Week 1 Build POVs

This year’s Kickoff was the first I’d attended, yet it wasn’t difficult to feel closely involved with the process – we all had the opportunity to brainstorm prototypes for this year’s robot, and doing so really helped me think critically about the game and the potential mechanisms that could be used. During the week, my prototyping groups came up with a mechanism resembling a hug, a system using rollers to move the power cube, and others; after that, my committee (programming) set to work getting all of our devices up to speed for this year’s game, and considering potential sensors to implement and how to code them. Many people envision robotics as the frantic rush of physically constructing a robot, but this week allowed us to experience the careful planning and diversity of ideas that go into creating a viable design, which is just as critical.

Sandhya Ganesan

Class of 2021

Week one was extremely fun because my group (intake– output) got to prototype and test different ideas. We made a list of requirements of what we want our mechanism to do. We also built prototypes and had a lot of mentors to help us out!

Shivani Vazirani

Class of 2020

The first week of build season has gone by really fast. Electronics has been doing  research about sensors that we might be using for this year’s game while mechanical finishes prototyping. We’ve also been working on small projects that branch out from electronics which has been engaging and fun. This year’s game is really interesting and I’m looking forward to our strategy and seeing how other teams plan theirs.

Emily Duh

Class of 2019

BUILD SEASON WEEK 1 UPDATE

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By Elizabeth Fernandes ’20 and Angela Zheng ’20

The Janksters kicked off the build season by gathering together to watch the FIRST live stream. Everyone was ecstatic to learn the new game challenge for this year. After watching the reveal video, mentors got busy to build a mock game playing field with the students. These games allowed the students to try out different strategies as well as to get a better understanding of the game. After analyzing this year’s game, the Janksters split up into groups to brainstorm ideas for the robot and started by coming up with a list of things the robot needs to accomplish as well as some possible mechanisms they can use to accomplish those tasks.

Mechanical split into the different subgroups based on this year’s game. The subgroups include: Chassis, In n’ Out, Many Projects, and Up and Down.

The chassis subgroup discussed with the Up n’ Down and In n’ Out groups about having an open or closed chassis and decided on having a closed one. They figured out the range of the gear ratio, approximately how much space each chassis element will take up and where the other mechanisms will fit, finalized the type of wheels. They finalized certain decisions regarding chassis and ordered the gearbox.

The In n’ Out group brainstormed various potential mechanisms to get the power cube off the ground and onto the scale, switch or exchange. After making a list of evaluation points for each idea, they narrowed down their options to using a claw or rollers. They completed prototyping the claw mechanism and began a prototype that uses rollers.

The Up n’ Down group researched various mechanisms that can be used to move the power cube up and down and decided on either sliding tracks or a jointed arm. They created a list of requirements for the mechanism and did the calculations for each idea. After making CAD drawings and prototypes, they decided that the sliding tracks are preferable because it is more simple and reliable.

This week, the Many Projects group focused on choosing which game components to build and how to construct them. After exploring the various options, they decided on building the exchange and its platform as well as modified versions of the switch and scale. Then they created a materials list of all the parts needed for each component with all of the measurements. They anticipated how much space is needed to store the game components and potential areas around campus that can accommodate them.

The programming committee installed the CTRE library and updated the 2018 Eclipse toolchains and plugins onto their personal laptops. They updated the team’s driver station laptops for this season. They fixed the CANTalon errors and started adjusting the syntax from previous code to accommodate the changes. They researched encoders, gyros and the USB camera and practiced programming limit switches. They discussed vision with mentors and concluded it would be beneficial due to the complex autonomous this year.

The electronics committee determined which sensors they could use, compiled a list of necessary sensors, which are touchless sensors, encoders, and sonar, and discussed limits on the vision tracking. They came up with new materials they need for this season and labeled and organized the new components in the Kit of Parts. They worked with the chassis group to figure out spacing and encoders and talked to the programming committee about gyros and sensors. They fixed issues on the driver station CAD and did a design review. They repaired the pneumatics board pole and battery mount and added final brackets onto the battery cart.

The business committee began brainstorming design ideas for the front and back of the shirt and buttons. They designed concept art that incorporates elements from the game challenge. They developed a concrete plan for the Chairman’s Award with deadlines and who will be involved in the writing and editing process. They began editing chairman’s and analyzed other teams’ techniques. They did further research on giveaways and narrowed down the list to screwdrivers, logoed tape, a mini first aid kit, post-it notes or a screw checker. They took photos and videos for social media and next week’s video update.

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YWES POVs

It was an interesting experience. I got to hear a bunch of different people speak. My favorite one was a neurosurgeon space engineer at SSL and she was telling us about how she built all these different rockets and her thought process from high school to college and how she got to the job she has now. She was really inspiring and we also got to build these little mechanisms and machines where you could carry little marshmallows and airplane them all the way to the ground and cushion them so they don’t fall on their face. And then it made me realize how much goes into designing everything. ‘Cause when you design a spaceship, for one thing, you have to get up. But you need to go down and you can’t get the little astronauts or the marshmallows inside. So I learned a lot.

KK Kumar

Class of 2020

I attended the bio-engineering workshop. It was interesting because she showed us the different aspects of bioengineering. She talked about, if I remember correctly, she talked about how there’s like device sector where they create devices. Then there’s also a bit of the biology sector which is a lot of the lab work. Then she touched on the detrimental academy, which is like research and universities and the industry. She talked about how academia is about like creating new things and improving stuff about the world and engineering. The industry is about making the biggest amount- not biggest, but special and all that most outputs they want to create the best ways NASA product. She talked about network products working which was interesting and helped us figure out how networking works and why it’s important.

Miranda Godinez

Class of 2018

FLL 2017

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By: Lisha Sebastian ‘21, Ria Nair ’21, Diana Labonville ‘21

This past weekend, Team 1967 volunteered at FLL (First Lego League) competition hosted by Intel. This year’s challenge was “Hydro Dynamics”.

At FLL, the Janksters provided lunch as well as a snack shack for the parents and the teams. The Janksters volunteered to supervise the competition by inspecting robots and timing and setting up for the matches.

The Janksters also directed and hosted stations such as a catapult station where kids could use craft supplies to create a functional catapult. Other Janksters worked at the button-making station, in which they helped younger kids from grades 4 to 8 design their own buttons.

During the competition, the Janksters provided a demonstration and explanation of the previous season’s robot, Pepper Ann. Students were also able to test out some functions of the robot.

Overall, this event was a fun learning experience for all of the Janksters and we’re happy to have had an opportunity to inspire FLL students to continue in their interest in STEM fields.                                                                                                                                   

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Workshop POV

As a freshmen, this is my first time doing Robotics and the workshops would really help introduce me to what they do and how they do it.  I liked the fact that I got to experience a workshop and what a normal day in Robotics would look like. It provides you with the basic knowledge you need to join any of the committees. In electronics, I learned more about how they play a role in how a robot works and what it does. I hope to learn more about Robotics and the committees in future workshops. Go Janksters!

Zainah Masood

Class of 2021

CalGames 2017

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By Elizabeth Fernandes ‘20

 

On October 14th and 15th Team 1967, the Janksters, were one of the 36 teams that competed at CalGames 2017 FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS competition. The goal for the STEAMWORKS challenge is to transport gears across the field onto pegs, carry and shoot balls into high and low goals, and climbs a rope to activate a touchpad. The Janksters’ robot Pepper Ann is designed with a strategy to transport gears and climb the robe. One of Pepper Ann’s improved mechanisms is the ability to have a gear fall into a slot and then push it onto a peg with a piston. Pepper Ann can also climb using a mechanism with a hook and a ratchet wrench. As the hook attaches to the rope, the PVC pipe that the hook is attached to rotates with it. This allows the robot to climb and activate the touchpad to light it up. This is an especially difficult task for drivers since they barely have any visibility when doing so, but when the hook attaches to the rope, the robot can consistently climb.

 

Rookies and veterans alike were able to learn many valuable lessons during this competition, including time management, the importance of being calm in stressful situations and effective communication. Rookies were able to experience their first robotics competition, including scouting, robot research and scavenger hunting, which helped them learn about the many steps that go into producing the final robot, including the strategy, execution and overcoming challenges. Ella Hedman ’21 was excited to be a part of the Jankster community at her first robotics competition. “I had such a great time at CalGames learning and experiencing what it was like to be competing in an actual robotics competition. By scouting and researching the other teams robots, I feel like I have a better understanding of how the robots worked and the process from build season to competition.“ The veterans were able to improve their organization and leadership skills through various activities such as drive team, data entry and leading small group activities. They were able to step out of their comfort zones by taking on new positions. Maddie Waldie ‘20 was on drive team for the first time and enjoyed the experience of playing a major role in the team’s success at the competition. “I was very excited to represent the Janksters for the first time on drive team at CalGames 2017. From the moment I first helped to pull the robot onto the field and heard the cheers of my teammates, I knew it was going to be an exciting day. The Pit Crew did an amazing job preparing and fixing the robot in between matches, and all the members of drive team worked well together on and off the field. I learned how to pace myself when taking on tasks, juggling responsibilities for both my position as a drive team member and scouting lead. Being on drive team was fun, exciting, and overall an amazing way to start the year.” The Janksters used this experience to grow in confidence as well as bond as a team.

 

When the Emcee announced that Team 1967 was moved up to 8th-seed alliance captains, the Janksters were ecstatic and started cheering wildly. They participated in many difficult matches with their alliance partners: Team 6688 (West Valley Middle College Robotics Team) and Team 4765 (PWRUP). Avi Zaveri ’20, one of the scouting leads, represented the Janksters during alliance selections. “Stepping up into a new leadership position was a really great experience. I learned how to work under stressful situations and overcome last-minute challenges. Although it was a bit intimidating talking to the team representatives from our alliance partners, I gained confidence in my ability to talk about our robot as well as our strategy.” The team made it to quarterfinals and placed 11th out of 36 teams. More importantly, the knowledge the team gained through this competition will be used for future robotics endeavors as well as applied to real world situations.

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the team! The Janksters are looking forward to the upcoming season and having many more experiences as amazing as this one.

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Boot Camp POVs

Bootcamp was such a fun, informative, and enriching experience! Throughout it, I attended various workshops related to committees in the robotics team. In Arduino, I was able to program and wire an LED while Janky 101 taught me about team outreach. In CAD I was able to design a 3D doughnut and in tool use, I used power tools. Overall, bootcamp really made me excited and happy to join robotics.

Grace Boulos

Class of 2021

Robotics Boot Camp definitely prepared me for robotics, but also introduced me to Notre Dame. I loved how even though I was a freshman, upperclassmen started conversations with me and made sure I never felt left out. There were a lot of things I hadn’t tried before, like working with power tools and using CAD software, but I had fun learning about them and felt comfortable using them by the end of the camp. Overall, the part of the boot camp I liked the most was making new friends who shared the same enthusiasm for robotics!

Leela Mukherjee

Class of 2021

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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Robot Reveal 2017

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Written by Rabab Karimjee ’17

Thousands of teams have been designing and building a robot for the past 6 weeks to participate in the annual FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) competitions. Among them is Team 1967, the Janksters, who have created a robot for this year’s challenge, Steamworks, after a rigorous Build Season that has tested their technical and creative abilities.

In their twelfth year, the Janksters have grown to sixty members and embarked on the six week journey from January to the end of February with an enthusiastic dedication and a wonderful team of 24 mentors. Due to the increasing amount of rookies, the Janksters saw many changes that allowed for more timely work with the challenge of organizing and communicating within such a large group. With each week came many obstacles, forcing the team to occasionally completely redesign and shift their priorities. Some parts of the robot were being built faster than others, but the final product prevailed in time for Robot Reveal Night.

With over 150 members in the audience, including family, friends, and faculty, the Janksters were able to display their hard work, collectively more than 8,000 hours The robot drove through the gym and successively climbed, one of the Janksters’ originals goals when brainstorming in early January.

Many of the mechanisms were not fully completed or tested, but fortunately, they only required a few minor adjustments! After the various committees and leaders were able to discuss their contributions and hardships, the audience was free to learn more about FRC and the team’s accomplishments. The Janksters were happy to answer any questions and showcase their individual projects.

With the end of the Build Season and a functioning robot that cannot be touched until competition, the Janksters are proud of how far they have come and look forward to getting ready for competition. This year, they will be participating in the following:

  1. Ventura Regional: March 15-18 (Wed-Sat)
  2. Silicon Valley Regional: March 29- April 1 (Wed-Sat)

We hope to see you there!

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