Build Season Week 1 Update

January 15, 2018 in Outreach by Charles Wallis

With the onset of the build season, the lab is brimming with excitement and activity. Ideas regarding this year’s game, Power Up, have been flowing readily since kickoff. President Eric Roth has been hard at work with other leaders of the team, planning out the agendas for every week while a wide and admirably creative range of prototypes, including mechanisms from past years, are being designed and made. The brainstorming process has continued to yield potential solutions to the necessary functions presented by the game.

Near the beginning of the week, much progress was being made on finalizing designs. This was a formative process where members of the team were still orienting themselves to the mindset of this year’s game. Permutations of events that could occur on the field. It was an amazing process observing disparate groups working toward the same goal, fitting themselves together into a bigger picture.

The pros and cons of various mechanisms that could possibly go into the final product has been discussed by subgroup captains, assessing the benefits and drawbacks in different areas of robot design. By compiling all of this information, the team has finally arrived at a general idea of what the final product will look like. The CAD team has been notified and is currently creating designs of the robot parts.

In summary, this week has been very efficient and productive. We hope to see the same attitudes in the methods our team members attack problems in the weeks to come. It’s difficult to remain apathetic with what the team has achieved so far; the momentum we’ve built up will continue to grow.

Stay tuned for additional weekly updates!

First Robotics Competition 2018 Kickoff

January 8, 2018 in Outreach by Charles Wallis

Last Saturday, students, mentors, alumni and parents of Texas Torque met up in the LGI to watch the FIRST Robotics Competition game reveal. This much-anticipated webcast revealed the year’s challenge and marked the beginning of the 2018 FRC season.

The game for this season is Power Up, an 8-bit themed game in which two teams of three robots compete to collect cubes to deliver to the vault, which contains three boosts (force, levitate, boost) that will help gain extra points for the match. Teams can also place these cubes onto a scale or one of the two switches on the field during the tele-op period. Additionally, robots must gain control of a switch and three baseline crosses during the autonomous period to get a ranking point, and attempt to climb a rung for an additional ranking point at the end of the match. The following video released by FIRST further explains the challenge.

Following the exciting webcast, Texas Torque members spent next few hours brainstorming and getting a feel for the new game. Students collaborated with mentors and alumni to devise strategies to overcome Power Up’s unique challenges and to think up possible designs. For the next six weeks, team members will work to design, prototype, construct and program a new robot for the season before the seven week competition season begins.

Texas Torque wishes all teams the best of luck and hopes that everyone has fun this season!