Author: Kevin Boyle

Our Magic Lathe

One of our most significant contributions this year came in the way of a lathe from Machine Ethics in Muskegon, Michigan. We used the lathe extensively in building our robot this year. Last year islander Richie Gillespie generously let us use his lathe, but we had to make a trip over to his shop to take advantage of that. This year, we were able to work with our own lathe, which allowed us both great learning and production opportunities. Machine Ethics include a hug number of valuable accessories with the lathe, all of which will be of great use...

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Island Logistics

Date February 10, 2017 [tree-snow-fog-prairie-dog-800.jpg] Living on an island has its moments. Most of them are glorious, but sometimes not so much especially when you are trying to build an FRC robot in the middle of a northern Michigan winter. Our island home is reachable only by plane from the week before Christmas until the ice clears from the harbor, usually in late March or early April. That means everything coming to and going from the island has to be flown across on one of the two small airlines that server the island — including all of our robot...

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One Week Into Build Season

We’ve had a busy first week. We’ve identified our performance priorities and have plans for each of the systems we need to build. In this shot, we’re working on what goes where in the frame. We spent a lot of time this weekend sourcing parts and getting our software platform in place to support the hardware we plan to implement. One issue all teams seem to be dealing with is jamming fuel balls, which this stack of balls...

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Build Season Begins

After several months of trying to figure out how the FRC Game Design folks would work steam into this year’s challenge, the mystery is over and the competition parameters are out! Of course, there will be no real steam (at least not generated by boiling water). But there will be figurative steam that is used to get a steampunk style airship ready to launch. It looks like a great game to play and we can’t wait to get started on our robot. Here’s the official Kick-off Video that describes the game (after dome preliminaries. While you watch it, we’re...

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