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Properly use power strips; don’t daisy chain, for example.
Keep the work area neat and orderly.
Participants should be wearing personal protective equipment, in the Pit at alltimes, including: ANSI-approved, non-shaded safety glasses with approved side shields. Rose, Blue, and Amber tints are FIRST approved, but reflective lenses are not. (eyes must be clearly visible by others)
Safety goggles over prescription glasses
When engaged in FIRST activities, all FRC participants must wear shoes that completely cover the entire foot. Shoes must have closed-toes and heels to protectagainst foot injuries, regardless of work location. Flip-Flops, Sandals, Mules, Crocs,are not acceptable when working on or near the robot or while attending FIRST competitions.
Battery and Energy safety:
Ensure no one is working on the robot when it will be energized during repairs.
Electrical Energy: Disconnect the electric power source. Always de-energize the robot before working on it by unplugging batteries. Open the main circuit breaker (“re-set” lever is released). FIRST provides in the Kit of Parts.
Pneumatic Energy: Always vent any compressed air to the atmosphere. This applies to all parts of the pneumatic system. Open the main vent valve and verify that all pressure gauges on the robot indicate zero pressure. Miscellaneous Energy Sources:Relieve any compressed or stretched springs or tubing.Lower all raised robot arms or devices that could drop down to a lower position on the robot. It contains stored electrical energy that could cause the battery to rapidly heat up due to an internal electrical short circuit, and possibly explode. When at FIRST events, report any injuries to the Pit Administration supervisor. He or she will document the injury or illness on an Incident Report sheet.
Any battery that is visibly damaged in any way is dangerous and unusable, and should be set aside and handled accordingly because:
- The 12V batteries FIRST provided in your Kit contain sulfuric acid that will burn human tissue on contact.
Make sure the robot is secured to the cart.
Keep the cart under control at all times, especially when removing or placing the robot.
Use Gracious Professionalism around others to prevent damage or injury. Do not include music on your robot transporter.
Use patience and control when moving the robot, especially in crowded areas. Walk; don’t run.
Ensure that the cart will not roll away or pose a hazard, especially upon robot removal. Use a chock block if necessary. Use the gate opening when entering/exiting the playing field. Don’t climb over the railing.
Visitors in the Pit:
Children twelve (12) and under must have a person eighteen (18) or older with them at all times. There will be child safety glasses available. Child strollers and baby carriages are not allowed within the individual pit station.
Must wear appropriate safety equiptment.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!
On January 18th, the LigerBots site went dark alongside some of the internets largest to protest SOPA, PIPA, and censorship in all its forms. The site displayed the following message in place of normal content.
January 18th, 2011
As you might have noticed, many sites - wikipedia and reddit among them - are blacked out today to protest legislation pending in the House and Senate. This legislation would allow copyright owners to have sites hosting their copyrighted content taken down.
In this modern day of a participatory internet, many sites are bound to be blocked for failing to police their users. Can you imagine if the Wikipedia foundation needed to review every edit to Wikipedia before letting it go live?
Additionally, the government and large businesses could easily abuse their power. This legislation gives the government a massive firewall. Modifying the firewall to block dissidents instead of copyright holders would be trivial. Facebook could watch competitiors closely for copyright content, and knock the smaller social network offline before it gained a following.
The LigerBots site is down today to protest SOPA and PIPA, the bills described above. The LigerBots believe strongly in freedom of speech and net neutrality. Freedom of speech is the first of your four freedoms, and net neutrality ensures freedom of speech online.
Never forget your rights.
As the first week comes to a close we have noticed something really cool. We are on schedule! If you are a veteran member then you know how important this is to creating a robot that we can all be proud of. All of our subgroups are communicating and drawing up their designs in Creo (some have even begun prototyping), a group is working on an equation in MathCAD, and the programming group is learning about code by performing tests and looking at code from past years.
Other important events that happened this week were on Wednesday and Thursday. We had a specific time for mentors to introduce themselves to new members so that the team will know what their specific skills are and be better able to use their knowledge as build progresses.
Looking forward to another productive week, and we hope everyone has a nice 3 day weekend!
I hope you all enjoyed these past few weeks and weren't totally devastated by the lack of meetings due to half-days and the likes. Well, we have a remedy for that: a mandatory-all-team meeting this coming Thursday (the 20th) from 3:30-5:30 at South.
Please note: This meeting really is mandatory, and it's going to run half an hour longer than usual.
If you cannot attend the meeting for a legitimate excuse, then please email Coach Hurwitz or Coach Golando with said reason.
Alright, so on Thursday, we're going to do a few group activities to bond with our new members before moving on to the long-term challenge: chassis racing. Everyone will be split into groups of four or five, and each group will have a different type of wheel system to build. At the end of November (or sooner, if all goes well), we'll compete to see who built the fastest chassis.
Last thing for now: North kids, an email will be sent around to organize the carpooling to South - please respond if you need or can give a ride.
Thanks, and I hope to see you all on Thursday!
We will be having an intro meeting at Newton South in the Lecture Hall J block on Wednesday. Old team members do not need to come. We will be giving information to newbees and reviewing the schedule and the rules.
And we will have more candy...
As part of their commitment to improving the community, the LigerBots cleaned up Bulloughs pond on May 15th. The project was organized as part of NewtonSERVES, an annual day of community service supported by local businesses. NewtonSERVES projects are divided into two sections: morning and afternoon.
After arriving at City Hall at 9:00 (and enjoying a lovely breakfast courtesy of Whole Foods), the LigerBots walked to Bulloughs Pond, a small pond near Newton North. From about 9:30 until noon, the LigerBots cleaned up. Some of us carried hedgeclippers and cut back loose brush. Others picked up garbage from the shore. Some helped with pruning; others raked near the lake. The event organizer said that, thanks to the LigerBots, she had too many volunteers working. In the past, she had never had enough people helping.
When noon came, the LigerBots returned their borrowed tools, tidied up their last work area, and headed back home. We would have stayed for an afternoon project, but it started to rain before they started.
By Charles Hurwitz
Last weekend, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) held a Regional Robotics Competition for 53 teams at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. High school students were challenged with the opportunity to test themselves as engineers and problem solvers. The game, called LOGO Motion, pits alliances of three robots against each other and awards points for placing each balloon, which is in the shape of a triangle, circle, or square on an appropriate peg to form the FIRST logo.
By Rodney Brown
Teams from Bridgewater, Newport County, R.I., and Brookfield, Conn., allied to win the 2011 Boston regional FIRST Robotics Competition held this weekend.
The Boston regional competition – called Logo Motion – took place at Boston University’s Agannis Arena, and 53 teams from as far afield as Ontario, Canada and Turkey, and as close as Cambridge and Lynn, sought to be one of the three teams on the winning alliance that would go on to the national championships in St. Louis.
We won the website award! The judges said that this was the cleanest site that they had ever seen, and liked how our Twitter feed was integrated with a gallery!
Additionally, Paige Grody is a Dean's List finalist. She's now competing for the national Dean's list award, to be decided during the Nationals in St. Louis.
Other than those awards, the LigerBots fared decently. Neither our minibot arm nor our logo piece manipulator worked well, but we found that our robot excelled at defense. We're going to work on both arms in the month until Boston Universities' Regional. After all of the matches ended, we were ranked 17th (we won six matches but lost five).
The minibots often seem to decide the matches. A great alliance can score 30 points of tubes during the game, but most score only about ten points of tubes. Even with the racks packed, tubes score 2*(3*3+2*3+1*3) = 36 points. The first two minibots score 30 and 20 points, respectively. A good minibot can easily make an alliance.
Yesturday was the first day of the WPI regional. As always, Thursdays are reserved for unpacking, setup, and troubleshooting. We worked through all of our mechanical troubles yesturday - at the end of the day, our robot moved! It's always impressive to see what everyone is able to design and create in six short weeks of building.
Yesturday afternoon, the LigerBots recruited several other teams for a giant outdoor game of Capture the Flag. The game started with a few members of our team. We invited a few other teams to join and soon had a massive game running, with thirty people on each team. The sort of people who join FIRST teams are awesome.
Qualifying matches began at 9:00 this morning. We lost in the third match after opening ceremonies, but only by a few points (3-11). (A stream is accessable at mms://media.wpi.edu/firstregional. Scores are from http://www2.usfirst.org/2011comp/events/WOR/matchresults.html)
Our Friday matches:
#11 - 10:48 am (Blue)
#15 - 11:16 am (Red)
#19 - 11:44 am (Blue)
#29 - 2:03 pm (Blue)
#34 - 2:38 pm (Blue)
#37 - 2:59 pm (Blue)
#43 - 3:41 pm (Blue)
#51 - 9:37 am (Blue)
#60 - 10:40 am (Red)
#65 - 11:15 am (Blue)
Congratulations to the Newton Ligerbots, who have won for the Newton Public Schools an award for Progressive Manufacturing Training & Education Mastery in the 2011 Progressive Manufacturing 100 awards. You can see the Ligerbots competing at the following events — free and open to the public:
- March 11 and 12 at the FIRST Regional Competition at Worcester Polytech Institute
- April 8-9 at the Boston regional First Competition at BU’s Agganis arena. Supt. David Fleishman plans to be there on April 9.
NewtonSTEM, March 8th 2011 via http://newtonstem.org/
While manufacturing workers worry that robots will push them out of a job, others are leveraging robotics to get kids interested in engineering and technology careers.
Robots are beginning to get a bad rap. Stories of robots replacing people on the factory floor and in the warehouse are triggering fear and confusion among those worried about ending up in the unemployment line. Between the processing power, mobility, and even the sensory capabilities of today’s robots, they are becoming more human-like. What have we done?
We did it! The robot is off! It can drive! But we still have a lot to do before competition. We will be scheduling post-build meetings to train team members how to speak to judges in the pit, look on the calendar for these meetings, and we will probably send out an email too. We will just be telling you what they usually want to know about the team. We will also be assembling the chairman's award video for the Boston regional, so if any of you want to help out with that let us know at the next meeting. There is also the part of completeing the equiptment that we held back... But this week is all about vacation and relaxing.
Speaking of relaxing, I will be hosting the first Ligerbot student movie night tomorrow night (Wednesday). If you missed my email it will be at my house (look in the directory for directions or email me) from 7:30-10:30pm. The movie will be decided there, but there will be other activities going on. I hope you all can come because there will be cake!
We will be meeting on Monday, February 21, at NORTH from 9am-5pm. The robot must be ready to ship by the end of that period, so we'll have to be efficient.
For all those wondering about the half day tomorrow, we will be meeting. The meeting will be from 3:00pm to 8:00pm, in our usual room at South. (My apologies about the late update.)