FRC Team Chaos Vortex Week 3 Update

I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Tuesday when our programmer got the wheels to turn via the joystick. Pretty pleased with him considering it is our rookie year and he is only a Sophomore. He is working with Labview and seems to be picking it up quickly. There is also some headway with the image processing and getting the Camera to be able to understand and track what it sees. I am crossing my fingers on that one but would be elated to see him figure it out.

Another sigh of relief came when McMaster Carr delivered our back-ordered part on Thursday. We had been waiting for a week only to find out that the part was much heavier than we expected (there was no mention of weight nor density on the site) so we are on to Plan B which involves only some minor adjustments. Ah the fun of FRC.

The students were treated to a tour of SPAWAR on Tuesday and were amazed at all of the things they were doing with robots. They also remarked how much they recognized from working with FRC! Thanks Dean Kamen for providing these students with an amazing real world opportunity. One of my students says she is reconsidering where she goes to college simply so she can apply for an internship at SPAWAR.

Southwestern College is lending their support to our team and we are grateful to them, a couple of more companies said they would get back to us soon and then we can make our t-shirt and banner. We gained a couple more students from opposite ends of the spectrum: A senior who just this semester realized how much he likes programming (thanks for inspiring him Allison of Infinigons), and a young student who participated in our summer academy for incoming high schoolers are taking over the MiniBot design and it looks pretty exciting.

This is definitely the middle of the build season as things are moving along and the ship date is approaching fast. I have imposed a deadline on them of February 7th (when it actually ships on the 22nd) so we have time to work out the kinks and practice. I made sure this happens by planning two exhibitions, one for an elementary school and the other for our own Parent Association. I would rather have an amazing driver and a well tested (but perhaps simpler) robot than a unpracticed driver on a robot with everything untested.

FRC is definitely turning out to be as exciting and fulfilling as I remembered it to be. I look forward to seeing the students wrap everything together and being able to call this thing a robot!

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