It’s In The Bag!

Today started off with some bad news.  Last night, after most of us went home, our robot became “brain-dead”.  There were problems….maybe with software…maybe with the cRIO….maybe with the Jaguars.  In any case, these problems had not been solved by morning.  We were also struggling to get connectors.  We ordered them from Digi-Key on Family Day, and we weren’t sure if they’d arrive before bag and tag time.

One K-Bot got a new hat today….so they were happy!

new hatBy 3:00PM all luck had changed.  Our connectors had arrived!  (Digi-Key has amazingly fast delivery).

thank you digi-key

Thank You Digi-Key

We had also developed several theories to explain the brain-dead behaviour of our robot.fixing things

Plan in place, at 4:00PM we set up at Transformix, excited to solve our problems.  We changed programming….we tested connectors…

connector testing

…and in no time at all, the robot came back to life!  It was driving, and scoring tubes better than ever before!

Transformix TourIt was nice to have an operational robot, specially when Transformix staff had come to visit us. Richard gave it a good test drive.

Richard Driving

Everyone was impressed at what we can accomplish in 6 weeks.

autonomous scoring

We’re impressed with what else we can do these days…we’ve been able to score two tubes in autonomous mode!   Our big robot may be done, but our minibot is still being tested.  Here’s a picture of some of the things that are NOT on the minibot….

not on the minibot

We’ve built an awesome robot, and made some great friendships over the past 6 weeks.  Spending so much time together creates some pretty strong bonds, and memories, and inside jokes.

purple friendship

We know that there are always shoulders to lean on, and others who will help you up when you fall down.

mentor friends

silly mentors!

After a long evening of robot testing and drive practice, minibot experimentation, and programming discussions we noticed that the time was creeping towards midnight.  We began the fun task of deflating all of the tubes to transport them back to the school.  It seems like not so long ago that we were blowing them all up!


Some lasted really well…

patch attempt…others had to be patched a bit.  Finally at 11:30 we got out our box of treasures, unopened since kick-off.  The box that we were now allowed to open and use.

bag and tag

Within the last 30 minutes we weighed our robot…we’re within 1-2 lbs of our goal.

baggingWe ziptied moving parts so they wouldn’t get damaged, we decided what parts to include in our withholding allowance, and then we bagged and tagged our robot.


Timestamp 11:57 PM

Pretty good work.  Bagged and Tagged with 3 minutes to spare!



We’re not out of the woods yet though…


yelling at a Tetrix

…we’re still in desperate need of Tetrix motors to power our minibot.  busy planning

We’re also just entering the planning stages for a LEGO robotics challenge day for our local elementary schools.  As a team, we keep pretty busy.  We are excited to give our young friends the opportunity to practice their LEGO skills.  We look forward to seeing many of these teams at our FLL tournament in the fall of 2011.

Many thanks go to the staff and management at Transformix Engineering.  We appreciate the use of their facilities, and their continued support of our team.

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