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.
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.