Our strategy and scouting team has vastly expanded our abilities from past years. Historically, our team has been understaffed and lacked the resources to develop new and innovative ways to move forward. This year, we recognized past trends and have focused on overcoming these. Our small group of three scouts has gone above and beyond all expectations to work toward our goal: to have the best scouting in Minnesota.
In order to accomplish this, our group is pursuing a variety of new options. We have contacted the 60 teams that will be attending our regional with us and established an online chat room in which we can share design ideas and strategic analysis. We also are tracking the performance of teams over the past three years to understand their team structure and why they succeed. Our team has researched different programming languages to better analyze the data we collect at a competition, and have worked with other students to develop an app that allows us to scout more effectively than ever before. By making these changes, our scouting and strategy has dramatically improved our performance in order to provide our team with the most useful information possible.
Written by a member of the CyBears Strategy/Scouting team
As lift team, our objective throughout build season is to design, build, and program a lifting mechanism for our robot. This lifting mechanism has to interface with all the other scrum team’s mechanisms and has to lift a lot of weight for the ending climb. With the constraints given to us from our strategy and drive teams, we set out to design a mechanism. We researched what other FRC and FTC teams had done for similar challenges, and even looked at this year’s FTC robots for inspiration. We also researched construction equipment, as it has to overcome similar challenges to our lifting mechanism.
We then decided on the top ten ideas that we had seen, and used decision matrices to limit it down to the best 3 ideas. We then made prototypes to prove the concept of our ideas, and from there decided on which one was the best. We prototyped a folding arm, a scissor lift mechanism, and a forklift style lifter. We then weighed the pros and cons and decided the best one was the forklift because it was fast and could lift a lot of weight while being within our team’s ability. This next week, we will be working on getting a fully functional design that meets all our requirements and works for our drivers to practice with.
Written by a member of the CyBears Lift Team
First off, Robotics is an amazing group of people learning different forms of technology to design, construct, and operate a robot. However, it is much more than just creating a robot. There are many different subgroups within the whole group like help make the robot, drive it, scout, media, etc. With so many different choices, you’re sure to find your place in the team. Robotics is not just for people with high intelligence, it can be for anyone no matter their IQ. Kickoff has started and everyone is pumped for it.
Kickoff is the beginning of the design and build season. This year, 2018’s theme is videogames. The game field is full of different obstacles that the robots have to perform. There is going to be a balancing scale, power-ups, and many new things. You know, video game stuff. The competitions are going to be exciting as there is a lot to do. Everyone was intrigued when learning about the new obstacles for the upcoming competitions. It’s a six week process and lots to get done in this time. We use the the Scrum process to make everything efficient. It’s doing twice the work in half the time.
Making sure our time isn’t wasted doing all of this hard work, we need sponsors. They are very helpful to have as they are the ones who pay for us to keep going. The amount of support we get from sponsors are so appreciated, we can’t thank them enough. Every dollar counts! If we can get more sponsors, our team can continue to grow and flourish. With more money, the more innovating and letting our creativity flow.
Robotics isn’t always working and no play. There are so many fun activities that do happen when being apart of this wonderful group. The coach, mentors, and members work so hard that we all deserve breaks here and there. Our most well-known and very appreciated one is the lock-in. I know many other groups and organizations do lock-ins as well, but ours is the best. We have nerf battles, play lots of card and board games, and eat good food. It’s a blast to be a part of such a wonderful thing.
There are so many things about being in Robotics that they can’t all fit here. Learning and innovating the robot with the help of the team and other subgroups helping out with other things that need to get done. Kickoff is the most exciting, yet stressful part as we only have six week period time. However, the team members are so nice, helpful, and welcoming to new ideas that it’s not as stressful as it could be. Being part of Robotics will be a big impact on your life and anyone who has never been a part of it should really look into it. Robotics is full of stress, teamwork, and fun times. Never overwork yourself, but always do your best!
Written by a member of The CyBears Media Team