This last week has been pensive.

After our first week, we had decided on a general strategy and potential designs for the robot. This week consisted mainly of evolving prototypes and narrowing our design.

All of the team leads in the mechanical discipline have been CADing and testing furiously. The launcher ideas seem to have converged to our most tested prototype, and although our attempts to launch aren’t as accurate and powerful as we’d like, we have plans to improve the actual design. Sub-team assistant leads Michael T and Andrew T have made fantastic CAD models regarding the shooter and the hopper, with some play in its assembly to adjust for any potential changes we might want to make. Meanwhile, Moses, David, and Arpan have been juggling conflicts of interest in chassis design. Our biggest mechanical hurdle seems to be fitting all the mechanisms for climbing, shooting, and driving while maintaining a low center of gravity and small wheel base but also mounting a shooter at an angle capable of overshooting defensive robots.

Throughout all these prototypes Electrical lead Arresh has been training new and returning members on how to run and wire different electrical components. Some testing has been conducted with the new motor controller—the talon—in comparison to Jaguars, an old classic.

Programmers have also been hard at work preparing for this year’s robot. Lucy is out nearly every day for the programming team to practice rewriting and correcting parts of the autonomous code so that sudden changes can be made, much like our team at Duluth last year. Programmer Jayson has been incredibly helpful this week helping all the mechanical people safely and realistically run their prototypes.

Some side projects have been going on, too, to preserve the organization and sanity of the team. Thanks to a few members, the trailer is more accessible than ever and it get easier every day to actually find the hardware you are looking for.

A new tradition was introduced this week: Star of the Week, where we honor one member of the team for their great attitudes and contributions. Our first recipient is Theo. Congratulations again!

– Cari C