DevilStorm Gets Ready for FIRST Robotics Competition

We’d like to provide another update on the progress of the proudly JobGiraffe sponsored DevilStorm Robotics Team from Hinsdale Central High School. They are now in the middle of their ‘Build Season’, the 6 week long period when they must design and build their robot before it competes in the regional FIRST Robotics competition (it is called Recycle Rush and you can read all the details about it here)._DSC1775The mechanical department of the DevilStorm team has moved from designing their parts within a CAD software program (computer-animated design) to actually ordering their parts and beginning to assemble them. Of course, since they designed their parts on a computer the parts they ordered are not exactly to the specifications they need, so they had to fix these discrepancies themselves. Next, they moved onto actually manufacturing & building the subsystems of the robot, which included building a tower section with steel cable supports to create a lifting mechanism, as well as several gearboxes that allow the lifting to actually work.

_DSC1822The programming department has been working on implementing computer vision, which will essentially be what allows the robot to see and identify containers that need to be picked up during the autonomous part of the competition (in which the robot will work on it’s own without input from the team). They have also been working on the very important controllers that will be used during the part of the competition in which the team controls the robot. As you might imagine these controllers working correctly is paramount to the robot’s success.

_DSC1631The electrical department has been playing a bit of a waiting game because the parts of the already assembled robot are completely wired, meaning they are waiting for more components of the robot to be complete before more wiring is necessary. In the meantime they have been researching for the right encoders to be used on the robot, encoders that will help convert the computer’s instructions into the correct electrical signals to be sent to the mechanical components of the robot.

_DSC1610The logistics department had a big win by securing two new sponsors for the team, and they could have a third one soon as well. They have also been updating several documents related to inventory and budgeting, which then informs them on another important responsibility of theirs, parts ordering. One of the logistics department’s roles is to keep everyone else organized and on target, and it seems that they’ve been quite successful in this regard.

In other news the team has finally decided on a name for the robot, it shall be known as Stanley! We are always excited to hear the updates from the DevilStorm Robotics team, and are always impressed by the quick progress they are making in the complicated process of creating a robot from scratch in just 6 weeks time.

The team could always use additional funding as well as help from mentors, if you’d like to help you may email devilstormrobotics@gmail.com. Additionally, you can follow the team and learn more about the specifics of their progress on Facebook at http://devilstormrobotics.cmail2.com/t/t-l-tytuzl-iljrjtvt-r/ and on Twitter at http://devilstormrobotics.cmail2.com/t/t-l-tytuzl-iljrjtvt-y/.

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