Howdy! Week two is in the bag! These past 7 days were filled with creating prototypes, building field elements, and designing our pit and other marketing materials!
Some of our most exciting news this week, we have a working cube intake prototype for our robot! The intake has two arms with wheels on the end, which spin to suck in the cube. The arms keep the cube in place. This is a huge step for the team! Check out this video to see it in action.
Field Element Construction
Yesterday, several members of our team spent all day building the necessary Field Elements for the tasks we are trying to achieve. We built half of a scale with a platform, and half of a switch. It’s not the whole field, but it’s all we need to practice the game elements we are designing our robot for!
The Rise of PacBot
The Marketing team has been designing this year’s pit and t-shirts. We decided to integrate our “Cowboy” theme with the Power Up theme for our pit design! When you first walk in to the pit, you will see a sign that says “Howdy Bots PowerUp Saloon”. We will have two banners on the sides- one Super Mario themed, one PacMan themed. On the back wall, we will have a “PowerUp Menu” which lists things that “Power Us Up” including sponsors, gracious professionalism, and brownies! Below is a sneak-peek to what we have planned!
What’s next for the team? Now that we have our field elements built, we can start prototyping even more. We hope to have a fully functional robot built very soon! Follow our social media accounts for more updates.
Bonus Fun-Fact: Mario was not originally named Mario. In the game Donkey Kong, he was simply called “Jumpman”.
What an exciting week! Last Saturday was kickoff, the day where we found out the challenge this season. And it’s a tricky one! (Click here for the reveal video link) Over this first week, we have been pretty busy strategizing, thinking about mechanism ideas, and reading the 133 page-long rulebook.
Last weekend, we spent nearly all our time reading the rules. Pretty fun stuff! Well, sometimes. We decided to hold off on all mechanism talk for a few days, to give everyone some time to think and to learn the rules first.
It’s amazing how many ideas a small team (11 members) can come up with! With an initial ban on mechanism talk, our team’s first goal was to come up with a game strategy. We wrote all of the ideas on the whiteboard and discussed point values and feasibility of each idea. With our strategy in place, our next task is to figure out how to achieve these hefty goals.
We’ve begun to split off into sub-groups to divide and conquer. The field elements are being assembled, the cad group is pulling specs for the builders, and the electronics team is starting to put together a simple bot so the programmers can start testing. And the marketing team, well we’re blogging!
Over the next 5 weeks we will be this will be our life. We are basically a family now. We will be spending about 40 hours building robots every week. It’s a lot, but it’s fun!
We will be posting weekly updates during Build Season. Follow our social media for more posts!
Have you noticed all of our social media posts about companies who have donated to our team for our upcoming auction? Are you as excited as we are? Well, we are finally ready to announce the specifics so you can start getting ready to place your bids!
On October 30th we will launch a week long online auction that will serve as a major fundraiser for our upcoming season. The auction will close on Sunday, November 5th. We currently have donations from over 35 companies, including Schiltterbahn, HEB, Catch Air, Fuzzy’s Tacos, and Inner Space Cavern!
Stay tuned for more exciting updates from our fundraising team and keep track of our donations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
You can now support the Howdy Bots by shopping on Amazon!
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to our non-profit, ATX Robotics! Simply click the link below and we will get a small portion of any Amazon purchase you make! However, only purchases made at smile.amazon.com, (not amazon.com or the mobile app,) generate AmazonSmile donations.
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to wrangle a robot like the pros? Are you a homeschooler or private schooler between the ages of 13-18 and live in the North Austin area? Can you commit to a heavy schedule of the hardest fun you will ever have? If so, we want to meet you!
Last week we participated in the Houston Championship.
This competition was a lot different than our previous competitions, as there were 400 other teams and thousands of people! Since there were so many teams, the competition was split into six divisions, and the winners of each division would compete in the finals in Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros baseball stadium! Continue reading “Houston Championships Recap”→
This weekend we competed at the Alamo Regional in San Antonio, Texas.
We weren’t as nervous going into this competition as we were at Lone Star Central, mainly because we knew what we were doing this time and we already got a spot into the Championships. We decided to use this competition as an opportunity to practice driving the robot as well as getting to know other teams. We were able to rebuild the pit in an hour and a half, and spent the rest of Wednesday strategizing and exploring San Antonio! Continue reading “Alamo Regional Recap”→
Last week was our first competition, the Lone Star Central Regional, in Houston, Texas.
We drove down on Wednesday to set up our pit. Our pit is a 10’x10’x10′ space that each team is assigned. Here, we can fix and modify our robot as well as display our team spirit and talk to judges. Each pit is unique and can be decorated any way the team desires. We built our pit by ourselves in less than two hours. As you can see from the photo below, our pit was constructed out of wood 2x4s with a large canvas tarp draped around the outside. We had plenty of room in our pit for our tools and displayed some photos on the side walls. The small table in the front was our marketing station, where we handed out our brochures, business cards, and “swag” pins.