News Archive 2010
Archive of News Articles from 2010
- 1 CPR Training 18-December-2010
- 2 Downingtown Area Robotics Open House - 15-Dec-2010
- 3 Practice FRC Kick-off - 11 & 12 Dec-2010
- 4 Lansdale Catholic FIRST Lego League - 20-November-2010
- 5 VEX Fall Classics - 20-November-2010
- 6 Ramp Riot and Girls In Gear Demo - 13-Nov-2010
- 7 VEX Adult Mentor Workshop - 7-Nov-2010
- 8 FRC Pancake Breakfast - 23-Oct-2010
- 9 FRC Car Wash - 17-Oct-2010
- 10 Chester County Council Boy Scout Camporee - 16-Oct-2010
- 11 Duel On the Delaware - 16-Oct-2010
- 12 VEX-MEN break 100 - 13-Oct-2010
- 13 Franklin Institute Robot Conflict Demonstration - 9-Oct-2010
- 14 Presentation & Demonstration at FIATECH - 5-Oct-2010
- 15 Julie Bachmann / Rich Kulik Wedding - 14-August-2010
- 16 Team Picnic at Warwick Park - 1-August-2010
- 17 DEWBOT VI travels to Indiana - July 2010
- 18 Summer Cub Scout Demos
- 19 Upper Uwchlan Block Party
- 20 Seniors Graduate in June 2010
- 21 Bridgewater Raritan Battle Royale - 29-May-2010
- 22 Foster Schucker & Steve Rhoads named VEX Mentors of the year
- 23 S.T.E.M. Defined! 19-May-2010
- 24 Monty Madness 15-May-2010
- 25 PARC XIII 8-May-2010
- 26 Downingtown Science Fair 3-May-2010
- 27 PSU Firefighting Contest 24-April-2010
- 28 Clean Sweep VEX World Championship
- 29 Sugartown Lego Expo April 16,2010
- 30 DEWBOT VI receives Xerox Creativity Award at Philadelphia March 26, 2010
- 31 Eastern Pennsylvania VEX Regional - March 13, 2010
- 32 DEWBOT VI Finger Lakes Regional March 4-6, 2010
- 33 Downingtown VEX Roboteers win Awards at Mid-Atlantic Championships - 27 February 2010
- 34 DEWBOT VI Ships - 23-February, 2010
- 35 VEX Demo at Philadelphia FLL Tournament - January 31,2010
- 36 VEX Competition at Christopher Dock - January 23,2010
CPR Training 18-December-2010
Downingtown Area Robotics Open House - 15-Dec-2010
DAR hosted an Open House on the evening of 15-December.
Practice FRC Kick-off - 11 & 12 Dec-2010
Team 1640 conducted a Practice Kick-off on 11 & 12-December 2010 in preparation of the real deal. A formal Design Process was introduced and tested during this exercise. 2006 Aim High game rules were employed for the robot basis, with the exception of the control system, which utilized 2010 standards.
Game simulation using students as robots proved very effective and provided very good insights into the game play and requirements for winning matches.
Lansdale Catholic FIRST Lego League - 20-November-2010
There were 48 teams competing in the first Lego event of the season. The Lansdale event is one of the largest events in our area. The Downingtown teams did very well.
- Team 1003, Robot Wizards: Best Programming, Top Finalist and 3rd Place Robot
- Team 1001, BioBots: 7th Place Robot
- Team 1004, Nerve Connections: 24th Place Robot
VEX Fall Classics - 20-November-2010
On Saturday 20 November we had 42 teams from 4 states came play Round Up. There were two events in one, the Junior Fall Classic for 18 middle school teams and the Fall Classic for 24 High School teams. Over 350 people crowded into the Downingtown Middle School for a day of fast and fun robotics action. Read all the details in the Round Up Fall Classic. Our thanks for QVC for being the sponsor of this event!
Ramp Riot and Girls In Gear Demo - 13-Nov-2010
The FRC and VEX teams went to Ambler PA to participate in Ramp Riot and to do a demo for the Girl Scouts Girls in Gear program.
DEWBOT VI did pretty well during the day and we were picked for the 5th alliance. Quarterfinals didn't go well with a mechanical failure taking us out of the competition.
The demo went very well, over 70 Scouts got a chance to drive our VEX robots.
VEX Adult Mentor Workshop - 7-Nov-2010
On Sunday 15 VEX adult mentors met at the Downingtown Robotics Center. Sessions by Steve Rhoads, Bob Whalen covered mechanical construction of bases, grippers, grabbers, arms, game rules, match play, and software. All 15 mentors reached the Technomage Software Apprentice Level.
FRC Pancake Breakfast - 23-Oct-2010
Our 2nd annual All-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast at Applebee's in Exton. Special guest appearance of Capt'n Rizzo & company.
FRC Car Wash - 17-Oct-2010
FRC Team 1640 washed cars to raise funds at the Lionville Chick-fil-A.
Chester County Council Boy Scout Camporee - 16-Oct-2010
STEMRobotics and the VEX-MEN demonstrated the fun and excitement of competition to 1200 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Chester County. They were very busy keeping 6 robots moving and managing the crowds. The Scouts were thrilled at the chance to drive and a few even took a crack at playing Round Up.
Duel On the Delaware - 16-Oct-2010
Sab-BOT-age's 4th time participating at Duel on the Delaware. All new FRC students participated as Human Players.
We finished 10th out of 28 teams in the qualifying matches. Team 007, the 8th alliance captain, invited us and team 433 (Firebirds) to join their alliance. Alas, we did not make it to the semi-finals.
The Team Screwdriver won an award.
VEX-MEN break 100 - 13-Oct-2010
In 2009 we hit a milestone with 50 roboteers. A year later we hit a new milestone of over 100 roboteers! It is pretty exciting that there is that much interest in competition robotics in Downingtown, 25 times growth in only 5 years! Congrats VEX-MEN!
Franklin Institute Robot Conflict Demonstration - 9-Oct-2010
FRC Team 1640 (Sab-BOT-age) was invited to demonstrate DEWBOT VI at Northeast Robot Club's (NERC) Franklin Institute Robot Conflict. DEWBOT wisely stayed out of the arena. FTC Team 3489 (Minds in Gear) also represented FIRST at this combat event.
Presentation & Demonstration at FIATECH - 5-Oct-2010DEWBOT VI to FIATECH during their annual meeting on 5-Oct at the Sofitel, Philadelphia. The three presenters did a great job and generated a lot of interest. Thanks also to Matt and Nicole for their assistance.
- About FIATECH: FIATECH is a consortium of industries and companies from the industrial, power, and retail markets that, of necessity, build large assets such as refineries, power plants, large commercial buildings, or manufacturing facilities. In addition, it includes the leading providers of engineering, design, and construction services...
We thank our long-term sponsor, Bentley, for the gracious invitation to make this presentation.
Julie Bachmann / Rich Kulik Wedding - 14-August-2010
Julie has been a Team 1640 Mechanical Mentor starting with the 2006 (Aim High) season.
Team Picnic at Warwick Park - 1-August-2010
The Team's annual picnic was helt at Warwick Park, 2-dusk. FRC Medallions and Team Certificates were presented to the 2010 team members and new members had the opportunity to meet everyone. It rained a little, but who's afraid of a little rain? Temperature was mild. Turn-out great! Great food. Great company. Great conversation. Some horseplay & a small dog as well.
DEWBOT VI travels to Indiana - July 2010
Eighteen members of Downingtown Robotics headed to the Indiana Robotics Invitational. The robot did very well, placing 31st out of 78 robots. Jack, one of our VEX roboteers won the VEX Swept Away tournament.
Summer Cub Scout Demos
Across the summer we are doing VEX Cub Scout Demos at scout summer camps in the area. Over 400 scouts will drive tumbler bots during the summer.
Upper Uwchlan Block Party
DEWBOT VI and VEX robots provided the community with a hands-on demonstration at at the Upper Uwchlan Block Party on 19-June. DEWBOT VI kicked soccer balls all afternoon. DEWBOT III was also on-hand, but didn't actively participate in the festivities.
Seniors Graduate in June 2010
Congratulations to our graduating Seniors - Paul, Brianna, Amanda, Jen and Cole!!!
Bridgewater Raritan Battle Royale - 29-May-2010
DEWBOT VI participated in the 2nd Bridgewater Raritan Battle Royale (BR)2. Team 1640 received the competition's Engineering Excellence Award for DEWBOT's unique, multi-mode pivot drive-train and the mirror mounted to find balls hidden behind the bumps. 1640 placed 12th out of 21 teams in the qualifying matches and was selected by the 2nd Alliance (2753 Overdrive & 1279 Cold Fusion). We were eliminated in the semifinals.
There was also a large VEX event held concurrently at this location...
Foster Schucker & Steve Rhoads named VEX Mentors of the year
S.T.E.M. Defined! 19-May-2010
Downingtown Area Robotics provided a robotics demonstration for all ages at DASD's S.T.E.M. Defined night at Downingtown Middle School. Our room was packed with both robots and humans! FLL, VEX and FRC robots were all present and busy. DEWBOT VI faced off against DEWBOT V while DEWBOT III watched the door. Thanks to all the Roboteers, Mentors and Parents whose hard work made this is great success.
Monty Madness 15-May-2010
Sab-BOT-age made a strong showing against a very competitive field, finishing qualifying matches in 10th place out of 42 teams.
We were the first selection of team 365 MOE, captain of the 6th alliance. Team 2344 Saunders Droid Fatory completed our alliance. Alas, we were defeated in the quarterfinals by the 4th alliance (103 Cybersonics, 341 Miss Daisy and 75 RoboRaiders).
PARC XIII 8-May-2010
1640 placed 8th seed out of 19 teams and was selected by Team 2753 (Team Overdrive) for the 3rd Alliance (together with Team 339). We defeated the 6th alliance in two games in the Quarter-Finals, but were ourselves defeated by the 1st Alliance (Teams 25, 341 & 1989) in the Semi-Finals.
Team 1640 received the Gracious Professionalism Award.
Downingtown Science Fair 3-May-2010
Downingtown Area Robotics FRC, VEX and FLL Teams all participated in the Downingtown Science Fair at Lionville Elementary School on the evening of 3 May 2010.
PSU Firefighting Contest 24-April-2010
Team Buzz-bot went to the annual Penn State Abington Firefight Contest. The robot is a basic squarebot with side sensors and two front facing fang touch switches. There is also a touch sensor for when the robot drives face into the wall. Lastly there is a light sensor to see when the robot is near the candle mat. To blow the candle out it has a 1000 RPM motor with a seven inch propeller. When the sensor sees the white floor it turns the fan on.
The first run wasn't good (some major wall slams), but the second run was great. There was a minor problem with the light sensor. It would see the reflection of the overhead lights and trigger the fan. The fast fan. The very loud fast fan. The crowd was amazed by the noise. The robot worked its way to the room with the candle but backed up rather than moving forward.
The team won a Creativity Award for their design. Congrats to Buzz-bots! They are already planning next year's robot.
Clean Sweep VEX World Championship
Team 80 Pegasus and Team 81 Longshot are at the VEX Robotics Competition Championship in Dallas TX. They are having a great adventure. Read about the details on the Clean Sweep VEX World Championship page.
Sugartown Lego Expo April 16,2010
Downingtown Area Robotics FRC, VEX and FLL Teams all participated in the Sugartown Elementary School's Lego Expo and Robotics Fair on the evening of 16 April 2010. Team 1640 (especially Siri Maley) assisted Sugartown Elementary in setting up its JFLL program in 2008.
DEWBOT VI receives Xerox Creativity Award at Philadelphia March 26, 20104-wheel independent pivot drive-train. The awarding judges remarked:
- The Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox celebrates creative design, use of a component, or a creative or unique strategy of play. Whether you want to call it "thinking outside the box" or "pushing the envelope", this winning team demonstrates that it has creatively gone beyond the norm in tackling this year's game challenge.
- Creativity was illustrated through the coupling of an innovative drive system with a multimode control system.
- Mechanical design was initiated the previous summer using modeling and prototyping.
- This led to a robust three mode turning mechanism and it is hard to Sabotage the unique and creative aspects of their design.
- Congratulations team number 1640 Sab-BOT-age.
On Saturday the team was chosen to be on the fifth seeded alliance during the Philadelphia Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Downingtown made it to the semifinals, where they were eliminated by the top seed, who went on to win the competition.
Read all the details about the 2010 Philadelphia Regional
Eastern Pennsylvania VEX Regional - March 13, 2010
The second annual Eastern Pennsylvania VEX Regional was held at the Downingtown Education Center from 9AM to 4PM. Our VEX team competed with roboteers from 3 states!
This is major VEX fundraising event, thanks to everyone that came out and supported the teams.
Details of the event can be found at 2010_Eastern Pennsylvania Regional with lots of pictures
DEWBOT VI Finger Lakes Regional March 4-6, 2010
Twenty-five roboteers, mentors and parents made the 6 hour drive on to Rochester NY to watch Sab-BOT-age compete at the [2010 Finger Lakes Regional]. After getting off to a great start of being the first robot inspected, we set off to the practice field.
During practice we uncovered some code problems that we worked on, but never quite got 100% fixed. In a first for us we made all of our practice matches. Our new "design before building" practice has created robots that are mechanically sound. The only work on the robot on Thursday was to replace some bolts on the front of the robot that was interfering with the ball. This work was planned before we left and Clem's step by step instructions made the work go fast.
Thursday team dinner was at Dinosaur BBQ a downtown Rochester Landmark.
The DEWBOT VI Chairmans Award presentation team did a final practice run and then did their "Ignite Sab-BOT-age" presentation for the judges. It went well and we got lots of great comments back. Only 11 teams out of 44 made the effort to compete for FIRST's highest award. We did not win, the winning team was a two time Chairman's winner.
Friday morning also saw the installation of a new chain tension device, a PVC cap from Home
Robot Depot. Friday qualifications saw us move up and down many times in the rankings. Control system problems were an annoyance and the team worked on them non-stop.
Friday night we celebrated Jen's 18th birthday with cake and pizza in the hotel.
Saturday was a repeat of Friday on the field. We were not chosen for the final alliances, but we did use the time to allow the programming team to work on the robot.
This was not such a great performance for us. We finished the competition ranked 37 of 44, winning only 2 matches, losing 7, and getting a tie (zero-zero) in 1. We found several control bugs that we're addressing, though we ran into very few major mechanical problems. We hope to fix many of these by the Philadelphia Regional at Drexel University on March 25-27, 2010.
On a positive note our pivot drive got lots of attention. Another team had a very similar setup and was impressed with ours. We also received kudos from the Safety Judges for our constant use of gloves to move the robot around, safety glasses always being worn, keeping our pit (and the one next to us) cleaned and all loose material picked up. By Saturday we had received 35 Safety Tokens a new team record.
More details can be found on the DEWBOT VI Finger Lakes Regional page.
Downingtown VEX Roboteers win Awards at Mid-Atlantic Championships - 27 February 2010
On Saturday 18 roboteers headed down to the Mi-Atlantic VEX Championships in Westminster MD. We met up with teams from MA,NJ,PA,MD,VA,NC to compete in the middle school division. A total of 23 teams participated.
Our teams did very well. Team 80 struggled with driving early in the day but came back to place #3 in the rankings. After their great showing at DockBot'10 Team 81 had a great day, placed 5th and was chosen by the second place alliance. The Pterodactyls, Team 82 was one of the Cinderella stories of the day. The mechanical team did not come, but Taylor the team programmer did. He and mentor Dan made some minor hardware changes and some major programming changes to post an impressive record. Using borrowed arm operators Taylor made it into the semi-finals.
The Iron Taco's, Team 94, came ready to play and posted some upsets against much higher ranked teams. Team 89 Govonador, also had a good day. They made adjustments and programming changes and ranked in the top teams. Team 90 posted some solid results as did Team 92. These two robots went through some early mechanical changes but towards the end were solid performers.
Team 96 suffered from missing team members, but Corey kept the code flying and the robot rolling and placed 8th in the qualifications.
Because of the large number of teams it was easy to say "Downingtown Wins" at the end since we were in most matches. Two of the matches of the day were all Downingtown teams.
Alliance selections went well with three of our teams being alliance captains. We had good alliance partners during the eliminations. Team 89 had the upset of the day beating the #1 alliance in their first match.
While we had a number of teams that made it as far as the semifinals, we didn't make it into the final rounds. But we did win some major awards:
- Team 80 - Design Award - The Pegasus Engineering notebook took this award. The team had documented the steps (and mis-steps) in building their robot.
- Team 80 - Innovate Award for the sensor package on the robot. There are potentiometers at each joint, a button on the front to tell when they are at the wall and a switch to tell when the arm is in position. The judges were impressed with the innovative design.
- Team 80 - Programming Challenge - Mike L was able to program the robot autonomous functions to score 21 points, beating Team 82's Taylor by 1 point. Both programmers did a super job and vowed to be back in two weeks with even more points.
By winning the Programming Challenge, Team 80 is eligible to go to the World Championships in April!
Thanks to all the roboteers that went and to the parents that not only drove but then mentored for the long day.
DEWBOT VI Ships - 23-February, 2010
We crated up DEWBOT VI securely last night and into the wee hours of this morning to send him on his way to RIT for our first Regional Competition.
Thanks to all students, mentors, parents and sponsors for making this a successful build season.
VEX Demo at Philadelphia FLL Tournament - January 31,2010STEMRobotics mission is to get new roboteers involved with robots. On Saturday Foster and Mike M took five robots to the 4th Annual Philadelphia FIRST Lego League Tournament. They set up a field to play Cross Ball and ran a number of matches with the Lego Roboteers. Across the next six hours over 100 students and some parents drove the robots.
Mike spent most of his time keeping the field going and the robots in running order. The combination of Super-protobots and square bots performed well.
There was lots of interest in starting new team in Philadelphia. Foster spent time talking to teachers that have existing VEX hardware on restarting teams. He talked about how to upgrade the starter kits to competition level.
The Lego Roboteers were excited about driving the robots, a number said that being able to drive was very exciting.
VEX Competition at Christopher Dock - January 23,2010
We took eight VEX robot teams to Christopher Dock High School in Lansdale for Dockbots'10. This is the largest VEX event in Pennsylvania, it is sponsored by Christopher Dock Mennonite High School and STEMRobotics. There were 36 teams from three states, with 11 middle school teams and the rest from high schools. About 250 people were at the event. This is the second year that Downingtown has attended Dockbots.
Our teams did very well. During the qualification rounds we played very well, with only a few robot malfunctions. At the end we had two teams in the top ten. Team 81, Longshot placed fourth with a 5-1 record. Our all girls team, Pegasus, Team 80 also had a 5-1 record.
In the tournament, the top 8 teams create alliances. Team 80 was chosen by the number 3 seed, Lower Merion's Harriton High School, to be on their alliance. Team 81 created an alliance with some very strong partners from Radnor High School and Downingtown Team 84, the Iron Tacos. Team 89, Govonador, was chosen by the seventh seed team. Due to the way the draws worked out, The Pterodactyls, Team 82 from Downingtown was able to create the 8th alliance with a team from Christopher Dock and another Downingtown team, Deceptions, Team 90.
So we had six of our eight teams in the eliminations! Longshot and the Iron Tacos made it into the semi-finals but lost to teams that had won the Summit, New Jersey event two weeks ago.
This was the best showing by the team this season.
Team 81 won an Excellence Award, they were pitted against the 11 middle school teams that attended. They got the award based on their robot design, being able to explain their design process by showing drawings of other ideas that they had tested and discarded and for their great teamwork. They have qualified to go to the World Championships in Dallas Texas in April.
Not only did the roboteers do a great job, but we also had a super turnout by our parents. Many continued acting as mentors for the teams, others pitched in and helped queue the robots for matches, perform match scoring, doing crystal management and helping with the inspection process. Without their efforts the event would not have been so successful.
Our next match is Saturday, 27 February in Maryland followed by our home event on 13 March at DEC.