Team 3061: Huskie Robotics

collaborating to create; innovating to inspire

Category: Sponsors (page 1 of 2)

Parent and Sponsor Open House

Parent and Sponsor Open House was last night, and it was a huge success!

Several items were on the agenda. In room 142, we talked about this year’s robot and its features. In room 138, we explained our scouting system and demonstrated the app we’ve created. Then, we brought visitors to rooms 115 and 116 where we showed them a brief video and answered any and all questions they had about our season. It was fun for us, and hopefully fun and informative for everyone who could make it.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our parents and sponsors for everything they do.

Our sponsors aren’t just faceless companies who give us money. They’re genuinely interested in what we do. They share not only their funds, but their expertise and their time, to enable us to reach our full potential. They have helped us set goals, learn to use specialized tools, write code, and implement marketing strategies. We wouldn’t be half the team we are now without them.

Of course, our parents have also had a tremendous impact on our success. From picking us up from school late at night to bringing in food for 90 people, they are always here for us. Forget “soccer moms”: robo-rents are more dedicated, and they cheer louder than anyone else at our competitions.

So thanks again, sponsors and parents. We have a great deal of appreciation for you, and we look forward to sharing our future successes with you!

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Anushka R.

OSMOCES 2013

Saturday, October 5th, about ten members of our team participated in the third annual OSMOCES conference in the IIT Rice Campus in Wheaton. (OSMOCES stands for Open Source Mechatronics Outreach and Creative Exchange Symposium, and is run by the Fox Valley Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The conference had four sequences of lectures and presentations that a participant could follow: General Interest, Robotics, Electrical, and Programming. There were also workshops on arduinos and soldering, among other topics like animating in Blender.

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Attending one of the presentations

All of the team members attended a few of the lectures, but some actually presented as well. Mr. Schmit gave a presentation on computational modeling with vPython and its applications in education. Mr. Rowzee led a discussion and presentation of underwater robotics, featuring the ROV built by the school’s Marine Engineering Team.  James Zhu, a sophomore programmer, gave a presentation on GIT, describing how it had helped manage and organize the team and its code. We also set up a table where people could learn more about FIRST Robotics and our team.

Showing off Sally

Showing off Sally

During the afternoon portion of the event, we took Sally out to the back of the building and shot Frisbees with a few interested elementary and middle school students. We answered their questions, had a lot of fun, and hopefully inspired future participation in FIRST!

An impromptu Q&A with a few people who were interested

An impromptu Q&A with a few people who were interested

The conference was a great opportunity for our team, both to share our knowledge and experiences and to gain new insight into different parts of the world of STEM. It might not be a common way for teenagers to spend their Saturdays, but OSMOCES was interesting and fun. Thanks for participating, team 3061!

–Anushka

Field Trips to Navistar and Create, Cut, Invent

On December 1st, FIRST Team 3061 visited Navistar’s engine plant in Melrose Park and Steve Coan’s Create, Cut, Invent shop in Naperville.

There is a photo gallery of pictures taken by Navistar during the field trip.

Navistar published the following article internally:

Through its community outreach efforts, Navistar is inspiring children to achieve their full potential in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help build a workforce for the future. The company’s sponsorship of the FIRST Robotics competition in our world headquarters community is just one example of that. Recently, a team of budding engineers from Naperville North High School kicked off its new season, with numerous Integrated Product Development (IPD) employees offering their expertise as mentors. The mentors use their engineering and math knowledge to coach the students to make a fully-functioning robot that will compete in a regional robotics competition, sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a global math and science education initiative.

“It’s a bit of an ego boost to see these kids get excited about what we do for a living,” said John Baldauf, Navistar engineer, and a second-year volunteer. “During the competition, the students look to us to be leaders on the spot.”

Since 1992, FIRST Robotics has inspired careers in math, science and technology by engaging high school students from around the world in an annual competition. Over the years, the competition has grown from 28 teams competing to more than 2,000 teams. This is the fourth year that the Naperville North team has competed.

Last week, the team toured the Melrose Park engine plant to see robots at work—and gain some inspiration.

“The tour was great,” said Rebecca DiOrio, a Career and Technical Education teacher for Naperville North and faculty adviser for the team. “It gave our students a chance to see how a company is run and the collaboration of multiple occupations working together for a common goal.”

Each year, FIRST reveals the challenge guidelines six weeks prior to the regional competition, then the team prepares the robot, from concept to build. Using parts from previous years’ robots, donated parts and parts included in the assembly kit provided by FIRST, the team constructs a robot that attempts to achieve the goal of the competition. For example, to complete last year’s challenge of hanging inflatable shapes to pegs on a wall, the team constructed an arm that was able to scoop the shapes off the ground and lift it to the peg to earn points.

While awaiting the challenge assignment, Navistar engineers attend after-school sessions with the team where they teach basic engineering principles using last year’s robot as a learning tool.

For the mentors, helping the students do well in the competition is just as rewarding for them as it is for the students.

“As mentors, we do a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, and we learn a lot,” said Dan Levenson, special tools manager, Navistar Defense, who has been helping FIRST robotics teams since 1998. “They say if you want to learn something well, teach it. It definitely applies here. I have the chance to work on engineering functions outside of what I do for my day job.”

The competition also allows students to explore new interests outside of the classroom setting.

“I like the competition because of what the kids get out of it from a learning standpoint, but it’s still fun and competitive,” Rebecca said. “This is real-world application of the engineering and math they learn in their core classes and a chance for them to get hands-on experience.”

Naperville North Junior Carissa Cesaroti was able to explore the mechanical and electrical work last year during her first year on the team. She developed a strong interest in those areas.
“I like getting into the greasy part of the robot,” she said. “I literally knew nothing about robotics last year, but I learned and became a vital part of the team. Everyone gets really involved; there’s no useless person on our team.”

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