FIRST Robotics Competition – 2013 Portland Regional – Team 3711

Our team, The Iron Mustangs (#3711), competed in the Portland Regional for the last two years and returned champions. This year we came in third. Given that this is also our third year participating in FIRST, I’d say that we’ve had a good run so far. In fact, the season isn’t over yet. We are still planning to compete in the Ellensburg Regional starting on 20 March 2013.

pit photo

Ultimate Ascent

The organizers of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) decided to a throw a curve ball this year. All FRC games involve an autonomous period, followed by a tele-op (remote control) period. The end of the tele-op period requires that the students [Read more…]

FRC Team 3711 Robot Autonomous Demo for 2013

I just got home after another busy weekend of working on our robot in preparation for Ultimate Ascent, this year’s challenge. This was the final weekend of the 2013 build season for the FIRST Robotics Competition and I am convinced we’ll be fielding a great competitor this year. The video below shows off our autonomous mode, fully tweaked and dialed in. After I filmed the video I learned that we do have two additional days left before we’re required to crate up the robot. This is fortunate since we still have to finish the climbing mechanism and fine tune a few unpolished bits of code.

FRC Team 3711 Disc Launcher Demo

Whew, what a weekend of progress on our FRC robot! I think between myself and my student, we put in about 30 hours over the last two days. As of right now, we’re caught up with programming everything on the robot, but we still need to add code to drive the lift mechanism when it gets bolted on in a few days. This year we’re using C++ for programming so the entire process is much easier now compared with Labview. I shot a video at the end of the day to demo what we’ve accomplished:

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FIRST Team 3711 Robot Basketball Dunk

Logo motion piece

She would not let go of this thing!

I’ve spent the past few weekends mentoring a FIRST team at our local high school. FIRST is an international competition aimed at inspiring high school students to consider a career in science or engineering by exposing them to the engineering process from design to functional prototype. Every year the rules of the competition change with the common element being the use of an autonomous/teleoperated robot working cooperatively with other robots to achieve a goal. All FIRST teams are given the rules of the game in early January and are given only six weeks to design, build, program and ship their robot. This year the game is Logo Motion.

For a rookie team, I think we are well on our way to fielding a compeitive robot. We set a goal to have our robot dunk a basket at the final game of the season in order to demonstrate the arm and claw mechanism we designed. During the actual competition our robot’s arm will be used to manipulate and place the inner tubes to score points in the game. As you can see from the video we set and met our goal – Team 3711 for the win!