Discover Summer Resource Fair By Ethan, Evan, Max, Tycho, and Charlotte
Task: Present to kids at the Discover Summer Resource Fair
Today, we brought the MXP to the DISD Discover Summer Resource Fair. We talked to about 250 people, including the Mayor of Dallas. We helped about 50 people create and print keychains using Google Sketchup. In the front of the RV, we introduced about 200 people to Lego Robotics, and assisted them in creating sumo bots.
YouthSpark with Microsoft By Caitlin, Jayesh, Ethan, Evan, Charlotte, Omar, Max, Tycho, Austin, Darshan, and Janavi
Task: Mobile Tech XPerience's appearance at the Meyerson
The Meyerson Symphony Center hosted a Microsoft YouthSpark event this Saturday with activities from robotics to VR to 3D printing. We set up the sumo laptops up in the atrium and the 3D in the MXP outside, right next to the Perot tech van. The tech van had most of their setup outside with...
South Superregional - Day Three By Jayesh, Tycho, Omar, Max, Darshan, Austin, Charlotte, Caitlin, Evan, Ethan, and Janavi
Task: Reminisce on our last three Superregionals matches
Our final competition day began with the driver team rushing to the pits because of a warning given by the game officials for the first match's teams to reach the pits earlier than expected. We reached in time, in fact about an hour before the match actually began. This mild inconvenience did give us time to formulate a strategy against our opponents, the...
South Superregionals Day Two By Max, Tycho, Omar, Jayesh, Darshan, Austin, Charlotte, Caitlin, Evan, Ethan, and Janavi
Task: Reminisce on our first six Superregionals matches
After a decent night's rest, we began Day Two at around 7 AM. A lot of our tools and materials were still on our RV, so we first moved them over to our pit. Our match schedule said that we'd have nine matches beginning with Match #1 (just our luck). After the...interesting Pokemon-themed opening ceremonies, we began the day with our first match.
Super Regionals - The First Day By Ethan, Evan, Tycho, Max, Jayesh, Janavi, Caitlin, Darshan, Omar, Charlotte, and Austin
Task: Go to super regionals, set up, and present
Way too early in the morning, on March 22nd, the Iron Reign team gathered in darkness. It was approximately 65 Farenheit and gusts around 12 mph were blowing in from the South. Under this cover of darkness, a bus pulled into our school. As the trees shivered in the wind and the stray...
Task: Create a video outlining Iron Reign's outreach
We have had a lot of interest garnered towards the STEM outreach the team has committed to. When we found that FTC encouraged the creation of a video outlining the STEM outreach we had done, we saw it as an opportunity to show others a general overview of our activities. With Max's excellent voiceover, we made a video talking about how long the team's been at it, the various...
Inspire Award By Tycho, Jayesh, Caitlin, Omar, Max, Darshan, Evan, Ethan, Janavi, and Charlotte
1st Place at North Texas Regional Championship
Iron Reign members left to right are Ethan Helfman (Build, Communications), Janavi Chada (Programming, Communications), Tycho Virani (Programming Lead, Main Driver), Jayesh Sharma (Business Lead, Build, Communications), Darshan Patel (Build), Caitlin Rogers (Communications Lead, Logistics, Business) and Charlotte Leakey (Programming, Logistics), with Evan Daane (from BTW, Build, Photography) in repose. Not shown: Max Virani (Design Lead, Programming), Omar...
DISD STEM Expo By Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Jayesh, Caitlin, and Max
Task: Present to kids at the DISD STEM Expo
Every year, DISD hosts a STEM expo for local companies and groups to present to kids, in hope of inspiring them to go into a STEM career. So, for our booth, we drove our RV into the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center to present. We had three...
Nov. 21 Scrimmage Written, but not attended by Ethan By Omar, Darshan, Jayesh, Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Janavi, Austin, and Ethan
Task: To test our robot and gauge other team's progress
First, the team arrived at the Virani's house and boarded the MXP for a Arkansas dry run. We learned that it's pretty bumpy for passengers when you're driving on the highway, making the experience a bit uncomfortable. We'll need to fix that for the 8-hour drive to Arkansas.
New Worlds Cities In Space By Caitlin, Jayesh, Omar, and Darshan
Task: Obtain knowledge and share work done on Moon base project
A contigent from Iron Reign participated in a space competition at the NewWorlds Conference. The idea was to form a interstellar base to self-maintain and extend humankind's reach into the universe. After winning the previous year's competition with a Mars base, the team did a sort of prequel,...
Travis Open House By Ethan, Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Darshan, Jayesh, and Evan
Task: To talk to prospective SEM students about robotics
Every year W.B. Travis, a 4-8 has an open house for magnet schools to attend and convince students that $school1 is better than $school2. And, since it is Iron Reign's former school, we attend and try to pull students SEM. We present to about 5 groups and field questions from parents.
Budgeting With Team 3734 By Ethan, Evan, and Austin
Task: Create a Budget Sheet for the 2016-2017 Season
As always, Iron Reign needs more money. We are a title 1 school in a cash-strapped district with over 60% of students qualfying for free lunch. So, this year, we decided to *actually* make a spreadsheet to track what we need and how much it'll cost. Coincidentally, our sister team, Imperial Robotics made one too. Also, this year, we're going to share a practice field at our school, SEM. So, we've...
FTC Kickoff 2016 By Ethan, Evan, Max, Tycho, and Omar
Task: Go to the FTC 2016 Kickoff to preview the new Velocity Vortex challenge
This Saturday, we ventured down to UTD to watch the unveiling of the new FTC challenge, and collaborate with other teams. The main change we noticed is that this year, it seems like there is a greater emphasis on league play instead of just doing a qualifier. To go to regionals, there seem to be three...
Outreach and Sponsors By Caitlin, Darshan, Jayesh, Omar, Ethan, Evan, Janavi, Tycho, and Max
Task: Analyze how finances effect recognition
It's always a challenge to convince sponsors that we are a worthy team for their grants, visibility in FIRST and the public makes it easier. Teams whose schools have the finances and space to host a tournament are recognized by their peers and even get a boost to Regionals. However, our space is limited, and we wouldn't be able to pull...
Robotics UIL 2016 By Ethan, Evan, Caitlin, Darshan, Jayesh, Janavi, Trace, Max, Tycho, and Omar
Task: Compete in UIL Robotics in Austin
A bit of background: UIL is a Texas-specific organization that hosts competitions in both academic and athletic pursuits. This year, they ran a pilot program for Robotics, using the FTC rules and field from Res-Q. About 72 teams competed in the FTC-based competition, which then was split into two catagories. Unlike regular FIRST tournaments, the awards not earned by competition are given through nomination by other teams.
Mobile Learning Lab in Action By Caitlin, Max, and Tycho
Task: Deploy the Mobile Learning Lab to camps and teach kids
The RV has been fully remodeled and set up with netbooks and 3D printers, so we have been making the rounds and teaching at camps and events. We try to limit the number of kids on board to under 15 or 12 for safety reasons. It'd be nearly impossible to fit...
Turn Up! at Frontiers of Flight with DCOL By Janavi, Darshan, Jayesh, Caitlin, Max, Tycho, Omar, and Austin
Inspiring 1,000 People to Turn Up with STEM
Written by Janavi Chadha
The Dallas City of Learning Organization held a Turn Up event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, where we staffed the Mobile XPerience (MXP) complete with laptops, 3D printers, and LEGO SumoBots. Outside the vehicle, Caitlin and I taught kids how to create 3D models...
MXP - Mobile Learning Lab Recap By Jayesh and Caitlin
DCOL Mobile Tech XPerience (MXP) Begins Service
Written by Jayesh Sharma Edited by Caitlin Rogers
Iron Reign has been actively supporting Dallas City of Learning (DCoL) for a few years now. Big Thought (managing partner for DCoL) received a grant from Best Buy to support STEM learning over the summer by taking STEM opportunities into communities so that kids with reduced access...
Mobile Learning Lab Part 4 - Update By Ethan, Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Jayesh, Darshan, Austin, Matthew, Evan, Dylan, Omar, and Trace
Task: Covert a 1998 RV into the Dallas City of Learning Lab
The RV exterior
We have finished the majority of the renovation of the Dallas City of Learning Lab. We've finished rebuilding the roof, going throught the plumbing (including the suspiciously secretive water tank), and also replacing the entirety of the flooring.
Mobile Learning Lab Part 3 - Flooring By Evan, Max, Tycho, Dylan, Ethan, Caitlin, Darshan, and Austin
Carpet ripping is not fun. The carpet is tacked down with so many staples that is is not easy to remove. It tends to rip around the stables leaving nubs of fibers and then we have to attack the stables with pliers and staple pullers. Getting it out from under the edges of walls and the slide out is really hard. And we've...
Mobile Learning Lab Part 2 - Roof By Tycho, Max, Matthew, and Austin
Task: Clean the roof of the RV
We'd noticed that the roof was very grimey looking from the small strip you could see at the top of the side walls, but we hadn't been up there to look at it. Finally climbing the ladder we confirmed it. The roof is a very dark brown. We believe it is simply dirt that has caked into...
Dallas City of Learning By Ethan, Evan, Jayesh, Omar, Caitlin, Max, and Tycho
Task: Teaching children how to use robots
On 18 June, we went to the J. Erik Jonsson Library to inspire children to hopefully go into STEM-related careers. We were invited for their annual City of Learning event. We talked to about 200 people about robotics and most loved it - especially children. We showed...
Mobile Learning Lab Part 1 - Demolition By Evan, Max, Tycho, and Austin
Task: Redo the inside of the recreational vehicle
Mr.Virani recently aquired an RV so it could be used as a mobile learning center for the Dallas City of Learning this summer. To convert it from someplace you might live on a long road trip to somewhere you could teach science and technology to children means stripping out carpeting, removing walls, and laying down...
Let's assume you are building a LEGO Mindstorms or Vex IQ based Sumobot, but you want to skip some of the basic mistakes beginners will make. Here are some tips and tricks.
Know the rules. It's silly to get disqualified because you didn't pay attention to the rules. Know the size and weight limits. Know the allowed construction materials and techniques. Know the startup behaviors. For example, your robot must not move...
Day 1 was a huge success, and we carried that over into the Sunday presentations too. There were a lot of common questions we noticed from Saturday, including levels of robotics competitions and the LEGO EV3 system, and we were able to answer these with more clarity after hearing them so often. A few papers were set up on our table outlining the various FIRST competition...
Robot On a Hoverboard - Try 1 By Caitlin, Max, Tycho, Darshan, Omar, Evan, Ethan, and Jayesh
Task: Try to drive the hoverboard with the competition bot
In the middle of Saturday's event we decided it would be a GREAT idea to put the competiton robot on the hoverboard and try to drive it around. Theoretically if we got it centered correctly it could only drive forward and backwards. We could extend...
Fort Worth Maker Fest By Jayesh, Omar, Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Darshan, Evan, Ethan, and Austin
Task: Show both adults and children benefits of robotics and past work of the team
Iron Reign was invited to present at the annual Fort Worth Maker Fest at the city's Museum of Science. We spent the day showing off our competition bots and other robots that we have created over the years. People were especially interested in our innovation with climbing the mountain and using simple every day objects like tape measures...
Scrimmage at Greenhill By Darshan, Alisa, Omar, Caitlin, Max, Tycho, Evan
Task: Practice with other teams and see
This past Friday, the team tried to get the robot working in a small scrimmage with seven or so other teams. At the scrimmage, we managed to get our cow-catcher working, even though we nearly burned out our servo. During the process of finding the right positioning and testing it while driving we managed to tear up quite a few rubber inserts on our treads. Even though the scrim was scheduled to...
I worked on making a rough draft of a sponsorship template. This template will be used to email companies to ask for their sponsorship. I have a list of companies that have a high chance of sponsoring us. I found several more to add to the list Evan started last week. I also added sponsorship levels to increase interest for the companies: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Copper, Steel, Iron. Different levels through our list imply greater rights and priveleges in...
Starting September 10th and lasting through today, I went to our old middle school, William B. Travis, to help their newer FLL team with robot design and programming. There were also some one on one sessions during practice to teach their main programmer, who used to be on the older FLL team until it disbanded, how to use the code library that we had previously written. I also went to a scrimmage with them...
We rarely prepare enough for awards, usually hoping the practice before that we've done enough to be in the running. Last year we won the PTC Creo award at one competition, but that was a one time deal. This year we can prepare our journal in such a way to make it easier for judges to find what they're looking for when deciding.
Out of the 9 awards, 7 are given at every tournament....
Task: To try out the robot in a competition setting
Last weekend Darshan and I tried to drive the robot in a small scrimmage with eight other teams. Even though we hit a few bumps along the competition we were able see how the robot drove and handled. We also saw what we could do easily and what was hard for us. Among the bumps was an incident involving a tread falling off the track because we hit...
Meeting other Teams at the Scrimmage By Caitlin, Omar, Darshan, Jayesh, Tycho, Max, Evan
Task: Get a feel for where we are and the progress of other teams
Whether or not we were allowed to compete, we felt that it would be worthwhile to go to the scrimmage, if only to see how we compared to other teams. Climbing the mountain is the hardest mechanical design challenge so far, and we were able to see their solutions.
Many teams had treads like ours, with different arrangements of idlers, while...
SEM Open House 2015 By Jayesh, Caitlin, Omar, Max, Tycho, Darshan
Task: Publicize our school and team + showcase the benefits of robotics
Iron Reign was once again invited to attend our school's open house and present our robotics group and speak about what we have and will do. We mainly focsused our topics on the transition between middle school level robotics and high school level. The topics covered included the overall engineering and computer programmming that we undergo as a part of FTC. The classes that these possible future...
Task: Teach Travis Team how to Use Previous Team's Code
After retiring from FLL at Travis, we decided to share our code library with the other team from the school. We set up a meet with Clay, one of the main programmers of the team, so we could teach him how to use our core functions; the next step is for him to teach the other members of his team how to use the code.
FTC Kickoff 2015 By Jayesh, Omar, Max, Tycho, Evan, Ethan
Task: Attend FTC kickoff and assist newer teams in understanding task ahead of him
We were invited by team Technical Dificulties invited Iron Reign to attend first FTC kickoff for our region ever. With the Technical Difficulties coach leading the discussion, everything relating to the game and coopertition in North Texas was discussed. Technical Difficulties, with some input from us and a few other veteranss, was able to assist the...
Intro to Gyros By Caitlin, Tycho, Max, Omar, and Jayesh and Darshan
Task: Share what we've learned about motion sensing
On July 11th we gave a talk for a classroom full of adult members of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) where we shared what we've learned and are still learning about motion sensors, particularly gyros. The talk took place at the Dallas Makerspace. Our thanks to DPRG, Steve and Doug for hosting us and recording and editing the video. The...
Moonday 2015 at Frontiers of Flight Museum By Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Omar, and Jayesh
Task: Represent SEM and STEM at Moonday 2015
The Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts an event every year called Moon Day that exhibits a lot of STEM topics to anyone who drops by. Iron Reign always has a booth with DPRG and exhibits most of the previous robots and topics that we've been involved in. This year we showed off Argos and Kibosh in particular, also having GyroBoy as an example...
Task: Get some pre-season experience with Android controlled robots
We've been experimenting with Android controlled robots while we wait for our ModernRobotics modules. Argos is a chromovore - it seeks an identified color using OpenCV4Android machine vision processing. It tries to maintain a given distance from the colored object and follow it around. It's built using the IOIO-OTG for low level interface with the motor control electronics. The ZTE Speed phone is mounted on pan/tilt hardware from ServoCity...
Discovery Faire at the Dallas Downtown Library By Caitlin, Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, and Tycho
Task: Present at the Dallas City of Learning Discovery Faire
"Kids are invited to “Turn Up!” to make, create, craft, play and learn at the Dallas Public Library on Saturday June 20. The Dallas City of Learning free family event will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on various floors at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St." Quote from Dallas City News Article
Earth Day Texas 2015 at Fair Park By Max, Tycho, Caitlin, Omar, Jayesh, and Darshan
Task: Represent SEM and STEM at Earth Day 2015
Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles came by our booth where we were representing our Science and Engineering Magnet High School and sharing our STEM message with the community. Ms. Huitt, our principal was also there. Unfortunately we forgot to take any video while inside. Above Tycho is visiting with the solar car team from Ben Barber Tech in Mansfield.