FIRST Robotics Team 174
The Arctic Warriors, Liverpool High School, 2008 - 2012
I was involved in four FIRST Robotics competitions:
Rebound Rumble (2012 ) , Logomotion (2011), Breakaway (2010) Lunacy (2009)
Several competition action shots from 2012 and 2011.
Video of our robot in action at a Lockheed Martin Demonstration.
Robotics presentation at Lockheed Martin.
I participated in FIRST Robotics throughout my four years of high school on Liverpool High School's Arctic Warriors Robotics Team 174. Each year we were given different, challenging design problems during the season kick-off in January and we had 6 weeks to build fully-functional robots to compete in the regional competitions.
Outside of the build season, I was involved in off-season robotics (OSR), a year-around robotics club hosted by Mr. Nagy, one the team's mentors. OSR was used to work on robotics research and projects that could be useful for future competitions.
During the season, I was mainly involved in the mechanical design of the robots. Here are some of the technical skills I picked up:
For Rebound Rumble in 2012, I was the student subsystem lead of the shooter design. I built a prototype of a shooter, designed the shooter in Autodesk Inventor, updated the design, performed stress analysis, and had the shooter parts fabricated on a CNC mill at Welch Allyn (see shooter pictures below).
Off-season, I expanded my horizons and worked on several electrical projects. I got the chance to contribute to an optical mouse traction control project, the design of an electronics panel, and the implementation of a simple, manually-tuned PID controller for a heavy robotic arm.
I robotics team co-captain my junior year and the team captain my senior year (2011-2012). The team consisted of around 50 members. As part of my responsibilities, I gave presentations to our corporate sponsors (Lockheed Martin, Welch Allyn, SRC).
I was the drive team coach my junior and senior years (2011-2012). For this role, I was in charge of directing the drivers, assessing the game's progression, facilitating communication with alliance members, and creating an evolving strategy with our alliance. My senior year, I also developed my team's scouting strategy, ensuring that the drive team received copious intelligence information, enabling us to know the strengths and weaknesses of our allies and opponents before each round. During the RIT Regional in 2012, I was the alliance captain, leading two other teams in addition to my team during the final elimination rounds.
Click here to see videos of two of our best matches from the D.C. regionals.
My team finished 3rd at both the Finger Lakes and Washington D.C. Regionals and won the Engineering Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi at the Finger Lakes Regional.
View more videos and matches here.
Click here for more pictures of team 174.
Basketball Shooter Design - Rebound Rumble FRC Competition, 2012
One of the earlier shooter designs. This shooter was made out of wood, polycarbonate, and two wheels directly driven by a CIM Motor. The shooter worked, but the speed of the wheels would decrease each time a ball was shot, preventing the rapid firing of several basketballs. Additional polycarb layers were added to the back of the shooter until we found just the right level of compression.
The final wood prototype of the shooter - fully functional, tested, and ready for the final design. Basketballs were loaded into the shooter using a pneumatic cylinder attached to ball-sized holder.
Flywheel was lightened to keep most of the mass on the outside of the wheel for inertia while maintaining structural integrity. The lightening pattern was inspired by cool patterns on car rims. A CIM motor was mounted onto the shooter frame, driving the shooter wheels with a gear and pulley.
Almost the final shooter design for the Finger Lakes Regional. Due to weight limitations, we ended up removing the lazy susan turret that the shooter was originally mounted on. The turret was added for extra shooting precision, however was not needed due to the sophistication and accuracy of our drive system.
A flywheel was added to the shooter to add inertia, enabling the shooter to keep its angular speed relatively unchanged while shooting a ball. This flywheel was so massive, it took quite some time to spin up and looked and sounded incredibly dangerous. The shooter could not spin up to full speed during the 15 second autonomous mode in the beginning, so the flywheel had to be lightened.
My drawing of the shooter side plate, taken from Autodesk Inventor 3D model of shooter. This is the final drawing of the side plate of the shooter right before it was handed over to Welch Allyn for fabrication on a CNC mill. Machining could not be done at our school because the size of the plate exceeded our size limitations.
A camera was mounted at the front to provide visual feedback to the drivers station, enabling visual alignment with the center for of the basketball hoop while shooting.
Sexiest robot at the competition? I think so.
Fall 2007 - Summer 2008
This is a video of a robot I built and coded when I was in Middle School. The robot autonomously locates and picks up tennis balls, collects them in a basket, and drives to a designed ending point. All of this was accomplished using color tracking of the balls and the end target.
I fell in love with engineering through Botball - the people, the environment, and the thrill of making something you built come to life. Botball had everything I was looking for and provided the challenge I was so sorely missing in school.
Starting with absolutely no knowledge of engineering, I built and programmed several robots, led a team to win a conceptual lunar rover competition, wrote and presented a technical paper, and held an autonomous robotics display at an intentional robotics conference. All within one year. Botball changed my life and set me on the path to who I am today.
I was part of Whittier Middle School's all girls robotics team in Norman, OK, mentored by Charlie Bevers (an amazing mentor and friend who inspired me and gave me the freedom and motivation to soar). During our Botball season, I was the co-lead of my team and led the mechanical design of a defense robot that stopped other robots from coming onto our side of the board by lodging itself under the connecting bridge.
My team competed in an international Botball competition at the 2008 Global Conference on Educational Robotics and won the Overall Judge's Choice Award. In addition, we won 3rd place in a website design competition in which we designed a conceptual lunar rover to compete in the Google Lunar X-Prize.