This weekend, SEM sent four teams to the first qualifying tournament of the FTC Robotics Rover Ruckus 2018-2019 season. Iron Reign won the top award (Inspire) and advanced. For reference, Iron Reign is last year's FTC World Championship Motivate Award winner and is the "varsity" team of the SEM Robotics organization.
Left to right: Janavi Chadha, Bhanaviya Venkat, Justin Bonsell, Abhijit Bhattaru, Charlotte Leakey, Karina Lara, Ethan Helfman,...
This year is Iron Reign's eleventh season in FIRST, our ninth year overall. We've participated in five years of FLL and seven years of FTC. While our team originated at WB Travis Vanguard and Academy, as our members became older (such is the passage of time), we moved to the School of Science and Engineering at Townview (SEM) in DISD. Despite our school being 66% economically...
Task: Write a summary page for the engineering journal
The generic engineering journal rubric given to teams by FIRST heavily recomends having a season-summary intro page at the front of the journal. As well, every winning example journal includes the summary. So, we figured out that it might be a good idea to actually make one.
Iron Reign has been a FIRST team, in one form or another, for eight years....
To make Iron Reign’s history entirely clear, we built the RV last year. We do not claim any credit for the actual construction of the RV; however, the goal of this year was to make our Mobile Learning Lab run year round, make it sustainable, and expand the programs to more communities...
Update (10 November 2017): The Mobile Tech Experience program described above received a grant from Best Buy for its outstanding performance, and to fund more outreach events and upkeep of the MXP. The company that schedules MXP deployments, BigThought, also signed onto a year-round deployment schedule for the MXP.
Iron Reign has existed, in one form or another, for the past eight years. We have competed in FLL, Google Lunar X Prize Challenge, and now, FTC.
While our team originated at WB Travis Vanguard and Academy, we are now hosted by the School of Science and Engineering at Townview, in DISD. Despite our school being 66% economically disadvantaged and being...
Travis High School Night By Tycho, Charlotte, Ethan, and Karina
Encourage students at Travis to enroll at our School of Science and Engineering (SEM)
Today we went to Travis Middle School for their high school night where they have many high schools competing to enroll their graduating 8th graders. Travis is a Talented and Gifted school and about half of our team came from there. Mr. Newton was our lead presenter. He is a DISD teacher of the year and the...
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...
Helping Imperial Robotics By Ethan, Evan, and Tycho
Task: Help Imperial Robotics before their qualifier
As said in previous posts, we have a sister team, Imperial Robotics, and it would be really nice to see them advance to regionals alongside us. In their previous qualifier, they got really close. So, with help, we should be able to push them over the qualifying line.
Tycho, our lead programmer, helped Rohit and Abhi with their code. Imperial was...
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...
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...
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...
General Improvements By Jayesh, Omar, Darshan, Max, Caitlin
Task: Perfect and improve multiple of our main characteristics of our robot
Iron Reign held its first Christmas break parade today and we decided to focus our time on making multiple small improvements, rather than adding one big part on our robot. Omar, Darshan, and I spent our time on rewiring and fixing our side motors. We found that one side was greatly lagging behind the other, so we tested to see which motor was failing, and rewiring the system fixed our driving system....
Design and prototype a churro latch mechanism By Caitlin, Darshan
Task: Design an alternative churro climber mechanism
Currently Max and Tycho are working on a beater bar 3D part that is stiff enough to pull in blocks, and will hopefully double as a churro catcher when spinning. However, since the parts take 4 hours per set to print, and are harder to rapid-fire test and change and tweak relative to some other options we're going for other options till they're tested. The churro catchers help us to secure holding up the ramp but...
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: Improve our 3D Printable case for the Adafruit BNO055 IMU
Last week I designed a case for our IMU sensor in Creo and wrote up how it could be improved. I've fixed most of those issues and we are ready to share the results. There is one version with Tetrix hole spacing and another that works for Actobotics channels. Either can be used with aluminum extrusions though you might have to drill out the mounting holes depending on your bolt size.
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...
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.