Robotics Team Updates June 18

June 18th, 2015

Coach’s Blog:

Team BBQ: Last Saturday we had the team BBQ at the Nell White’s parents house. Many thanks for hosting us for our end of year celebrations!

Beantown Blitz:The big news this week is that we are preparing for our first post-season FIRST Robotics event, the Beantown Blitz. The event is this Saturday. We will be loading up Dr. Joe’s van with the robot on Friday afternoon around 3PM. This event is a good opportunity for younger students to get a chance to drive the robot.   We had some students stop by Tuesday evening for a driver practice.   We are also looking for one student to be a “judge” at the event and gain an inside window to the FRC judging process.

After the Beantown Blitz, the robot will be coming back to our lab, NOT EPIC. We must vacate EPIC in the coming days, so we will need some help to move all of our equipment out of there.

CAD training: On Monday evening we had our first training session using Solidworks. We are considering options for CAD for the coming season. The second session will be this coming Monday. We had 7 students there including Divya, Nimish, Nikhil, Neil, Jordan, Evelyn, & Janina in addition to some alums/mentors.

MassPep: Last Friday I met with Nell and Ron to plan a curriculum for the Robotics Class we teach over the summer with the Mass Pre-engineering program at Roxbury Community College. Many thanks to Jordan and Evelyn (who taught Saturday workshops there during the year) who helped us plan the curriculum. Many thanks to all four for helping to clean the lab and prep the lab for summer work with LEGO and VEX.

U-Design: On Friday afternoon, we had a training for the U-Design summer camp, which is a camp for middle school students run by the BU College of Engineering. Every summer, several BUA students volunteer to help as teaching assistants in this camp. I teach the Flight School class, and a former Team 246 coach teaches the Electronics and Gizmos class.   A fellow robotics coach from the Gann school teaches the robotics class. This summer I am being helped out by Divya B, Max E, Warren P, Neil M, Simon B., and Alex B.

Other Camps: On Friday I met with the young women running the Boston University Artemis Camp, which is a computer science camp for girls. They use our LEGO Mindstorms RCX kits to teach some robotics during the camp.   We will also be doing a summer morning workshop for the Tech Savvy camp on Monday, July 20th. We will need a few girls to help run this workshop.

VEX: We will have the lab open on Wednesday evenings (from 5 to 9 PM) and Sunday afternoons (from 2 to 6 PM) to work on VEX robots. This is an effort to teach our younger students a lot about the robotics design process. We will be designing robotics based on the new VEX Robotics Competition game, Nothing But Net. Related to VEX, many thanks to Evelyn, Jordan and Michael who spent long hours to help me prepare a presentation for a local company who wanted to learn more about VEX and develop some curricular materials for it.

Robotics in The News:

The Horizon spacecraft is will arrive at Pluto on July 14th. (AP)

Amazon is making a big push for federal regulations for Drone deliveries. (Reuters)

They build a robotic Cheetah that jumps over objects at MIT. (Botmag)

SnapCAD was just released by VEX Robotics. SnapCAD is a CAD program for VEXIQ which is based on the open standard LDRAW (and Mike’s LEGO CAD) which I used to write my LEGO Robotics books.