The 18 grade 9 students on the Upper School Robotics Team, Bot-Provoking, have been tasked with quite the large challenge this semester: to design, build, and program a 5-foot tall, 120-pound robot to play a game. usrobotics

This year, the game piece is a 2-foot diameter ball, and the alliance scores points by shooting it into goals, throwing it over a truss, catching it when another robot throws it, and assisting other robots in moving the ball down the field.The students have six weeks to build the robot.

So, just how are students preparing for this challenge? Michelle Grau, who serves as the team's coach, provided an insightful look into their strategy and approach. 

Strategy and Brainstorming

We have discussed what would be preferable: purely offense, purely defense, or a mix? To do this, we split up and wrote down all the methods we could think of and shared with the team. The ideas varied from a giant net to a hollow robot. Our team has spent around nine hours brainstorming the robot before starting the build.

Build and Design

So far, we have discussed what we want to focus on: catching, receiving, and passing. We have started to think about what the mechanisms would be and how they would work. The Build team has started on our chassis and begun to brainstorm what the robot will look like. As of January 9, the Build team finished the chassis. We cut the metal parts to requirement and put many pieces together. We have also started prototyping and designing further prototypes.


We have started on the building of the control board, and the boxes have been completely inventoried and slightly organized. The electronic board has almost been completed, although we still have to add a few parts and are waiting for some motor controllers. We are hoping to finish much the end of the week. With the exception of two victor motor controllers, the rough wiring of the electronics board is completed.


Our CAD team has started rough sketch and explanations on how the prototypes are going to work. The CADs have built the pieces in the software. They have made models of all the prototypes we have come up with and are currently making a model of the electronics board to be laser cut and mounted on the robot. 


Our Programming team has familiarized themselves with the LabView system and set up the classmate computer as well as finished the installation of LabView. The programmers have started to test the electronics board and are learning how to use the joystick. 

We look forward to seeing the finished product and wish Bot-Provoking the best of luck in completing this impressive task!



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