FRC 8726 - CryptoHawks is eager and excited to participate in the #openalliance this year, and we are honored to be in it! Based from Urbana High School, Ijamsville, Maryland.
Last year was our inaugural season, and we are hopeful and excited to follow it up with a strong sophomore year, after experiencing success at DCMP. We are a team of approximately 45, with about 35 members on technical and 10 members on non-technical. We meet 5 days a week, from 2:30-5:30pm.
This is our first full year in OA, as we joined towards the end of the last season so we will update links and sources as necessary.
To begin the blog, here is what we have worked on since the summer, especially since we have competed in two offseason events (BunnyBots hosted by FRC 449, andBattle O’ Baltimore hosted by FRC 1727). Of the two events, we were finalists in BunnyBots and Event Winners in Battle O’ Baltimore. We are proud to note that the robot used at BunnyBots was almost entirely constructed by new members, with minimal help from veterans, further growing and preparing them for the regular season and competition environment.
What We’ve Done Since
After BunnyBots, we decided to strengthen the foundation of our mechanical and programming team. For mechanical, we held multiple CAD workshops to introduce the basics of CAD to our build team in order to improve efficiency. Last year taught us that the basis for making a fully functional and efficient robot is to nail the design, materials, and mechanics down before we continue building in order to make sure that no design complications arise burning the manufacturing of parts, and the construction of the robot. These in-person CAD workshops would not only raise more awareness within the team about fully designing all parts of the robot before construction, but also bring importance to our design team.
In addition to the CAD workshops, our programming team has been working on improving not only our code for the subsystems on our BunnyBots robot, but they’ve also been working on bug fixes that could potentially mess with the robot as a whole. Our code last year was inefficient due to the constant bugs that had to be fixed while our robot was on the field, so ironing out the folds and creases in our robot’s code before running it through the robot has become something that we’re currently working on, and also intend to put forward as a priority throughout the next season and more to come.
We learned a lot throughout the offseason, including:
- A lot more time and consideration went into the prototyping stage when compared to last season
- Rather than just prototyping out a concept, students were heavily encouraged to make mechanical drawing on paper with set values
- At the end of prototyping we also had detailed discussion on how the subsystems we chose would work together on the final robot
- Had some slight trouble during the initial stages of building the robot due to having to compare each system mechanical drawings and confirming that their respective number checked out
We plan to utilize this, and what we have learned from experiences so far include:
- That the extended design period was very beneficial in allowing the team to design solid, realistic, and applicable designs, however that it was close to being problematic in the teams overall schedule.
- That mechanical drawings were drastically helpful in assuring that mechanisms would work within the confines of the competition’s and the robot’s restrictions and allowed for easier integration
- Heavy focus on integration was very good for the team because it ensured that the end robot was reliable and worked well
- Extended design team was helpful for team from a mechanical perspective but left the control team with little team, so we need to be careful in allotting such a time during an official season
More To Come!