Author Archives: The Janksters

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) 2017

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Originally posted on the Notre Dame School website.

By Lara Fernandes ‘18

Team 1967, the Janksters, were at San Jose State University last weekend for the Silicon Valley Regional FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS competition. They competed with their robot, Pepper Ann, which was constructed with a quick and agile two-speed chassis, a mechanism to store and deposit fuel into the low goal, a mechanism to store and deposit gears and a climbing mechanism. The Janksters had four main goals they wanted their team to meet: 1) to have a quick and agile robot, 2) to score four to six gears per match, 3) to passively collect and score fuel, and 4) to climb the rope at the end of every match.

During the competition, quick and efficient solutions were made both on and off the field. Pepper Ann was out on the field for two practice matches and did not tip over during any of the qualification matches. The robot successfully delivered gears and scaled during most matches. At the end of qualification matches, the Janksters were ranked 34th out of 64 competing teams, with teams from as far away as China and Turkey.

Silicon Valley Regional was also a time for the Janksters to exhibit their spirit and enthusiasm to help others. The team could be heard cheering from the stands, encouraging their drive teams during matches and waving their pom-poms with gusto. The Janksters also handed out gifts to other teams which included a guide to downtown San Jose, a map of safety supplies and instructions for the Hidden Figures of STEAMpunk Scavenger hunt. Over the build season, the Janksters highlighted many women who significantly contributed to STEM fields during the Victorian Era. To inspire and educate others, the Janksters created a fun scavenger hunt to engage other teams and teach them about these important women who made their mark on STEM and opened a path for others to follow.

The Janksters also hosted their annual Team Social on the Friday of competition. They invited two all-girls teams: Team 6418 – The Missfits, and Team 6665 – Nuns and Bolts, to join them at Notre Dame and learn about each other’s teams while having fun.

Thank you to all of the students, parents and faculty who came to visit the Janksters at Silicon Valley Regional! We look forward to the challenge presented next season and we invite everyone to come support the Janksters at their events.

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Ventura Regional 2017

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Originally posted on the Notre Dame School website.

By Miyo Imai ‘18 and Lara Fernandes ‘18

Team 1967, the Janksters, recently competed at the Ventura Regional FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS Competition with their 2017 season robot, Pepper Ann. The objective of the steampunk-themed game is for alliances of three teams to shoot balls, called fuel, into low and high goals, to put gears on spring pegs and to climb a rope, all in under two minutes and thirty seconds. For more information about this year’s challenge, please visit here.

Over the six weeks of build season, Pepper Ann was constructed with a quick and agile two-speed chassis, a mechanism to store and deposit fuel into the low goal, a mechanism to store and deposit gears and a climbing mechanism. All aspects of the robot aligned with the team’s strategic goals for the season: 1) to have a quick and agile robot, 2) to score four to six gears per match, 3) to passively collect and score fuel, and 4) to climb the rope at the end of every match.

The Janksters had a rocky start at the Ventura Regional, tipping Pepper Ann over in their first match. However, quick and efficient solutions were made as the competition progressed. By their third match, the Janksters were able to execute their predetermined strategy by scoring gears for their alliances, consistently climbing at the end of every match and even managing to play effective defense on opposing robots. By the end of the qualification matches, the Janksters were ranked 22nd out of 42 competing teams. The team was selected onto the fourth of eight alliances advancing into elimination matches with Team 6560 the Charging Champions and Team 3759 the SMARTBOTS. After winning two quarterfinal matches, the alliance advanced to the semifinals where they were disqualified.

While at Ventura, the Janksters were able to showcase their project HiddenFiguresofSTEAMpunk. Over the build season, the Janksters, inspired by the movie Hidden Figures, highlighted many women who significantly contributed to STEM fields during the Victorian Era. To share this at the event, the Janksters created a fun scavenger hunt to engage other teams and teach them about these important women who made their mark on STEM and opened a path for others to follow.

From reaching semifinals with their alliance to bonding with new teams at competition, the Ventura Regional was a great experience for the Janksters. Their next competition is the Silicon Valley Regional hosted at San Jose State University. All are invited to come and support the Janksters during their matches on Friday, March 31st and Saturday, April 1st!

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Week 6 Build POVs

It’s crazy thinking that this is my last build season! Week 6 means crunch time so we’re all scrambling to make last minute decisions and putting the finishing touch on our robot. It’s really different this year for me since I’m on Business now instead of Mechanical so the stress of putting actual items on the robot isn’t as big for me. However, there’s still a lot of planning and details that need to be worked out for my assignments. I can’t believe my last Build Season is coming to a close. It’s been an interesting one definitely but I’m glad I got to know my teammates better and gain new skills.

 

Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017

This week, we have mostly worked on manufacturing parts for our second robot and making some final decisions and changes. It has been really stressful, but all the chaos is exciting at the same time. It’s strange that I’m already about to end my third build season and I can tell that I have grown so much since freshman year.

Nikita Jagdish

Class of 2018

Plagued with a mixture of nerves and excitement, I remember heading to kickoff at San Jose State, just six weeks ago. Now, after countless hours of trudging to school, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want more time! After finishing driving and manual two speed transmissions code, our chassis programming group’s latest challenge is working on programming automatic two speed transmissions. We’ve been working on mapping the correlation between joystick values and encoder rates for driving our test robot. I’ve also been working on combining all of this season’s code into one comprehensive project, a task that has been tedious but rewarding to complete. Though it’s exhausting, the moments of success, growth, and joy that pop up during the rigor and intensity of build season are what constantly reinforce my love for robotics.

Anisha Kabir

Class of 2019

On week 6 of Build Season, I mainly focused on CADing the front and back camera mounts and had help from Ayusha, Becky, and our mentors. Because there was some last-minute updates about the mounting place of the camera, each of the camera mount had to be modified several times. Although we had to build several versions of each of the two different camera mounts, my skills in CADing had improved a lot, my critical thinking in designing a mount has improved, and my confidence in CADing has grown. Now that Build Season is coming to an end, I feel that the excitement is starting to lower down, but I am looking forward towards the Steamworks competition.

Michelle Vanuy

Class of 2020

Build Season Week 6

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Written by Sakshi Shrivastava ’20

After struggling through some problems, Gears and Fuel is back on track! They have redesigned practically everything and are working against the clock. They have been putting all the designs on CAD so they can use polycarbonate and are getting everything mounted and put together in order to have a cohesive robot ready for Robot Reveal Night.

Many Projects has built field elements, such as the low goal, lift, and davit for rope-climbing. They have completed the practice bumpers and are now working on the final ones. They are also working on the battery cart.

Chassis has worked on side rails and bumper mounts for the real robot. However, they have been struggling with chains.

Climbing has been manufacturing parts for the new robot while sorting out details on the janky bot. This coupled with lots of testing, they have certainly been busy.

This week, Business has been getting ready for Robot Reveal Night and competition!

Programming has been able to test more on the robot. They have added more to and are finalizing climbing code, and they are currently working on programming and testing the gear mechanism. They have finished basic chassis and climbing, combining all the mechanisms into one program. They have started testing for the auto-to-transmissions transition, especially focusing on how different joystick values correlate to encoder rates. Alongside all of these tasks, Programming has been testing autonomous mode.

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Hidden Figures of STEAMpunk

What is Hidden Figures of Steampunk?

 

After the kick-off of FIRST® STEAMworks 2017, we came together as a business committee, wanting to understand who the women of the Victorian “Steampunk” Era were, and how they contributed to STEM.  But, as we know, women scientists, engineers and inventors often do not get credit for their actions. As shown in the recent movie, Hidden Figures, women’s contributions have often been missed, even in the recent past.

As an all-girls team, it is important to us to take the time to learn about the women of the Steampunk era and use our social media platforms, as part of FIRST, to educate our community about these powerful women.  So, we spend our time getting to know them to recognize their impact.

Build Season Week 5

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Written by Rabab Karimjee ’17

In the fifth week of build season, the Janksters have been nervous about the dwindling number of days left in the countdown and are motivated by the close finish line, a completed robot.

Programming has been busy coding for the various mechanisms and have successfully completed the ones for climbing, chassis, and all five pistons for gears and fuels. They are starting to test the more complex components of the programs.The committee was able to see black and white images on their vision processing system and even test their driving program on the electronics board!

Electronics, on the other hand, finalized CADing of the electronics board by making minor adjustments. After putting the components onto the board, they worked on encoding and wiring, and they were able to put the board on the robot. They additionally worked with Programming to test their limit switch and pistons.

The Business committee has made finishing touches, such as submitting the Woodie flowers award, creating the jacket designs, and sending out Robot Reveal invitations. With Robot Reveal coming up this Saturday, they are working on the presentation, making bows, and updating social media.

Meanwhile, the Mechanical sub-groups are wrapping up multiple projects:

Climbing has mounted their entire mechanism and ran tests on them to ensure it was working properly. They are now starting to work on building a cross-beam and will soon begin assembly for the second robot

The Gear and Fuel group has finalized their mechanism designs with a few adjustments to their original plan. They are working on CADing and building the various elements, such as the sliding track and fuel chute. At the Tech Shop, they were able to laser cut and assemble new pieces, and they are now finished with CADing the gears, mounting holes, and building the fuel storage.

Many Projects is starting work on the battery cart and finished CADing, creating, and mounting the bumpers for the robot.

Since finishing the chassis, this committee has worked on CAD and fixed the gearbox and bearing. They are now preparing to build the second robot by updating the robot assembly on CAD and drilling holes into beams.

The team looks forward to working harder than ever in the last week of an exciting Build Season.

If you’re interested in seeing our completed robot, make sure to drop by at

Robot Reveal Night (6-8) in the Gym of Notre Dame High School!

 

 

Build Season Week 4

Credit to Lara Fernandes

Written by Lara Fernandes ’18 and Sakshi Shrivastava ’20

In the fourth week of Build Season, the Janksters have been working hard to finish CADing and start the more complex elements of our now driving robot.

Business has been occupied with designs for the t-shirts and the standard, as well as awards and preparation for Mentor Appreciation Day (Valentine’s Day). They have also begun assembling bows.

Electronics has finished wiring the sonar sensor for the programming chassis. They continued working on camera mounts, and now they have begun work on the first and second board for the final robot, as well as the pneumatics pieces and churros (star extrusions) for the electronics boards.

Programming has been working on matters with the camera, such as vision tracking and different-colored lights. The gyroscope and accelerometer are now up and running, and the robot is able to drive! However, it’s not all done yet; fuel intake and rope climbing are still being worked on.

Within the Mechanical Committee, Chassis has finished chains for two robots and all the wheels, including the side wheels.

Climbing has finished CAD and started to manufacture parts. They are ordering the rest of the parts and collecting all the necessary information for BOM.

Gears and Fuel has done a great deal of CADing. They laser cut the game piece gear space box and laser cut the fuel storage and intake chute.

Many Projects has finished the low goal, loading station, and lift station. Most notably, they have completed the climbing wall. They are starting bumpers.

Build Season Week 3

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Written by Lara Fernandes ’18 and Sakshi Shrivastava ’20

The third week of Build Season is over and the committees have been working hard on finalizing CAD and moving forward to manufacture the components for the robot.

Programming has been busy coding for different sensors on the robot. They’ve programmed for the gyro-sensor, accelerometers, 5 different encoders and driving for a 6-wheel robot. They’ve also worked with image sensing and cameras to combat the issue of low visibility with this year’s game.

From changing their board size and configuration to finalizing encoders and sensors, Electronics has been quite busy during Week 3 of build season. They successfully completed the electronics board for the programming chassis. They also did research on temperatures sensors, encoders, and sonar sensors. They started brainstorming and CADing different mounts that they’ll be using for their cameras. Electronics also completed CADing one of the boards that will be used on the final robot.

The Mechanical sub-groups have worked to finalize their CAD design and wrap up several projects.

Chassis has recently been anodizing wheels. They have made and tested their third gear box. They are working on bumper mounts and with CAD, putting all of their parts on the software.

Many Projects has assembled a mock chassis for testing and they’ve also built field elements for practice. They’ve finished a loading station and lift. They’re currently working on making bumper mounts and organizing the rope for the Climbing group to test their mechanism on.

The Gear and Fuel group are finalizing their overall CAD and how their mounting is going to work. Measurements are done and ready for laser cutting and now they’re focusing on volume measurements to maximize fuel storage.

The Climbing group has been dealing with constant changes to their designs. After much talking with Electronics and Chassis, they have almost completed CADing, with plans to finish today, and have been ordering parts.

The Business committee has been working on their designs for Janksters shirts and the standard and they have finalized this year’s button design. They are also working on team bows and helped design and assemble the bumpers for the robot.

Check out our Week 3 video:

Week 3 Build POVs

Week 3 was really busy because we did a lot of decision-making about designs and mounting but it was fun because I also learned more about CADing and mating parts.

Maya Kesapradist

Class of 2020

This week, I learned how to CAD and 3D printed the robot’s battery mount. Miranda and I designed a structure on CAD that held and strapped the battery in place. This was my first experience designing and creating something that would go on the robot.

Emily Duh

Class of 2019

I helped teach rookies how to code and work on different projects with accelerometers. Lately, I’ve used resources a lot to look at different accelerometers and do more research to learn about them.

Tani Pham

Class of 2018

Build Season Week 2 Update

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Written by Lara Fernandes ’18

The second week of Build Season has passed and the committees have been working hard on designing and CADing the different components of the robot.

The Programming Committee furthered their research in camera sensing and were able to make the cameras work with SmartDashboard which the Drive Team uses on their computer. They also communicated with the different mechanical groups on what they needed programmed and looked more at sensors which they are looking at testing on a chassis next week.

Electronics has been working on getting their CAD done so they have an idea of how they are going to fit their components on the robot. They have also worked with programming to see what kind of sensor they’ll need to make the robot’s driving efficient and they have completed a wired chassis for them to test their code.

The Mechanical sub-groups have been working hard on CADing and building projects for the robot.

The Climbing group has been doing a lot of math to calculate their new design. They’re currently working on testing and finalizing the details of gearboxes and hooks so that they can CAD a model.

The Chassis group has been CADing their chassis and working on making gearboxes. They have also made a chassis with Electronics for Programming to test their code on.

The Gear/Fuel group has been working on finalizing measurements and spacing so that they know how to securely mount all of their mechanisms and how placement of the pistons will work. They’ve also been testing different motors for intake of fuel while comparing size and efficiency. They’ve been making progress on the CAD models as well.

The Many Projects group finished building a loading station for the Gear/Fuel group and have made a lot of progress on the lift. They are also building a test chassis to work out the spacing and center of gravity for the robot.

The Business Committee has been working on designing shirts, buttons, and more on Illustrator and they’ve also been making bows and finalizing giveaways.

Check out our Week 2 video:

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