We have our team!

Today was the final day to join our team and we would like to welcome all of our new members! After a quick fundraising meeting and cleaning up Xerocraft. we started a woodworking training with David Lesser so we could learn how to be safe in the wood shop. We learned how to properly use the table and band saw.
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Then after a quick pizza break we got to work finishing our handmade wrenches, learning CAD, and also learning programming from James.

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2014-2015 Recruiting — deadline extended for Vex and Pumpkin toss teams!

Deadline extended until September 30th for Vex and Pumpkin Toss teams
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Bit Buckets are now recruiting students and mentors for our 2014-2015 season. We are accepting applications until September 14.

If you are interested in joining, please attend our Open House on September 7, 2014 from 1:00-5:00 at Xerocraft Hackerspace (101 W 6th Street).

Also see:

Students:

http://www.bitbuckets.org/get-involved/become-a-member/

Mentors:

http://www.bitbuckets.org/get-involved/become-a-mentor/

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A day at the museum

We were kindly invited to be a featured collaborator at S.T.E.A.M. Sundays at the Tucson Children’s Museum. We love opportunities to show kids cool technologies.

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Alia teaches about electronic circuits to a museum attendee.

We let the children drive around our old vex robot.

We show the children how to operate our Vex robot.

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James and Henry show how the Vex robotics parts connect together to make a unique design.

This is the final Bit Buckets event for Grant and Van, who are about to go to college (UC Berkeley and MIT - WOW!)

This is the final Bit Buckets event for Grant and Van, who are about to go to college (UC Berkeley and MIT – WOW!).

During a break in the activities some of the students get caught up with each other's Summer adventures.

During a break in the activities some of the students get caught up with each other’s Summer adventures.

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Alex explains how one of the exhibits works to a young girl.

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Nice compliment from SolidWorks!


Marie Planchard is Director of the Education Community for SolidWorks, the computer-aided design (CAD) software our team uses for making robot parts. We’ve been fortunate to receive complimentary software licenses for the team each year (thank you Dassault Systèmes!). Cal, a founding member of the Bit Buckets, spent his summer designing a robot drivetrain after being inspired by this Chief Delphi post.

Details:
-Plywood 8WD with middle wheels dropped 3/16″
-2″ wide 4″ Vex Pro traction wheels with blue nitrile tread
-Center wheels are gear driven; outside wheels are connected with belts
-Designed for low profile (<4″) and maximum space for electronics mounting
-6 CIMs, 6.55:1 or 6.00:1 reduction depending on CIM pinions for adjusted top speeds of 11.5 or 12.5 fps
-SolidWorks estimates weight at 34.8 lbs.

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Maketopolis Video

Our team is featured prominently in this UA Engineering video describing Tucson’s first maker festival, Maketopolis.

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Our cRIO gets to go play in China!

We read in a Chief Delphi forum post that the 21 rookie teams in China are holding a scrimmage in August and seek donations of robotics parts. We got to compete with four of the rookie Chinese teams at the Hub City Regional and we predict an impressive future for them. (Adorably, their robots started out VERY primitive, which is true of many rookie teams, and more so since they didn’t have experienced teams to draw on until they reached the regional. So much of the building was occurring onsite with help from other teams that they put a “Made in Texas” sticker on the robots!)

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Mentor Gary Forbes has the cRIO and will tackle the challenges of international shipping on behalf of the team.

We decided to give them one of our two cRIOs, which is the central processing unit of an FRC robot (basically its brain). YAY China Urban Youth Robotics League (CUYRL)! Go teams go!

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Gallery

Kitt Peak robot delivery day — a tremendous success!

This gallery contains 55 photos.

As part of our six-week City High Robotics Workshop we adapted our Vex robot to do a task for professional astronomers and engineers at the newly-installed 12-meter Radio Telescope on Kitt Peak. This antenna was recently acquired and moved from … Continue reading

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Happy National Robotics Week!

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Students! Mentors! Engineers! Volunteers! Come play with our robots to celebrate National Robotics Week.

At the Pennington Street Block Party, the Bit Buckets Robotics Team will demonstrate their 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition robot and will show attendees how to drive the 2014 Vex Robotics Competition robot. We will also offer information on robotics programs, electronics, hydraulics and other wonders of science.

Where: The Pennington Street Block Party
When: Friday, April 11th, 2014
4:00pm – 7:00pm
Cost: None!
Age: Fun for all ages

Click the image below for more information

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Arizona Regional 2014

The Bit Buckets came more prepared for this regional than the last. More or less, we had a working robot right from the start. Day 1, Thursday, was for making all the revisions we had planned as well as troubleshooting and of course, checking out the competition. Most of the quirks were worked out and we got ready for competition. Day 2, qualifications, went well. We were ranked #2 for a good apart of the day and got bumped down to #7 by the next day after losing our last 2 matches. By the time alliance picking came around, we were prepared with our thorough scouting data to go forward with two other robot. We got picked and by the 3rd seated alliance and accepted.
Eliminations proved more difficult than expected. After going to a 3rd match against the team with the twin of one of our mentors, we realized we made a fatal mistake. Within the last minute of the match, supposedly, the ball in play got wedged so far into the robot and, with the combination of that and hitting the wall, hit the power switch to the robot and shut it down. Our robot was down for the count for the rest of the match. Lesson learned: put something over your power switch.
Although we got eliminated, the competition was fun and prepared us even more for next year. We also won the Excellence in Engineering award, which is an honor for us. We cannot wait to make next year’s robot even better!

The field

The field

Excellence in Engineering award, Arizona Regional 2014

Excellence in Engineering award, Arizona Regional 2014

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Robot Revisions

Today we are getting ready for Arizona regional which is in a little less than a week away. To do this we decided to change our drive train and wheels because at Lubbock we found that we lacked the ability to push or out run other robots. We overlooked because in years past there were obstacles that made it harder to play defense. For instance last year in ultimate accent there were the pyramids in the middle of the the field and if you touched it you got a penalty making it harder to play defense without getting a penalty. This year though their is no such obstacle making it that defense is very easy to play. Also because this year’s game has a lot to do with passing to other robots while past years game was more self centered. Because of this defense is much more effective. Also because this year you are only allowed to have 1 ball on the field at a time if you can block a person with a ball then instead of just stopping the robot from scoring you are stopping the entire alliance.

Because of this you either need a fast drive-train to outrun the defensive robots or you need a strong drive train so that you can push the other defensive robots. So we decided to make it so that we have a really fast drive train. so to do that we changed out our wheels to have high traction wheels that we used last year and we also put on a new gear box that is geared for high speed but that also means that we can’t  have any long pushing matches because if we do we will trip our main circuit breaker.

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