Week Four Update

January 30, 2015 in Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

All prototypes are finished, including Crazy Arms. Data from prototypes was useful for CAD team while designing. The programming sub-team worked on the autonomous code in order to score as many points as possible during the beginning of the game. Everything is going well at Texas Torque!

As prototypes were finished, students from the mechanical team assisted  the CAD team and finished the overall robot design. With the CAD done it puts us ahead of schedule for this competition season. The robot includes all basic parts such as intakes and elevator. Much more progress has been done, and parts have started to be milled.

With the CAD, VersaFrame that will be used for the competition robot are being prepared by the mechanical team. The finalized CAD are being prepared to be sent to our sponsors to be fabricated.


Week Three Update

January 24, 2015 in Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

Texas Torque’s hard working mechanical team finalized the prototypes, and the CAD team sketched up preliminary designs for this year’s robot. We are hoping to see final revisions by the end of week four, and from there start building this season’s official robot.

The Slide modules are on track to be completed soon. The Slide modules are positioned to strafe left and right. Larger exterior-mounted omniwheels drive the robot’s forward, backward, and turning motions.

The gearboxes were assembled and the electronics were mounted on MDF board as a temporary solution for driving.

New parts from Vex and spare parts from FRC team 1429 Kaos arrived, and will soon be put to good use.

Week Two Update

January 20, 2015 in Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

After two weeks of planning and designing robots for 2015’s game Recycle Rush, we started to build prototypes and finalized the process of prototyping. The prototypes are expected to be finished by the third week of our six-week build season.

Our programming and electrical subteams worked on our old robots this week. We were able to see Sonic, VelociRiptar, and Sarge back up and running. Our robot Sarge was reprogrammed and tuned. VelociRiptar was re-stripped and all electronics were redone, while some mechanical issues were fixed.

The Hydraulic Press’ wheels are fixed to mobilize so members of Texas Torque reduce risk of injury while working in the lab. We also milled the gearbox plates for the gearbox to keep dimensions correct during all prototyping and building, our first milled parts of the season.

Texas Torque hosted a successful sponsor open house on Saturday, January 17th. On this day, we also celebrated the birthday of our team captain, Matt Bartell. Team 5469 Flair and team 3735 Kleinbots came to the Texas Torque World Headquarters to learn about the new technology RoboRIO to boost their success in the 2015 season.


Week One Update

January 11, 2015 in Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

With the long-awaited 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff now in the past, Texas Torque is revved up and ready to make the most of the build season. The lab is buzzing with ideas and iterative tests as the team prepares for this year’s competition season, planning on both succeeding in this year’s game and presenting the team’s outreach efforts over the past year through the Chairman’s Award submission.

After kickoff day, the team gathered once again to develop a game plan for this year’s challenge, Recycle Rush. Given the game’s revolutionary nature as compared to the challenges of years past, team members had to tackle the problem with an entirely different mindset from the norm. Monday’s extensive conversations on game strategy and the resulting strategic design yielded a clear and concise game plan, as well as a list of potential prototypes designed to meet the challenge most effectively.

As a result of these discussions, the team has seen significant progress in this first week of the build season. Prototypes design, led by various subteam captains, has run smoothly and has yielded useful data that will undoubtedly come to define many details of the final robot. Based on the successes and failures of certain prototypes, an image of what the final robot might look like is already coming into form. The efficacy with which the team has tackled this year’s challenge thus far is truly admirable, and we hope to continue to work with the same degree of diligence.

The Awards and Outreach subteams have also been hard at work in this past week, hoping to follow up on the successes of the 2014 season. Captains Reagan Spexarth and Jeffery Zhang have worked closely with alumni of the team to improve plans for the essay and presentation and center the work around a common theme. So far, the team is on schedule with these efforts due to the subteam’s hard work.

In other news, the team has been happy to see many of its alumni return to the lab to share ideas, experiences, and good times with the current members of the team. Their continued presence is a testament to the family that the team has built over the years. Of course, the free food is just a benefit on the side.

Stay tuned for more updates from Texas Torque World Headquarters! With the progress of this first week, it’s hard not to be excited for what’s to come.

FIRST Robotics Competition 2015 Kickoff

January 6, 2015 in FRC by Scott Rippetoe

Mentors, alumni, and students alike met up at The Woodlands College Park High School early Saturday morning for the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff. This much-anticipated webcast revealed the year’s challenge and marked the beginning of the 2015 FRC season.

The game for this season is Recycle Rush, in which two teams of three robots compete to stack Totes on Scoring Platforms, place Recycling Containers over those Totes, and place pool noodle Litter in either the Recycling Containers or in the Landfill Area during the Teleop Period. Additionally, robots can attempt to move Yellow Totes (which may be stacked for extra points), Recycling Containers, and themselves into the Auto Zone during the Autonomous Period. The following video released by FIRST further explains the challenge.

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

Texas Torque wishes all teams the best of luck and to have fun this season!