Season’s End

Warlocks friends

It’s more than just robots…


it’s lifetime friendships!

The Team Banquet marks the end of the team’s robotics season. We have summer activities coming up, but this is really the time when it really hits you that it’s over. For our Seniors, and those leaving us under other circumstances, it’s a time to savor your friendships made and get ready to say goodbye.

As a mentor, this is both sad and satisfying. Everything we do is looking towards the future – your future – and here it is, in your face.

We have a saying in the Nerdery (Programming team) that if we didn’t like you, we wouldn’t tease you. Fortunately, the converse isn’t true. Many of you I didn’t get to work closely with, but only observed your contributions from a distance. I didn’t get to know you well, and that is truly my loss, because you are all good students, good team members, and have a bright future. I am proud of each and every one of you, as I’m sure all the mentors are.

So to all who are leaving us, bon-voyage and stay in touch. You will always be a Warlock and are always welcome back to visit or support the team in the future.

Those who are moving up, next year will be your chance to shine. Everything you’ve learned so far will help meet the challenge next year’s game will present. You’ve got big shoes to fill, but I know you are up to the challenge.

Have a great summer and may next year be your best ever, wherever you are.

Build Season Week 5 Update

We’re in Week 5 already, wow! Our progress is evident when you compare Week 1 and Week 5.  This week, programmers received our practice base. They have gotten busy, wiring the electrical works and working with the pneumatics. This happens to be quite a procedure. With so many rookies on the team this year, this was a learning process. Wiring started off slow and as students got the hang of it, the pace increased and multiple students worked on the robot at once.

Along with programming, PR is working hard on multiple pieces. One student has invested time in a poster that we plan to use for our Chairman’s presentation. It has statistics of the team, a picture of our team, a list of our sponsors, and more. We have more projects to work on, hoping to boost our community outreach and also boost our team spirit. The rest of our projects are to be finished soon.

While the programmers are hard at work on our practice base, the shop is buzzing. Our competition base is being built at a swift pace. It was powder coated at Mahle, a team sponsor. We are soon to have a driver station to match as well. Hopefully we will be finished with this base as well and can hand this off to the programmers as well.


Build Season Week 4 Update

Students are continuing to work with full force! Our practice base is coming together beautifully! Parts are being completed and have been attached. Its progress is exciting, and we hope to have this base finished soon. Programmers are eager to take control and get to work on electrical and pneumatics.

Supporting elements of the robot such as churro rods and spacers are being added, essential to our robot. Wheel assemblies are being finished off as well and are currently being sized to perfection. Students are working at a fast pace with a great work ethic, putting us ahead of schedule for this season.

Programmers have done a fantastic job on working out code for this years game on our robot from last year. Using a new camera called a Pixy Cam, they have been able to work on code that can follow and find the middle of two pieces of reflective tape. They have made different programs to also help our future drives when it comes to visibility being obstructed.

Students also finished up working on the shooter, adding on a mechanism that allows it to hold balls in the prototype. The shooter will hopefully be finished up and added to the practice soon with a high ratio of balls that are scored. The beginning of week 5 may be the day that students are able to hand over the robot to programmers.

Build Season Week 3 Update

Saturday was a productive day! Students in the previous week had been working hard on the mechanisms that collect and score gears. The Static Collector is the stationary collector that receives gears from the loading station. The Ground collector is able to pick gears up from any part of the field in order to score. Both of these collectors were demonstrated on Saturday for all to see.

Students also took a scouting test. Our team has an advanced scouting system to ensure that we have good information on other teams. The information and rankings that FIRST post aren’t always accurate due to the fact that teams are put on alliances which can carry them up or down the seed. Each year, we create an app designed by scouting personnel, specialized for the new game of every year. In order to assure scouting personnel that our information is correct and coherent, we teach and test on the app and the game.

We received one of the bases we will be using this season and students riveted it. Two students went to a mentor, Paul Dannebrock’s, house and worked on it with him. We have a time lapse of our base being riveted on the website under our media folder. Students put together wheel assemblies in order to get the base driving as quickly as possible. We hope to get a base to the programming team soon.

The PR team continued to work on team spirit and awards. For the Woodie Flower’s Award, a student who is close to the mentor collaborated with PR to get the materials together for the award. That student then wrote the essay and submitted it in STIMs. PR team continued to work on the Chairman’s Essay.  Other students, teachers, and mentors then read it to help ensure that the essay flows. We will send our final copy to a teacher for final revisions in the coming week.

We also worked on team spirit for competitions! We created signs with our team number to excite our team, our alliance, and the crowd. We also made goodie bags for other teams, wishing them good luck and giving them a little piece of our team.

While students were working, we had visitors. The head of technology for Lockport City School District came and observed students working. The head of tech viewed the work ethic of students in all sub teams. Our visitors even had the opportunity to drive our base from last year.


Build Season Week 2 Update

This week, we continued to prototype. People have been working on individual projects. The cad team then takes these prototypes and they work out the geometry and spacing of the robot. Different students are working on spacing these prototypes simultaneously with the use of assemblies in inventor.

A group of students this week worked on a shooting mechanism in hopes of being able to score extra points in autonomous. Shooting in auto may help us get points but our main focus would be gears. This week we continued to try and perfect our gear mechanism as well.

Freshman and students who are new to the team or to the shop are getting involved as well. Older students are setting examples and teaching others how to use machinery and working alongside them. Some students have learned so much that they are able to work on parts without supervision.

For the safety of our students and in hopes of preventing future accidents, we’ve also put signs around the shop to keep students aware. Whether it be a sign pointing out where a force stop button is or a reminder to wear safety glasses and walk through the shop we hope students stay safe.

Another thing happening in the shop is students are working on a base. With one base in the shop, the programming team continues to work on their drive straight and other VIs. With our drop center worn, we have to work with what we have until later in the season.

Build Season Week 1 Update

The season has started! The first of 6 weeks started on January 7th. Members, mentors, alumni, family, and guests all gathered at Lockport High School to watch the game video and to brainstorm ideas.  After thoroughly watching the video and all clarification videos, we broke into multiple groups.

Some of the groups included were a group who brainstormed without reading the rules as if not to hinder any creative thought processes, a group who specifically read the rules only, and a group who played the game. Each group presented their findings and ideas.

The next day we went to the YMCA and brainstormed functions further and found ways to complete the tasks of each function. Our mentors helped keep us on track and get up started on tasks such as designing in CAD and working on different VIs in Labview on our practice base.

 We also started our prototypes. We have prototypes for picking up gears and we even got as far as to be able to have a 150 pound robot climb and hang on a rope! We are surely on a path to success. We will need to keep up this pace and hard work for the rest of the season. Good luck teams

Ri3D (Robot in Three Days)

Ri3D came up briefly during the meeting Wednesday. For those new to the term, here’s a video to get you started. It is really fun to watch the several Ri3D projects take place. Just be sure to keep an open mind and still work on your own ideas!

Warlocks Blog

This is where we hope to have one or more students write about the 2017 Warlocks experience. Volunteers requested!

You can see some examples among the archived posts from last year.

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