CHARGED UP Week 1 Build Blog

Week 1 Recap

WildStang Robotics has been thrilled to get our hands back on some new tools and ideas in Week 1. We’ve been hard at work prototyping and bringing our new ideas to life for this season. We’re excited to partner with REV Robotics and be a part of TeamREV! We got new parts to work with such as our SparkMAXs, Power Distribution Hubs, and more! It’s all been extremely beneficial to our prototypes and thrilling to work with new tools. WildStang and Plus One have begun prototyping and building their respective robotics for this season. Here’s what we’ve been up to!

WildStang’s mechanical subteam held a meeting to decide whether they wanted to have a drive base with a cutout for scoring or no cutout. After some deliberation on which option was best for what they needed, they ultimately voted on a swerve drive-base with no cutout. They were even able to test it this week! Although the cutout design was beneficial as it was smaller and allowed passage behind it, there were some negatives such as a higher center of gravity. They decided that a full frame design would be more beneficial to the overall robot function rather than the cutout design.

Plus One’s mechanical and electrical subteams have been working together to prototype an arm design in order to lift cubes and cones. They created a side-wheel arm prototype (codename “Pinchy Grabber Claw”) that utilizes spinning horizontal wheels to pick up the game pieces. The electrical subteam has also been assembling battery terminals and installing those terminals into the motors used in the prototypes.

Both Wildstang and Plus One’s strategy subteams have begun to discuss strategy for this year’s gameplay. They started looking at our WildRank app to see what would benefit the team and others who utilize the program. They’re looking at what they can improve on and learning how to use it for competitions. The subteams have also been improving their abilities in picking our alliance teams, so we can find the best qualities of every robot that would strengthen our future alliance team. The team has been discussing mathematical matrices and their potential use in our gameplay.

WildStang’s software subteam has been testing different methods for finding the scoring grid via April tags in order to place the game pieces to score points. Software has tested the Limelight sensor which has reached up to 60 feet head-on and has reached 15 feet when at an orientation of 60°.

Plus One’s software subteam hasn’t had much of a chance to get their hands on the robot just yet, but they’re using this time wisely! They’ve been using this week to improve their proficiency in coding using Java. They’ve taken the time to teach it to the new students and the students that have already gotten an introduction have used this time to broaden their knowledge to prepare for any systems we may need.

WildStang and Plus One’s joint communication subteam wrote and published the CHARGED UP℠ kickoff blog post. Some members of the WildStang Robotics Program attended the Rolling Meadows High School activities night in order to recruit incoming freshmen to apply for the program. The night was a success with many students expressing an interest in pursuing STEM activities in high school. The subteam has also written letters to principals of feeder schools to let students know that the application for the 2023-2024 WildStang Robotics Program is open and accepting admissions!

This has been an incredibly successful and great start to the season. We’re looking forward to what’s coming up this season, and are already beginning another hard-working week with the teams planning to finish the CAD for the drive bases and cut out the belly pans.