Friday, June 22, 2012

Moving on to Summer Stage 2

End of Summer Stage 1

This week marks the end of stage 1 of our summer project plan. You can view the entire plan at this link:

We are wrapping up our SPECTaculaR Lego Camp today. It's been a great two weeks at the Boys and Girls Club and we have been able to introduced robotics to over 50 children.

We were able to publish our build log on ChiefdelphiWe are still working on developing several other whitepapers to document some of our projects form this year. We should have whitepapers out about our cart construction, how we used the Sharp IR sensors on our robot and also on setting up vision processing on in OpenCV.

We have made a lot of improvements to Ultraviolet during stage 1 of the summer. It's now a fixed angle shooter. We changed our speed setting algorithm for the shooter to give us much smoother and consistent shots regardless of ball conditions. 

We finished our FLL flyer and have sent it to around 15 schools and we should be able to get wider distribution in the next couple months before schools start back up for the fall.

There are still several things on our list that we didn't get accomplished but hopefully we will catch up during stage 2 of our Spectrum Summer.

Summer Stage 2

Planning for stage two is in full swing. We will be hosting several workshops including the first annual Spectrum Summer Workshop Series. We will be going over the control system, power systems, programming, and CAD. If you're interested in coming to any of these sessions please visit the RSVP link here for complete details: We are also collaborating with Texas Torque (FRC#1477) on a Mentor Workshop. Hopefully this helps strengthen the mentor network in Texas and Houston specifically. The flyer for the Mentor Workshop can be found here.

We have several improvements planned for Ultraviolet before we head to Austin for Texas Robot Roundup on July 28th. We will be completely redoing our collection/elevator system to reduce jamming and to improve the consistency of our ball feed to the shooter. We have observed that this has major affects on the shooter accuracy. We also need to tweak a few problems with the drive train. Most of it is just fixing some damage that we sustained during our competitions. Vision processing is our big goal. We can track targets very well but actually being able to act on that information has been the problem, we have a month to get this right.

We are going to be demoing Ultraviolet at several different events during July. Hopefully we will be able to0 spread FIRST to many people who have never seen competitive robotics.

We're planning to tackle the big task of developing a business plan for our team. One thing the Chairman's Award Judges criticized us for was our sustainability plan. Hopefully by the next FRC season we will have a fully flushed out business plan that will guide Spectrum through future years.

We have a few other whitepapers in the works as well and hopefully these will get published in July.

It's going to be a very exciting month for Spectrum.

Engineering Links of the Week

The Invention of the Battery, presented by MIT K12

Sparkfun's online curriculum is a great resource for learning basics of electronics and hobby microcontrollers. A lot of really good information.

- Spectrum

”Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” - Will Rogers

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