland, we qualified for the World Championship in Houston. We all had lots of fun at the event, exploring the Innovation Faire, walking around the city, and participating in the competition. We ranked 16th in the Turing Division, getting eliminated in quarterfinals. However, while we didn’t make it very far, our friends and neighbors the Spartabots (2976) were part of the World Champion alliance! The Einstein Finals were very exciting for the PNW region and the Issaquah community, and were made even more exciting with the announcement of the 2019 FRC game, “Destination: Deep Space.”

With the conclusion of the competition season, we sadly had to say goodbye to our departing senior class. Everyone in the IRS would like to thank Bryan, Leila, Tyler, Andrew, Manvi, Caitlyn, Rithu, Noah, Preston, Stuart, and our departing faculty advisor Jill. We appreciate everything that you’ve done for the team, and we know you will go on to do great things in the future.

Now two months into the summer off-season, we have been preparing for our next two events: Peak Performance on September 8 and Girls’ Generation on October 27. Meanwhile, we have been organizing and volunteering in community outreach events. The IRS has attended multiple events at the Issaquah Library where we teach STEM skills to young children, introducing the community to FIRST programs. Last month, we were part of the Issaquah Fourth of July parade. You will also see us at Issaquah Highlands Days on August 25, and at Issaquah Salmon Days on October 6-7.

With the new school year about to start, we have been hard at work getting ready for the next season. We are very happy to announce that our new faculty advisor is math teacher Mr. Blaskie! Our first meeting for new students will be on September 20, which will kickoff fall training. It may still be 2018, but we are looking to future with one destination: Deep Space!

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Yakima SunDome Event

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Yakima SunDome Event

Hey everyone,

This weekend, we headed east to Yakima for the very first PNW SunDome District Event. We started the competition out strong ending with 9-1 record and ranked 2nd at the end of the day. After facing some troubles and losses on our second day, we dropped to the 4th seed and ended with a record of 9-3. However, our day turned around when the 1st alliance captain, 2811 (Stormbots) picked us as a partner and then picking 3575 (Okanogan FFA) completing the alliance. We faced fierce competition against the 8th alliance in the quarterfinals, 5th alliance in the semifinals and the 2nd alliance in the finals. In the end, our alliance was able to face the boss, and came out victorious. We were crowned the SunDome event Winners!

We were also very grateful for our Chairman’s win, with a guaranteed slot in the PNW District Championship! It was our very first time receiving 2 blue banners at an event and also the very first time winning Chairman’s 2 years in a row!

We were also honored for being the runner up for the safety award at this competition (shoutout to Sionet for all her hard work as our amazing Safety Captain).

We want to thank Team 2811, Stormbots and Team 3575, Okanogan FFA for an amazing partnership and all the other teams for an great and spirited event with all their dedication and support! We want to recognize all the hard work and effort of the event volunteers (especially from Team 4125) and our awesome scouters on our team!

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January 18-26 2018 (Build Season)

Thursday January 18

The CAD team and the mechanical team got together to discuss the logistics of climbing and the different ways to climb, to help develop our design of the climber, and to help us develop strategies about climbing. We then did a recap of the previous meeting to catch people up on what happened, and to keep them up to date on what was going on. Everyone else split up into their subteams, where they worked on their respective things that they needed to work on.

The programming team started to work on the Autonomous program for the robot, working on different possibilities for auto.

The mechanical team got to work prototyping the different parts of the robot, and also started to build the practice bot.

Electrical worked on the practice robot as well, working to wire up the 2017 robot to help programming figure out some issues.

The business team worked on getting the chairman's data for their short essays and continues to work on the entrepreneurship award as well.

 

Friday January 19

Mechanical design worked on the logistics of the arm to make sure it would function. They also continued to build the practice robot and prototype different designs, especially the climber. Additionally, they are working on the elevator and the first prototype of the intake is mostly built, but it is still a work in progress.

Programming is continuing to work on the autonomous and the PID code. They have essentially finished writing the autonomous code and will test it on the practice robot is done being constructed.

Electrical rewired the 2017 practice robot, so programming could use it to test some code.

Business started working on outlining short essays for Chairman’s. They also continued to brainstorm a theme for chairman’s and make progress on entrepreneurship.

The CAD team addressed problems associated with the latching mechanisms on the arm. They also explored different limits that may apply to driving the robot into place and how to deploy the arm quickly, with the lowest chance of error.


Saturday January 20th

Mechanical and design are still working hard on the robot prototype. Programming wrote the code for the elevator mechanism and finished planning auto hawaii missile alert simulator. Electrical added the limit switches and the encoders to the talon. They also worked on electronics for the elevator. The business team continued writing their Chairman’s short essay and work on a creative theme for Chairman’s. The CAD team began to CAD the robot arm mechanism. Good News: The tower, rung, plate, and arm field pieces are complete, along with progress on the platform!


Monday, January 22nd

Mechanical and design developed the robot arm design and added a battery holder on the robot. They also created parts for the elevator and drive train, and made decisions to enlarged some dimensions. Programming completed the task of coding the elevator mechanism, along with intake code. Electrical worked on the final layout of the board for the practice robot! The business team finally came to a conclusion on the theme and started working on the outline and draft of their long essay for Chairman’s. They also developed their short essay drafts. The CAD team progressed on the robot arm CAD project along with other robot CAD’s.


Thursday, January 25th

There were not many people present at the meeting due to it being Finals week. Mechanical design worked on redesigning the intake. Electrical changed the dimensions on the board to fit the dimension changes. Business continued on drafting and editing the Chairman’s and Entrepreneurship submissions. The CAD team made more CAD designs for the robot, and make any necessary changes.


Friday, January 26th

Mechanical design worked on a new intake design, figuring out which design would work better. They also continued to work on building the drive train. Programming continued to work on the intake code. Electrical advanced on wiring up the practice bot. Meanwhile, business worked on Chairman’s short essays and the Entrepreneurship award. The CAD team worked intake design as well, determining which design is superior.

Thanks for reading our weekly overviews! Look forward to our next post! 

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January 11-15 2018 (Build Season)

Thursday, January 11th

To start the meeting, we looked at our remaining prototypes, discussing what was successful and ruling out what wasn’t. There was a lot of debate about what type of climber would work best for the game, with ideas ranging from a telescopic hook to an elevator mechanism. After everyone presented their prototypes, we looked to the “Robot In 3 Days Challenge” for any new possible information and see what didn’t work.

Afterwards, the team split into subgroups. While the mechanical team continued prototyping robot parts, the electrical team worked on making batteries and the programmers started code for when the robot is autonomous. The business team started collecting data on the team’s community impact for the Chairman’s Award and its structure for the Entrepreneurship Award.

Saturday, January 13th

In preparation for testing the robot, the CAD team worked on 3D models of the field and robot. We also started constructing physical field pieces that we can use for testing as we go through the build season, although they are quite large, so we are constructing modified versions that can move be stored more easily.

However, the majority of our meeting focused on strategy. We can’t go into too much detail about what our strategies are, but what we can talk about are PopSockets!

Want a way to show your love for robotics that is both stylish and useful? Last year, we designed “I ♥ Robots” PopSockets, and this year, we’re making them available for everyone! PopSockets are a great accessory for your phone that can be used for a stand, grip, and much more! Our digital design fits perfectly with this year’s PowerUp theme and is a great way to show your passion for robotics. If you’re interested in getting one of your own, contact us at irs1318captains@gmail.com.

Monday, January 15th

The mechanical team completed the preliminary design for the robot, including the robot’s drivetrain, sensors, and intake. Meanwhile, the electrical team worked on updated the 2017 robot’s electrical board to be used for the 2018 test robot. They also figured out electronic parts needed for each mechanism in our robot. We had a yummy potato bar and brownies brought by our wonderful parents!

Thanks for Reading our Blog! Look out for our next Blog Post coming soon!  

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Build Season Kickoff & Second Meeting

Hi everyone! We can’t wait to play this year’s FRC game, FIRST Power Up! We’re going to be blogging every other meeting or so with updates on our progress and ideas and we hope you follow along with us! Good luck!

 

At kickoff, we were super excited to learn about this year’s game. We attended kickoff at Auburn High School (thanks to team 3219 for hosting) and our members enjoyed the breakout sessions after the reveal, where we had the opportunity to brainstorm and design with members of many PNW teams. After our breakout sessions, we headed back to our own school to eat a yummy lunch and begin our first meeting of the season!

 

We started with an in-depth reading of the rules manual, going over key points that we thought were important and discussing potential strategies that teams might try. We loved looking at the AutoDesk model of the field, an awesome CAD model we used to familiarize ourself with the arena! We then went into brainstorming, where we started discussing ideas for we wanted our robot to do and mechanisms that would accomplish this.Our homework for the meeting was to read all 133 pages of the rules manual to make sure we knew the game well and could continue brainstorming.

 

Our next meeting was Monday the 8th. To start off, our lead build mentor, Jim, did a review powerpoint on drivetrains to refresh everyone’s memory and start thinking about the strategical advantages and disadvantages of each drivetrain. We discussed the importance of defense and how a stable robot that can’t be pushed around might be beneficial. We then took a quick break for dinner before jumping back into a point and strategy analysis of the game by team member Mike. This analyzed the importance of the scale versus switch and outlined some hypothetical game scenarios where we realized that to be competitive, it’s important to have both scale and switch capabilities. We also talked about the Vault game element and how the different power ups might be used. The final part of our meeting was smaller breakout sessions, where we split into groups of 3-4 with each group taking on a mechanism idea and making either a prototype or a pros/cons list. Each group presented to the whole team, allowing us to rule out some mechanism ideas and star others we thought were strong contenders.

Finishing up, we cleaned up and congratulated everyone on their hard work. We’re excited for our next meeting!

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FRC World Championship- Houston, TX

Hello everyone!

From April 18th to April 22nd, we attended the FRC World championship in Houston, Texas! We performed amazingly on the Turing field, ending up in 3rd place by alliance selection, with a win-loss ratio of 14:3, our best of the season! Even with a team size much smaller than our other events this season, everyone worked incredibly hard to make up for it. Additionally, we couldn't have done it without everyone back home showing their support the entire time. Thanks to all our wonderful team members!

Our fantastic teammates allowed us to take everything we had learned from the past season and do our best when it mattered most.  Despite being a near-skeleton crew in some areas, we worked just as hard as before and gave an amazing effort on all fronts, enabling us to perform as well as we did.

On the last day, after 112 qualification matches, thousands of fuel balls scored, and hundreds of rotors turned, came alliance selection. Ranked 3rd on the Turing field, we had the chance to create our own alliance. Our first two picks were 2046, Bear Metal, and 1595, The Dragons. When it came to the Worlds-unique 3rd pick, we chose 2907, Lion Robotics, who, like us at PNW, didn't have the best of luck at this event and were ranked low despite performing just as well as they did all season. We had ended up with a exclusively Pacific Northwest alliance.

We beat the 6th seed alliance in the quarterfinals, and soon realized that we now would have to face the 2nd seed alliance, who had one of the strongest fuel robots at the event. After an anxiety-provoking loss for our first semifinal match, we were able to push back and win both the second semifinal and the tie-breaker match, bringing us to the finals. From then on for the rest of the day, other PNW teams came over to Turing to cheer us on, chanting "P-N-W! P-N-W!". The energy and support was immensely heart-warming, seeing so many people we had competed against and bonded with this past season back home come together to support us. This is why we love being a part of FIRST!  After realizing that we had a strong shot at Einstein for the first time in our team's history, Kevin Ross, the founder of FIRST Washington, told us that having an entire Pacific Northwest alliance perform this well was the best birthday present that he could ever have asked for.

After winning our first finals match, we played an incredibly close second match won by a single robot that climbed the rope and was ready for take-off! We had successfully reached Einstein for the first time in IRS history, and were the first PNW team to be an alliance captain on Einstein, with a complete PNW alliance nonetheless.

We enjoyed a long lunch break and unfortunately had to say goodbye to half of our team as they left to fly back home, although they continued to cheer us on and watch the livestream for as long as they could. Remaining team members then made their way to the Minute Maid Park Baseball Stadium for the Einstein matches. Along the way, our team was busy studying scouting data on other fields that other PNW teams had sent us. This provided us with data spanning 402 teams and that was collected over the course of 672 matches! On Einstein, while we lost every match but one - and we had to replay that win due to a field fault and lost - the experience at Einstein was truly unforgettable. 

To finish out our post, we'd like to thank everyone at Worlds who supported our PNW alliance, and everyone back home who cheered us on from afar. You guys rock and we here at 1318 are so happy for you to be a part of our team. We'd like to congratulate the Houston winning alliance, and we are so proud of the PNW team (2928) that was part of that! Additionally, thank you so much to our students, mentors, parents, and sponsors for not only an amazing Worlds experience, but a fantastic season overall. We can't wait to see what our team accomplishes next year!

 

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Auburn Mountainview Event

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Auburn Mountainview Event

Hey all!

This last weekend the team competed at our first competition of the 2017 season at Auburn Mountainview High School. Our pit crew worked feverously to improve our robot throughought the event, and our drive team's excellent job playing in matches and working graciously and professionally with other teams raised us in the ranks and got us on an alliance with 3588 (The Talon) and 1258 (Sea Bots) that gave the alliance that eventually won the event (5803 - Apex Robotics, 4915 - Spartronics, and 3223- R.O.C.K.) a huge run for their money during quarterfinals.

We were awarded FIRST's Chairman's award, giving us a guaranteed slot in the PNW District Championship in Spokane in April! We give a huge thanks to our Chairman's crew for giving such an amazing presentation to the judges, as well as to everyone who worked on the award submission for their amazing work. We've posted our Chairman's video on the team's YouTube page, so go check it out!

Also, a huge thanks to our scouters for, despite this being their first ever FIRST competition, showed amazing dedication, focus, and spirit in the stands during matches, demonstrating an undying passion that we captains are all so proud to be a part of. Their work, along with our scouting technician's and scouting supervisor's hard work allowed our lead scout and lead strategists to create the best possible strategy for drive team throughout the weekend.

Thank you so much to all of our team members, our mentors and parents, team 2907 for hosting the event, to our alliance partners 1258 and 3588, and to all the teams there for being a part of FIRST and making this a great event!  

 

 

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Above the Lake Magazine Article

Hey All!

Back in December, the captains and I were interviewed by a local magazine titled Above the Lake, which exclusively does stories about local families. In our interview, we were able to tell them about the team and what we do, as well as FIRST Robotics. The final article turned out great, and we were featured on the front page with the main article!! If you would like to read the article or share it with your friends and family, here's the link to download it:

We'd like to thank those at Above the Lake for publishing such an amazing article and giving us the chance to inform more people about who we are and what we do here in Issaquah. You guys rock. :-)

-Tyler P.

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Rules Test Study Guide

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Rules Test Study Guide

Hey All!

Recently Sarah Harrison created a study guide for this year's rules test!  While this is a good tool to utilize for preparing for the test, studying only from it will not guarantee you pass the test, so we advise that you thoroughly read through the game manual so that you are fully prepared. Below we have attached a link to download the study guide for your use, as well as a link to the manual.

Happy studying!!

-Tyler P.

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Visit to Spacelabs

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Visit to Spacelabs

Team 1318 was graciously invited to the Spacelabs facility in Snoqualmie and given the opportunity to present FIRST, our team, and our robot, along with the opportunity to converse with a really smart engineering staff who gave us a tour of their building.

Spacelabs is a company that specializes in healthcare, and engineering healthcare that monitors the health of astronauts in space! They are based in Snoqualmie, Washington, and were very enthusiastic to learn about our team and FIRST.

Not only were we able to explain the mission of FIRST to them, but we were able to have fun in the process. The staff there was welcoming and explained how they operate as well as the huge variety of paths FIRST students can look at in the future.

By the end, we were walking out with a new sponsor, boxes of pizza, and Spacelabs merchandise. The team members that went had a great time and we hope that this is just the first step in a long journey with them!

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Orientation Meeting

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Orientation Meeting

On September 22nd, we had our orientation meeting for new members interested in joining team 1318! During the meeting, we explained what FIRST is and its mission, as well as what FRC specifically is all about. Rookies participated in an activity designed to give them a general idea on how our team runs, from getting a challenge to designing a product to presenting to a sponsor for materials, and finally working together to build the tallest structure possible with the materials provided. Finally, we played the 2017 FRC game teaser that FIRST released earlier in the week, which gave us our theme for the year and hinted at what the game might be. Check it out on YouTube if you haven't seen it!

For those of you who were not able to attend the orientation but would like to learn more about FIRST and the team, and as well as find out what you're in store for this year, we've included the powerpoint we played during the meeting you can download below. 

You can contact us at irs1318captains@gmail.com if you have questions or need further information!

 

 

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