Week One Build Update

Week One of Build Season for the 2019 challenge, Destination: Deep Space, has certainly been a blast for Team SPORK. We started this past week off by analyzing the various elements and scoring strategies in this year’s challenge, and by discussing ways to tackle each problem. Our members have spent the week hard at work on designing and building.

The Mechanical team has created a slew of prototypes for manipulating Cargo (13″ balls) and Hatches (19″ disks), and have started construction on the field elements for our robots and prototypes to use. Meanwhile, CAD team has been tirelessly modeling our designs, models which will eventually be fed back to the Mechanical team to build. Additionally, our Electrical team has been drawing out some early circuit diagrams for our robot. The folks over at the Programming team have been busy too, working on our vision processing system to ensure our robots can easily line up to place game elements.

We also had a great time this Saturday by stepping away from the back-breaking FRC grind, and going as a team to volunteer at the Lawndale FLL competition, where our student and mentors helped by refereeing and judging. We loved seeing all the FLL students’ robots and projects!

Going forward, we hope to get some more building done and to start fleshing out our final robot design. Team SPORK is tremendously excited for the rest of Destination: Deep Space, and we can’t wait to see what the remainder of build season has in store. Cheers! – Justin Stephens, Team SPORK Director of Engineering

Some Team Members prototyping a potential design

Recap: Week 2 – Snowed In

This week for Team Spork was quite chaotic to say the least due to unexpected snow. We were stuck inside our homes without the ability to see each other face to face for almost the whole week, but we managed through strong communication. Communication is so important especially in times like this. We were able to complete a lot of work on the operations side and are quite thankful for the few days we had off of school to work! Although the snow set us back slightly in building, we are happier than ever to be back together and we are quickly getting back on track.

Recap: Week 1 – Student Experience

As a new member, I have had an amazing experience so far using my skill to help the team. During the design process, I have been able to utilize my drawing experience to design mechanisms and present a clear understanding of ideas. I am very excited about the game this year. I think the game at surface level is relatively simple but the main challenge is in strategy. This week we have made lots of progress with design in CAD and strategizing. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks in build season.



This week we finished our robot and had our annual bag and tag ritual. We worked at NuVision until 11:59 Tuesday night. Many of us showed up in our pjs for a pizza and pajama party! Though the robot was finished our job is not yet completed. Our shooting mechanism and our programming was in need of some improvements. For the coming weeks until and after competition we will continue working on our second robot, in order to complete all the challenges to the best of our robot’s ability.



Week 6 Update

Week 6 began with the completion of the second robot chassis that took into account issues with the first chassis. Programming finished coding for the robot. The vision processing  allowed for toggling between two USB cameras and the robot could auto align on the tower. The autonomous was fine tuned to fit the new robot, and all the errors were cleared from the teleop code. Some issues affecting the robot design were fixed like crossing under the low bar, and the motors scraping against the ground. Electrical team adjusted its electronics to fit a smaller space due to design constraints from the first chassis. After that, finishing touches were applied to any remaining issues. DSC_0049

Week 5 Update

During the fifth build week, Team SPORK finished a working version of the robot design. It was fully drivable, but was missing its final shooting mechanism, ball intake system, and arm. After taking what they learned from the first version, mechanical started production of a second robot to fix the mistakes from the original. Production began on the second robot while the shooting mechanism and ball intake systems were added to the original. The final concept of the arm was completed, with production beginning.

The programming team mapped out and began coding the autonomous portion of the program codes. They encountered minor setbacks with vision processing, but they were soon fixed. Vision processing was adapted to allow us to switch between two USB cameras.

The electrical team, with only a diminutive amount of room to work with, mapped out where the electronics will go in the little amount of space given. They then installed the electronics onto the first version of the robot.

The team is very excited (and somewhat relieved) to be nearing the end of build season!

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Week 4 Update

Thanks to our CAD team, the fabrication of our robot was good to go this week. Meetings at NuVision started becoming a daily thing in order to finish the fabrication work on the robot. Programming worked on tuning the vision processing, so that we could balance fps (frames per second) with pixel quality. More errors were knocked out of the robot code, especially some that stopped the robot from moving completely. Several prototypes for the shooting mechanism were designed and tested. After a bit of messing with the angle and distance we managed to get it to work with decent accuracy. Our Electrical team started planning out the block-diagram, and teaching rookies AutoCAD Electrical. The awards team finished the chairman’s submission and thanks to our business team and our website team, we got a donation box setup where we have already received money from gracious donors. An employee from Lowe’s visited during a Saturday meeting to help us out and is coming more often.


Week 3 Update

Due to the snow this week, Team SPORK had a few days off, but that did not stop SPORK. Meetings were held online and we were rewarded with success. CAD and Programming teams were hard at work creating crucial parts for the robot. CAD spent a majority of their time finishing robot designs before beginning fabrication. While the Programming team worked to successfully program vision processing cameras to detect the distance to the goals. The fabrication team finished the chassis and the shooter design was finalized and ready to be built. Meanwhile, the Awards team finished and turned in our Chairman’s Award and Woodie Flowers Mentor Award. Business team is hard at work creating the Team SPORK standard.

Only three weeks left before Bag-n-Tag night and the robot is well underway!