Author Archives: The Janksters

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:

Week 2 Build POVs

Working on photography and videography this build season is exciting because I get to see how the team progresses with the robot through photos and videos while doing what I love.  I could never have imagined a better way to showcase my editing skills and creating weekly recap videos has allowed me to express my enthusiasm for build season.

Clare Tan

Class of 2017

 

I’ve been learning a lot about encoders and it’s been fun working with magnetic encoders and gearboxes. Week 2 has been pretty busy but I’ve been getting used to Build Season.

Srija Ponna

Class of 2020

Build Season Week 1 Update

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Written by Elizabeth Fernandes ’20 and Sakshi Shrivastava ’20

The Janksters have been very busy this first week. They came together as a team to work on strategizing for the game and then split into subgroups to work on prototyping for the robot.

The Programming Committee is downloading, installing and updating various softwares, such as Eclipse, C++ toolchains, development plug-ins and CAN Talon SRX, in preparation for fervent coding as more progress is made on the robot. They edited Eclipse preferences, coded Talons, and are ready to test out their code on a circuit board. After creating GitHub accounts, the programming committee downloaded Team 1967 code from previous years, transferred it from a laptop to Eclipse, and tested out their code to ensure that it ran smoothly.

The Electronics Committee aims for better accessibility, better wire organization, and the use of more sensors. So far, in conjunction with the Mechanical Committee, they have collaborated on their spacing constraints. They will soon plan out the electronics board and figure out where to place all the necessary components.

The Mechanical Committee has taken on the daunting task of finishing the entire robot by Week 4, or at most the beginning of Week 5. They hope to have overall clear communication among their large committee and numerous subgroups.

The subgroup of Mechanical that is currently focusing on climbing the rope has worked on a great deal of prototyping, a phase they are still in. Their next steps will be to consolidate all of their ideas into one functioning mechanism that they can work on in CAD.

So far, the fuel subgroup of Mechanical has worked on a CAD model that enabled them to see how much space they would need and calculate the angle of the ramp. They now have a much better feel for how high they would need to shoot the fuel, which in turn gives them an idea as to how many rollers they would need for their mechanism.

The subgroup working on the chassis has been busy brainstorming and prototyping their goals and how to reach them, in particular their deadline of January 21 for the completion of the chassis. They are discussing criteria for the structure of the chassis and are making final decisions, including the type and number of wheels, the method of transmission for controlling the robot, and locations of components. Part of their process is creating diagrams to visualize the dimensions of the components that are going into the chassis.

The Business Committee spent the majority of the first week collaborating with the other groups on strategy, brainstorming, and prototyping mechanisms. Now, towards the end, they have met up in their individual committee to work on designing themes and motifs for shirts, buttons, and standards while researching Jankster Swag.

Don’t forget to check our our Week 1 recap video on our Youtube channel here:

2016 Scavenger Hunt POV

As a leader for the Scavenger Hunt, I had many responsibilities. I wanted to win and run a lot, but making people run was not a good plan. I was proud of myself for finding a person wearing black and red and getting a picture with them, even though they only spoke Chinese. I got to practice some Chinese with this lady. This Scavenger Hunt was really fun because I got to know some of my groupmates better than I had before.

Amber Kesapradist

Class of 2018

The Scavenger Hunt was a nice experience. I got to bond with the people in my group, and had a great time running around downtown. I had a fun time solving the clues with everyone and rushing to our next stops. The activities at the places were entertaining.

Shivani Vazirani

Class of 2020

Young Women’s Engineering Symposium (YWES) 2016

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Written by Anisha Kabir ’19 and Lara Fernandes ’18

On November 19th the Janksters hosted their annual Young Women’s Engineering Symposium, an event for girls to explore various career paths in the world of STEM. We’d like to thank Minh-Chau Doan (Class of ’17) and Rikako Shimizu (Class of ’17) for coordinating and leading this year’s symposium. With 10 different speakers and attendees from 12 different high schools, the Young Women’s Engineering Symposium housed a wide variety of females, all with a passion or interest in the field of engineering.

The event had three sessions of seven different workshops lead by the speakers to give an in-depth look at their fields and closed with an open panel for the audience to ask the speaker questions about their experiences working as women with engineering careers.

We’d like to thank the following list of inspiring women who were able to attend this year:

  • Allison Peck presented Systems Engineering (NPI Manufacturing Engineer at Intuitive Surgical)
  • Allyson Clark presented Aerospace Engineering (Advanced Materials Project Manager at SSL)
  • Kristin More presented Aerospace Engineering (Spacecraft Production Engineering Lead at SSL)
  • Elif Albuz presented Software Engineering
    • Vision Software Manager at NVIDIA
  • Rasha Nassar presented Industrial Engineering
    • Industrial Engineer at Bloom Energy
  • Ai Nguyen presented Biomedical Engineering
    • System Verification Engineer at BD Biosciences
  • Alina Lim presented Biomedical Engineering
    • Research & Development Chemist at Abaxis
  • Tulin Akin presented Chemical Engineering
    • Director of Defect Reduction & Integration at Bloom Energy
  • Dr. Katie Wilson presented Electrical Engineering
    • Associate Professor at Santa Clara University
  • Claudia Galvan was our keynote speaker
    • Technical Advisor at Early Stage Innovation

Afterwards, the Janksters had a wonderful lunch with our 10 guest speakers and some attendees from FRC Team 2135. We look forward to hosting another inspirational and fun symposium next year!

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FLL at Intel

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The Janksters had an amazing time this past weekend helping out FLL (First Lego League) teams at Intel with their “Animal Allies” challenge.

The Janksters had many jobs from inspecting robots to setting the field and even emceeing for the event! We also had our concession stand with plenty of snacks and candy robot treats.

We also had a “Make A Button” station run by more Janksters. Kids could design and assemble a button with guidance and wear their creation at the competition.

There was also a demo of our robot Cierra from this past season. The Janksters explained the many different components and functions of the robot and people were encouraged to explore and even drive the robot with help from the Janksters.

We’d also like to congratulate the Neon Nargals, coached by our members Yashna Bansal ‘17 and Paulina Robles ‘17, for winning the FLL Core Values Award!

Overall it was a fun and exciting time for our team to help at the event and inspire FLL teams to  pursue robotics through FRC. We had a great time and can’t wait for next year!

If you’d like to read more about members experiences at FLL, make sure to read our Janky POVs.

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Competing at CalGames

This past weekend, I was fortunate to attend CalGames on Saturday. Although most of the rookies attending were completely exhausted from our overnight on Friday, it was a great experience that woke me up from the start. The team spirit in and out of the stands was enormous, and everyone showed up to work and have a great time. Even though rookies had a light load of stuff to do, I was engaged and in team spirit throughout the entirety of the competition. While sitting in the stands, I was impressed with how efficient and composed the drive team and pit crew were during the semi-finals and finals. Winning the System Design Award as well as the Mentor Award for Marta, and being the Champions of CalGames was a great way to end a wonderful competition. I am so proud of the Janksters, or rather, the JankSTARS!!!!

KK Kumar

Class of 2020

On October 7th and 8th, we attended the off-season competition Calgames, hosted by the Western Regional Robotics Forum.  After the success from Chezy Champs, everyone was super excited and ready to see the robot perform well.  Although I spent most of the competition in the pits as I was on drive team, I could see the happiness and enthusiasm from our team in the stands.  I was also glad to see that the rookies were beginning to feel more included and more a part of the team than they were when they first joined.  The level of excitement only increased as the competition progressed, with the team continuing on to eliminations with Team 1868 the Space Cookies and Team 3045 The Gear Gremlins. Several matches later, our alliance were declared the champions of the 2016 Calgames! To top it off, we also won the Systems Design Award for our scaling mechanism, and our coach, Marta Carrillo, won the Mentor Award. This was by far the most exciting competition that I have attended, and through all the dancing, anticipation, and success we experienced, the team was brought closer together.  It truly was the best way to end our busy and successful Stronghold season and begin our 2016 to 2017 robotics year.

Miyo Imai

Class of 2018

CalGames

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By Miranda Godinez ’18

Last weekend, The Janksters had the opportunity to participate in CalGames on October 7 and 8. Thirty-eight teams gathered at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale to compete at CalGames.

At the competition, the team successfully accomplished all of its goals: rank in the top 15, introduce first-time veteran members to leadership positions, acclimate the team’s rookies to the competition environment, and, of course, have fun! Team members led groups of rookies in activities to help them become more accustomed to the environment of a competition. This included visiting other teams to see how they designed their robot to meet the season’s challenge, analyzing the performance of other teams’ robots during matches, and participating in a scavenger hunt. “I was mainly nervous about talking to other teams and people I didn’t know…but as soon as I got more comfortable with asking strangers questions about their robots it was really fun.” Libby Barrese ‘20 said.

Rookies weren’t the only ones adjusting to a whole new world of competition. Veterans had the opportunity to step up by being more involved in pit crew helping repair the robot and troubleshoot and by taking up new positions such as safety captain and drive team. Anisha Kabir ‘19 was one of the many veterans who found herself having a bigger part to play at competition: “I took on the role of managing match and pit scouting and, at first, it seemed daunting. I felt the pressure of responsibility, something I didn’t really need to worry about as a rookie. But after experiencing a few matches and adapting to my role, I felt glad that I could contribute something valuable to the team.” The Janksters used this competition to experience personal growth and team bonding, making this competition one to remember.

In fact, something quite memorable did happen at this competition. We were selected to join the 4th-seeded alliance with the Girl Scouts-sponsored team Space Cookies and Serra High School’s Gear Gremlins. After a series of tough matches, lots of cheering, and unexpected wins, The Janksters and their alliance pulled through and made their way to the top, winning the entire competition. “After we won, I just felt so fulfilled, knowing that we all worked to put together that robot and all those hours finally really paid off. I was so surprised of how well we had done and I think our achievement brought us closer together as a team.” Nikita Jagdish ‘18 said. Along with winning CalGames 2016, The Janksters were also recognized for their consistent scaling mechanism with the Systems Design Award, and their coach Marta Carrillo was presented with the Mentor of the Year Award for her constant support and significant contribution to the team.

The Janksters weren’t the only ones who got in on the action. Ms. Yi, a science teacher at Notre Dame, had this to say about her experience at the competition: “I was impressed by how many different teams there were, and watching you guys cheer on your team was fun. I brought my 4-year-old and he enjoyed watching the robots do their thing.” We all had such a memorable experience at CalGames, and we would like to thank everyone in the Notre Dame community who came to support us and to join in on the fun. Because of CalGames, we concluded the 2016 season on a high note, and the effects of this year can be best summarized by the words of Yashna Bansal ‘17: “You all deserve to be proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished during the entire 2016 Season. Everything we’ve been recognized for is a result of hundreds and hundreds of hours put in by each and every one of you. I can’t even put into words how proud I am of all of you.” We look forward to the upcoming season and hopefully many more years that will be as memorable as this one.

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2016 Stronghold

Last year’s challenge, Stronghold, was played by two alliances of three teams each. These alliances compete to breach their opponents’ defenses, the outer works, and capture their tower. They score points by crossing defenses in their opponents’ outer works, scoring boulders in their opponents’ tower high or low goals, and surrounding and scaling their opponents’ tower at the end of each match.

The game is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field, in which each alliance is assigned one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ where their robots restock on boulders. In addition to the low bar, three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance and one by the audience prior to the start of their match.

Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate independently of human control and attempt to cross opposing defenses, s well as score in the opposing tower. During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field.

For more info, click here

Chezy Champs

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Anika Asthana ‘20 and Lara Fernandes ‘18

 

The Janksters recently competed at Chezy Champs on September 24th and 25th! Chezy Champs is a premier robotics competition hosted at Bellarmine during the off-season. 41 teams came together to compete, with out-of-state teams coming from Washington, Oregon and Texas. Some of these teams were Regional and World Champions, which made the matches intense and exciting.

 

Going into this competition, the Janksters had a few goals: we wanted to be on the field in all of the matches, take advantage of all of the mechanisms on our robot, rank in the top 25, meet new teams, and most importantly, have fun! We were able to accomplish all of these and more; our team ranked 23rd, we were able to play 9 out of our 10 matches and we were able to scale and capture a tower in many of the matches we played. Additionally, we were selected to be a member of the 6th alliance and advanced to the elimination rounds in the quarterfinals. Our Drive Team and Pit Crew worked hard both on and off the field to keep our robot in its best working condition.

 

While our focus was meeting our goals for the competition, Chezy Champs was a huge learning opportunity for the rookies on the team and great experience for our veteran members. Newer Janksters were able to experience the thrill of competition and receive a first-hand look at what robotics is all about. The entire team bonded and had a lot of fun – whether it was cheering from the stands when our robot scaled or having our own little dance parties. The Janksters learned about the different ways that other teams accomplished the same tasks and gained a broader, more comprehensive insight on robotics concepts as a whole. All in all, the entire team learned about different robots, new strategies, and about each other.

 

Chezy Champs was a great experience for the the team, both educationally and competitively, and we can’t wait to compete again and show an even better performance. Thank you to everyone in the ND community, from faculty to students, who came and supported our team at Chezy Champs. We are competing again at CalGames the weekend of October 7th at Fremont High School, so make sure to come and support us. We hope to see you there!

 

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