Visit the following link if you are not already familiar with the FIRST organization or FRC: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc
2019 is the first year I was officially on the Bosco Tech FRC team. Prior to this I worked on some things related to FRC but never in this capacity. The team isn’t hard to get onto in any regard; it’s just that it seemed boring the first two years I was at Bosco Tech. The team was small, the robots weren’t much to look at, and they didn’t get any publicity. This post will briefly cover my part in the 2019 FRC season as well as the time between this season and the next.
Each FRC season starts at the beginning of each year. Now when I joined the FRC team I was also on the varsity tennis team and the seasons overlapped. I couldn’t do both at the same time effectively so I had to drop one and I ended up leaving the varsity tennis team for the FRC team. One big decision. It took me two whole weeks to muster up the courage to tell my coach I was going to leave the tennis team.
This was my first time designing robot parts that would actually be used on the FRC robot. The part of the robot I worked on for the 2019 season was the ball manipulator (the thing with the green wheels). It had to intake a large inflatable rubber ball and hold it securely until ejecting the ball into one of the goals on the play field. I did need some help with creating an effective design for the manipulator but eventually I got the hang of it. I would always ask others for help or to check my work. Another part of the robot I made was the chain tensioner for the lifting mechanism and the battery holder. All of my parts held up well for the duration of the season and onward.
Once the season was over, the team needed to start preparing for next season. First by figuring out what everyone’s duties would be for the next season (Team Captain, Manufacturing Lead, Programming Lead, Design Lead, etc.). To my surprise I was selected as the Team Captain for next year. I had only officially been on the team for a season (a few months) and on top of that had never officially leaded any kind of a team before. I accepted the position and got to work. Soon enough I started hosting meetings and coordinating with others members of the team to prepare for the next season. Recruitment was a big deal. The FRC team was low on members as the seniors had left. Eventually, during the next school year before next season we had around 40-50 members (we had 8 or so the season before). This was great but the problem was that most of those members were new to FRC and even though we tried training them before the 2020 season there were still only a few people doing the majority of the work on the robot.
I can say far more about FRC 2019 but for the sake of keeping this post readable I will stop here. Below are more pictures of the 2019 robot and of the SolidWorks CAD I made that year for the team!