FRC 2412 Robototes - 2023 Offseason Build Thread

Hello everyone and welcome to the Team 2412 offseason build thread! I’m Jonah Kowal, the Technical Director for the Robototes and I’ll be writing here weekly chronicling the progress of our technical team, which includes both our Programming and Mechanical teams.

Curious about the Robototes? Visit our website at!

Getting back to business - Weeks of 9/4 and 9/11

Our first two weeks of whole-team meetings since the end of the school year! We had a lot to get done.

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting

Both our programming team and mechanical team are a bit low on members. Not only that, our programming team is ~70% senior. So recruiting was super important this year. Fortunately, we planned for this. During the summer, we ran a programming bootcamp, teaching incoming freshman and current highschoolers Java, with the hope that some of the attendees would then join our programming team. The camp was very successful in this regard, with several of the programming camp attendees later expressing interest in joining the team.

The first week of school we held two open shop times. Anyone from the school could come down to the shop during these times and learn about robotics. At these meetings we collected a list of names and emails of students interested in the team.

We also showed off our t-shirt cannon at the back-to-school assembly. Here’s a video of us testing the cannon before the assembly.

Next, we reached out to the interested students and invited them to attend our orientation meeting. At this meeting we went over the basics of FIRST and our team, and gave more information on our first meetings and the path to joining the team.

Overall, our recruiting this year seems to have been very successful. We had a very good showing at the orientation and we’re hoping that we see a similar amount of people at our first meeting.

Getting the squad back together

Today was our first whole team meeting since the end of the school year. This meeting was composed of only returning team members; new team members will have their first meeting this Monday. At this meeting we focused on creating training plans, setting the goals for the year, and tuning the robot for offseason competitions.

On the programming team, we split into two groups. One group was focused on creating curriculum for teaching WPILib to new programmers, while the other group focused on getting the robot’s programming in tip-top shape for our offseason events.

We change up our table configuration each meeting on the Programming Team. This week had a triangle.

The mechanical team split into three groups. One group focused on redoing the bumpers on our Hummingbonk robot to get it ready for offseason competitions. Another group focused on creating CAD training materials for our incoming mech team members. The last group was training electrical - not a ton of members on our mechanical team are experienced in electrical and we’re trying to change that.

The general theme for today’s meeting and the past two weeks in general has been that of recruiting and preparing our team for the offseason. Evidently, we’re all very excited for the next few meetings welcoming our new members.

That wraps up the first offseason build post! See you next week!


Is team 2412 going to the PNW off season event, Bordie Charged?

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Believe it or not we are!


Meeting new members & beginning safety training - Week of 9/18

This week we got to know our new members, then began training - including safety training.

For those curious, these are our off-season competition dates this year:
Bordie Charged - October 14-15
Girls Gen - October 21-22
Block Party - October 28-29

Monday was our new-member introductions day. Most of the day was spent with icebreaker activities.

Programmers introducing themselves

Thursday, Mechanical began safety training our new members. First, we presented a PowerPoint with the basic safety information - wear safety glasses, how to use a fire blanket, etc. Then, we started training on specific tools.

Always be safe safe

On the Programming team, we started Java training. We went through some of the bootcamp materials again for the members not from the bootcamp, then played a Blooket game to test our knowledge.

Today’s table configuration was a lowercase l

That concludes this week’s post! Next week we will be safety training the whole team - not just the Mechanical or Programming team. Programming will continue their Java training. See you next week!


Week of the 25th

We’re really getting back into the flow of meetings now.

Sorry no photos this post!

CAD Troubles

We’ve had some issues getting our CAD training started on the Mechanical subteam. We’ve lost access to the district-provided CAD laptops we have been fortunate to use in the past. Without them, teaching Solidworks, our team’s CAD software for a while now, is much more difficult. To cope, we’ve been teaching Onshape in the meantime, but we hope that’s a temporary solution. We’re currently exploring getting laptop donations and Solidwork’s online workspace solution.

We’ve also been focused on getting our robots ready for offseason competitions on the Mech team. Hummingbonk is getting new bumpers!

More Programming Training

On Monday, we also safety trained our Programming team to get them prepared for prototyping in the build season. Other than that, the Programming team has been focused on training our new recruits more this past week. We also submitted requests to our district’s IT department to get our team necessary software such as VSCode, Git, and Java 17.

That’s all for this weeks post. See you all next week!

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