Our team works in different groups, which we call sub-teams. These groups work on different tasks throughout build season and during the off-season.
The Mechanical sub-team builds the physical aspects of the robot. Throughout the 6-week build season, they build the robot along with prototypes needed to explain how everything fits together in the real robot. When something goes wrong in competition, the Mechanical sub-team is responsible for unraveling the reasons it broke and figuring out the best way to fix it.
With the extra space provided by our new shop, our Mechanical capabilities have also grown into full onsite machining. Students have the opportunity to use a Shapeoko CNC, a full-sized industrial HaaS mill, and a large CO2 laser for building custom robot parts. In fact, the only parts in our 2023 robot that weren’t created in-house by our students were purchased swerve drive pods utilized by many teams in FRC.
The CAD and design team takes all the ideas from our team-wide brainstorming sessions and creates 3D models on the computer using OnShape. The 3D models allow us to flesh out the design and make drawings and models for machining and 3D printing robot parts.
The programming sub-team codes the robot to perform certain tasks in Teleop (Human Operated) and Autonomous modes. Historically, the team used LabVIEW but has used Java since the 2021/2022 season. In Teleop, the robot receives a controller’s input and moves accordingly. In Autonomous, the robot is run 100% independently with the code. It uses encoders, gyros, and more to autonomously maneuver across the field and perform certain tasks.
The Business and Marketing sub-team works hand in hand to create the team brand, advertise it, and raise funds. The Marketing sub-team creates the Howdy Bots team brand and designs products including our team Pit, banners, and badges. They also run the team’s social media pages and manage the website. The business side creates unique ways to raise funds for the team throughout the off-season. They also co-develop presentations for outreach events with members from other sub-teams, and manage our annual Howdython fundraising telethon.