New Skills November

During the last few pre-build season months, the Bit Buckets team members have been hard at work on building up their repertoire of technical, design and programming skills.

In the image below, Kevin, one of the team’s amazing mentors, majestically explains one of his many programming practice projects to a room of captivated students.

Programming Lesson

In addition to programming, the team is also planning to use Xerocraft’s laser cutter a great deal during this robotics season for producing parts quickly and cheaply. In the image below, the team gets a quick introduction to laser cutter technique and safety.

 

 

Lesson on the Laser Cutter

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Double trouble

Today was a great day for not only vex but also FRC as both teams went to a competition and did extremely well.

Our FRC team went to Sierra Vista, home of the NERDS (a southern Arizona FRC team that several of our mentors used to be on) and competed in the Robo Rumble, a fun series of team building events with several other teams. We went bowling, had a three legged race with our robots, and completed an obstacle course blindfolded. At the end of the day we walked away having gotten first place in the majority of the events. It was a fun experience and great opportunity to meet and have fun with other robotics teams.

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While the FRC team was away the VEX team went to a competition at Casa Grande high school. While there we won every one of our qualification matches but sadly lost in the semi finals to the same people who ended up winning. But to our surprise we still walked away with two awards. One of which was for being the most frustrating team to play against (we managed to win by a landslide each match, even though our robot was always a pile of broken parts by the end of each) and the other was for best offense. Overall everyone on the team had a fun and educating day.

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EKOCYCLE™ Cube® Printer!

Happiness! We’ve been chosen to receive this EKOCYCLE™ Cube® Printer, thanks to 3D Systems and The Coca-Cola Company. Here is a fun will.i.am video about it:

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Presentation, discussion, and lathe work | Sun 11/2/14

Things are shaping up quite well here! Today we had a presentation from Kinney Anderson an alumni from a fellow FRC team up in Flagstaff, 2486 The CocoNuts. She talked to us about The Chairmans Award and how to be a better team. We also had a discussion about Conceptual design for this years drive base which we will make out of laser cut plywood to take advantage of Xerocraft’s facilities. Lastly we finished the Lathe training.

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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
IWANTYOU

 

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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We are a nonprofit!

After over one year of waiting we got our 501(c)(3) and are a nonprofit! Now I know a lot of you might be thinking, “Why didn’t you get certified before? It would have made it easier to apply for grants and stuff.” And you would be right but along the road we had a lot of things go wrong that made it so that it took forever. Some of the things that went wrong was sequestration and then the government shut down which postponed it and then to make matters worse there was the congressional investigation of the IRS which made it take even longer! So even though it took over a year we are now a nonprofit and, as they say, better late than never!

 

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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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