Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Programming challenges

We mentioned earlier that we are working hard on building our robot. At the same time, we're working on programming. It won't do any good having a great design if we can't make it move!  But there has been a's not working. 

At first we thought we were programming incorrectly, so we watched some more tutorials. We talked to our mentor from Team Twisted Axle and tried his suggestions. Could be the batteries, right? So we charged and recharged them. Then we thought it was the motor controllers, so we did some testing on those. They seem to be working ok.  So the mystery remains and the troubleshooting continues.  Hopefully, we'll have good news to report soon. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mentoring v2.0

We had the opportunity to Skype with Andy Ross for a mentoring session. Mr. Ross is the CEO of Ross Valve which is a family owned business in Troy, NY that was started in 1879. They make valves of all sizes (including really huge) for the water and waste water industries. Mr. Ross is the 4th generation of his family to work in the company. How cool is that? You can learn more about it here. 

Mr. Ross told us about his industry and his company. We talked about engineering as a career and he had good advice for us. Then we told him about FTC and our robot. He asked lots of good questions and we asked for his observations about our robot. He cautioned us to pay attention to the conveyor belt and make sure we can control the tension. Great advice! 

Thanks, Mr. Ross!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


This week, a mentor visited our team meeting: Jamie Hill. She is currently a teacher at Vantage Point Education in Duluth, Georgia, where she teaches physics and pre-engineering. She has a diverse background in engineering, which you can read about here. She described many of the jobs she's had, and it was really interesting to hear about when she managed a chemical plant.

She had lots of good advice for us. She suggested that we continue looking for "hands-on" opportunities to practice engineering through high school, like robotics. And she gave us advice about how to pursue an engineering degree. She was very encouraging.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Building, Building, and More Building


Morgen creating a little team spirit. I mean, if we have to wear the glasses, they might as well look good, right?

Thanks Team Twisted Axle...Again

Now that we've been working on the robot a while, we set up a skype call with Tyler from Team Twisted Axle so we could ask some questions. He gave us some great insight on programming, building, choosing the drive team, and other stuff. It was very helpful.