Iron Maidens Documentary Airs September 12 on PBS Storycast!

We are excited to announce that PBS will be featuring a docuseries about the FeMaidens! The first of six episodes will be available on September 12th on PBS’s new online channel Indie Lens Storycast in the #1 launch slot!20424025_10155845696484925_6065155437560252509_o
We are so thankful to Killer Media for filming the documentary!

Robot progress and other news

Today we received the unfortunate news that the Hudson Valley Regional would be postponed. While this was discouraging to hear, the Fe Maidens were determined not to give up and took this as an opportunity to better our robot for the upcoming NYC regional in the next few weeks. Here is a recap of what our departments have been unto this week:

Marketing: They continued practicing for the Chairman’s presentation as well as compiling and cleaning images for the SVG sponsor plate. Eva updated our newsletters, while our marketing minors continued to work on the Scrapbook that would be used during Chairmans and compiling footage for our robot reveal video.

Engineering: This week engineering worked on mounting the turrets as well as fixing the intake gear box. Our expert CNC’er, Montaha, worked on CNC’ing the 1/8” shooter plates. As the various mechanisms are being finished, they will be assembled onto our chassis and should be ready to finish wiring and testing by the end of the week.

Electronics: They continued wiring the robot and they also taught our programming rookies how to solder wires.

Programming: The code is finished and all that is left is to test. We continued to test the intake and shooter. Hopefully once the robot is finished being assembled we will be able to test the drivetrain and all the mechanisms as a whole.

While the news that the Hudson Valley Regional being postponed is disappointing, we can’t wait to continue to further improve on our robot so that we can once again make it to the top 8 alliances this year. It’s been a tough eight weeks and we are NOT ready to give up now. Until next time!

Robot Updates

Week one of competition has passed and our team is busily finishing up our robot just in time for our week four competition.

This week programming tested the drivetrain and chassis and it worked! We finally have a driving robot that we could practice on! Engineering worked on finishing the shooter as well as assembling the climb and hopper onto the robot. There was a slight compression issue with the intake but engineering was quick to fix it to prevent further problems.

Electronics worked on assembling the final board that would fit around the hopper. Last but not least, marketing continued to work on updating the website, presenting our Chairman’s presentations, and recoloring the Fe Maidens girl logo in Photoshop.

We should have our robot finished by the end of the week, the latest being Saturday. From Monday onwards electronics will mount the rest of the board and wire the robot and programming will finish testing and debugging. We can’t wait to transport our robot to Hudson Valley and compete with amazing teams in the coming weeks. Until next time!

 

Building the robot!

At last, we are finally done prototyping! Our Maidens are now hard at working building the robot so we can get it done in the upcoming week, leaving us enough time for programming to test and for electronics to mount the board.

Engineering started building the chassis this week and now that are busy rebuilding the successful prototypes of the hopper and turrets into their final form. Programming worked on testing the shooter this week, making sure that the angle was just right to allow our balls to go into the inner goal. Additionally, they worked on adjusting the button map for the joysticks so our driver and operator can have maximum control of the robot while it is on the field.

Marketing worked on their Chairman’s presentations and new additions to the website this week. Let’s see some pictures of our Maidens at work!

 

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Once we finish our robot we will have driver practice on Saturdays in preparation for our first competition during week 4. We can’t wait to see our friends at Hudson Valley!

Week six!

The time has come when most engineering project groups have finalized and have started to test their prototypes. We also began ordering the final parts to build our robot. If all goes to plan we should have our final robot built in the upcoming weeks, just in time for competition season. Engineering is also working on finishing jointing the CADs so they can get the final design done soon.

Programming this week has been working on testing shooter. They helped engineering find the right way to angle their shooter. They also worked on testing their time of flight sensor for the hopper. Programming tested LEDs, and will continue testing them next week. After receiving the model turret and the actual turret prototype from engineering, programming tested those and they worked! Lastly, they also calibrated the limelight and tested it with the turret for aiming.

On Saturday we finally got our new shirts and took our team picture! We look pretty snazzy if I say so myself. Here are some of the pictures we took!

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Electronics helped programming test some of the prototypes made by engineering. We hope to continue to bring our spirit in the next few weeks as we rush to finish the robot. See y’all soon!

 

Week 4 recap!

I can’t believe its been a month since build season has started! So many things have been bubbling under the surface in every department as we have gotten ready to start building our robot.

Programming mostly spent this week helping engineering test their mechanisms. The climb, color wheel, and shooter mechanisms are coming along very successfully! We even got our shooter mechanism to shoot the ball into the upper level of the tower! Then programming tested some other sensors and got the limit switches for the climbing mechanism to work properly. Lastly, they worked on PID code for aiming the shooter and driving straight during autonomous. Definitely a busy week!

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Leading to engineering, they worked on finalizing prototype designs on everything except the shooter. Then they CADed their designs and the chassis for the robot. They are getting ready for jointing the CADs together in preparation for building the final robot.

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Electronics helped test ultrasonics, time of light and the limit switches along with programming. They also tested shooter and intake. Lastly they finished their box 🙂

Last but not least, marketing worked on finishing the Chairman’s video and presentation. We can’t wait to see the end result!

Until next week!

Week 3 Recap!

Even though there is no stop build day in robotics this year, we are making incredible strides to finish building our robot in our six week time plan! The past three weeks have been busy with developing prototypes, finishing proof-of-concepts, and writing code for our mechanism. Let’s recap what each department has been working on this week. 

Engineering: This week, engineering has continued building the shooter prototype. They have also tested climb, intake, and the hopper.

Electronics: Electronics helped programming wire the Arduino, continued wiring their box, and prepared to help engineering test their mechanisms.

Programming: The department worked on finishing the drivetrain code, worked on PID, and wrote some of the shooter and climbing code.

There’s still a long way to go before our robot is built but we can definitely see the finish line and we are excited to see what’s in store!

Fourth day of build season!

The time has come to build our robot! Day three and our team is already bustling with proof-of-concept designs and strategy lessons.

After we watched the Infinite Recharge game video our team immediately set off into groups that read the game manuel and developed possible strategies for what we wanted to do. From Monday onwards we began testing these strategies through proof-of-concept designs.DSC_0101

 

On Monday, programming began working on our mecanum code that we would use for our new drivetrain. We began testing it using Artemis, our 2019 robot. Programming also started planning what they wanted to include in their autonomous code and teleop. We are excited to see what our team builds by the end of the week!

Tiffany Deane, a member of our engineering/ marketing department reccently completed our preseason recap video. We are super proud of how it turned out and we can’t wait to do more great things during the season. Until next time!

First Strategy Lesson!

As preseason is gearing up to a close, the team is excitedly preparing for kickoff day. One of the most notable events this week was the first strategy lesson led by our Head of Strategy, Annabelle.

In the first lesson the team went over the kickoff schedule. First the team will watch the Infinite Recharge game video before splitting up into small groups to think of what our goals for the robot are. Do we want to be a defense bot? Or do we want to focus on an individual mechanism that will get us the most points?

The next part of the lesson detailed how to come up with basic strategies and test them to see which is the most effective. In our next lesson we will do a mock human game where each person pretends to be a robot. This way we will be able to test out strategies and see how they might work on the field.

On Monday we are going to have backup operator tryouts. The operator works in conjunction with the driver to manage to the robot on the field. The only difference is that the operator controls the mechanisms like the cascade or hatch mechanism, while the driver is simply in charge of driving the robot.

We can’t wait to see where our projects takes us as we head off into the final meetings before build season!

Driver’s Tryouts!

Last week our team conducted backup driver’s tryouts. We had multiple candidates from each of the different departments try out for the role. Annabelle, our head of strategy, was in charge of making the obstacle course where the contestants would practice. The tryout was split into three trials, and it was set up as this:

1) Two sets of desk were spaced out in the middle of the room. All the other desks were pushed to the side to allow the robot to move.

2) In trial one, we tested how many loops around the driver could make around the room in two minutes without bumping into any of the surrounding tasks. Haydn Long (programming department) deemed this “an impossible task”.

3) As part of the second trial, the driver had to make as many figure 8’s around the tables as they could in two minutes. This tested their coordination and quick thinking.

4) For our last trial we had our drive coach help guide the drivers to place the hatch into the human player station. They were tested on their time and ability to listen to instructions.

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Set up for trials one and two

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Set up for trial three.

We are excited to see who our head of strategy picks for this year’s backup driver! May the best competitor win!

Pre-season begins with new rookies!

Last Wednesday was our first official meeting with our new rookies! After four weeks of try outs and many qualified candidates, we decided to celebrate by having a bonding session. For our meeting we introduced the new rookies to the team and explained the team contract. For an icebreaker everyone on the team was separated into smaller groups.

Their task were as follows: each team was giving two pages of purple construction paper. They had to construct the highest standing tower using only the tools provided. They could not use tape to stick the pieces down.

Many teams came up with interesting ideas! Some teams decided to put up the paper to create slits so the ajoining pieces can be more steady. Other teams instead decided to create triangles with the paper and balance them on top of the other. The winning team had their tower at 33 inches tall! Second place (pictured below) came close at 31 inches. This activity was a perfect way to build our engineering skills and foster teamwork. Everyone had fun and the winners got to eat leftover Halloween candy!

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We are excited to begin preseason in anticipation for kickoff in the upcoming months. Congratulations to the new rookies for joining the team! Welcome to our new family 🙂