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Evan G's Blogtime Array

2 Posts tagged with the software tag

We did it! Here's my announcement (although much overdue)...Doc VIII: The Fish is moving and shooting with excellence. Keep an eye on our Youtube channel for clips of the robot in action.


These last six weeks has been a long, roller coaster ride. Never could I have imagined such a crazy build season. We attempted a lot and we achieved a lot. Our CAD team wanted to design a simple robot that could shoot the 3-pointer. Our software team wanted to tackle the challenge of using a camera system to track vision targets. Our electronics team wanted to utilize the precision and ease of CAN (Controller Area Network) communication. Our fabrication team wanted to reorganize the work area and use as much equipment as possible. The animation team has worked to create the animation with no mentor support whatsoever. The public relations division rallied to earn more sponsorship funds, a better cleaner website (click here!:, more publicity, and more team spirit. None of these were easy tasks, but with the full force of the largest sized group in team history, we took them head on and came out better on the other side.


Our success, however, did not come without difficulty and some losses. A few burnt out Jaguars and cameras, an entire rework of our C++ robot code, lost audio files for the animation, inconsistent functionality with Windchill 10 servers, and a difference of opinions were just some of the challenges we faced during the build season. Still, we pushed through the frustration, consulted one another, and solved the problems. Most importantly, we learned from these experiences, better improving the breadth and depth of our team. Along the way, we took the time to help other FIRST Robotics Competition teams and offered suggestions to better improve their organizations.


Last Tuesday, our CAD and Design Director Eunice Kokor and I had the honor of being interviewed by technology blogger Kenneth Wong of Desktop Engineering. During the interview, which was arranged by Megan Virtanen of PTC, we discussed many things such as the team name, the robot, our success, and our stuggles of the 2012 build season. Not too sure when the interview and associated article will the published, but until then, read up on other articles by Kenneth:


For now, our team is recovering from the build season and preparing for our first regional two weeks from now in Davis, CA. We looking forward to proud displaying and demonstrating our awesome robot and plan to make a splash. As Kenneth mentioned in our interbiew last week, all the the FIRST Robotics Competition teams are now it what may be called the eye of the storm; the intial shock of build season has past, but the deceptive peace right now will soon be interrupted by the choas of competition. All that can be said now is...IT'S GAMETIME.


Sacramento: t-minus 13 Days, Central Valley: t-minus 34 Days, Championship: t-minus 55 Days


And So It Begins!

Posted by egiarta1671 Jan 10, 2012

From what I can tell, Rebound Rumble ( will deliver some of the coolest robots yet. It's impressive for people to shoot baskets accurately--my proof, the NBA. In my opinion, a robot with that ability is at least three times more impressive. And it seems the FIRST Team 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains will be one of those that will be sure turn heads and make points. So far, our CAD team has worked for three straight days, and it seems to be taking off from here.


Our base is 85% finished. Really all that is left to do is draw the parts, check the measurements, and send them off to Harris Manufacturing or Pelco by Schneider Electric. And with a team like ours, it won't take too long. Soon, we will be heading into the design of the shooter mechanism. We already have some prototypes, but unfortunately, they are not operating at what we we call optimal level. Nevertheless, I am confident we will find what we are looking for.


Moreover, FIRST Choice by AndyMark turned out to be better than ever. AndyMark gave 100 credits to each team to "spend" in the FIRST Choice catalog. By our calculations, we got over $250 of parts for just under $40 (shipping and handling)!! A great deal indeed. Much props to AndyMark and all the companies that graciously donated materials. Most of what we ordered were electonic components, and I have to say, Ned Ta, our electronics leader, has done an excellence job in organizing and taking inventory of what we have. Another cheer to CrossTheRoadElectronics for their more than awesome Battery Beak ( Already it has come it handy on multiple occasions.


On the other side of things, our public relations division is also doing fantastic work. The website ( looks better and better everyday! Potential sponsors are often contacting us with ways to contribute to our cause. And we appreciate each one! Our team is also taking advantage of FIRST's lightbulb fundraiser. These energy efficient lightblubs are sure to save money and power for those who choose to buy in bulk. All in all, these bulbs provided many positive features, outlined more on our page: . Our website is loaded with tons of other material that might caught your fancy, so please take a look!


Finally, we were also pleased to see PTC's mention of our team and coach in their recent press release! )As a user of PTC software, I can truthfully say that progams like Creo, Mathcad, and Windchill have opened my eyes to power and potential of engineering and technology. On behalf of the 1671 Bird Brains, I thank PTC for generously donating their software for FIRST teams everywhere to use.


But the day is still young, and there is much to be done and discovered, so I must take some rest before moving fact, my right eye is twitching right now. Hopefully that's not a seriousl problem. Before you leave though, pleace share your thoughts about the challenge this year. Take a look at the top most link and comment on what you think! In any case, I'll post again later!


Build Season Counter: DAY 4