TeamsLike in any organization, it’s important to divide tasks, such as building a robot or running the team, into smaller tasks that people with the right expertise can do. Our teams each have a special responsibility and the expertise to fulfill that responsibility.
The A/V team has an essential role for Team 1403, taking pictures and helping publicize our team to spread the message of FIRST. Throughout the season, we not only produce a myriad of photographs, but also assist in creating the Chairman’s video submission. In addition, we keep in close contact with the Communications team, which writes articles about the events we cover. A/V records and captures the essence and the history of our team.
The Business team manages our team’s finances and planning. From finding new sponsors to scouting locations for new and exciting outreach opportunities, the Business team ensures not only that our team is always well-funded, but also that our team is ready to take on any competitions, demonstrations, or presentations. This team is also responsible for managing our team standards and ensuring that overall, Team 1403 embodies a professional character.
The objective of the Design/Animation team is to create accurate and detailed 3D computer design drawings using Autodesk Inventor. The purpose of these drawings is to help the team progressively evaluate our team’s robot, as well as provide instruction to the Mechanical team. Information that we receive from the design helps us know what our design strengths are and find any problems the robot might have. At the end of the building season, we have a completed 3D blueprint of our final robot for future reference as the team prepares to compete. For the Autodesk Design Award, we submit the complete robot’s design to FIRST explaining the robot’s requirements and efficiency. The animation aspect involves using the latest 3-D Animation program, 3ds Max 2011, to produce two animations for the year. Our first animation is usually a safety animation, where safety procedures and rules are explained in a 40 second animation. The 2nd animation’s theme varies, but the themes are generally about the other aspects of a robotics team, such as community work.
Wiring the robot is our mission here in the electrical team. We design the entire electric board in the best possible way for our robots to run strong throughout the competitions. We take care of everything that helps power the robot, including the PD board, CRio, Digital Sidecar, solenoids, motors, motor controllers, and many other components.
The Mechanical team is responsible for the nuts and bolts of the robot. During the six weeks of the build season, we fabricate all the parts and assemble it to make the final robot. Using drawings provided by the design team, we move to the shop, where we use precision measuring, cutting, and milling to gradually piece together what we hope will turn out to be an award-winning and highly competitive robot. Mechanical team members learn how to use a wide range of tools during the build season, including calipers and micrometers, in conjunction with the lathe and the milling machine.
During competitions, we are responsible for keeping the robot running. When time is short, members pull together like a well-oiled pit crew to bring the robot back to peak performance. We have also been known to help out other teams that face mechanical challenges, both before and during competitions.
Programming is responsible for designing and implementing code for the robot. This includes controlling the motors, sensors, lights, the driving station, and more. This year, Programming is responsible for setting up a new gamepad control to replace our old joysticks. We enjoy the challenge of implementing new parts into the robot and improving the usability of the robot.
The Strategy team is in charge of analyzing the rules of the game and assessing the robots from other teams. We thoroughly read the rules and present them to the rest of the team before construction of the robot begins. We also use a database that we create, to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each opposing robot. This is important because it helps our team determine which robots would be ideal alliance partners in the finals, to maximize our chancing of winning.
This year the Communications team is responsible for creating the new version of Team 1403′s website as well as posting information about the team’s progress. Think of us as little elves doing everything from web design to server administrating to blogging and writing. We go old-school with our development technology, using a text editor (for which all of us have our preferences) and a browser to ensure complete control over how our website looks.