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  • 19 Jan 2016 8:21 PM | Anonymous

    Our team has started the build season out strong. Starting with initial rulebook review, to strategy and robot concepts, we've gotten all the way to the prototyping stage. Splitting into eight different prototyping teams, we explored options for our climber, our shooter, our collector, and our drive train. And while I can't disclose all of the details, I can say with confidence that we have many good ideas for our robot, and I think we have a shot at Einstein this year. 

    We've also been busy getting our practice field ready. Many students and mentors on our team have been working every meeting to get models of every obstacle completed, so we will be able to test our many prototypes and, eventually, our finished robot. It's going to take a long time to get a model for every obstacle, but we'll get it done.

    Once our prototypes are done, we will continue to work on the designs that we see as most promising. Luckily, all of our ideas are good, so we should have a truly spectacular robot. We are all excited to see what our final design is, and those of us on build teams are ready to start building. We just have to wait a little longer, thank goodness.

    Stay smelly,

    Team 1983


    Model of the French thing, made by members of team 1983 


    Team 1983 member Simon holding his prototype.


  • 16 Jan 2016 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    It’s finally happened. The wait is over. Kickoff was last Saturday and the game for 2016 was announced: FIRST Stronghold.

    Here at Skunk Works, we’re super hyped! The game is awesome, exciting, and medieval themed, so obviously that combined with robots means that it’ll be fantastic. Our team arrived at the kickoff location bright and early at 6:30, lack of sleep being made up for by our excitement for the new game. 

    For the past week everyone has been working on ideas and prototyping while the marketing team is hard at work. We’ve decided to go all out with the medieval designs, so be prepared to be blown away.


    (She looks annoyed but she's really having a field day)


    (There is much prototyping)

    We’re also getting ready for FIRST Day, which will be held in Olympia on Monday. We’ll be going down on Sunday for a training day on how to talk to our legislators. On Monday, we’ll be holding a rally at the Capitol and meeting with our legislators about the importance of FIRST. We’re super excited for this! Marketing has taken the lead on planning, so combining that with our new craze for medieval design we’ve been extremely busy.

    Stay smelly!

    The Marketing Team


  • 03 Dec 2015 11:31 PM | Deleted user

    We have been very busy this preseason. We have Slippery Biscuit up and running after a long time of trial and error. During last build season our experimental bot was cannibalized for parts, so this preseason we made it our mission to find what was missing and replace it. We finished it mechanically and electrically then gave it to the programmers. It is now running, yay!   

    We have also been working on modifying the last year’s practice robot to only run the lift. At the beginning of this year we had to make repairs to the competition bot in order to keep it running for Girls Gen and Chezy Champs.

    The shop has gotten a new peg board installed for keeping our hand tools organized (this is going to help in build season!).

    Shop training for all our new members has been completed. We had around eight new people this year so the shop has been very full. The new members are also spending time learning CAD.

    We still have some projects to be finished up before things get crazy. The tote bot is a new bot we are building out of a tote. It is going to be a test bot for the programmers before the practice robot is ready.



    This is slippery Biscuit our experimental drive base.



    Versaplanetary gearbox (one of four) is going into the tote bot.



    Our new peg board for the shop.



    This is what new students need to make for shop certification.



    Last year’s modified practice bot.



    Arguably one of the most important things, the maintenance log! This kept track of everything we did on the robot over the summer and this preseason.

    Stay Smelly!

    From the Shop! 

  • 03 Dec 2015 10:57 PM | Deleted user

    This preseason, the electrical sub-team has been very busy with a variety of projects. From September to December, we've been keeping busy. First off, we've been training our new electrical members to become full fledged members. They now know their way around the shop, how to use power tools, and how to crimp wires. Which they will be doing a lot of. Their mettle will soon be tested, as build season closes in.

    The entire electrical team has been busy reviewing old and learning new material. This has been very beneficial to both new and old members, as we all know what not to touch now. Learning how electrical components work, how to work with them, and just really cool stuff in general. That's what we've been learning. Fun stuff.

    We are also proud to report our work on two different prototyping bots. The first, Slippery Biscuit, is our testing platform to prevent the curse of friction pinning. Electrical was able to get this bad boy up and running in record time. And let me tell you, this dude can fly. The second, and personal pride of the electrical team is Tote Bot. After last season's game, we found we had an excess of totes, and we had no room for them. So what do we do? Do we throw them out? Heck no, we build a robot with them. And so, Tote Bot was born. Meant to be a modifiable electrical test bed, Tote Bot was designed by electrical with the help of design team, and is being water jetted as I write this. Soon it shall be running up and down the halls of the school.

    We have also helped other sub-teams as "electrical ambassadors," basically helping wherever electrical expertise is needed. We've helped programming wire up their own test beds, and helped the design sub-team with electrical layouts of their computer designs. We've also been helping out when showing off the robot, making sure it stays running electrical wise and that it doesn't explode into tiny bits of metal shrapnel. We wouldn't want to hurt anyone. Too much paperwork.

    Overall, electrical has had a very productive preseason. We've finished one robot and made excellent progress on another. We've gotten our new members acclimated to the team, and we've all learned new and helpful information so we can do our jobs correctly. We are all excited for build season, us senior members ready for that familiar feeling of pain and misery, and the new members awaiting to feel that sensation for the first time. But in all seriousness, we're ready for the new season, and ready to have an amazing time building robots.


    New electrical members Davon and Patrick


    Water jetted parts of Tote Bot 

    Stay smelly,

    Electrical Sub-team

    (Sherman White)  


  • 03 Dec 2015 6:52 PM | Anonymous

    Hello Everyone!

    Over the past few months our Marketing team of two has been hard at work. Since half of our subteam (that’s one person) is a newbie, we’ve been training her up on Adobe Illustrator and showing her the ropes of design and marketing. Hopefully by now she’s learned a thing or two, but we’ll know for sure when build season rolls around.

    Exciting news! We have a new website! You may have liked our old website (we’re trying to forget it), but we’ve moved on to bigger and better things. While our old website was completely hardcoded (which was cool) it was hard to keep updated and we ultimately decided that a new layout was necessary anyway.

    Another thing we’ve been up to is working with the Business Operations subteam. Skunk Works is collaborating with FIRSTWA on planning a first ever FIRST Day. There’ll be more to come on that later, probably. This has been fun because while Marketing has been doing the usual and designing the flier for the event, we’ve also been planning the actual event. Like making schedules and meeting guest speakers and everything.

    Pictured above: the Marketing team hard at work.

    Stay smelly!

    The Marketing Team


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