We can’t believe a month of build season is nearly behind us! It was just the beginning of January when we got together for kickoff and this year’s game was announced: Crescendo! Two alliances of three teams each will compete to pick up foam rings (notes) and score them in either the speaker or the amp. At the end of the match, robots can attempt to climb a chain at the stage. (See the official game video here). Throughout that weekend, students read through the game manual together, discussed potential strategies, and considered various robot types that we might encounter in the field.
In the weeks following kickoff, we spent lots of time prototyping different ideas for robot mechanisms. The mechanical and electrical subteams worked together to make multiple iterations of our intake and shooter prototypes (to pick up and shoot notes respectively). This year, we’ve placed a focus on making our prototypes adjustable so that we can easily test the effects of modifying different dimensions. Taking these extra steps is integral to ensuring that our final robot’s mechanisms work optimally. In the meantime, we started brainstorming many different robots that we might want to build to accomplish our goals. On the second Saturday after kickoff, during our all-hands hours, we ultimately decided on our initial robot design (codename “Antelope”) and began the CAD (computer-aided design) process.
This season, we are making our robot with a swerve drivetrain! This will make our robot faster and more agile. The programming subteam created code that makes efficient use of the 8 motors (2 per wheel) — each motor must have individual instructions about rotation and speed based on input. Our previous experience building a swerve robot in the offseason helped us work out many of the potential programming and electrical issues it presents ahead of time. This week, we put together the base chassis with the swerve modules at the corners, marking the beginning of the assembly of the new robot!
Next Monday and Tuesday, we will be attending and showing off some of our robots at the SLAS Conference in the Boston Convention Center. We’re really excited to meet people and share about our team there! The outreach and branding subteams have been very busy working on flyers and materials for the upcoming conference over the last month. We have also been finalizing our t-shirt and sweatshirt designs and designing and creating a slew of fun new lobster-themed pins!
A huge thank you to all the parents who have supplied dinners during our all-hands hours on Saturdays. Our team has had a great time bonding while enjoying these amazing meals, and we are very grateful! Furthermore, the donations that you have made through our crowdfunding campaign and elsewhere have made this build season go so much smoother.
Thank you for all your contributions! If you want to be more involved or have any questions, you can email us at email@example.com and we would be happy to respond!
The Lobstah Bots