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Vail Academy & High School
Home of the BoxerBots
2021 Season Is Upon Us5 May, 2021
I hope you all enjoyed your Star Wars day yesterday. I know I did. I have updated the information related to the season on the Skills Challenges page. All the results are in and we, unfortunately, did not progress on. We had some serious competition out there. We did, however, accomplish quite a bit in the time we had. Now we move on and look forward to next season. We have identified gaps in our knowledge and will work to close those as we move forward.
On the upside, it looks like we will be having a "normal" season next year, with in-person events, travel, a tougher build-season, etc. I look forward with great anticipation to what next season will bring us.
24 April, 2021
Got the results for the INFINITE RECHARGE At Home challenge. As it stands, we did not make it into semi-finals for the judged awards or the skills challenges. It's unfortunate, but congrats to the teeams that did! This was not an easy challenge, and we are absolutely proud of the efforts our students put into this.
If you want to see some of what was done, we have uploaded our submission videos to our YouTube channel.
21 April, 2021
I have added the information about this season's Challenges. The link can be opened from the "Upcoming Events" section on the right. I believe I have included all of the information, along with high-level summaries. I will continue to keep that page updated while judging continues through next week.
14 April, 2021
Okay, yeah, way behind on the updates, but here it goes. I will be adding a page that gives some high-level details about how the game was played this season. Needless to say, we were able to submit in almost all categories. The team decided to take on all four areas available: The Innovation Challenge, the Game Design Challenge, and INFINITE RECHARGE At Home Judged Awards and Skills Challenges. Of the Skills Challenges there were five. We were able to submit to four of the five challenges.
I am very excited about this. This week the results for the Innovation Challenge should be finalized. At the end of next week the INFINITE RECHARGE At Home results should be published. The week after that should be the Game Design Challenge results. It was a trying time, and there was some of it we weren't sure we were going to finish out, but here we are.
Right now programming is working again on some of the autonomous, trying to perfect the things they weren't able to prior to the end of the submission period. Some of my build crew are learning to program. The remainder are continuing work on the Innovation Challenge, partially in prep for the next level of competition, and partially because they are actually vested in the outcome.
Pretty neat season, in my personal opinion.
9 February, 2021
We are still moving forward with several projects. We have the Game Design moving along fairly well. We went over the basics last night for a team vote on the path forward today. The Innovation Challenge I believe has had more progress. The concept is laid out, the general design is set forth, and we are taking another look at where we believe we are.
Our programming team has been able to get the robot to, at least once, chase down a "lemon". We are looking forward to C418 being able to align properly on the ball, go to it, and take it in. They were also able to, from a designated starting point, advance forward and circle a cone. The next step is to start, advance forward, circle the first cone, continue on the course, and circle the second cone. We are looking forward to seeing the rest in action.
30 January, 2021
Yes, I have been very much behind on posting. The great thing this season is that our team is extremely excited about the virtual competition. The skills challenges particularly interest our programming team, but the Game Design and Innovation Challenges have piqued the interest of the rest of the team.
While the Game Design team earnestly started to go down the path of a water-game, we regrouped and aligned with more realistic ventures that FIRST would potentially publish. We have also looked at the robot's physical configuration to make sure that there isn't something that we may need to change for the challenges, and so far we fortunately have not found anything that needs to be changed.
This has helped us to identify other areas, though, where we would like to improve overall, as a team. Things like how we approach climbing, vision tracking, etc. Programming is working tirelessly on vision and sensor integration. Build has primarily been tackling the Game Design and Innovation Challenges, coming up with some good and interesting ideas.
Build has also been dealing with another challenge that has been thrown at them, building a frisbee-throwing robot. Since build has little-to-nothing to do with C418 this season, they have the time to do this, and it helps to enhance the problem-solving skills.
2 December, 2020
I have been remiss in updating this page, and I apologize. Many things are happening around here. I have challenged the students with designing and building a frisbee-throwing robot. The shooter is the first part being designed and built so that we can establish that part as functional. Once that is done we will establish a drive base for it out of materials on-hand. Once that is complete, then we will hand it over to programming to challenge our new programmers.
In other news we are awaiting the details on how the virtual season is going to work from FIRST. The majority of the game is going to be the same as last season, but there is supposed to be something different this season. We also get to reuse last season's robot, called C418. Some of you geeks out there may recognize the name. Depending on the deltas, we may need to rework part of the bot. We will have to see. We will find out at Kick-off.
As far as we know, Kick-off will still be held at the school as we have always done. The only difference right now is that we will not be sending a crew up to Phoenix to pick up the Kit of Parts (KoP). The KoP will be mailed to us this season, thanks to the generosity of FedEx, we do not need to pay for it. The other is that we like to invite family and friends of the team members, but this season we would like to limit it to immediate family of the team members, to keep our numbers down. We will also more than likely have all of the MPR doors open to help provide a safer environment for those present. More to come on that as we get closer.
26 September, 2020
2 days ago FIRST released an update explaining the 2021 Competition Season as they see it today. The entire article can be found here. To summarize, this will be a virtual season. Currently no in-person events are being planned. To reflect this, the team's FIRST registration fee has been drastically reduced to less than 50% of normal. The competition will occur via a "Skills Challenge". It sounds like this will be a video (live or recorded) that demonstrates how the robot , and drive team, perform with various components of the field, potentially.
I'm sure more clarification will come as we continue through the season. This is not what we had hoped for, but we think this is still better than what was expected. We look forward to seeing what can be accomplished in these unprecedented times.
12 September, 2020
Well, we have been meeting for a few weeks now. While we have a pretty small team, we are hopeful. School is about to start back up and we are excited. Right now the entire team is comprised of returning members, so very little training is happening. We've really just picked up where we left off from last season. We are continuing the programming of the robots, working with the sensors, and maintaining previous robots.
Today we got our prototype robot, Lippa-Loop, out and playing. It was in a state of complete disrepair at the end of the last season, so we re-assembled, rewired it, and double-checked the programming. Turns out we have a bad a motor on it. We're also seeing some odd controls with the programming. So that work will continue into the next meetings. We will get it right.
We also watched the FTC team's kick-off to see what their challenge is going to be. They have a pretty cool game this year. Check that out here.
23 August, 2020
Well, here we are, starting the new school-year. We will be starting meetings on August 26th for this upcoming season. 4 to 6pm at our usual build room location. We will also start our Saturday meetings this coming Saturday from 8am to noon. COVID protocals are still in place, so we will be required to wear masks, we will not be allowed to gather in groups larger than 10 (per room), and everyone will be required to have their temperatures taken (contactless thermometer).
We will start by going over some of the known new circumstances for this season, introductions for any new team members we may have, finances, etc. I hope to see you all there.
VAHS and FIRST
For the 2021-22 season, The BoxerBots will be comprised of students from Vail Academy and High School and Mica Mountain for grades 9 through 12, and any middle school (for 8th grade) in the Vail School District, hosted by the VAHS and sponsored by CATERPILLAR, Inc.
Scholarship and Awards
Learn about the awards and scholarships you can get in the FRC robotics competition and team.