Weekly Newsletter!

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April 13th, 2016: The Postseason

Posted by [email protected] on April 13, 2016 at 5:20 PM Comments comments ()

Hi! Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the delay of the competition summary. That will be done soon, I promise! Anyway, for now, here's an update on what we've been doing since we got back from the competition. We've update our sponsor materials so we'll be ready to start making money next year. In fact, we've already started calling businesses to prepare for the entry fee next year. We've also been working on organizing our workroom, because it was still quite disorganized. Lastly, we have set upn our end-of-the-year party, to celebrate another great season. Hope to see you there!

Post-Competition Mini-Updates

Posted by [email protected] on March 9, 2016 at 5:45 PM Comments comments ()

Hey everyone! Today is Wednesday, March 9th, our first meeting after getting back from the competition. We'll post a more detailed summary of the competition later, along with videos of our matches. For now, I'll give you a quick rundown of events: Unfortunately, we weren't able to win any of the matches. However, we still did not get last plce, because we were able to get ranking points by crossing defenses. Also, our robot functioned properly for the most part the entire time, which was very nice given the issues we've had in the past. The competition was a lot of fun for everyone, even if we didn't place overly highly, so I think we can declare it a success!

At the meeting today, we've been working on unpacking our things after having a dicussion on what went well this year, and what we need to work on. The conversation was very productive, and the team has pinpointed several things to improve for next year. We also made a list of things we did well this year, which was a nice reminder that ranking isn't everything. 

Overall, this was a good year for Team Spudnik, and I think we can make next year even better. Yet again, thanks to our sponsors, mentors, and members. I hope you'll continue to support us for years to come!

Mid-Competition Update

Posted by [email protected] on March 4, 2016 at 11:20 PM Comments comments ()

Hello again! It's currently evening on Friday, March 4th, the first day of competition matches.Yesterday, we did a lot of work on the robot to make sure we were ready for today. The bumpers needed a bit of finishing up, which we took care of pretty quickly. We also finalized the attachment of the shooter and ensured it was able to move and aim properly. That has been working very well, whish is nice because the shooter is the fanciest component we've ever designed for a robot. Admittedly, it has had a few issues picking up balls efficiently, but it is still very capable of shooting, and our ball retrieval has imporved immensly.

Unfortunately, we haven't actually won any of our qualification matches yet. Fortunately, we have still gotten three ranking points (special points earned by winning matches or doing special things; seperate from the normal match score), by being able to consistently help our team breach the enemy defenses. Our robot can easily cross the rough terrain and the low bar, the later being very useful because it's always on the field and most robots are too tall to fit under it. Our placement is enitrely satisfactory even with only that, and hopefully we can pick up that victory tomorrow!

The competition has been a blast so far, so I'd like to put out another thanks to the sponsors, mentors, and members who made the trip here possible! I love you all <3

February 20th, 2016

Posted by [email protected] on February 20, 2016 at 3:00 PM Comments comments ()

For what is probably the last time in the build season, I greet you, comrades! Today is a Saturday, and we're going long to finish things up. The electronics, fully complete, are now attached to the robot, at long last. It may still require some modification to the holder we currently have for the battery, and a couple additional components are still being attached to other parts of the 'bot, but we're definitely going to be driving before the day is out! 

That said, we still aren't done with everything. Our bumpers are mostly ready, but we still need to some work to get them mounted and prepared on the robot. We also need to get the fabric we're going to use to cover them, and get our team number put onto it. That's not something that should prove overly difficult, though, so we are essentially at the point where the robot can be declared to be workable, which is cool.

Beyond the chassis, we're still going to need to make some changes on the programming side of things. Our basic drive program is ready, but the autonomous code and the specifics of the drive will need further refinining down at competition. Hopefully we'll be able to make some code improvements today, but that's something that will have to be finished up in Duluth.

Speaking of Duluth, the last thing that's been worked on today is preparing for when we need to go down there. We've begun packing up some of the tools and supplies we'll need, as well as gathering up the stuff for our pit area. Packing isn't going to get finished most likely until later, but it's nice to at least have a good start.

I do believe that's just about everything there is to update you all on. Chassis' ready, electronics are on, programming will need a bit more work but is mostly complete, and we're gonna be ready to go soon! For the last time before the robot's in its bag, a big thank-you to our sponsors, mentors, and team members. See you later!

February 17th, 2016

Posted by [email protected] on February 17, 2016 at 6:20 PM Comments comments ()

Hello again!

It's time for our normal Wednesday meeting again, but today we're going longer than usual so we can get a whole bunch of stuff done. The robot chassis was complete as of Saturday, but we've had to modify it slightly because we discovered that some parts of the side weren't wide enough to support the required length of bumpers. Fortunately, that turned out to be a quick fix, and we're now moving on to bigger and better things! The next step in the process is getting the electronics mounted on the chassis, which is being worked on as I type this. Beyond that, we've also made significant progress on our code, and the robot should be up and running, at least in a basic form, very soon. The next stop on the coding front will be the autonomous program, which is not expected to be overly difficult to put together. 

The last think we've been making progress on is the shooter. We started last week with only a rough prototype, but today many steps have been taken towards turning that starting point into an actually functional point-scoring apparatus. There's been drilling, there's been cutting, there's been testing, but most of all, there's been progress! 

It's been a challenge getting all the rest of the components of the robot and its associated paraphernalia together with only a week left. It seemed for a while that we would not be able to be ready by Tuesday when we need to bag the robot. Fortunately, we've kept persevering, and now I can absolutely assure you that Team Spudnik will be ready to roll when we get to Duluth in a couple of weeks! Thanks again to all our awesome sponsors, mentors, team members, and parents for making this whole robot-y adventure possible!

February 13, 2016

Posted by [email protected] on February 13, 2016 at 12:50 PM Comments comments ()

Hello everyone!

Apologies for the late blog update. It's been a while since our last one, but now we're back, so without further update. Since our last post, ten days have past. In that time, much progress has been made on all parts of the robot's construction. The chassis is now finalized and nearing completion, so we'll be ready to mount the electronics on it soon. Speaking of electronics, that's all wired up, and is just awaiting final testing. That testing will be done as soon as our code is finished. We have run in to some technical difficulties with our computer, but that should be resolved shortly. Beyond that, we're working on our setup to actually score points. That bit isn't quite finalized yet, but again, that's something that's going to be taken care of very soon. We've even started designing our team standard, so we can look good down in Duluth!

All in all, there's still work to be done, but I know that we can finish it. The end is in sight, so we're gonna keep working hard make sure we're ready for it. Thank you to our sponsors, mentors, and team members for making all of this possible!

February 3, 2016

Posted by Queen Fabio on February 3, 2016 at 5:10 PM Comments comments ()

Just under 2 weeks until the bagging of the robot meanwhile the team is hard at work figuring out the dimensions and ways to launch the boulder and others are building the chasis/ electronics board. We are hard at work fundraising for the trip to Duluth and thanks to brain we are finding new options to make that money. -QF


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