9/30/13 Update

This week we introduced new members to the team.  After the school’s annual Activities Fair last year, we got a whopping 31 recruits — three times the size of most other FTC teams.  Many of the new members are interested in getting involved with programming or CAD — a challenge for our two new programming and CAD heads.  Along with some veterans, our captains spoke with the new members about robotics, engineering, and the FTC competition and about the rules and policies in place.  So far, the new members seem excited to be a part of the team.  In the meantime, our scrimmage bot for the “Block Party” challenge is gaining traction, with three scoring designs, two dispensing designs, and several other ideas completed or almost completed.  This year, our primary thought process has shifted from mechanical slides (which we found inefficient last year) to faster and sleeker wheel-based designs through the use of things such as retractable conveyor belts, multiple wheel “sweepers”, and a flexible rotating rubber band mechanism.  Like last year, managing such a large team will be difficult.  But also like last year, if handled properly, our size can become a source of strength.

– Kevin Le, Outreach Team Leader