Winthrop High Rambler Robotics [F.R.C. Team #5471]
Pine Tree Event 2017
Southeastern Massachusetts Event 2017
We’re off to our first event of 2017, the SE Mass Event. Live event information is available from the Blue Alliance (https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2017mabri). We’re leaving from the High School at noon on Friday, March 10th. We’ll spend Friday getting set up and having the robot inspected. Competitions are on Saturday, March 11th and Sunday, March 12th.
FIRST SteamWorks - 2017 Game
FIRST has announced the 2017 game: FIRST SteamWorks!
Here it is - our 2017 robot. Her name (yes, this year the team decided the robot is female) is “Amelia’s Return”.
The giant steel ‘U’ in front is our gear catcher/carrier/loader. The fancy brass block behind that is the chimney that guides the fuel from the floor up to the hopper. The big plexiglas and aluminum frame box behind that holds the fuel until it is ready to be unloaded from a drop-down door in the back. Just below the gear carrier is the rotating brush that scoops fuel off the floor and sends it up the chimney.
The letters on the front (‘A’ and ‘B’) are indicators to remind us which bumper goes where. Note the little black digital camera located about a foot over the letter ‘B’. This is one of two cameras that will help our driver navigate the playing field during match play. The second is in the back, hidden from view.
Build Season has Ended!
We did it. We had our robot completed and in the bag at 9:07 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21st. That’s a full two hours and fifty-three minutes ahead of schedule!
This is the first year we’ve been finished with the robot before we had to bag it. The team worked hard and overcame several unexpected events. We lost an entire week of builds to snow days, but the team pushed through to get the robot done.
Game Information and Manual
The unencrypted game manual has been released. Download it from https://firstfrc.blob.core.windows.net/frc2017/Manual/2017FRCGameSeasonManual.pdf (control-click or right-click on the link and select “Save as ...”). It is also available on our site at http://www.team5471.org/files/2017FRCGameSeasonManual.pdf (again, control-click or right-click on the link and select “Save as ...”).
If you still have the encrypted manual, use the password &Full$team^Ahead! to view the contents of the file.
Additional information about the 2017 game will be released at this site (http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/frc/competition-manual-qa-system) when it becomes available. Be sure to check it out. They currently list the dimensions of the various boxes and loose items that come with the kit of parts. It appears that we will be getting five separate packages, including “one very small item” (very cryptic).
FIRST has created a Web page for the 2017 F.R.C. Game “STEAMWorks”. This page contains links to the video as well as resource files that contain logos, ringtones, and other promotional materials related to this year’s game.
FIRST has posted a video on YouTube giving clues about the 2017 game.
Kit of Parts Vouchers
In our kit of parts, we received several vouchers from participating companies. We should check them out and see if they’re useful to us.
Here’s a summarized list:
Note that shipping is a separate charge, so we’ll need to determine if it’s worth the shipping fee to redeem a voucher.
What is Steampunk?
The only solid information we have about this year’s game is that it has a “steampunk” theme. So, what is “steampunk”? As always, Wikipedia offers some great insight (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk).
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
Steampunk usually includes materials such as polished brass, iron, wood, and leather. A Victorian-era use of ornate decorations with no functional purpose is also common. Exposed, oversized mechanical pieces (gears, levers, pistons, etc.) are often seen.
One of the primary difficulties we will face in a steampunk design is the fact that FRC rules do not allow robots to actually produce steam. So, any steam fixtures that are included on the robot will have to be non-functional or simulated using other technology.
As you become more familiar with steampunk, you’ll find that costumes are a big part of the genre. Leather helmets, jackets, and such are often seen. However, we do have to meet FIRST safety requirements even when in costume.
This will probably be most apparent in the goggles. Steampunk costumes often have goggles like early aviators and automobile drivers wore. However, FIRST requires safety glasses at all times. That means one of three options. Either (A) costume goggles are kept on the forehead while safety glasses are worn, (B) we find costume goggles that meet FRC safety requirements, or (C) we layer costume goggles onto safety glasses (if possible).
STEAM vs. STEM
FIRST and FRC have always supported STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This year, the acronym is STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. With the new acronym, artistic presentation is probably going to play a major part in this year’s robot design. That would dovetail nicely with the steampunk theme, since a large part of steampunk is the visual aspect.
For the 2017 season, we will be competing in two events: SE MASS and Pine Tree.
This will be our first event of the 2017 season. The SE Mass. Event is a new event for us this year. It takes place at the Bridgewater/Raynham Regional High School in Bridgewater, MA. This year, the event is on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12, with the Set-Up Date (Day 0) on Friday, March 10.
The Pine Tree Event has historically been our team’s favorite event of the year. It is the only official F.R.C. event to take place in Maine, at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston. This year, the Pine Tree Event is on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1, with the Set-Up Date (Day 0) on Thursday, March 30.
Here are links to the two ZIP files containing the multimedia resources available from FIRST for FIRST STEAMWorks.
GameSense has recorded an hour-long discussion they live-streamed after the initial game teaser was released.
Chief Delphi also has a discussion about the teaser.