3/25/16 – Friday – Final Countdown

The air was chilly with a faint sea-breeze wafting up to the hotel. Team 696 had gathered all their belongings and packed it onto the bus as it was their last day in Ventura.

After a final breakfast meal at Denny’s, Team 696 headed to finish what they started. After the final qualification matches finished, alliance building began. This is the point where the top ranking teams choose other teams to form an alliance with to go through elimination rounds with.

Team 696 was chosen, but gratefully declined. The team which Circuit Breakers were going to ask to join their alliance was also chosen but declined, meaning they could not be on the same alliance anymore.

Nevertheless, Team 696 chose two other teams from the group of highly potential and hard-workers that is FIRST Robotics teams, making a full alliance.

The matches were close, but Team 696 ended up getting eliminated before the Final round. Staying till the end, Team 696 gave encouragement to the remaining teams.

After the awards’ ceremony, Circuit Breakers packed up and were headed for home. While they had lost, spirits stayed positive on the ride home, congratulating each other and speaking praise about the other teams.

Once back at Clark, Team 696 members were given a short speech that warmed everyone’s hearts. Then they all went their separate ways to get a good night’s sleep.

3/24/16 – Thursday – Ventura Practice

The drive to where the competition was being held in Ventura was fairly short, perhaps a little over five minutes. Team 696 walked first to Denny’s Diner from their hotel for a hearty breakfast. By the end of breakfast everyone was fully awake and excited for the day ahead of them.

There was a beautiful and tear-jerking opening ceremony to start off the competition, and wonderful music to follow it. Quickly after the start of the whole event were Team 696 scouts setting up in the stands and the drive team down in the pits readying Banshee.

Being able to participate in many of the practice rounds, Banshee and its drivers showed much improvement. The automatic portion of the rounds ran smoothly, and during operational Banshee scored many low goals.

There was one minor mistake throughout the day, and that was a premature extension of the arms before an attempt to lift itself. Besides this one issue the day ran smoothly for Team 696.

For dinner, Team 696 had the honor of sharing it with Kathy Looman from Haas. Together they went to eat at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Spending over an hour eating and talking with one-another, they eventually parted ways by the end of the night.

3/23/16 – Wednesday – Beach Fun

Early Wednesday day Team 696 was stationed outside of Clark with their bags. As they would be staying in Ventura over nights for the competition, the team brought along bags full of clothing and their personal belongings. After being loaded onto the bus, their journey began.

The first stop would be at the Haas Automation factory. It was here that Team 696 was led on a wonderful tour of the place, being informed of the history and inner-workings along the way.

Afterwards the team headed to Lazy Dog Cafe for some food as they were hungry from the long drive. Dressed in their team’s shirts, the pink train of students filed into the restaurant and filled a row of tables. Even with this many people Team 696 were respectful and remained quiet for the benefit of other customers.

As the actual competition didn’t start until the next day, Team 696 were able to have some fun. After getting checked into their hotel and rooms, they split off into two groups. The smaller group was tasked with pit-setup, and would join the larger group soon. The larger group headed to the beach, a few minutes away via walking. Dressed for the beach, Team 696 members happily made the journey to the beach for some volleyball and relaxation.

Being careful so as to not injure oneself before competition, four separate volleyball teams were created for the two courts at the beach. It remained friendly and not too serious throughout the day, and everyone had a blast. Mr. Hoard was even able to show off his amazing volleyball skills to the team, who stood in awe as they were utterly beaten to smithereens on the courts.

All too soon was it time to return to the hotel and eat dinner. For this night it was In-n-Out, right next to the hotel. Members ordered food and brought it back to their rooms to eat before bed.

Members were ready for bed before 10, and Mr. Black made the rounds to make sure everyone was comfortable in their rooms. Exhausted from getting beaten on the volleyball fields by Mr. Hoard, Team 696 fell into a deep slumber the first night at Ventura – ready for competition the next day.


3/22/16 – Tuesday – Ready to Go

The day before leaving for Ventura, in a mere 24 hours Team 696 members would be in an entirely different city with many new sights and scenes. But still, even so close to leaving for the Ventura Regional competition, Team 696’s lab was still as busy as ever.

Daniel, who normally hails from the Programming team, continued driving the Practice Robot. The bot might look slightly different, but it handles the same as Banshee, which is why he’s honing in his skills now. He also continued to get the autonomous coding of the robot to work. Alexander served as a type of coach or mentor for Daniel.

CNC Mill members Nanor and Dustin began by helping out the Drive Team with the robot on the practice field. They then shifted to recreating the Gearbox Shafts, a hard task indeed, but one they accomplished nonetheless. Nanor later assisted Business member Anna with loading up the team trailer for Competition.

3/21/16 – Monday – Auto Doc

The day was a quiet day. Daniel, Team 696’s driver continued driving the Practice Robot. He actually got the Automatic Drive to work, and it is flawless.

Daniel perfecting his driving skills with help from Jack and Dr. Stone.

Nicole of Business team continued printing out booklets. She then redesigned the 2016 Technical Document. Good work Nicole. Other Business member Anna sorted through the team’s buttons – created by Andrea – to count all of them.

Lunch was delicious tostadas. Everyone went back for seconds and some even got thirds.

Team 696 couldn’t get enough of these delicious tostadas.

Mika, Nanor, and Anthony K. worked together to fix the Technical Document. The trio worked hard to get it to a point where it could be reprinted and represent the best of the team.

Members working in the Business Room on the Tech Doc.

3/20/16 – Sunday – We’ll Wheel

Sunday, three mere days before the Ventura competition. Team 696 is down to a skeleton crew, as there’s mostly driving practice and robot improving happening.

Daniel of Programming continues to drive the Practice Robot in preparation of driving Banshee. He takes any chance he can to improve his capabilities, even though he’s already really good at it.

Business member Nicole printed out some materials and bound them together. She also started putting together the team’s standard or flag.

Dustin from the CNC Mill team cut out some stock and Pivot Plates. He then patiently waited for the next operation to come, but it never did. He was done machining for the day.

Karin patched up the red bumpers as they had been ripped up from Snapdragon who had been playing the part of a defensive bot during practice runs. She then joined Mr. Black, Dr. Clause, and Dr. Stone on improving the shooter mechanism. They also changed around the wheel configuration to try and find a better configuration so it wouldn’t get stuck or tip on the defenses.

3/19/16 – Saturday – Burning Rubber

Blog writer and local hot-shot Photographer Samuel was very busy for the past few days. He had been sorting the hundreds and thousands of photos and videos taken at the Los Angeles Regional. Then he began writing the blog for those days which he couldn’t as he had been busy the entire day. He got some help with the sorting of photos, but since he’s the only one who could write so beautiful, the blog came down to him alone.

Blog writer and super cool guy Samuel sorting pictures and writing a blog post.

Of course he gave it his all, for Samuel doesn’t slack or not try. But due to him devoting all his strength to the blog, he was unable to get photos of the day.

CNC Mill member Dustin finished manufacturing the Pivot Plates he had been working on. He and Nanor, another Mill member, setup and almost finished a Gearbox Standoff.

For lunch there was an amazing course of Mediterranean food. The course consisted of pita bread, hummus, chicken, and a great salad.

Lousaper of the Lathe team went back to working the Lathe. Today she made spacers, Gearbox Standoffs, and tension rods. She has definitely come far from where she started the year at.

CAM member Jonna edited some programs. These were for previous parts, to practice her abilities. She then helped finish up the Gearbox Plate spacers.

Andrea of Business cleaned the entire Business Room. All by herself, this was quite the hefty task. She was most successful at it though.

Mr. Black visited Industrial Metal Supply to purchase a 1/4″ aluminum plate. While prices were high, the team had decided to buy the imported material.

Mr. Black also helped Karin disassemble and repair several loose fasteners to the Practice Robot’s drive system. All together it took around 3 hours. He then coached Daniel and Karin on how to improve their driving abilities, playing around 30 matches of drive practice. During these matches where the average score was 6 low goals, 3 breached defenses, and a hang, the drivers discovered that the Practice Robot can do wheelies.

Practice Robot burning rubber in sick wheelie-donuts.

The lab closed around 11:15 PM.

3/18/16 – Friday – Mr. Roboto

Business member Andrea transferred media taken during the Los Angeles Regional competition onto Team 696’s network. She also finished taking inventory of all merchandise in the lab and proofread the business documents still needing to be printed.

Nanor running an operation on the Mill.

Nicole, another Business member, made some minor corrections to the Business Plan, Brand Guide, and Sponsor Booklets prior to their printing. Anna worked on vinyl and updating certain files.

Lousaper, the sole member of Lathe team, finished compiling the list of necessary materials to take to the competition. This was crucial to ensuring nothing would be forgotten for the Ventura competition.

As members stayed at the lab until after 6:00, pizza was provided as dinner.

Members choosing their slices of pizza.

Mr. Black welded a new jack mount onto the team’s trailer and filled the tires of both the trailer and Suburban to the proper pressure specification. He then adjusted the Tormach Lathe turret-lock sensor as well as installing coolant wiper and cable loom.

The lab closed at around 11:00 PM.

3/16/16 – Wednesday – Arigato

Back to the usual schedule, Team 696 members met after the end of school in the lab. There was a quick meeting of course, where congratulations were given for the great competition experience and the day’s tasks were assigned.

Team meeting prior to getting to work.

Once again, Nicole of Business spent the day ordering printed materials before we leave for the Ventura. Business member Andrea began designing the cover for the Tech Doc as well as putting together the actual booklet.

Programming team member Daniel continued his hand at practice driving. Other member Jake helped set up the field as well as setting up the battery on the robot. He also worked on SnapDragon’s code to practice his coding skills.

Lathe member worked on the team’s Trello list. Using her advanced technological skill set, Lousaper compiled a list of all the materials and parts we took to competition for organizational purposes.

3/15/16 – Tuesday – Domo

Business member Nicole worked on finalizing the team’s printed materials and ordering them for the Ventura competition. This will occur in about one week so she’s working on a tight deadline.

Nicole and Arvin hard at work at their desks.

Other member Andrea worked on the Tech Doc. She spent the day figuring out how to transfer the doc into Adobe to continue working on it.

Andrea working in the Business Room.

Daniel of Programming spent the time practicing driving. He was the driver for the Los Angeles Regional and will be the driver for the Ventura competition as well, so any practice he can get is extremely important. Other Programming member Jake helped unload the trailer, as it was still packed from the Los Angeles Regional. He also got the batteries read for regular schedule.

Daniel running through his code one more time.

Lathe member Lousaper assisted in the unloading of the trailer. She also helped set up the practice field for Daniel to drive on with the Practice Robot.

Mr. Black welded the bin and computer cart. This cart was made to hold bins and or computers inside of the Pit Area.

Freshly welded bin and computer cart carrier.

The lab closed at a healthy 8:00 PM.