Herndon Homecoming Parade

We are excited to announce that Team 116 Epsilon Delta will be marching in the annual Herndon Homecoming Parade! Rain or shine, you’ll be seeing our light blue team shirts with Angry Nerds on them. We will also be demonstrating our robot, which can shoot a large ball to great distances. We hope to see you all there, and have a great homecoming!

Update:

Light rain it was, but that didn’t stop us.  A quick run to the team trailer to grab the canopy and the wet electronics problem was mitigated.

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We had to veer left and right a bit to avoid the cobblestones, but it was a fairly smooth ride all in all.

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Kids and adults alike really loved the robot. Who doesn’t love seeing things catapulted into the air?

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We even got a chance to rest once in a while, but this parade moved faster than most, probably because of the light drizzle.

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We got lots of great feedback from people along the route that our canopy made it really easy to spot us coming. It might just become a regular fixture in future Herndon Homecoming parades.

Team 116 Competes at IROC

Yesterday Epsilon Delta attended  Team 1885 ILITE Robotics’ IROC Offseason Competition.  We had a blast taking our 2014 season robot for a final spin, and also got to share the new controls system with even more local teams.

It was a day of high energy not just in competition, but in other activities like launching Sky Robots.

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In the competition however, we had lots of members who wanted the opportunity to drive the robot and see what it’s like behind the glass, so those who wanted to, got to take a turn. Many of the students really impressed us with their skill on the field.  At the end of qualifiers we were teamed in the sixth seeded alliance with Team 2537, RAID Robotics.

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Paired up with 2537, we won against the third, and second seeded alliances winning us a place in the finals! Tension ran high as both alliances had each won a round, but unfortunately we lost the deciding match.

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Although we didn’t win, we still got to bring home hardware, and had loads of fun competing once more with the Angry Nerd. Thank you to 2537, 1885, and all the other teams participating for an amazing time. See you next year!

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Rookie FLL Team Workshop in Washington, DC

Team 116 is all about helping others, especially new FIRST teams. This week, we’ll be volunteering at another FLL team workshop. This will include basic Lego Mindstorm programming, brainstorming for robot designs, and a Q/A about this year’s world class challenge! The event will be located at YMCA Capital View, 2118 Ridgecrest Ct Washington, DC, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Update:

This event ended up being really fun, and more than enough doughnuts were consumed.

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In working with a couple parents and students, there is a high probability of a new FLL team being created in the Alexandria area, and we hope they contact Team 116 for any assistance they might require.

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Busy Weekend for Outreach

Team 116 has been hard at work this past weekend getting the word out about our team and FIRST.

We started the weekend off strong on Friday by attending an FLL coach workshop at Leidos, where we learned the in’s and out’s of the new FLL game while picking up tips and tricks on helping mentor Lego League Students.

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Saturday, we made our way down to the US Patent Office in Alexandria to teach and work with new FLL team members and coaches to show them the game, how it works, and trained them to use LabView to program their Lego Mindstorm Robots at the FLL Meet the Experts Expo.

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And last but not least, Team 116 visited the Mini Maker Faire in Silver Spring to demonstrate the beta Controls Hardware System to FRC teams in the area as well as tell members of the community about FIRST and how to get involved.

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Overall it was a very busy but rewarding weekend! We got to meet lots of people in our area, get the message out about how great robotics and FIRST are, and above all, we had fun while doing it.

Tomorrow we start to focus on training new students for our upcoming season in January at our annual Uncle Milo meeting. The 2014-2015 is well underway, and we can’t wait to see what else may come our way this year!

Team 116 Starts 2014 Strong: Interest Meeting, FLL DC Expo and Maker Fair

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The kids of Team 116 hit the ground running this school year.

This past Tuesday, we welcomed new students at our interest meeting. Subgroup captains gave brief, enticing presentations about each group’s functions and what students can expect to learn.

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Students were excited to see the main star of the evening in action: Pizza! Oh, and the robot was present and fully-functioning, too.

For this coming weekend, the team is gearing up for the FIRST Lego League DC Expo and Maker Fair. Tonight, we started preparing to train children using Lego Mindstorms over at NovaLabs by learning how to use the LabView software program, a kid friendly software that uses draggable building blocks to put together code. While simple in how it works, users have to think creatively to make complex instructions for the robot.

This First Lego League DC Expo will be on Saturday, from 9:30-3:00 in Alexandria at the U.S. Patent Trade Office. Feel free to stop by and learn more about what it means to be on an FLL Team. Coaches, you’re welcome to join as well! Booz-Allen Hamilton will be scheduling a presentation about coaching new or old teams.

Maker Faire will take place on Sunday from 12–5 p.m. in Silver Springs, MD. It’ll be a blast, with tons of interesting activities to do, such as awesome arts and crafts, riding a hovercraft, and lots and lots and lots of robot demos!

This weekend will be a busy one for Epsilon Delta—come visit us at our upcoming outreach events!

 

Angry Nerd Test Shots

From Dave Lavery’s Facebook Page:

“A few outtakes from tests of our catapult subsystem for our entry in the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition. We spent the afternoon test firing calibration shots to evaluate the catapult configuration and get the desired loft and distance.”

 

 

Helping Local Rookie Teams

Team 116 “Epsilon Delta” welcomes two nearby rookie teams, 5243 “Wildcat Robotics” from Centerville HS and 5338 “District III” from Loudoun Academy of Science.

About a half dozen student and two mentors (from Orbital Sciences Corporation) from Team 5338 participated in our StuBots activity the day after kickoff.  They are also being helped by two other veteran teams: MetalJackets (2068) and SuperNova (4472, who won Rookie All-Star last year on Galileo).  Both students and mentors got involved, asked good questions, and provided insightful suggestions regarding how to play Aerial Assist.

On Monday January 13, Team 116 sent an envoy of three mentors (Mike Youmans, Ted Markson, Spencer Allain) and one student (Caleb Wilkinson) to help Team 5243.  What this rookie team lacked in experience, they made up for in focus, determination, and energy!  We watched their students assemble the new AndyMark KitBot with nearly no assistance (or interference as the case may be) from mentors.  Caleb was instrumental in teaching their Controls Hardware group how to hook up all those fancy electronics.  Spencer Allain was able to get their cRIO imaged and debug the one wiring mistake, and their KitBot came to life!  “Robot in 3 hours!”

Article in the Herndon Patch about the FRC 2014 Kickoff event at Herndon High School

http://herndon.patch.com/groups/herndon-news-and-events/p/herndon-high-robotics-team-to-participate-in-aerial-assist-challenge

On Saturday, Team 116—Epsilon Delta, Herndon High School’s robotics team—held its annual kickoff event and breakfast to introduce the team to the local community, and to find out just what is in store for them this year, for their annual challenge.

Team 116 is Herndon’s chapter ofFIRST, a nonprofit association that stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

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From small changes come big differences [εΔ].