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2020 Team Updates

Props and Flops

January 16-17, 2020

On Thursday, we were fortunate enough for the lab to be open from 3-8. While this would normally warrant for as many people coming in to finish various tasks, there was an unusual lack of work to do. However, that’s not to say that there was nothing to do.

With both of last semester’s bots fully disassembled, assembly was assigned with organising all the parts they had left all over the place. Additionally, Miguel asked them to sort two cabinets worth of stacked parts trays. While many had died merely attempting this Herculean task, assembly got almost all of it done since almost all of the members were present (albeit begrudgingly). Marcus convinced Mr. Millar to give us more shelf space behind the whiteboards after moving a few things around so that the parts trays wouldn’t be stacked on top of each other again. Since the CAD would only be finished by Monday, assembly spent the rest of the week cleaning out all our cupboards and sorting all of our parts. Hopefully the organised parts would last. Knock on wood.

Speaking of which, the wood shipment was still nowhere to be seen throughout the school day. Mr. Harvey received an email from the wood company, which promised that the wood would arrive that afternoon any time between 12 and 6 pm. In the meantime, Sam and Caden started working on the Control Panel wheel. Using polycarbonate and wooden standoffs, they were able to finish it before 4, using up their free block, robotics block, and afterschool time to do so. Caden spent the next 30 minutes rolling the wheel all around the robotics room to show everyone that it was, in fact, round, like a wheel. Luckily, at 4:30, the wood finally arrived. Sam, Caden, and Joanne worked on finishing up the small hole at the back of the Power Port and a way to hold the entire thing upright. Caden used some of the string from last semester’s cascade bot to make a leg that could be folded out to the string’s length and folded back in, making it lay flush with the rest of the prop. This made it much easier to carry the props back and forth during testing. Amaryllis, Rohan, and Jason started on the loading bay for the Power Cells.

Caden making the Control Panel wheel

CAD team stayed quarantined in the other room to meet their deadline. Like Tom Hanks and Wilson in Cast Away, Owen made a new friend with the Power Cell from NPSI. He kept the ball on his lap and taught it how to CAD, making sure it had a clear view of his screen at all times. If our flywheel shooter won’t rip apart another Power Cell, maybe the ball could become better at CAD than Ming.

Since Friday was Eagle Day, most people were outside of school for the day. As a result, the room was occupied by only the CAD team and most of the leads and captains, along with some fab. Ush, Miguel, Caden, and Rohan monotonously heated up a piece of polycarb to arc it 90°. Afterwards, Miguel and Caden went to work on the loading bay, while Sam and Rohan worked on the table for the Control Panel. Inspired by the folding leg of the Power Port, Caden decided to use the leftover string to hold the polycarb upright. After attaching the base of it to the bottom of the opening, Miguel put eye bolts along the top of it. He then ran the string through the eye bolts and the holes in the polycarb. This held the arc in place while also creating the three needed separate compartments. They then attached side panels and dividers with zip ties, screws, and scrap wood blocks. Finally, they created two string folding legs to keep the loading bay from falling over. Sam and Rohan also made the table for the Control Panel foldable to make it easy to carry around. 

Loading bay

Shion, wishing to redeem himself from his reflective tape crisis of last year, nominated himself to do all the reflective tape this year. His first task was to place reflective tape on to the Power Port. For the next two hours, Shion diligently sat at his computer, vigorously punching numbers into his calculator as he watched geometry videos. He was determined to do this right. With calculations that would’ve made Math Ryan proud, Shion came up with the exact length that the three pieces of reflective tape needed to be, as well as the angle they needed to be placed at. Using a big protractor, a giant ruler, and a smaller ruler, Shion completed his task successfully. He stood triumphantly over the finished Power Port, admiring his work. He thought about how the Shion of yesteryear would be so proud.

A happy Shion and the Power Port

It was at this moment that Miguel came over to check in on him. Shion told him his redemption story. Miguel commented that the reflective tape just needed to line the bottom three sides of the hexagon hole, which was already made on the Power Port. The angle and length of the reflective tape didn’t need to be calculated, so Shion could’ve saved two hours by following the edge of the hexagon hole that fab had already made. Dumbfounded by this observation, Shion blocked it out of his mind and continued to retell his redemption story to anyone that would listen. Ah, ignorance is bliss.

We still have a lot of work to do, so we’ll be coming in on Saturday to meet our deadlines. With CAD team’s newest addition, Owen’s Power Cell, there is a new hope that the CAD will be completed by 2030.

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