MODESTO, May 27, 2022 - Between April 20 and April 23, members of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 4135, The Iron Patriots, were conspicuously absent from their headquarters of Beyer High School’s robotics shop. Instead, they were over 1,860 miles away in Houston, Texas, where they represented Modesto in the 2022 FIRST World Championships.
Approximately 30,000 students, mentors/coaches, volunteers, sponsors, media members, and community supporters were present, representing a total of 800 student-led robotics teams from 49 countries. Students competed across each of FIRST’s three main divisions: FIRST Lego League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and FIRST Robotics Competition. 4135 participated in the latter division alongside 449 other FRC teams.
The Iron Patriots found a home in the Galileo division - one of six playing fields that teams could be assigned to upon qualifying for the competition. The atmosphere was full of energy and excitement. Chants of “Gali-leo!…Gali-leo!” rippled through stands, intertwining with the rustle of pom-poms and the deafening roar of electronic music (Darude’s “Sandstorm” was, as always, a fan favorite). According to our sophomore programming sub-team captain, Matthew Davis, “the anticipation and excitement of the entire crowd… it just made everything seem unreal.” On the field, students had the opportunity to observe innovative and creative engineering up close. They watched the jumping robot’s impressive climb, noted the advantages and disadvantages of various drivetrains, and competed against members of the winning alliance.
The Iron Patriots did not solely compete at the championship event, but used the opportunity to engineer friendships with teams from around the world. Upon attending a conference on increasing student leadership in FIRST, team co-captain Gracie Maldonado-Roberts met the Vice President of Team 3749 Optix, Kevin He, marking the start of a positive relationship between our two teams. Meanwhile, wiring sub-team captain Blake Bicek participated in a shirt and email exchange with the wiring captain of Israeli Team 1690 Orbit. Some members of 4135 were even invited to dinner with Team 1671 Birdbrains.
Perhaps the most notable development, however, was the sense of comradery built within 4135 itself. Between four long plane rides, shared hotels and cars, joint meals and coffee breaks, and hours spent at the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Iron Patriots spent an abundance of time together over the course of the competition. According to Taylor DeBerry, a first-year FIRST participant and a member of the programming sub-team, “By going to Worlds and spending time with everyone, I feel that I have another family.” She was joined in this sentiment by mechanical sub-team captain Matthew Stank, who noted that “I learned more about these people in 4 days then I have in the past three years”. It is safe to say that FIRST is more than robots; FIRST is Friendship; FIRST is Fun; FIRST is Family.
Design team is almost finished with prototyping as of Thursday, only a few mechanisms remain to be completed and tested on Saturday. Field Mock has been put on hold while the remainder of the students work on sorting the shop and creating some buttons. Preparation for our annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser has just begun, we're starting to send out students to reach out and sell placement ads and we will start selling tickets on Saturday. Along with selling tickets, we've been working on advertising for the website and social media. Along with all of this, brainstorming for the Robot Reveal and Chairman's has begun.
Welcome the new FRC 2020 Challenge! As we gear up for the season in this first week we start designing our robot, building our mock field, and assigning members to their sub-teams. Design team has been in full force these two days planning and prototyping potential designs. With the new incoming freshman as well as our new leadership team and schedule, the 2020 season looks promising. We're excited to face the new Infinite Recharge challenge!
After a very productive season, team 4135 finished as finalists in the Central Valley regional and won the safety award and the pit safety award at two competitions. Although we didn't qualify for world championships in Huston this year, we are on the right track to expand our program to be more successful in the years to come.
With two days until bag and tag, our team has been hustling for this last week to get things done. Mechanical has been making small adjustments such as supporting the arm, and helping wiring. Wiring has been busy mounting the wiring board as well as adding LEDs. Both sub teams have also been working on the pneumatics for our climb. Business has been working on creating our soon to be out robot reveal video, creating the game avatar, as well as making plans to reach out for new sponsorship opportunities. Programming and CAD have also been finishing up their work, programming, after having finished their code earlier on in the year, have either gone to work on CAD or have started practicing to be on drive team. The CAD team has been finishing up their model of the robot. Drive team and scouting team now have their opportunities to get ready for the competition.
In the past weeks, bumpers have been started and almost finished and painted. We've also finished the mechanical aspects of the robot, such as powder-coating and assembling the arm, which we mounted and supported on the robot. CAD has been working on finishing the arm. The wiring team has been working on our wiring board and wiring the pneumatics. Programming has been running more tests and waiting to practice the code and driving the robot.
Today the mechanical team finished wiring the arm, which will later be used to pick up hatch panels in the FRC game, they also worked with other sub teams to finish the drive train. Wiring and programming worked together to get the drive train working. Business worked more on award submissions and mounted a to-do list in the work space.
Today we made more progress on the mechanical robot arm, both planning out how it will work and creating it. Wiring and CAD also practiced while waiting for the robot build to progress. Business worked on making team contacts, and website resources.
Today we got parts ordered for all teams. While waiting for parts to arrive, mechanical has started planning out the claw and climb for the robot. Business continued working on materials for the spaghetti dinner as well as planning out an outline for our Chairman's award video submission.
Today, programming finished downloading software and ran the test bot, mechanical and electrical also continued working on their bill of parts and inventory. Business worked on Spaghetti dinner promotional materials and award application.