Monthly Archive: January 2014

Jan 27 2014

A Decision was Made? Possibly

Tonight we, as a team, voted on whether or not to continue working with the current design, or to move on to an alternate design. We had an even number of students present who voted, and the result was a tie. Many did not realize this was a possibility because in previous discussions the team seemed to be leaning heavily in one direction. Because of the result of the voting, the mentors suggested, and the team agreed to continue improving the current design, and after two and a half full work sessions, the team agreed to vote again. If this vote was a tie, than the whole team would whole-heartedly get behind working on the current design. If the vote goes toward the current design, we continue working on that. If more vote for an alternate design, than work on an alternate design will begin work immediately.

Tomorrow night, we vote whether or not to continue with the current design.

Jan 25 2014

The Final Shooter Prototyping Day

Today is the deadline for the prototype, which the team specified earlier this week. We hope to use this sling-shot method, but in case it does not work, there are always other methods.  The rules have come into play a lot. They play a very large part in designing the robot and prototyping. There is no use in building a wonderful prototype that breaks every single rule that is applicable. The rules also often come under debate because each team member and mentor has different ideas what the wording FIRST in the manual used means. However, this healthy conflict is what allows the Northwestern Regional Gearheads to be so successful as a team.

Our President worked tirelessly to start the bumpers, only to be stalled by the fact that we do not have access to some more of the wood and materials which are needed.

Our Vice President finished up the drive train with the help of the Officer of Public Relations. This was the most successful part of the evening. We now have a good base for what ever method for launching the ball is used in the end.


Jan 24 2014

Shooting Mechanisms, Will Flight be Achieved?

The drive train team has finished assembling the drive train, the skeleton base of the robot, so now we have a rectangle with the SIMs (motors) and the wheels are in  the process of being put on.

There is now a prototype, which the team is confident will accurately represent the finished robot, after it is built of course. At the moment there are two rails which support the ball, with a wok lid being used as the launch pad which touches the ball. This insures that the twisted elastic exercise bands do not touch the ball and interfere with the flight path. The team is hopeful that this idea will work.

Jan 17 2014

It Worked!

Tonight, the Build team continued to build the drive train while half of the design team worked on getting more precise data for the a different option of propultion which we will use if our sling shot method does not pan out.

The other half of design team has  been working diligently to finalize the complicated equations which will allow the team to know the number of latex-free bands needed to launch the ball.

Programing continued to work with the variable pressure systems. This is one of the resources we hope to utilize on the robot we are working towards. The electrical team helped programming by running all the wires which connect the control board to the variable pressure systems.

Jan 16 2014

New Knowledge

Tonight the team decided that to properly be able to utilize the pneumatic systems, they had to LEARN. After all, learning equals knowledge, and knowledge is power. The more powerful our team is, the further through the competition levels we go, and hopefully all the way to SAINT LOUIS!!!

The programming team successfully worked the code to operate the solenoid. They worked side by side with the electrical team, who wired all the electrical components together, and the pneumatics team who made sure that the solenoid was being used in a manner that did not place anyone at risk.

The main function of the pneumatics team is to learn as much as humanly possible about pneumatics and all its associated dangers. This is a good thing!

While the team acknowledges that there is a certain amount of risk involved with working around the various tools of the trade, so to speak, we DO NOT take lightly these risks. To quote FIRST, “the hardest fun you’ve ever had”. They DID NOT say “the most dangerous fun you’ve ever had” The objective is to be safe and have fun at the same time. And, of course, Build A Robot!!!

Jan 15 2014

A New Idea, Perhaps?

The Design team is up in the air about which plan to go with… Tick-tock, tick-tock…

Electrical and Programming worked together again tonight, and figured out how the pneumatics, solenoids, and other accessories work. They  team’s understanding of the pneumatics we might use.

Jan 14 2014

Can We Defy Gravity with Latex-Free Tubing?

It was a challenge at first to figure out a way to defy gravity for this monstrously huge ball, but we have a design that will hopefully achieve the anticipated result. The design team engineered a method to launch it with latex-free tubing, using a slingshot method. Since we have a team member who is allergic to latex, the design team is being  forced to test their collective ingenuity to utilize a similar material that would not take a valued team member out of commission.After some trial and error, the material is proving to be difficult. Stayed tuned for an update for the out come for this challenge.

The programming team “ironed out some code” according to our Vice-President, Matt, which allows the compressors and solenoids to work.

Jan 06 2014

Meeting Cancelled – Icy Conditions

Only two days into the 6-week build period and Mother Nature has forced the cancellation of an important meeting. Team NRG will use this time to review the over 90-page game manual and technical detail of the field and robot components. The team will communicate online using it new discussion forum. This young team is flexible and makes the best of every situation. Go Gearheads!

Jan 04 2014

Kick-off at Farmington

Team NRG met at NWR7 in frigid -5 degrees weather to board the bus and head to Farmington High School. Today we learn what this seasons competition is going to be about and we get our build kit. MichKayla and Roka represented our team in a pre-show game. Silly fun! We will learn what this seasons game is at 10:15. You can watch the live feed from NASA at .