Week Two: A Flash of Genius Strikes The Team!

This blogpost was written by Michael S. 

Watt has team 341 been up to this week? Team 341 has been hard at work in Week 2 of build season, releasing their energy in high voltages!

Our public relations subteam is working hard to write some electrifying nominee essays for the Woodie Flowers Award and Dean’s List. This year, nominees for the Woodie Flowers award are Sean Stevens and Kirsten Jahn Richardson. Nominees for the Dean’s List are Kevin L. and Tiffany L. Meanwhile, Our media subteam has been working on pit posters, an avatar for competitions, and the team’s 60-second weekly video.

Students work in the shop on mechanisms.

Students work in the shop on mechanisms.

In the shop, our design/build subteam has been charging up several different mechanisms!

The pinch-intake group laser cut new plates to replace the original plywood. They adjusted the new plates to be wider and give more compression. Along with that, they doubled up on pistons to give extra power holding in stabilizing the cone. Along the edges of the arms and the base plate, they lined the intake with rubber and tread so it better grips the cone.

The first iteration of the roller claw

The first iteration of the roller claw.

The roller-claw group went through many iterations of testing different sized wheels, different numbers of wheels, different ways to grab the game pieces, and improving weight and rigidity. The laser cutter sparked progress since it allowed for fast changes to design plans.

The telescoping arm group converted their original prototype to metal. The first stage is 1″ square tubing and the second stage is 1.5″ square tubing. One significant setback were several issues with the gearbox and mounting, forcing the group to change and replace it 4 to 5 times. Currently they are working on the base of the drivebase to make it more sturdy with metal.


While groups of students worked on the prototypes for the intake, students working on the drivebase were able to finalize changes after a team design review. The drivebase was sent out to our awesome sponsor, CCC, to be made!

Meanile, in another part of the school, the programming team has been coding their way to success. This week they focused on autonomous routines using PathPlanner. They automated the robot to dock and engage the charging station using a gyro. They set up an onboard camera and configured it to give us correct range measurements. Currently they are in the process of getting the robot to align to an April Tag and get closer to it so it aligns to the goal, and estimate the position of the robot on the field using April Tags. 


On top of figuring out alignment, a subsection of the programming team has been working on a new capability for the team: a scouting app– designed to be more efficient than the team’s old paper scouting methods. All of the match and pit scouting parts of the new scouting app are complete! Now the scouting app team is working on effectively displaying the collected match data visually to make smart strategy decisions.

The match scouting display screen.

The match scouting display screen.

Two weeks in, Team 341 will continue to power through the season!

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Strategy groups discussing what to do with the cones52640281629_563c6c54fc_b