We were fortunate to be invited again this year to the Buchanan Community School Farm for Plow Day! We had the opportunity to meet the next generation of farmer and talk about why robotics is so important now and into the future. We also had a chance to take our drone out for the first time this year!
April 1, 2023
So what is the Industrial Design Award? FIRST states that this award, “Celebrates the team that demonstrates industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics.” In order to be considered for this award:
The East Kentwood District event was an incredible experience for the entire team. In our first competition at the St. Joseph District event, we had a number of issues with our gripper that we simply could not have identified prior to competition. During that event, we focused our time less on competing and more on testing and redesigning. The field experience was the perfect opportunity to test some ideas and get a real feel for the bot and the game. Coming home with that knowledge and experience, the team quickly got to work redesigning everything but the drivetrain. The motor and gear system for our first stage arm was completely removed and replaced with pneumatic cylinders. The gripper was stripped down to its base components and a new motor driven intake system was installed.
Ten students, eight weeks and a lot of pizza! That is what went into this season's Week 2 event at St. Joseph High School. Going into this event we were still two week behind schedule, so we knew we needed to have realistic expectations. We're not going to be the best bot. We're not going to have everything working. We're simply going to do the best we can with what we have. This "resignation" served as an empowerment and the team flourished. By the end of the event, our first-time driver handled the bat as if he'd been doing it for years. Team members each found solid footing in their new roles and everyone gave it their all. The best part: We all had a blast. It was a great weekend and now we're motivated more than ever to work the bugs out to be ready for Kentwood in Week Five!
A Little History
The 2023 season didn't start well. Each year the team works to secure the $20,000 needed for the season. Typically, we don't know if we'll have enough until November which is also the deadline to pay FIRST the $6000 they require for teams to participate. (Yes, we must pay to play) So, once we knew we had enough to register and continue with the season, we start the purchasing process for parts we're going to need to build a robot. It was an unexpected shock to learn that nearly everything we needed was out of stock. In fact, the building system that we've used for years was completely unavailable.
In January of each year, teams from all over the world get together for the big Kickoff. This is the major event where the game is revealed and we all learn what the robot will have to do on the field. During our kickoff we spent a great deal of time brainstorming how we were going to accomplish a build and also WHERE we were going to purchase parts! After review several options, we decided to adopt the Rev Robotics building system. This required purchasing all new pieces and parts, adapter, brackets, etc.. On top of having to completely purchase and learn a new building system, we had to wait up to a week for the parts to arrive each time we ordered. Over the course of the build season, we spent three weeks just waiting on parts!
MegaHurtz made it to the Quarter-Finals this past weekend, taking double elimination to three matches before being knocked out by the #2 alliance. We'd like to thank our alliance members teams 4855 and 4004 for an amazing run! Sadly, this ends our 2022 competition season but opens our schedules for our next phase in moving to our new workshop! Be sure to checkout all the photos and our season video (coming soon).
Thank you to all our supports and team sponsors. None of this would have been possible without you!
MegaHurtz Robotics along with The #3 Alliance Captain Team 2054 (Tech Vikes) and Team 4237 (Lance-A-Bot) took home second place this weekend at the St. Joseph District Event at St. Joe High School.
An incredible weekend and emotional roller coaster ended with MegaHurtz earning a spot as the St. Joseph District Finalist. Taking home 2nd place is the highest our team has ever achieved at this event. The St. Joseph District event is an extremely competitive event and a go-to destination for the top teams of the state. The popularity of this event is such that ESPN has featured the playoffs live for the last few years!
Topping off an amazing achievement, MegaHurtz was also awarded the St. Joseph District Judge's Award. According to FIRST, "During the course of the competition, the judging panel may decide that a team's unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition, yet do not fit into any of the existing award categories." The judges named this year's Judge's Award the "Full STEAM Ahead Award".
This family has their sights on the future of FIRST. From the unique design of their buttons and pancake breakfasts, they're going to STEAM the way from more FIRST teams. Contribution to the community never HURTZ.
This award was the judges unique way of highlighting the new relationship MegaHurtz has formed with Lake Michigan STEAMWORKS to be an educational non-profit bringing FIRST programs to grades K-12 through our community partnerships and our local fundraisers. Team members are interviewed by the judges for many difference aspects of the competition, robot, and community outreach. We are very proud the judges recognized our efforts and we also celebrate our team members for being able to communicate that to the judges in a way that made us standout as a leader among the many teams competing at the event.
If you've been following MegaHurtz Robotics, you know that we have received a tremendous amount of support from some very special sponsors. Two years ago, through their generosity, we began the plans for a new robotics workshop. The plan was to have it finished enough that we could be in it by the 2022 season. As with everything right now, the unpredictability of availability, resource constraints and a multitude of other factors, our new move-in date is late Spring 2022! In some ways this is a relief for the team. It would be impossible for us to both be working on a new facility and our new robot.
With that being said, we have started changing the way we operate in the workshop. The new space will be nearly 100% modular. All our tables, benches and tool carts will be on wheels so we can easily move things around as the season progresses from Design to Build to Drive. A major upgrade for us in this new working model is our brand new, height adjustable table! We also have new mobile workbenches. In the two weeks since kickoff, we've noticed a huge difference in our productivity and effectiveness working on the bot and the subsystems.
We are extremely excited to get a small glimpse into what working in the new workshop will be like next season. There is still so much work to be done on our new shop and we hope that anyone passionate about STEM (STEAM) would consider contributing to our GoFundMe that will help pay for the new equipment and tools we'll need.
More information is available here: https://gofund.me/7b7bd4e7
2022 SEASON OPEN HOUSE
COME LEARN ABOUT THE TEAM, THE COMPETITION AND ROBOTS
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 6 @ 3:00 PM
The Robotics Workshop is located in the old brick building off the
Science Wing parking lot.
TAKE YOUR TURN AT DRIVING THE ROBOTS
PRIZES - FOOD - ROBOTS
ANY STUDENT IN GRADES 8 THROUGH 12 IS ELIGIBLE TO BE ON THE TEAM
BUCHANAN RESIDENCY OR ENROLLMENT NOT REQUIRED
This was just sent out to all Michigan FIRST Robotics teams:
Due to the current and potential threat of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in our state and in accordance with public health recommendations, FIRST in Michigan has decided that, effective immediately, the upcoming FIRST in Michigan FRC District Events in our state will be postponed until further notice.
We recognize that teams have put an enormous amount of work into preparing for the season and we regret having to share such disappointing news. At the same time, we feel strongly that this action is necessary given that COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Michigan and the Governor has declared a State of Emergency.
Please know this decision was not made lightly. It was made in consultation with FIRST, our University partners, and our sponsors, many of whom are represented on the FIRST in Michigan Board of Directors. Our primary concern is always the health and safety of our participants and our volunteers.
We will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC, the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and local health departments as we monitor and assess the situation over the coming weeks to develop a plan to resume our FRC season and its events.
MegaHurtz Robotics WILL NOT be traveling to Gull Lake this weekend.
We have a lot of very disappointed kids (and adults). Please give them your support.
MegaHurtz Team Blog