Build Season: Week 6

We did it! Minutes before midnight on Tuesday, February 21st, we sealed our robot, Lucy, in her bag. She will remain there until our first competition which is the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth, Minnesota. A small subset of the team will leave on Wednesday, March 7th and compete Thursday through Saturday. The students have achieved a remarkable feat in the design, construction, and testing of a very sophisticated robot over the past six weeks! Thanks so much to all of you who made this possible with your support.

In addition to completing the robot, we submitted our applications to several awards this past week. We completed the Chairman’s Award application, which is the most prestigious award. We also nominated a couple students for the Dean’s List award, which recognizes students who embody the principles of FIRST. Finally, we submitted our web site,, for a web site award. We will enter the Excellence in Design Award next month, which recognizes outstanding design and documentation. We are eligible for several other awards at the competition and have submitted a photo of Lucy and several team essays.

We will spend the next two weeks preparing for the competition. While most of Lucy is sealed in the bag, we are allowed to continue working on part of the robot and the software. We elected to withhold the ball launcher assembly and we will spend significant time interfacing the launcher, camera, sensors, and software to automate our shooting. We identified a few mechanical issues during our testing over the past couple of days and will be working to address these. (Much better to find these now rather than at the competition!) Teams will also be gathering spare parts and creating contingency plans for potential failures so that we are as prepared as possible for the competition.

In addition to the continued work on the robot, we need to complete many other tasks in preparation for the first competition. Our tools and supplies need to be organized since a delay at the competition can cost us a match. Our trailer storage needs to be modified to safely transport our materials and Lucy. Our pit area needs to be designed and our scouting strategy needs to be finalized.