2018 News

Booting Up (2018 Week 1)

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This first week of the FIRST POWER UP season has been our most productive Week 1 yet. After our strategy decisions during Kickoff weekend, our entire team went to work to build the robot, draft awards submissions, and prepare for upcoming events.


The engineering team is hard at work to complete our robot on a shorter timeline than previous seasons. During our strategy meeting last weekend, the team decided to have the robot chassis fully assembled, wired, and programmed by the end of Week 2. Currently, the chassis parts have been designed, machined, and are now being assembled.

Madeleine Schwitters, engineering team lead, discovered that implementing an ambitious schedule encourages members to give their best effort, effectively creating a productive work environment. She has restarted the use of Scrum project management, organizing the multitude of tasks required to build the robot.

Meanwhile, the engineering team members were divided into groups to prototype necessary components for the game. Three groups were formed, respectively working on the collector, lift, and climber. Cormac Wolf, a member working on the collector group, recognized the importance of the prototype to be able to collect Power Cubes in multiple orientations during his testing.


Nathan Judd, lead of electrical engineering, started training inexperienced students on basic procedures like soldering and wiring. He used Christmas Tree-shaped substrates for students to practice soldering transistors, capacitors, and resistors. The electrical team also researched various wiring methods to prepare for connecting robot components later in the build season.


The software team is preparing to connect robot components together. Mentor Brian King has been teaching inexperienced members on basic set-up to start programming and testing the robot. James Fu, a rookie member, learned how to set-up his laptop to run the Driver Station and how to connect it to the roboRIO robot controller. Through this, the software team has tested various components like a LIDAR sensor and programmed a mock chassis.


Ruth Buck, this season’s safety captain, has not only been making sure all members are staying safe in the robotics lab, but also finding ways to improve our safety. Prior to the start of build season, she organized a CPR training meeting so all team members are prepared to help in an emergency situation. Ruth has also been researching ways to improve our Safety Guide and safety stations within the lab.


The Business team has started awards submissions and are preparing for the Fifth Week Unveiling Event hosted at our school. Although we are not in as tight a schedule as the engineering team, the business team task list is rapidly growing as we prepare for our competitions.


Our approach to the Chairman’s award has changed this season. The Chairman’s team has decided that this season we will replace the “Bridging the Gaps” slogan used since 2016. They are currently working with a focused group of team members to help form the new message for the executive summaries, essay, video, and overall team mission this season.


A group of team members is working to edit the team’s Business Plan and Entrepreneurship award submission this season. We are working to ensure the Business Plan and submission contain the most up-to-date information for this season.

Unveiling Event

Event planning for this event requires multiple hands from different areas of the Business team. We have completed a list of volunteers and roles required to run and market the event. We are making efforts to open the event to teams outside of Washington State, including international teams.


In addition to training the Graphic Design and Website team necessary software like Adobe Illustrator and WordPress, we are exploring new methods to convey information about our team. The Graphic Design team completed the t-shirt design for this season and is working on possible concepts for an updated brochure.

Stay up to date on what we are doing by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff – FIRST POWER UP

By | 2018 News

FIRST POWER UP Kickoff Weekend

Saturday 1/6/18

Finally, the day has arrived. The FRC kickoff event. Today is the day that we discovered what the teaser video back on September 14, 2017, was all about. Today is also the day that kicks off the FRC build season for the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition.

The day started off with getting up early and heading to Mountlake Terrace High School for the official kickoff. I love this event. Many of the teams in my local area come together and we all get to catch up, enjoy the kickoff event and learn basically what our lives will revolve around for the next six weeks until we have to bag and tag our robots before the competitions begin. After the kickoff event, all of the CyberKnights headed back to school and began our brainstorming session to begin preparations for the robot that my team will build this season. This made for a long day but one that everyone on the team really looks forward to and enjoys. This is FRC and the time and effort that we all put forth over the next few months is rewarded with friendship, awesome teamwork, and an amazing robot. As always, our main theme is, “gracious professionalism.” I will stop here for now and let you enjoy the kickoff video.


Sunday 1/7/18

On Sunday, we got together with our friends from Apex Robotics to share our initial ideas and do some additional brainstorming. Later in the afternoon, we played a mock game with people playing the robots. It was so much fun! We tried role-playing many different scenarios to see if we could uncover some strategies we hadn’t yet considered. Here is a quick video of the auto period of our first “game”. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and we also added some ground rules along the way.


Thank you Apex Robotics for such a fun day!

We will keep you updated throughout the season and bring you along with us during the FIRST POWER UP 2018 Season.