Progress in Build Season

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This year, the Bit Buckets are preparing early for the season ahead. The drive train is on the move and prototypes of an intake and scaler are in process. Bear with us.

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Vex team profiled in Bear Essential News

Bear Essential

Jordan, Sam and Howard enjoy their victory.

Jordan, Sam and Howard enjoy their victory.

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New Pit Attempt

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We are working on a new pit design.

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Join us at Tucson Tussle

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The Bit Buckets are excited to attend the Tucson Tussle this year. Tucson Tussle is an off-season event for robotics where teams from around Arizona compete with their previous year’s robot for the win. It is an easy-going event for old and new teams to get together, introduce new members, and practice for the upcoming year. Join us for a day of robot fun!

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Both VEX Robots Prototyped

The team with robots

The team with robots. Photo by Urs Utzinger.

The Bit Buckets VEX team will field two robots in competition this year. ShooterBot collected pyramids of balls and fires them using two spinning wheels. In this year’s game you can score 25 points if you lift your alliance partner robot 4 inches off the ground and 50 points to lift it 12 inches off the ground. Our LiftBot deploys a ramp for the partner robot to drive up, and we are building a scissor lift to elevate the alliance partner another 8 inches. LiftBot also has a catapult to score balls!

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Pumpkin Toss!

What’s more fun than launching pumpkins from a trebuchet that resembles a middle age siege machine? Almost nothing!

That’s why were excited that today was our first pumpkin toss meeting! We set up our trebuchet and did some test launches, and we still have some things to fix to make the launch angle better, but it tosses the “pumpkin” pretty far.

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The Design Subteam

What is small, wooden, hilarious, and walks? The correct answer is the new walking drive train that the design sub team decided to create as an off season project to help teach new member important skills such as CAD and to keep existing members skills sharp. They say don’t reinvent the wheel but we at the Bit Buckets decided to show the wheel who’s boss. Wheels may go faster, be more efficient, and be easier to work with but that is all irreverent once you factor in the sexiness that is a walking robot.  We are using the Theo Jansen linkage that allows for a robot to smoothly walk and move.  You can read more about the design here.

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The Programming Subteam

Today, the programming team is working on programming servos and motors with arduinos. Kasia describes the process as “frustrating but rewarding,” while Sumeet describes it as “seemingly insignificant but fun.”

James is teaching them about how to program the arduinos, saying that they’re making progress but are a little lost. They’re using all their resources to teach themselves how to program, trying to do it without the assistance of one of our talented mentors. Their drive to self-learn is admirable!

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Starting up again!

Aaaand we’re back! We’re excited to start regular meetings again and to rev up for build season! Our team’s looking pretty full (not shown here), so we’re beginning to teach our new members some new skills, starting with programming arduinos. We’ve broken off into subteams to allow people to specialize in certain areas like programming and fabrication. Here’s to a good year!IMG_20150816_135746065

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Another Year Come and Gone

The team just got back from Saint Louis where we all had a blast competing against the best teams in the world. Championships was a great experience where the team had a awesome time competing and going on excursions to all of the wonderful places in Saint Louis!

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Some of the team in front of the Saint Louis arch

The fun started when the team got on board our flight to Saint Louis. On the plane we found out we were flying with The Holy Cows and some of The Cheesy Poofs; some of the best teams in the world! Once we got to Saint Louis we had the rest of the day to hang out and enjoy the city. While walking around we were blown away with the way FIRST changed the city. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into another team, or having random people wish you luck in the competition.

The next day we had some extra time before the pits were open so we went to City Museum. There, we had a blast and would highly recommend it to anyone that ever finds them self in the area. It is like a Chuck-E-Cheese built with steel scaffolding in an old sock factory. Fun, strange, and slightly dangerous their was no way that we couldn’t love the place!

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City Museum

The next day the competition began and we were enthralled with the teams the made it to championships! We got all fired up by watching the Killer Bees, Robo Wanglers, The Cheesy Poofs, and lots of other great teams compete! What amazed us even more was how well our fellow Arizona teams did this year.

Arizona, despite not being a robotics heavy state, was well-represented:  We achieved 12th in our division, the NERDS placed 13th, the Bionic Bulldogs ranked 32nd, Falcon was picked by the third seed alliance and the All Knights won their division and made it all the way to Einstein field.

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All of the Arizona teams

After all the competition was over and the winner was declared we got to listen to inspirational speeches by people and organizations like: The Air Force, Monsanto, Dr.Woody flowers, Grant Imahara (a Mythbuster), and FIRST founder Dean Kamen.

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Dean Kamen

 

At the end of the championships we all flew home and instead of calling it a year our team got to continue working on the robot for yet another competition, AIA State Championships. As always, the Bit Buckets can never seen to find rest!

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