We have entered our phase of build season where we start the practice bot. This is where all our plans and decisions get truly tested for the first time on our home made practice field. We already have a shooter and ball feeder working surprisingly well and consistent. But that is under perfect conditions. The climber in the works looks promising too.

Tomorrow I will be at an internship for a construction company currently doing work in the Biscayne Bay area and I am excited for it, but how can anyone be happy missing a day of build season?!?

I know these posts have seemingly gotten shorter, but once we reveal our design, there will be plenty to talk about!


So today was another long night! We’ve had some excellent progress with the field-building team – under Charles, JD, and Christian’s guidance, we’re just one defense away from having all the pertinent parts of the field built and ready (for the most part)!

As for the robot itself, we’ve been prototyping left and right and by the end of the night, we had a great representation (out of wood, of course) of a hopefully effective robot. Our drive base wheel positioning was redesigned, the feeder design was finalized, and the transition from the intake to the shooter has also been taken care of. No guarantees the robot will be final, of course, but I think it’s quite close. And, as always, no pictures quite yet! 🙂

Manusri and Kaitlyn have been hard at work with designing the climber; I think they have some great ideas going forward! Hopefully we can see a complete prototype with all potential functions soon!

In terms of public relations and team management, Lexi and Kevin have been diligently designing our Team Standard – the flag we raise for every match. It’s looking quite pretty, if I do say so myself. Pedro, Jonathan, and Dawson have been working on the scouting spreadsheet and helping me out with starting on some of our award essays. All in all, we’ve been quite productive, and I hope/think we can continue this pace moving onward!


PS. Shoutout to Satya and his parents for bringing delicious and nutritious food for our team – thank you!

Today was filled with so many amazing accomplishments.

Christian, Matt and a couple of the new members have been working on seeing how we can manage to integrate all the mechanisms we have been prototyping into a nice robot with a low center of gravity. And so far, we have had a a lot of um… interesting ideas. I think every mechanism we need should fit, but it’s just a matter of how they’re going to mesh together. We might have one of our most interesting robots this year, and to be frank, I am more than excited for such a challenging/frustrating robot. The challenges are what make FRC such an amazing program to start with.

Moving on from that, me and Andrey (mostly him) have been working on the chassis to no end. We have been tweaking every little thing to make sure this is the best solution to Stronghold defenses. I think we are almost there. This is the first year we have put so much value on the chassis, and as any team knows, a drive base can make or break the game this year. A screenshot of our design can be found below, enjoy!

Lastly, the field team… They have had the thrill of building the tower, sally port, drawbridge, and french ramp thingy. The carpentry is a fantastic learning experience for the new members. We have had minor mistakes throughout the field building experience, but they were all correctable learning opportunities. We have some fantastic members who are still young, and I am seeing fast progress. I think they will be done by Monday.



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Today was our first long build day of 2016! (*sniff sniff* and my last one…)

We’ve had some excellent progress in terms of getting that darn complicated field done. The low bar (a pole that’s like a foot above the ground… very complicated I know), moat, rock wall, and rough terrain are all good. Special thanks to Bill for helping us out with the metal rough terrain defense! Also, the floor in the lab is covered with a whole lot of wood planks and sheets; this’ll make up the majority of our field materials, I’m assuming.

Here’s a picture of some of our mechanical team building away!


Speaking of wood, we’ve built a *very* rough prototype of our robot to try out potential frame perimeter sizes and determine how much space we’ll have between the wheels for various mechanisms like shooters. Also, we’re in the development stage for picking up the Boulders by experimenting with various styles seen in the 2012 game, Rebound Rumble.

Finally, we have been making the tower and various other game elements – once we can get those done, we can really go full swing into creating our robot! Things are looking pretty good for the third day!


PS. Shoutout to Pedro and his family for bringing us some delicious pasta for dinner! Thank you!


With Day 2 behind us, we’ve narrowed down all the possible ways to score in this year’s game to where we think we have a solid game plan. We began CADing with the help of Andrey, a former Ninjineer. Some serious head way has been made, and I am really excited to see where we will end up. The other portions of the team began testing different wheels for a shooter and getting a field made. The flywheel team made serious progress in identifying which materials and what motor and gear ratios get the best launch powers – hopefully today we will have the specs we need to make a solid shooter. Special thanks to Bill for purchasing the wood and helping us build a mock field, hopefully that will be done midway into next week. With such a complicated field this year, I think it’s going to be a challenge to build every single defense.
Phenomenal headway so far and I personally think this is going to be a fun build season.

Wow. That’s all I can say after such an eventful day – the beginning of another amazing build season! We headed up to Riviera Beach for Team 179’s (Swamp’s) local kickoff – well, at least some of us. Kevin, Priyank, we hope you guys feel better! Anyway, we got there just in time for Sandra’s presentation and eagerly awaited this year’s game, Stronghold.

Oh my goodness, this is going to be awesome. FIRST really pushed the medieval theme, and I think they’ve done amazingly. Stronghold is quite complicated in gameplay and tries to follow a quest of sorts, so we have our work cut out for us. Not only that, but it’s the first game I’ve seen that has the audience take a direct role during each and every match. I think I’ll just let the reveal video do the talking.

Did anyone catch that pizza Standard (flag)? They definitely know their priorities. Anyway, after the video, we jumped in our cars to drive over to Swamp’s shop to pick up our Kit of Parts and examine each of the Defenses on the half field. We’re going to have a fun time building those for practice!

When we got back to the library at school, we saw great organization in terms of getting everyone to read the game manual. Shoutout to Pedro, Jonathan, and Dawson for keeping everything running so smoothly! Going forward, I think we have the gist of what we need to do, so it’s time for more brainstorming and prototyping when we get back to school on Monday.

I’m really excited for this game, as are everyone else! Check back with us in a few days, because Damian and I will be posting progress reports on build season.


PS. We enjoyed having some of our dedicated alumni back with us again! Andrey and Joseph, thanks for helping out!

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve made a blog post. But the Ninjineers are back in full swing. We had our annual parent night last night and informed all the parents of what is involved in the rigors of build season. Thankfully, many parents seemed excited, and I think almost all volunteered to bring food one day or another.
In other news, KICKOFF!!! We recently heard that the school will be working on the roof of our engineering lab, so we will be unable to be in our normal room for kickoff, bummer. But Pedro had the fantastic idea to instead move to the school library, which will be opened just for us. I think it will be a nice productive environment. Great for dissecting the rule book.
Talk to you guys after kickoff,