Build Week 1 Update

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By Carmen Wise
Class of 2015

Saturday was the big official FIRST Kick-Off for 2013! Two freshmen, a sophomore, and three seniors were taken along up to Manchester, New Hampshire. It was amazing seeing all the teams together, in big clusters of their team colors. There was even a team from Holland! Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers gave speeches as did the new Governor of New Hampshire. The room was packed and there were faces taut with concentration as the game animation rolled. Everyone filed into the field and some teams began taking measurements. By the end of the day we had thrown out some ideas within our small group. Although, feeling dismal at the idea of saucer physics, our ideas included ‘Flood the arena: Make it a water game’.

Sunday was Kick-Off for our team and we discussed scoring strategies, possibilities, probabilities, and all around components of the game. Mechanisms were off limits from being discussed. We have, through our experience, come to realize that having a good idea of what we want to do allows us to better use our design time.

Tuesday night was our first design focused meeting of build season and we were allowed to talk about mechanisms. We began discussing our various options for movement, maneuverability, and scoring. Many ideas were proposed and the mobile white-board was greatly utilized. During the meeting the mentors discussed the viabiality of the different mechanisms and how they would work together while we students discussed ideas for pins and shirts. By the end of the night we finally had our ideas mostly fleshed out and ready to be designed.

On Thursday, we really broke into groups. Some were working on climbing, others outreach, and some were even working on our “Secret Super Fun Competition Project To Be Announced Later”… keep an eye for that on our Twitter feed, facebook page, and YouTube Channels! It’s going to be a lot of fun. My group was working on awards. Solidworks was brought up, laptops brought out, and programming began as well.

Saturday, the morning started out at 9:30, with the acquiring of PVC pipe in order to build the pyramid to take measurements before we build the steel version. Groups are working well, coming up with ideas for the shooting system and beginning to build the base in Solidworks.

With week 1 complete, there’s only more to come from here! Stay tuned….


Discussing ideas


Kim and Ava leading a discussion


Guille demonstrating climbing


Ava approves


Paul, Marcus and Kevin work on some drawings


Busy Saturday!



Aztech Kickoff 2013!

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By Kayleigh Stevens
Class of 2015

Assabet’s FIRST Robotics team had its kick off meeting Sunday, January sixth, and unveiled to the team the challenge for this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition. The Aztechs were super-excited to finally begin the new challenge of 2013. They hadn’t known what the challenge was, and were antsy to get on topic. They were expecting hard work, and were anxious to begin. Long days, weekends, trips around New England, and more are expected of them, and they take it all as fun. The Aztechs love their team and couldn’t wait to get started on the season!

The challenge this year is called “Ultimate Ascent”. The challenge is to build a robot that can score disks into four different kinds of slots to gain different numbers of points. There are also pyramids that are also part of the challenge. To gain maximum pyramid points you can design a robot that can climb to the top of the pyramid. All of this was unveiled at the Aztechs kickoff meeting.

The energy in the room was excited and wondering. Some students hadn’t yet seen the animation of the challenge and were excited to see what was going on. Once the animation was shown and the students understood the challenge, the meeting moved on to rules. How big the robot can be, how tall, what it must fit into, where it must start, and more. Restrictions, restrictions! Rules, rules! We focused on what goals we wanted to achieve. The students and adults worked together to figure out where the most work was going to be needed. We worked on distribution of resources and ideas. We also focused on other rules and solutions to the problem.

I know that as an Aztech myself, I cannot wait to begin thinking of ways to achieve our goals and score maximum points. Designing, building and testing designs are always a thrill and doing it with friends, new and old, is an exceptional gift. The Aztechs are a very lucky group, and are excited for the new season.

Many students were eager to start the design process and begin thinking of ideas, but this meeting was all about goals. The students and adults broke into two groups to decide what they wanted to do and how many points they wanted to make. Schedules were also planned and rules set as to conduct, with a few students at the end taking their safety test. Resources are a concern in where to apply them and what else we may need to achieve our goal.  This meeting put insight into the desires and goals of the students. Weekdays, weekends, night and mornings are all anticipated and waited for; all for one spectacular, working, disk-throwing, climbing and point-scoring robot.


Marcus and Josh talking about the goals


Listening to the presentation.


Discussing ideas


Kim, Kayleigh, Ava and Jenn enjoying the presentation.


2013 Kickoff is here!

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Today’s the most anticipated day for our FRC team, as well as every other one – we found out what the game is for this year! As of today, we have 6 weeks – February 19 is Stop Build Day – to design and build our robot to play…..Ultimate Ascent! Check it out below, and keep an eye out for more from our kickoff tomorrow!

Bowling Tournament & Fundraiser 10.14.12

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We had a great time at our first annual Bowling Tournament, held October 14 at the AMF Lanes in Shrewsbury. We got lots of support from our team, families, and friends, as well as Team 467 – Shrewsbury Robotics! Everyone had a blast, and we raised a fair amount of money. Thanks to everyone who came and can’t wait to see you all at the next one! Check out our photos below! All photos taken by Marcus Fletcher and Kim Berry.

Jarred showing good form













A cool panoramic view





Team 467, Shrewsbury Robotics






















Nicole Bowling in Style




















Our full group




Raytheon Visit

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Last week some members of our team visited Raytheon with the robot!  As a sponsor, they invited us to come and not only show off what we do, but to try to recruit some new mentors to join us as well.

Not only did many of the employees stop and chat on the way to and from the cafeteria, they were very impressed that the students essentially conceptualized, designed and built a 120-pound robot in 6 weeks, with help from adult mentors. Before we left, Jim McGrath presented our team with a check, again securing them as a major sponsor.

Thank you, Raytheon!


Fall Update

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Hi my name is Tyler Chaulk. I am a senior on team 157 and this will be my fourth year with the team. In my experiences I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of our FIRST team. From spinning robots (too soon?) to semifinals to even building robots at 12am to meet deadlines, I have (almost) seen it all. However, even with all the 19 years of experience we have much to catch up on! We are currently taking the baby steps to make our program stand out and become the superpower we can be.

Led by three amazing class of 1999 graduates, we are starting to reach out to not just the community but other FIRST teams as well. Since the beginning of the year we have attempted to outdo ourselves to show off our program even more than ever before.

It all began on August 28, at the freshman activities fair. This is a day when the class of 2016 goes around to every room to see all the different extracurricular activities Assabet has to offer. Armed with a small room, 5 minutes, a small group of kids, flyers for the mixer we planned, and a mind full of things to say, we did our best to advertise our program with the time given. We tried our hardest to turn some heads towards our program to get the incoming freshman interested in robotics. We made sure of it when the freshmen saw us in the auditorium with our robot armed and ready for them to play around with. We let the kids operate our shooter and get a hands on experience of what it was like to operate a robot as well as get a Rebound Rumble t-shirt. Surprisingly enough, the next day people were wearing the robotics shirts which was awesome! Overall it was a fun experience for everybody and it will be something we plan on doing for many years to come.


Applefest 9.15.12

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This weekend was Applefest – a local fall festival that our school always participates in. This year we asked if we could join them and they were happy to have us! We even got to hang out with Team 1100 – The T-Hawks. It was fun to see them and see their setup. They actually had a fun remote control car (think old big wheels) that they drove around the festival. Oh and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Even thought we didn’t have our robot running (no power, and not in a great location – had we tried, we would have ruined the wheels to the point that we could no longer run it in our gym or cafeteria), the kids did a great job in explaining how our robot worked and we got some nice foot traffic. We have 3 more festivals coming up this fall and we’re excited!

Here’s our day in photos!

All set up, first thing in the morning.










Zak explaining how the robot works.












We even had plenty of adults interested in our robot!











Practicing Gracious Professionalism with the T-Hawks











The T-Hawks talking to Tyler and Zak about our robot.












Shawn and Tyler chatting.










Tyler helping kids pull the ball up through the rollers.












Tyler explaining to the kids.











It was a great day – all our photos are on our Facebook page!

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