2020 Team Updates

We’re Back!

January 13-15, 2020

Here’s what’s happened in the past 10 months:

  • Sohit went to a small community college on the West Coast
  • Ming quit robotics and is now pursuing a career in the arts
  • Ushmil is still lost in IKEA
  • Caden died of a corn overdose
  • Megan won 7 Oscars
  • Junior tried to frame his twin, Buddy, for all of his thieving, but got both of them arrested since they’re, you know, twins
  • Sam CNC-ed another knife (only for it to be stolen by Junior)
  • Jason flew drones near Changi Airport, which started an avalanche of drone regulations
  • Amaryllis can only speak in song and rhyme after going to karaoke for 8 months straight
  • Caroline left her robotics kids at an orphanage
  • Owen drilled an accurate hole
  • Aman got promoted from Boy Scout to Man Scout
  • Duncan lost his Alpha Male status
  • Ethan joined MI6 and prevented many terrorist attacks using only his “defence is the best offence” philosophy
  • Mihika started a graphing paper company
  • Rohan made every IASAS sport and became class president
  • Kinaree got addicted to anime
  • Belen fell into a Sarlacc pit
  • Ryan became permanently blinded by the Limelight
  • Rhea got her hand stuck in another printer
  • Tanisha got electrocuted
  • Archit was found buying cigarettes at a gas station
  • Rohit was placed into a psychiatric ward and is probably muttering something about a climber while rocking back and forth in a corner
  • Miguel was deported
  • Shion is now captain

And all that is definitely true. As true as the fact that Shion, our new captain, is still chasing a squirrel.

Shion, FRC Captain

Don’t worry, none of that happened. Well, most of it. A recap post of our time in Sydney and Detroit will come soon, but for now, here’s what’s happened so far this season.

A few days after the game release, the members still in Singapore met at Ming’s place to discuss possible designs. Those still overseas called in. Unsurprisingly, Ming had already created a partial CAD of his design. It involved a flywheel shooter, ball storage, and many other aspects.

The CAD will not be fully complete until after the first week of school, so this week was spent prototyping and making props. We were able to schedule meetings from 3 PM to 6 PM every day this week, as well as Saturday from 12 PM to 6 PM. Monday afterschool, a full team meeting was held to explain the design to members who weren’t present during our initial design meeting over the break. Afterwards, fabrication started working on making props. In just a few hours, they were able to complete an accurate Power Port that could be taken apart for convenience. Great progress!

Tuesday, things started picking up. Unfortunately, our new shipment of wood had not arrived yet, so prop making was on hold. Instead, fab and assembly started taking apart last semester’s rookie and veteran bots to strip them for parts. Tara shook Gaurav’s claw bot and an SAS tuition’s worth of bearings rattled out and fell to the floor. Amaryllis gathered them all up and said something about bearings becoming a new currency. Ming’s cascade bot was disassembled shortly after. CAD stayed in the other room to quarantine themselves from any distractions so that they could finish before next Monday. Programming worked on reusing last semester’s custom e-board to power a prototype of a flywheel shooter. Marcus assembled the new 775pro motors while Sam worked on the makeshift frame.

Soon enough, the prototype flywheel shooter was ready for testing. The team gathered around to witness our first mechanism in action. The prototype was able to shoot the ball over twice the width of the fire lane and through the Power Port when angled correctly.

Prototype flywheel shooter testing

Two days into the first week, and the team had made significant progress. While the new recruits remained optimistic, members from last year anxiously anticipated some kind of setback, which they knew was inevitable based on last year. On Wednesday, it happened.

Wednesday was spent finishing the disassembly of last semester’s bots and creating a bigger frame for the prototype flywheel shooter. Fab helped with assembly again since the wood delivery was delayed to Thursday. The previous frame for the prototype was able to shoot the ball, but the ball was being too compressed. The prototype was taken outside to test how different speeds of the flywheels would affect the height and distance as the ball travelled. As Sam, Miguel, and Rohan fed the ball into the shooter, and Vayun changed motor speed values, Derek started to notice small scratches appearing on the ball’s surface. He didn’t think much of it, so the testing continued.

Suddenly, as the ball was inserted into the shooter one last time, there was a loud ripping noise. The ball shot straight up, but came down with yellow tatters trailing it. The ball’s surface had been torn apart, exposing the foam underneath. Sam and Miguel had flashbacks of last year’s deflated ball, something they had somehow repeated with a ball that didn’t even need inflation.

There was still testing that needed to be done in Gym 4, so a solution was needed quick. Marcus wrapped the entire ball in multiple layers of duct tape. When he finished, he marvelled at his genius idea and argued that it was even better than our previous ball because a layer of duct tape could be removed if it ripped again. With no other option, testing resumed with the duct tape ball, which resembled a knockoff red Angry Bird. Fortunately, our new friends at NPSI generously lent us one of their balls while Ming and Ryan visited to lend them our DART, a few motors, and Talons for the season.

We’ve had a few setbacks, but overall, things are looking promising so far. Knock on wood. Oh wait, it still hasn’t arrived yet.

In memoriam
Power Cell (2020-2020)

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