Disruptive Innovation




On Wednesday, the 22nd of March, #6317 Disruptive Innovation will battle in the FRC regional competition in Cedar Falls. This game, brought about by FIRST, is an alliance-based challenge composed of six robots, three on each faction. It is called “FIRST Steamworks”. In this timed game, robots will compete by depositing “fuel” into a boiler, and returning gears to an “airship.” A thirty second autonomous period of preprogrammed movement is followed by another two and a half minutes of controlled play. This challenge uses logic, the engineering design process, teamwork, and gracious professionalism to promote students’ education. Such a program is a prodigious opportunity to be used as a vehicle for scientific and technological expansion, and learning within schools.

Week 1

  • In the days after the FIRST season kickoff, #6317 Disruptive Innovation came together as a team, learned about the game and strategized our play. Exploring the obstacles and acquainting ourselves with the rules helped us as a whole to cohesively familiarize with FIRST Steamworks. Debating several strategies and outlining a plan of play rounded out our first week in this build period.

Week 2

  • During the second week of the build period, Disruptive Innovation continued to strategize and finalize our robots attributes. As a group the team voted and agreed to focus on the high goal and gears. With this major decision out of the way, the build team was able to immediately begin designing and building the chassis and various mechanisms. Meanwhile, other members of the team carried out other tasks such as CADing parts and programming.

Week 3

  • Moving on to the third week, construction began on the upper assembly of our robot. Using our previously voted on game strategy, designing the necessary mechanisms became our next step. An accurate shooter and effective ball intake system were two of the most important apparatuses that we needed for the robot. Our work was just starting. We had a long way to go and only 3 weeks left to complete it.

Week 4

  • As Disruptive Innovation moved into the fourth week of the build period, we continued to assemble our robot. The upper assembly and chassis continued to be our main focus. Working with our strategy, the robot was beginning to take shape. A functioning gear holder and ball intake system were big wins for our fourth week. Although we were now two thirds through the build period, our team continued to make tremendous progress.

Week 5

  • With only two weeks left, #6317 Disruptive Innovation was starting to feel the pressure, tempers were mounting and stress ran rampant. Small victories such as our operational ball launcher, which proved to be surprisingly accurate, boosted morale. Our CAD team began working in full force, logging the chassis, upper and lower assemblies. All of our strategizing and planning was working. Cohesively, if a bit waspish, our team edged forward toward achievement.

Week 6

  • As the build period began coming to a close the final steps were taken. Testing and perfecting our robot became a daily occurrence. Our CAD team, with the help of their FTC counterpart, finished logging all parts and assemblies. With both the tele-op and autonomous programs close to being finished, the team was able to see the robot drive, and team moral was high. The final days of the build period were filled with last minute scrambling to make final adjustments before the robot was packaged and set aside for competition. However, our work is not done as we still have much to do before competition.

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