January 22, 2019

Build Season has begun!  On the morning of January 5, the team gathered to watch the FIRST Robotics Kickoff.  Members gathered together while parents brought in breakfast. The new game was released for the 2019 season.  This year’s game is called “Destination: Deep Space.” The game involves placing “cargo” (or playground balls) into the cargo ship and the two rockets and securing the cargo by placing hatch panels, thus preventing the cargo from rolling out and back onto the field.  The match concludes with robots climbing in onto the three levels of the hab platform in the last 30 seconds of the match. This year’s game features a variation on the classic autonomous period of past years. In Destination: Deep Space, a black screen will drop down in front of the driver station, blocking the drivers from seeing the field and the robots.  FIRST has decided to allow teams to mount cameras on their robots and control the robots by viewing the feeds of the camera during the autonomous period. Teams also have the option of operating completely autonomous or driving blind as well.

After viewing the Kickoff video and watching the videos released by FIRST about the various game pieces, the team divided up to read through the rulebook.  Meanwhile, GRT alumni and parents worked on building the field elements in the shop so that the team would be able to test robot mechanisms throughout the season.  After reading through the rulebook, members again divided up and brainstormed different strategies that the team could pursue during the match. These ideas were presented to the entire team at the end of the day.

Over the following days, members created Alpha prototypes of the various possible mechanisms for the robot out of wood.  The mechanisms were demonstrated to the whole team, and afterwards the team gathered to discuss strategy and how the different mechanisms would impact the team’s strategy.

After coming up with an initial strategy, GRT created the CAD for the Beta robot.  Machining began on Beta parts. Currently, the Beta robot is being assembled, and soon it will be tested and run for the team and parents.

After the Beta phase, the team will finalize the design and strategy for competitions.  The CAD will be completed, and machining will begin on the two Omega robots; one of these robots will be transported to competitions, the other will remain in the shop for continued testing.

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