Like all FIRST teams everywhere, the Scalawags are just waiting until we can be together again. We really miss our shop, our time together, and our robots. The team also wants to thank our sponsors for their continued support – several have reached out to us in our time of quarantine and had words of wisdom and comfort.
We are trying to keep things moving through virtual meetings and projects we can all work on at home like updating the Business Plan, designing a float for this summer’s Strawberry Festival Parade, and coming up with socially distant fundraising ideas. Stay tuned for lots of cool stuff, just as soon as we can leave the house safely!
The Scalawags are still slaving away on their latest masterpiece. Annie Snoakley has been a demanding mistress, but the team feels like they are finally getting a handle on her. After 2 weeks of liposuction, she is a slim and trim 125#. It’s a good thing, too, because there’s not many more places to drill a hole or lighten a bracket! Shout out to our local vet clinic, Faithful Friends, for making their scale available to us. That’s “weigh” easier for figuring out how much more she needs to lose!
Programming is continuing to debug and test. Team 1359 had really hoped to get some driving practice in before we left for our first event on Friday, but it was not meant to be! Instead, we’ll be running by the seat of our pants, learning as we go. Scrappy pirates like ourselves never shy away from a challenge such as that, and the team is excited about getting her out on the field.
The Scalawags will be competing in Auburn, WA, this weekend. We will post links to the twitch channel on our social media as soon as we know it. Tune in and cheer us on! It’s a little nerve wracking to be going so far away – we’ll be the only Oregon team there – but we are excited to reconnect with teams we don’t see often, and make some new friends while we’re at it! ARRRRRGH!
The team worked late on Valentine’s Day night – after a hearty dinner of nachos – to get the robot put together for Scrimmage the next day. All her parts and pieces came together… and most importantly, she gained a name. We are pleased to introduce Annie Snoakley. She was named for legendary sharp shooter Annie Oakley – continuing our recent tradition of borrowing the names of strong women – and Star Wars Supreme Leader Snoke – because some days you need just a hint of the Dark Side to get things done.
It took us until early afternoon, but we did get the robot on the field for Scrimmage this year! We were not able to test the ball handling system, but we learned that our motors were pretty peppy. So peppy, in fact, that she tipped on her first outing when Jo tried to change directions too quickly.
She mostly passed inspection… except for the pesky 20 pounds she will have to lose in the next few weeks. Looks like it’s celery and aerobics for Annie! We are hoping to get her slimmed down and shooting properly before next Sunday, when we have an opportunity for another informal scrimmage at DW Fritz’s practice field in Wilsonville. The team spent their President’s Day debugging the code, swapping out motors and gearboxes, and reworking our bumpers. All in a day’s work!
As we cruise into the 5th week of Build Season, we are starting to see what looks like a robot! She is taking shape nicely, and the team is working extra hours this week in the hope that we will have a functioning robot by Saturday’s scrimmage at Corvallis High School. Subsystems are being placed, and electronics are going in!
The art team is creating to their heart’s content, and the stuff they are putting together is pretty cool. Ships, asteroids, cities and control panels, they’ve got it all! Buttons are being stock piled, and we have a cool idea for some limited edition buttons… stay tuned on that one.
Finally, a shout out to the Mom Squad, who have continued with concessions during Build Season, while the kids are busy building a robot. You ladies are the best nacho slingers around and we love you!
A record setting 22 budding engineers showed up for Jr Robotics at the Scalawags’ shop this morning. After watching the kick off video, they brainstormed ways to play the game. As soon as the creative juices were flowing, the young pirates sketched out ideas and built models of their design out of LEGOs.
When all ideas had been admired and explained, the Jr Robot crew walked down the hall to Team 1359’s shop and got an update on what the Scalawags have planned. Although they were not able to see any of our prototypes in action, the Jrs were excited to see that the competition robot will incorporate some of the same ideas as their LEGO models! Great minds think alike!
The Scalawags have been hard at work in the shop since we watched the Kick Off video and received our kit of parts in Early January. At the end of our second week, we are well on our way! The fabricators started welding the frame today. Subsystems to handle the power cells, and shoot them at the target are in the final stages of prototyping. Programmers are using their test board to check their work, and the art team has already created an awesome replica of First City. All in all, we’ve been a very busy band of pirates.
After only half a day of brainstorming, some pirates have already broken off to prototype parts of the robot. Others are working on frame, and even thinking about the programming needs. The art team, of course, has already come up with incredible ideas for weaving the Infinite Recharge theme into our pit, costuming, and spirit work!
Arrrgh! We’ll stop in with pictures and more updates as we have them!
Saturday, November 9th, our rookie team members and new mentors went to the FIRST Chance event in Wilsonville. This is an event put on by DW Fritz Automation, a big supporter of FIRST. It has a similar concept to Girls Generation, although the idea of this competition is to let rookies get a taste of FIRST, and promote how fun the payoff of build season is. Our rookies had a blast, finishing 5th overall. We’re super proud of them!!!
We had a blast and a half Saturday, November 23rd, during Junior Robotics! The morning began with introductions, a safety talk, and a tour of our new shop. We talked about how solar energy works, and the pros and cons of how much it costs our environment to produce this clean energy provider. In the end, the kids decided if we could make everything solar powered, it would be totally worth it. Then, we built tiny solar powered cars, and held a race. It was a close one, but the sun came out just in time to indulge us! After the race, we demonstrated our t-shirt cannon, Percy, and shot off t-shirts for the kids.