February 1st, 2014


It's been a productive week on STEMpunk 4531 despite having to cancel meetings on Monday and Tuesday due to the cold weather. We're just over two weeks away from Bag & Tag (or Build Stop) and we're finally manufacturing our robot!


The business team has continued making buttons to give away at competition and writing our entry for the Chairman's Award. We've been taking videos and pictures for our Award video. Our Communications Captain has been doing outreach to other teams this week by attempting to contact Rookie teams to see if they need help/advice as well as responding to scouting and strategy inquiries from other teams. 


Our programming team has been hard at work; our rookie members are learning to code basic maneuvers on their kit-of-parts bot while our Programming Captain continues to work on visual processing to determine if a target is "hot" (lit up). Our team will earn extra points for our alliance during the autonomous mode of the competition if we score our ball into the hot goal. Our string potentiometer is working with an accuracy of +/- 0.03 inches and is being used to determine the pullback distance of our shooter.



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The goal outlined in yellow represents a lit up, or 'hot,' goal during autonomous mode.




Our CAD Captain finished designing our custom gearboxes that will to provide torque conversions between our CIM motors and mecanum wheels. The gear spacing in the CAD design had to be incredibly accurate to transfer to real life. At first, two of the gears in the real design overlapped and the CAD team had to troubleshoot the problem; they found that the real-life assembly of the gearbox had mistakenly used a 14-toothed gear rather than a 12-toothed gear. The CAD team also completed the design and assembly of the upper portion of our robot frame and bracing. 

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Front and back CAD views of our custom gear-boxes.




The mechanical team has constructed our frame out of HT beams braced with flat aluminum stock. We're manufacturing our robot to be as robust as possible as last year we took hard enough hits that the welds holding our frame together broke. As for our shooter this year, we are in our final iteration of Nemo's Flipper. The arms were water-jetted out of aluminum and have cut-outs of our gear-shaped logo. Some of our unofficial "math team" are working on designing a winch system for pulling back the shooter. 


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Three iterations of Nemo's Flipper with our prototype frame and real frame.



In the next week, STEMpunk 4531 will finish the frame assembly and begin mounting the electronics to the frame. Our custom gearboxes will be completed and mounted along with the shooter assembly. We will finish prototyping the winch system and hopefully start mounting it. The CAD team will print additional drawings and we will start laying out the bumpers for our robot. An additional project will be to get our pneumatic system wired and mounted. 


Thank you for supporting the Lakeshore FIRST Robotics Program!

Kelsey Murzyn
Communications Captain
FIRST Robotics STEMpunk 4531