Pi Wars Post 1 (2/11/18)

Pi WarsWe were overjoyed to receive the news that we were accepted into the Pi Wars Competition. After weeks of nervous anticipation, we can finally put our game faces on and find ways to demolish the competition! Currently, we are contemplating acrylic chassis with different turning mechanisms, and we are choosing out of two designs: fixed axles resulting in less motors or four-wheel drive, turning the wheel and its motor as one block. We believe that the latter idea will give us an advantage in the Spirit of Curiosity and Apollo 13 Obstacle Course Challenges, because the wheels will provide better traction and will be better on uneven ground. We are planning to purchase the Coretec Robotics "Tiny" 4WD, which will provide us with four wheels that have more tread, two extra motors and a motor board. 

Week 6 2/11/18

FLLToday, the entire team came together to look at which challenges that we will attempt to complete in the competition. They are exploring the mechanics of motion to help with the accuracy of the motors, for example how much to turn the wheel to turn the robot by one degree. We have been evaluating the difficulty to number of points ratio to determine which of the challenges we will complete. Some of the team have been researching about moments to see if we would be able to complete the explosive force challenge. Some methods we have been thinking about are using an elastic band to maximize the force output or dropping a weight onto the lever.  Robotics Club Competition The Year sevens and eights were finishing building their robots and starting to write the initial code for their robots. They have started to evaluate which mission models that they will complete and are refining their robots to compensate for the different attachments that they will need to use to complete the differ…

Week 5 (19/10/18)

Repairing the Mission Models Today was much quieter than usual, as it was the last day before half term and many went home early. While in storage, many of the mission models were either damaged or misplaced. The building team fixed anything that was broken and found anything that was missing. Meanwhile, complete mission models were placed on the board and the team began to visualise how each individual obstacle could be overcome. The models will be stored more carefully next time.

Year 7 and 8 Competition The year sevens and eights that actually turned up have been making steady progress with their robots and have begun to code them. The robots aren't finished by any means, but they're getting there.

Week 4 (05/10/18)

The Finishing TouchesToday, the building team was watching the mission model reveal video and using it to make the different attachments that are going to be used to complete the challenges. The coding team have started to code the robot, testing out the moving patterns on the board. they have been making small changes to the robot to have it as efficient as possible. We have also made a back-up robot, to test out other potential ideas for turning and moving.
Year 7 and 8 CompetitionThe year sevens and eights have been continuing to build and design their robot, they have been experimenting different techniques for the wheels and body. They have been allowed free rein of the internet to gain inspiration for their robots. They have not yet started coding their robots as they must first build the robots to a sufficient standard to be able to complete as many of the challenges as possible.

Week 3 (27/9/18)

Building the Robot
This week the building team started building the actual robot. they are trying to find the best ways to fit the pieces together to get the most efficient outcome. They have also been watching a video on how all of the mission models need to be used. They are using this knowledge to come up with a concept for the different attachments hat are going to be used on the robot to perform the separate tasks that need to be carried out in the competition. The coding team have been trying to comeup with the preliminary code that the robot is going to use.

The year sevens and eights  are continuing with the FLL competition from last year. This week they have started to build their individual robots. They were first split into groups of ten and given some parts to use. They have been told about the different tasks that they will have to perform using these robots, to further help them design and build the robots.

Week 2 (21/09/18)

Building the BotThe building team from last year have started to build the robot. They took robots that have been used previously at the club and were working on ways to improve them and make them more efficient. They have been working with the coding team to figure out better ways to have the code for the different attachments. They have also been discussing the matter of a giro and whether it should be used. In previous years, Black Thunder has not used a giro as it has not proved trustworthy; they have been speculating how to increase the accuracy, thus making it very useful. This came about as the new board has hardly any lines on, so it will be hard to use an infrared sensor.
Mission ModelsThe year sevens and eights finished building the mission models for 'Into Orbit'. Once they finished, they started building the mission models from last year's FLL competition. They will be building their own robots and using last year's board to try and complete the robot based…

Week 1 (14/9/18)

Introduction to the FLL

Today we were introducing the new year sevens to Robotics Club. They were shown an introductory presentation that went over the details of the FLL competition. The more experienced members of the club started to set up the practice board. They used the mission models that the new year sevens had started to build. Some of the year sevens shared their opinions on the prospect of going to a competition outside of the curriculum. Parth said 'it's Awesome!!'.

In the following weeks, The club will be split into three groups: Project, Building and Coding. These groups will work on the appropriate sections of the competition requirements. The coding team will work on the code for the robot; the building team will build the robot; the project team will work on a document researching a chosen topic on the theme 'into orbit' and a presentation on how to solve problems regarding the theme.