The Grand Blanc High School Robotics Team introduced its First annual training session, deemed "Robot Boot Camp". This crash-course allowed the Students to receive an introduction to a wide variety of topics relating to the FIRST program, the FIRST Robotics Competition, various engineering topics, as well as a wide range of tools and their uses.
The camp ran two evenings in December, where sixteen different topics were presented using the concept of centered learning stations. Each station demonstrated a single topic, presented by one of the Team's Mentors, in their area of expertise. Mentors demonstrated real-world engineering concepts (pictured left), based on years of experience. The students in attendance moved from station to station throughout the evening, rotating every 15 minutes. This time frame allowed maximum exposure to the material without overloading the students with new information. Using centered learning stations allows students to gain a hands-on experience with the tools and components, and provides visual-kinesthetic learners with the opportunity to interact with the equipment and materials.
The topics discussed at Boot Camp ranged from information the proper way to charge, transport, and handle batteries, to common mechanical and electrical materials and tools (pictured bottom right), to wiring, scouting, alliance selection (pictured above right), and CAD. Students were also given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the process of measuring, drilling, and tapping a hole, and then demonstrate their knowledge by actually completing the task. While some of this information may not have been new to all of the students, it allowed returning members to refresh their knowledge in many areas. The response from the Students was very positive, and even returning Students from last season had a chance to learn new concepts in areas they may not have been exposed to previously.
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A group of EngiNERDs helped fellow Team member, Brian Kiihr, with his Eagle Scout project. Brian designed and managed the installation ofpathway signs in the Commons, a nature trail behind the Grand Blanc Library.
May 1st, 2008
EngiNERDs in the Grand Blanc News! An artical written by Theresa Roach
March 19, 2008
EngiNERDs in the Flint Journal
It's getting down to the wire and all of the groups have been working hard every night. I, personally, have been working with our Operator Interface Control and the Boot/Ball Handler groups. These guys are most definitely working hard to get it together for some testing before we ship. Since I don't know much about building, I have been lurking around the back room, soaking up all the knowledge I can get.
Well, it's not as simple as screwing things in and nailing other stuff down, that's for sure. Building takes a lot of creativity and compromise, as well as a good knowledge of all the tools and lots of tricks. The mentors are helping immensely with their tips and tricks, while also passing them on. Everyone is most definitely getting a chance to do something in all the groups, because I know I have, and I didn't know anything about building robots, or anything for that matter.
I have aided all of the groups in some way or another in the past few weeks. With Programming I helped solder I.R. Sensors, which was a great learning experience, thanks to Gage. The Electrical Group has been working on the Operator Interface, and that's what I have been doing most recently. We are making a Control board for the competitions that contains the joysticks, emergency buttons, buttons for the arm, and there will be more added as we go. And finally, the Mechanical group needed my help with the gaskets.
The Premier Tooling Systems building has been kindly donated to be used for the Grand Blanc Robotics team. It is co-owned by Thom Self, who authorized its use. Premier Tooling Systems designs and manufactures tooling that is used to machine valve bodies, brake calipers, and other various automotive parts. The tools provided are welders, drill presses, saws, among other tools that we can use to create the best robot possible. It's open spaces are also ideal for maneuvering and testing our robots.
Our electrical team and public relations uses its conference room to do their tasks. The mechanical team uses the lunch room to do their planning and also uses the tools to construct the robot. The programming team uses one of the many rooms to meet and write codes and program on their computer to make the robot move and complete tasks. Mechanics also uses the machines to create counter boards so the other team members can construct the base. We are very fortunate to have the use of this building, which is in the perfect location.
FANUC Robotics America invited the EngiNERDS to tour their Rochester Hills, MI headquarters this month. FANUC is the leading supplier of robotic automation in the Americas and has robots installed wordwide. FANUC designs robots for various applications including assembly, material handling, painting, and welding.
Paul Copioli, FANUC Senior Staff Engineer, hosted the EngiNERDS visit showing the team robots for various paint applications that were in final testing.
FANUC Robotics is a long-time sponsor of FIRST High School Robotics teams. FANUC selected Grand Blanc’s High School’s robotics team to add to their FIRST sponsorship this year. The EngiNERDs demonstrated to FANUC their commitment to the FIRST program through strong student interest as well as the strong leadership and commitment from mentors and the high school.
Paul Copioli, FANUC Robotics, (second from left) explains to the EngiNERDS about the final robot testing and customer signoff stage.
On right, Team members watch testing of robots for vehicle assembly paint applications.