- Written by Celia Borghesani
- Published: 22 January 2014
Time passes quickly in a six-week robot build cycle. Duxbury Robotics has two weeks down and four to go and there is so much to do.
This week we began to work out how to incorporate game-playing strategies into our design. For the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), participating robots must be able to pass, catch and shoot a ball. Fortunately, acquiring a joystick to operate our chassis, the foundation of the robot, makes driving much easier to control.
Although we could more than occupy our time on our own project, we took advantage of a robot-building workshop at Northeastern University, home of FIRST team No. 125, the Northeastern Neutrons, on Saturday, Jan. 8. Eleven representatives from Duxbury Robotics rose bright and early to journey to Northeastern for the “Robot Quick Build” session. “Robot Quick Build” is organized by FIRST Robotics, the foundation that sponsors robotics competitions worldwide. Duxbury (FIRST team No. 4908) team members spent seven hours in Boston working with seasoned robotics competitors and learning about engineering and robotics principles.
“When we got there, we were taken to Northeastern’s personal workshop, which was filled with a lot of really advanced machines I’d never seen before,” senior Kevin DiBona said. “From there we cut out the aluminum structure for our drivetrain, and then began construction.”
Senior Evan Nudd clarified, “A drivetrain is a basic robot that moves around with command, but all it does is drive. It is essentially a remote-controlled car.”
Desperately needed tools:
• a complete set of screwdrivers
• wire cutters
• wire strippers
• sockets (9/16” or smaller)
• Any other spare tools
Duxbury was the first team among the workshop attendees to successfully finish their drivetrain.
As far as the experience goes, sophomore Matt Antonino added, “I got to speak with some professional engineers that helped me focus on the logistics [of building]. It was really fun and made me seriously consider engineering as a potential career.”
Work continues every day of every week. As we build our robot, we are in need of donations including tools. If you have spare tools and would like to donate them to the team, we are a not-for-profit organization. We are in need of a complete set of screwdrivers, wire cutters, wire strippers, wrenches, and sockets (9/16” or smaller). Any donations can be brought to the high school. Follow our progress through Twitter, @DuxburyRobotics and @DuxburyScience, and Instragram (@DuxburyRobotics) and our Facebook page.