Vail BoxerBots
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    2018 Season Updates

    18 May, 2018

    We have closed out our 2017-18 season. We have elected our new team officers for the 2018-19 season. We have held our annual End-of-Year banquet.


    27 April, 2018

    We made it back from World Championships in Houston, TX. We did pretty good, overall. Sure, we placed 50th out of 68, and our final record at the end was 3 wins and 7 losses, but overall our robot did pretty well. We spent the majority of the time functional, which is better than we honestly did at either regional.


    1 April, 2018

    The El Paso regional began much like the AZ North Regional. A full day of work on day one to get the robot up and running and inspected. We weighed in at 115.8 pounds originally, having replaced the four-bar system with the newer pincer set-up. We also had to remove several stiffeners from the drive chassis to accommodate the larger wheel diameter.

    In our first matches, our driver was getting used to the newer robot and the superior performance of the new drive. It wasn't long before he had the hang of the new robot and the improved gameplay. Suddenly we were competitive, scoring cubes in both the switch and the exchange. Unfortunately, also wasn't long before we revealed some more issues. The first was the ability to lose a whole wheel since the stiffeners had been removed from the drive chassis.

    When our robot worked, we had amazing matches. When it didn't, it was disheartening. Again, the team never gave up hope and kept going, intent on finding solutions to our issues. Though we ended up finishing 37th out of 37 teams, our students never let themselves get down. I personally am more proud of their overall attitude than any accomplishment on the field.

    As is normal for a team at this point, after alliance selections we went on to pack up our pit and load out. Once that was done we joined the rest of the team in the stands to enjoy the rest of semi-finals and finals, then the awards ceremony. We sat and cheered everyone and every team that got their well-earned awards. All the way through the regional finalists and regional winners. Then the coveted Chairman's Award. The MC described the Chairman's award, then went on to their cryptic description of the winning team. As they mentioned '...their box of tricks..' a gasp escaped a team member. This had a shockwave effect on our team. I pointed out there was a team named 'Tricks are 4 kids' there, and it could be them. They went on to read statements that should apply to any team going for the Chairman's award. The team kept getting more excited, and I kept shaking my head and softly saying 'No, don't get over-excited' as I've seen the devastation of the let-down.

    Then came the statement about '... Public Safety Announcements...', and I quit shaking my head and started thinking things like 'How do we get to Worlds?', 'Do we have enough money to take everyone?', 'What do I need to do to get us ready?'. At this point, I was now sure we had just won, then came the announcement "... Team 1828, The BoxerBots!!". Shock, pride, relief, anxiety, etc. It was an amazing experience. This team has strove for this for over a decade, and this year's team finally brought it home!


    11 March, 2018

    Attending the AZ North Regional in Flagstaff was a pleasure, as always. Even with 60 other teams there it is a great venue and well coordinated. The weather is always wonderful, as well as our hotel staff who take great care of us at the La Quinta.

    It was a rough regional for the robot as we found flaws in the design of the robot. We started day one (Thursday) with finishing work on the robot to get it ready to be inspected. This took several tries as we were overweight the first time by a pound and a half. Back at the pits we drilled out some lightening holes (holes intended to remove weight from the robot). On our final effort, we finally weighed in at 119.7 pounds (limit is 120). With inspection finally through, we focused on getting the mechanics and pneumatics of the robot to work in code.

    Our first match we found out our clearance was a little too low-profile as we had difficulty even moving, high-centering on the carpet from time to time. We also had difficulty getting the four-bar mechanism to move, and the gantry to rise.

    This all resulted in on-the-fly engineering and never once did the resolve of the students falter. We raised the robot by increasing the diameter of the wheels by wrapping them with various materials. This was a constant maintenance item as each match wore out the wrapping. We added a tensioner for the chain that our elevator uses to raise and lower the gantry. The four-bar system was a constant issue as each match bent the brackets for the control system a little more.

    The whole time we were discussing what would need to happen to make it better for the El Paso Regional coming up. The students had some good ideas. One we went with was the changing of the four-bar system to a fixed arm system similar to a popular design amongst our competitors at AZ North, using two pair of powered wheels on 'pincers' to suck the power cubes in and going to six-inch wheels for the robot as opposed to our four-inch wheels.

    So cheerful were the students that we took the Spirit Award home from AZ North. I was pulled aside here several times and received compliments about the team members and their resolve and well-mannered behavior by other mentors and judges.


    27 January, 2018

    Good Afternoon All!
    Today marks the end of Week 3, and we are still holding very strong!

    Yesterday marked the end of the second week of our Build Season, and everyone is still working hard to finish our robot/awards for competition. The preceding email will just be information/highlights of what happened this week. Feel free to email us back with any questions.

    The design of the robot was completed during week 2, and I am very excited about how it turned out! Attached to this email, is the rendering of the 3D model that the Design and MDE sub-teams have put enormous effort and countless hours into, and I am very thankful for all their dedication and focus.

    Drawings (our "blueprints") have been created and printed, so Build Team was able to begin cutting pieces for the robot. This week (week 3), we hope to continue (and finish) the process of fabricating our pieces as well as begin assembling each of our components together. Build Team also finished the Switch (the shorter scale that is in front of the driver stations on the field), so we can begin practicing when our robots are up and running!

    Electronics Team has finalized a conceptual layout for the electronics board as well as worked on testing our pneumatics system. Programming finished drive code and have worked with mapping the different functions of our robot onto a controller.

    Finally, Business has finished writing several awards, and moved towards the revision process. They have also been teaching our members to dance, so we don't miss a beat at competition! Media is doing a great job with documenting our progress (and our silliness)!

    I cannot express enough how excited I am for this season! We have been doing really well, and I'm so thankful for everyone's hard work! Also, a HUGE thanks to the families who provided food these past two weeks; it was delicious!

    If you are interested in watching the BoxerBots in our "natural habitat," please feel free to stop by our build room at any time to check out our amazing members at work! Also take a look at our social media and the pictures attached to this email (courtesy of our wonderful Media Team) for our actions throughout this build season!

    30 more days left until Bag and Tag, but we only have 11 more working days left until our twin robots need to be finished and ready for driver try-outs!

    Thank you
    Trinity Peters
    Exultant Captain

    22 January, 2018

    Good Afternoon All,
    Yesterday marked the end of the second week of our Build Season, and everyone is still working hard to finish our robot/awards for competition. The preceding email will just be information/highlights of what happened this week. Feel free to email us back with any questions. The design of the robot was completed during week 2, and I am very excited about how it turned out! Attached to this email, is the rendering of the 3D model that the Design and MDE sub-teams have put enormous effort and countless hours into, and I am very thankful for all their dedication and focus.

    Drawings (our "blueprints") have been created and printed, so Build Team was able to begin cutting pieces for the robot. This week (week 3), we hope to continue (and finish) the process of fabricating our pieces as well as begin assembling each of our components together. Build Team also finished the Switch (the shorter scale that is in front of the driver stations on the field), so we can begin practicing when our robots are up and running!

    Electronics Team has finalized a conceptual layout for the electronics board as well as worked on testing our pneumatics system. Programming finished drive code and have worked with mapping the different functions of our robot onto a controller. Finally, Business has finished writing several awards, and moved towards the revision process. They have also been teaching our members to dance, so we don't miss a beat at competition! Media is doing a great job with documenting our progress (and our silliness)!

    I cannot express enough how excited I am for this season! We have been doing really well, and I'm so thankful for everyone's hard work! Also, a HUGE thanks to the families who provided food these past two weeks; it was delicious!

    If you are interested in watching the BoxerBots in our "natural habitat," please feel free to stop by our build room at any time to check out our amazing members at work! Also take a look at our social media (courtesy of our wonderful Media Team) for our actions throughout this build season!

    30 more days left until Bag and Tag, but we only have 11 more working days left until our twin robots need to be finished and ready for driver try-outs!

    Thank you,
    Trinity Peters
    Exultant Captain

    13 January, 2018

    Good Afternoon All,
    Week 1 of Build Season is complete, and I am excited about our progress. A HUGE thanks to ALL members for their constant hard work and dedication thus far. Keep up the great work! The following email will just be information/highlights of what happened this week. Feel free to email us back with any questions!

    Day one, we discussed all of the brainstorming from KickOff and the Leads/Officers decided on a conceptual decision. For the remainder of the week, we have completed many different tasks!

    Design and MDE have been working VERY efficiently at "CAD-ing" our conceptual design and making drawing files for build to begin working with. They finished the drive train design and sent those files to our amazing sponsor, Elegant Iron, for fabrication.They are EXTREMELY close to finishing the entire design.

    Build has been hard at work creating mock field pieces, so we can practice when our robot is finished; they have also finished machining parts for the drive train! Electronics has started to look at board configuration as well as testing pneumatic systems. Programming is writing drive code to be applied once the drive train is finished, early next week.

    Business/Media are also making huge progress at finishing the Chairman's short essays, maneuvering through revisions for Business Plan, and updating our social media.

    Again, I'm so thankful about how much progress that has been made. We are doing really well this season, and I'm excited for what our Build Season brings us at competition. While we may have 37 more days left until Bag and Tag, we only have 17 more working days left until our twin robots need to be finished!

    Thank you
    Trinity Peters
    Proud Captain

    12 January, 2018

    We are at the end of the first week and we are excited about this year's game! For those that missed Kick-Off, this is where you will find the Game Reveal video. Here you will find all of the game information and resources for this year's challenge.

    Our Mechanical Engineers and our Multi-Disciplined Engineers are working together to make the team's concept a potential reality. They have already completed the drive train design and we have sent those files to our wonderful sponsor, Elegant Iron, for fabrication. Our Fabrication Technicians are hard at work building the mock game pieces in preparation for the robot to be completed and ready for testing.

    Our Software Engineers are working hard to be ready to deploy functional code to the robot, while our Electrical Engineers are working up a prototype board for the SEs to deploy to for validation. Our Business team is hard at work preparing this year's Business Plan and Chairman's Essay, as well as finalizing the other awards. Working with them is Media, getting images, videos, and custom formatting together.

    As you can see, everyone is busy now. As we go into Week 2, we will be completing the design of the robot, while anxiously awaiting the fabricated drive train parts. Once we have the parts our Fab Techs will begin assembling the drive trains. As always, parts on order, and more parts will be ordered as the pieces are finalized and approved by the team leadership.


    16 December, 2017

    There are several things happening today. We are at our last official meeting of the calendar year. Today we are wrapping gifts for families in the "Adopt-a-Family" program. The team has adoped two familiies and come together to make sure that these families will get to have a nice Christmas. We will have a small meeting next Wednesday at 4pm to present the gifts to the coordinators involved. An email has been sent out notifying the team and families of the team inviting them to participate.

    We have reservations for the hotels we will be staying in for both of our regionals, AZ North and the inaugural El Paso Regional. Those are included in an email to the team members' families, also.


    10 December, 2017

    Here we are in December already. Wow how this year has flown! We are already to our second Parent Info Night coming up Thursday, December 14th at VAHS in the MPR starting at 6pm. Kick-off is coming quickly, Jan 6th!! If you intend to attend, give us a shout!

    We will be attending the AZ North Regional this year with 58 other teams (wow, what a crowd!) and the El Paso Regional Inaugural event with 34 other teams. We are very excited for both!


    1 October, 2017

    We have a couple of announcements to make. The first is that our first attempt to hold a yardsale seems to be a bust. As of today we have had no responses to reserve spaces for the yardsale, so we will be canceling this event. We will try again inthe future, but for now we are letting it go.

    The second is that we have been confirmed for our first regional. We will be attending the AZ North Regional in Flagstaff, AZ. Information for this regional can be found on Blue Alliance and on FIRST's site.

    The team has voted to apply for the El Paso Regional for our second regional. As of this entry, only seven teams have signed up for this regional, so we will be researching what happens in the case of a canceled regional prior to applying. This is the first year of the El Paso Regional.


    25 September, 2017

    Our 2018 Handbook is finally complete and now released. The Student and the Parent Handbook contract forms are there, and we will have printed ones available for our Wednesday meeting this week.


    23 September, 2017

    We are announcing our first annual Boxerbot Yard Sale. It will be held Oct 7th in the Old vail Middle School parking lot, from 6am to 11am. Spots will be $10 each for the day. You may also donate items to be sold by the team for team funding. The entire $10 goes to the team for funding, along with any proceeds from items sold by the team. Individuals who rent their own sapace keep their own proceeds. At the end of the event, we will have a box truck that will take any unwanted leftover items to be donated to Good Will.


    13 September, 2017

    We made it through our first Parent Info Night. It was a little painful due to technical difficulties, but we got there. There wasn't a very healthy showing of parents, but I imagine that was related to the lack of communication from the team on that topic. The slides are now posted on the 'Parent Info' page here. We will hold another one, and we will communicate better about it. I do apologize for that. We also were able to update several email addresses for parents who weren't on our list. We should be sending out emails at least twice a week, so if you aren't getting them, please contact us so we can look into it. Thank you.

    For team participation fees, they may be paid by check, money order, cash, or tax credit donation. Please make checks payable to Vail Academy and High School.


    6 September, 2017

    We are in the preseason and there is a great deal of hands-on learning happening. Software is picking up a lot of new information with our switch to C++. Materials are flying as team members are learning to use the various machines and power tools in the build room. Mechanicals are working designs. Business is hard at work figuring out where to apply for grants and starting our business plan again for the upcoming year.

    The first of out two Parent Info Nights is coming up on September 12th. It will be held at VAHS on


    29 July, 2017

    We are moving into the next season. We made an appearance at open houses for Cienega High School and Vail Academy and High School. We will be there for the open houses at Empire High School and Andrada Polytechnic High School.
    Our first official meeting for the 2017-2018 season will be on Wednesday August 9th, 2017 from 4 to 6pm. Our second meeting will be held on Saturday August 12th from 8am to noon. For now our meetings will be held in VAHS's Multi-Purpose Room.


    7 June, 2017

    We are moving along with the redesign and rebuild. The programming team is learning C++ currently. Being summer we are getting minimal attendance, but that's okay when it comes to focusing on teaching. Dates for AZ State have been announced (Oct 20-21, 2017). Location and invitees are still TBD. Anxieties are high, so being impatient as we are some of our members are caclulating as well as we can to see if we can figure out who's invited and once it's officially announced, to see how close we are.

    John Pyeatt
    Team 1828 Mentor

    2017 Season Updates

    6 May, 2017

    Here we are at the end of the entire season. While we are recovering from the previous season, we are also prepping for the upcoming season. One of the things that we have to take care of is the redesign and rebuild of this last season's robot. The robot was named 'Mercui', which is elvish for mercy. The robot and the second regional showed us very little of that.

    Our first regional was the AZ North in Flagstaff. We did fairly well there, placing 22nd out of 48. The story was not anywhere near that in the Las Vegas Regional. At the end of the first day we were 47th out of 47. The second day did little to better our standings. We did climb to 41st out of 47, but only because of the alliance teams. At the end of every match we were affecting repairs to the robot.

    The most enlightening part for me, and the proudest, is that the team never lost heart, and never gave up. It was a huge learning opportunity for the team, and they used it. Unfortunately, Mercui was left crippled and unusable. Therefore, we are redsigning and rebuilding the robot. You may ask yourselves 'Why?'. Well, because there is the possibility of Tucson Tussle happening in the fall, as well as a good chance of us being invited to State again this year. Even if we weren't, the answer would be 'because we can, and because we should.' This is a great team this year, with great student leadership. They have all learned a lot. I am very proud of the team.

    Now we are ready for our 'End of Year' banquet this coming Thursday. Wednesday will be the new elections for the upcoming season's officers. Leads will be appointed by the new officers. All students are able to vote. To be eligible to run for an officer position, however, students must meet the minimum requirements.

    John Pyeatt
    Team 1828 Mentor


    5 February, 2017

    It is scary to say that week 4 is already over and we are about to start week 5 really soon. The following email will recap the highlights of the now passed week. Please feel free to email us back with any questions. I would also like to apologize for the inability of some that could not view the pictures from last week's email, so included in this email are those pictures.

    Drawings and parts were continually given from the Design Team to the Build Team. The Build Team then took those drawings and began to make some parts with the material we have. While there was some difficulties with the drive train, we were able to overcome the problems and continue to finalize. The hopper (place where the balls are stored) and the shooter was also in the process of construction. As parts are being created, even filing the sharp edges are important tasks. Every tedious task has a huge purpose, so thank you to all! Design also got really creative with color schemes on the robot (a picture below)!

    Programming continued to work on our autonomous for the competition. We are planning on placing a gear and shooting the loaded fuel, but they have also written code for just placing a gear. These two options will allow us to switch depending on which teams we "play" with at competitions. Electronics Team has also been experimenting with sensors and the camera.

    Business Team has been contacting local companies and corporations, asking for sponsors and donations while the Media Team has been updating social media as well as creating videos. One of the videos completed during the fourth week is a PSA about texting and driving. The video will be on our YouTube sometime this week, but we will make sure to keep you posted!

    A lot of major teamwork and communication was conducted during the week, so thank you all! Also, thank you to everyone for your continual support! Wish us luck as we enter our second to last week!


    Thank you
    Trinity Peters
    Captain


    29 January, 2017

    Good Evening All,

    I apologize for the late email. The following information will be a recap of the events that happened during our third week of build season. Excellent work and enthusiasm from all!

    Throughout the week, the design team has been providing the build team drawing files, so the build team can begin more components of the robot. The Design Team has been feverishly trying to modify the robot design. Pictures of the robot design in CAD as well as the students working (courteous of our wonderful Media Team) below! Build and Advanced Fabrication has also been working all week on the drive train. With our custom drive parts, our new welders have been doing an amazing job welding the new pieces to the frame!

    The Electronics Team have been playing with a mock electronics board along with fixing previous years' robots. Along with the Electronics Team, the Programming Team has been modifying code for previous years' robots, getting ready for future demonstrations. They have also completed the theoretical code for this year's robot, and have been experimenting with different drive set-ups and joysticks (some of the joysticks being a PS4 and X-Box Controller)! We are all excited!

    The Business Team, all week, created buttons, continued to revise the awards, and edited animations as their due dates approach. Our Media Team has also developed new flyers and brochure designs to pass out at our events. Be sure to look out for them! A huge thanks to Kara Burkholder's grandfather for printing the buttons and thank-you cards for our team!

    Another huge thank you to all the parents for the meals and all of your support!

    Be sure to check out the pictures! Not everyone will be in these pictures, but as build season continues, we will try to send pictures of everyone on the team! There are also more pictures on our social media!

    Week 4 starts tomorrow!

    Thank you

    Trinity Peters
    Captain


    21 January, 2017

    Week 2 of build season has completed, and everyone is still working hard! The following will just be information/highlights of our actions this week. Please feel free to email us back with any questions!

    On Monday, the design team completed the "hopper" design in CAD and worked more on the other components such as the shooter and the gear handling mechanism. Build also began construction on the drive train as well as the different field elements for our practice field. Buttons, banners, and the business plan was also worked on (all this week) by our Business and Media Teams. This was a long day for the BoxerBots, but progress was made!

    Tuesday consisted of finishing up the boiler/rope mount for the field elements. The Electronics and Programing Teams tested some of the encoders that we plan on using for our shooter and drive motors. As the drive train was continued to be worked on, design was working diligently at trying to finish the robot in CAD before we can construct the remaining elements.

    Wednesday rolled around with more work on the previously mentioned projects. Business has also been writing to elementary and middle school robotics teams in the district, and they have also been writing grant submissions.

    Thursday (when we are normally off) consisted of the design team, making 3D models of more elements of the robot.

    On Friday, we also continued working on previously mentioned projects. The Electronics Team completed the construction and wiring on our new flag pole that lights-up! Competition will be a blast as we wave our flag in style!

    Saturday ended with parts of the drive train fabricated, a near completed 3D modeled robot, a "standard" "(banner) design voted on, fine-tuning previous years' robots with code and fixing wiring, and edits on our awards and submissions. As far as the construction of the robot, the Programming Team and Electronics Team has been pretty hands off, waiting patiently for a built robot to come their way, so in the meantime, they have been training and trying to work on robot code/wiring that can get completed while waiting.

    Another great week, so thank you to all! We will make sure to keep you updated as we head into week 3!

    15 more working days left until robot completion (around 22 more working days until Bag and Tag)! We can do it!

    Thank you,

    Trinity Peters
    Captain


    15 January, 2017

    Week 1 of build season is complete, and might I add that it was VERY successful. Every one of the students has been working very hard, so I would like to thank them. The following email will just be information/highlights of what happened this week. Feel free to email us back with any questions!

    Day 1 was exciting as we took everyone's ideas, brainstormed at kick-off and weekend creativity, and narrowed down to which we wanted to see on the robot as well as which we would like to prototype. Great designs and ideas from everyone! Meanwhile, the design team has started to 3D model the drive train base in Solid Works.

    Day 2 was in full swing where the build team took one of the ideas we wanted to prototype (the shooter) and began creating a quick wooden replica to test the functionality. To test the shooter, electronics team provided a mock electronics board while the programming team wrote code. Design team started to design the intake system to retrieve balls (or "fuel") off the floor, the holding system for the balls, and the gear intake/placement.

    Day 3 also consisted of prototyping another shooter design, so we can test which we prefer. For design, the drive base 3D model was finished and more work on the intake, holder, and gear system was done. Build also worked on creating a mock field of the game out of wood, so once we have a robot completed, we can test with field elements.

    Day 4 closed with us continuing to work on projects and finishing up designs.

    Day 5 was also productive where the holder was finished in CAD and field elements were constructed/worked on.

    While this information is a recap of the robot, our wonderful business and media team has been working hard as well! Buttons were created, essays for awards were fine-tuned, social media has been updated, and more! Be sure to check out our social media for videos and pictures! Some of our students are also working on a recap video which we will be posting/sharing, so be sure to look out for that.

    Thank you to all of the students for a great first week! Everyone has been keeping busy and contributing to the success! Let's keep it up! Also, thank you to the friends and parents of the BoxerBots for all of your support!

    Get ready for week 2! We will make sure to keep you all updated.

    Trinity Peters
    Captain


    8 January, 2017

    We now know what the STEAMWorks mission is all about. Check out the full game reveal here. We are excited about this game season and are already underway with designing the robot. We have several components identified and are working to come up with the overall concept. We will have this nailed down Monday and we should have the drivetrain design by Tuesday. In the meantime we will be wroking to identify the mock field pieces we will need to test the robot components as they are completed.

    I have added new links in the links page to the video tours of the game field components, as well as the game material. This includes the game manual, game logos, field drawings, etc.


    4 December, 2016

    With kick-off right around the corner we are gearing up for our December Parent Info Night, taking place 8 December at VAHS's MPR from 6 to 7:30pm. I hope all parents will be there. I have place the new Menu Sign-up Sheet online, accessable through our Calendar page on this website. Parents, please sign up for at least one evening for a meal. With 29 meals to provide, and almost 40 active team members there should be no reason for any parent to sign up twice. There are 3 Saturday lunches along with the 26 evening meals to provide. Please help support the team. Meals do not need to be fancy. Burgers and dogs, spaghetti, chili, etc, are all acceptable and fairly cheap meals to provide. We just want to avoid needing to grab pizza often, though it is acceptable also , from time to time.

    Once again we will be participating with Optimal Robotics from Palo Verde Magnet High School for Kick-off on 7 January, 2017. Like last year, our plan is to watch the video, break up into teams and review the rules, then devise our strategies. From there will come the robot design best suited to the desired accomplishments of the individual teams.


    20 October, 2016

    So, we have now registered for the AZ North Regional and the Las Vegas Regional. The AZ North Regional is in Flagstaff, AZ, at the Walk-up Skydome from March 8th through 11th. We will depart Tucson at approximately 12pm on the 8th. The hotel we stay in is in works and we will email that out when we have it. We will check out the morning of the 11th and attend the rest of qualifications and finals. We will depart for Tucson after the awards ceremony following finals.

    The Las Vegas Regional is April 5th through the 8th. We will depart Tucson at approximately 7am on the 8th. Again, the hotel is in the works. We will return to the hotel after the awards ceremony following finals on the 8th. We will depart Las Vegas at approximately 7am on Sunday, the 9th.

    Finished at State in 18th. Not the best, but not the worst we've done, either. All of the students had a really good time, and it was an excellent learning experience for them. They learned, for one, NOT to forget the wrenches when we go to a competition. We knocked the track off during a match and didn't have the tools to fix it. Fortunately we were able to borrow tools and barely got the track back on and tensioned before it was time to go back on the field.

    We were not selected to go into the finals this year. I see this as more of an opportunity to find ways to improve our team and the performance of the robot than a direct reflection on the team. Again, networking is of importance at these competitions, as well as individual robot performance. While we kick butt, we can do better, and we will.


    11 October, 2016

    All right everyone, coming out of Fall break. We are headed up to Phoenix on Friday for the Sanghi Foundation Arizona State FIRST Robotics Competition. We have made our modifications to The Kurgan and are raring to go. A small group of us will be there on Friday, with the rest joining us on Saturday. Feel free to join us and cheer the team along. It will be at Arcadia High School in Phoenix.


    11 September, 2016

    We had a small showing for Parent Info Night. The slides are now updated and posted on the Parent Info page. I have also updated more information on the page relevant to this season's competition. I will be emailing out the slides to all parents, along with a summary of the discussions/questions during the event.

    One of our sponsors will be given a presentation on October 6th. The Arizona Senior Academy in the Vail area will be hosting the event. Come see the students give a presentation to our sponsors. Also look for other presentations that may interest you being hosted by ASA.

    The Tax Credit information is also updated including the link to the form page. For our team, please make sure that you make the tax credits to Vail Academy and High School, and write "Robotics" in the "Other" field. For the online payment, select Vail Academy and High School in the school drop-down and then "Robotics" from the Vail Academy Activities drop-down.


    10 September, 2016

    We had a great mini-kickoff for our preseason builds. Half of our team will be working on a t-shirt cannon, and the other half will be working on a Frisbee shooter. It looks like designs are mostly done for both already. This is our first season that we are attempting this kind of effort, but it already looks like it's paying off in the excitement of the participants of the team. We look forward to their progress.


    21 August, 2016

    Okay all, we have received news that the Tucson Tussle is cancelled for this year. While this sounds like bad news, there is more than a silver lining. Instead of renting the field from the San Diego team that had it, Palo Verde's team (Optimal Robotics) has made arrangements to purchase a field. This is the basic field as listed at AndyMark. The seasonal game components are extra each year. From my understanding, last season's game components ran for $8K. So they have opted not to invest the extra for only one event (Tucson Tussle). Understandable, in my humble opinion.

    All of the necessary forms have been loaded to the site. They will be emailed out, and some printed copies will be available at the next meeting, as well. Upcoming events, Parent Info Night will be at VAHS in the MPR on Sep 1 st from 6pm to 7:30pm. Please come by.


    11 August, 2016

    Wow! What a first meeting! We had well over 40 students present for the first meeting. Thank you to all who attended and we expect to see you again next Wednesday. Next Wednesday will be a 1:30 to 3:30 meeting because of the half-day that will be going on in all of the high schools. Though we will not be meeting this Friday (8/12) or Saturday (8/13), we will be meeting next Wednesday (8/17) and scheduled for next Saturday (8/20).

    Everything is off to a great start. We also have Arizona Public Media doing a special on the team for this season. They will be in and out throughout the year. We are very excited to see the final product on that one, as well.

    I will be updating the website some more tomorrow with updated forms for this year, so keep an eye out. Make sure to get the media release and the transportation forms in immediately.


    30 July, 2016

    We made it to all of the Open Houses for the high schools, thank you to all of the administrations for allowing us this wonderful opportunity. We made it to a couple of the Freshman Orientations, as well. Thank you to all who attended, and to those who signed up.

    Our meeting schedule for now is Wednesdays from 4pm to 6pm for the whole team, Fridays from 4pm to 7pm for Advanced Fab only, and Saturdays from 8am to about noon for the whole team again. We are still located at VAHS in Rm 218. Advanced Fab has an alternate schedule for safety reasons. This schedule is a new thing for us and may be revised as the season progresses so we may provide a better learning environment.

    We chose 4pm to give the students coming from other schools the chance to get to VAHS. There is an adult at the room from the time the school lets out until the meeting time to provide a place for students to do homework or to get a jump on their tasks for the day.

    The first Parent Info Night is scheduled for September 1st or 8th. As soon as I find my calendar again I will confirm on here and on our team's calendar. My apologies for that.


    9 July, 2016

    The Robotics Workday has been very productive. Thank you to those members who did show up. We have established a schedule for this coming season, as well as several ideas for upcoming community outreach events, fundraisers, etc. We reorganized the build room a little, bringing the design team down here into the extra space we acquired, thank you Mr. Barger. Watch your emails as we approach the new school year. Our first meeting will be August 10th . We will try to make an appearance at the Open Houses for the high schools, as well as Freshman Orientations.


    13 June, 2016

    Even though we are "off" for the summer, we have still been fairly busy. We have been assisting with summer camps, doing multiple demonstrations here and there, etc. We have been to the Rita Ranch Family Fun Day for the first time, and will absolutely go again. We have been helping with some of the summer camps put on by the district, including the Young Coders Camp at Esmond Station and the SET Summer Camp at Desert Sky Middle School.

    We will be going to the UofA this Thursday to host a session at the R.A.I.N. event taking place there, where we will demonstrate and discuss our robots and their various components, and all that goes into building one for competition. Then we will let the students participate in a little competition by operating the robots through an obstacle/task course.

    We are trying to arrange being present at the various Open Houses and Freshmen Orientations for the district. If you are interested in being a part of the team, feel free to catch us at any of these upcoming events within the district or make sure to email us with questions.


    2016 Season Updates

    16 April, 2016

    To all, my sincerest apologies for letting this site get so far away from me. As you can see, a good portion of the 2016 season has not been posted. Lots of things have happened in this time and I will try to bring it up to date. First, let me bring you all up to date. We finished our robot on time, barely. But it was functional when we headed up to Flagstaff, AZ for the very first and very cool (literally and figuratively) AZ North Regional.

    We discovered several opportunities for improvement in the robot, and walked away with the Spirit Award. For the first time, we excercised the rule of keeping up to 30 lbs of the robot out of the bag. In the short two weeks between competitions, several members worked hard to modify the shooter, as well as strengthen the robot structurally.

    Next we headed to Lubbock, TX, for the Hub City Regional. We made it to 22nd in the qualifiers. We were among the final three for the Safety Award, a first for this team (Thank you, Ben Crabtree). We got to experience snow on our first day there. That was an interesting welcome. Once again, we found several learning opportunities for the upcoming year, and though we got kicked around a little, we hold our heads high and know, we are proud of what we have accomplished.


    26 January, 2016

    We finally got our parts for the robot base!! Thank you to Elegant Iron, and to Lane Hammond working with UofA and Chris Williams working with Tucson High! We are starting to build tomorrow afternoon. We should have a driving base by COB Friday. The shooter is almost complete in design. This season is a struggle for many.

    Our hearts go out to Palo Verde, who have endured yet another theft. Our thoughts are with Coolidge, as well who are learning it all again. This has been an off year it seems for many. On to happier thoughts, we appear to be on schedule for Friday. Hopefully the last of our parts have been ordered and should arrive by this Friday.

    A huge thank you to all the parents who have signed up to supply our meals. We really appreciate ALL of the support you provide the team. It really helps with the season, as morale is still good even with the trials we are experiencing.


    11 January, 2016

    We have done kick-off. Thank you to all who participated in the new forum for kick-off. What an exciting game we have this year. For those unable to attend the kick-off event, find the video for the game HERE We participated with Palo Verde and Desert View High Schools for kick-off. Right now it looks like all three teams have general designs for their robots.


    20 December, 2015

    We are preparing to attend kick-off on January 9th! This year we will be attending kick-off at Palo Verde Magnet High School, home of Optimal Robotics. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Information has been sent out via email. The updated slides from December's Parent Info Night have been updated, converted to pdf, and uploaded to the site on the Parent Info page.

    Updated the handout as well. I believe all links to it have been updated. Easy way to tell is we only have the two regionals listed on it instead of the four possibles we were considering.


    23 November, 2015

    So we have been busy, though I haven't posted anything here. My apologies. The Tucson Tussle was great! We had twelve teams from around Arizona come participate. The next parent info night is coming up, to be held December 9th from 6 to 7:30pm. For those parents new to this, we highly encourage you to be there. It's your chance to ask questions. For those parents that missed the last one, it's a chance to catch up. For those parents who were at the last one, it's a chance to get some more information or ask questions you weren't able to previously, or questions that have come up in the interim.
    In case you missed it, there will be a meeting this Wednesday, but not Saturday. The next meeting will be December 2nd after that.

    I will be updating the handbook this wekend, as well as several issues discovered on the site. If you have any input, please feel free to contact us and point it out or let us know. The AZ Tax Credit site is back up and running. The link has been updated. I will also update the 2016 season meal sign-up this weekend. Thank you for those who have already expressed an interest in signing up.


    31 August, 2015

    It is coming up on the first Parent Info Night, to be held at VAHS in the MPR, September 2nd from 6 to 7:30pm. Parents, please come and find out what this program is all about. It is a great opportunity for the students to get hands-on in multiple industry-related areas. Take this chance to ask your questions face-to-face and meet the mentors who will be guiding this program. We look forward to seeing you there.


    15 August, 2015

    We have been through the first meeting, attended a couple of open houses, and have had several students sign up. If you have missed it, don't fret. There is still time to join the team. Wednesday meetings have been moved to 4 to 6pm. Saturday meetings will start in September, which will run 8am to noon'ish. As a general rule, we do not meet on half days, and we do not meet during break. Some of the dates that we have put out on the handout are still tentative, and some have already changed.


    5 August, 2015

    Today is the first meeting of the season. Not to worry if you are not able to make it. There are plenty of pre-season meetings to attend and sign up. Today we will be donig some basic intros, going over the team constitution, etc. It will be an easing back into things as we go forward. We will throw some ideas around about how the meetings should be conducted on Wednesdays, and provide some basic information that will be available here shortly.


    2015 Season Updates

    February 2, 2015

    In week four, the design team finalized the driver's board design and the design of the electronic boards protection case. Programming worked on the robot's decoders, the driver's board and the robot's arms. The advanced build team has the grabboids on the arms, the linear actuator mounted, and has tested the arms. The electronics team hooked the encoder to the wheels, and they are wired to the 'brain' of the robot. They have also wired the potentiometer on the linear actuator. Additionally, the business team has continued working on the Chairman's Award and publications.


    January 24, 2015

    The design team redesigned the electronics board in CAD and delivered the grabbing mechanism's blueprints to the build team. The programmers have finished the autonomous code and are ready to test it. The electronics team has mounted and wired encoders to the robot, and have begun other wiring as well. The build team has mounted the drawer slides and their support mechanism, the electronics board, and the motors for the lead screw.



    January 17, 2015

    In week two, the build team welded the uprights and support beams for the robot, as well as milling and mounting the new 5-inch wheels. The design team worked on a specific design for the grabboids. The electronics team made an electronic mock-up board on plexi-glass. The programming team is working on the autonomous portion of the program. Meanwhile, the business team began working on the Chairmans Award, created a banner and established relationships for donations.



    January 10, 2015

    After learning about the challenge, Recycle Rush!, the design team completed a 3D CAD model of our robot. The build team has finished constructing the practice field, tested two prototypes for the lifting mechanism and cut the nanotubes for the robot to begin putting on the wheels. The electronics team made a mock-up electronics board while the programming team has prepped for future programming endeavours.



    January 3, 2015

    Kick-off's now over, and Recycle Rush is the challenge. This is a new method and an exciting opportunity! For the first time, the alliances will not be in the same area of the arena, but separated by a divider, and drive teams will be on the same side as their robots. With an initial design concept set, the designers will be working furiously to get the CAD. Meanwhile the build team will be putting the framework together for the drive chassis. Business team should be wrapping up with the submissions in the very near future. We had participation from the up and coming team from Desert View, as well as visitors from the Pitt Pirates (Team 2642).

    Game Video

    December 13, 2014

    Hey Guys and Gals! Kickoff's almost here! That means we need all of you. I mean ALL who would like to contribute ideas. We get our challenge for this year's competition and so that means we need any and all contributions. It starts at 8:00 am in the Vail Academy and High School MPR, and you go home when your brain yells at you. Breakfast not included. IF you stay, you get a pizza lunch. We appreciate any side dishes you bring. PLEASE JOIN US!!!!


    August 9, 2014

    Two events happened today. First we had the build room organization meeting. We began purging some items, and organizing a lot of the smaller items that were moved in last weekend. This was about a five-hour evolution, and we had good support from team members. We greatly appreciate all of your help. The second event today was the Hot Rods Demo and Banquet. We had a great turn-out in support of the team. The student leadership conducted themselves brilliantly. Go BOXERBOTS!


    August 6, 2014

    Our first meeting. We had a good turnout for this. A lot of new faces, interested in a variety of positions on the team. We have students from all five of the high schools in the district. Same basic information went out. The handout is ported to the right, as well as our brochure. Feel free to peruse it and contact us with any questions you may have.


    August 2, 2014

    We had a great turnout in support of our build-room move. We got everything moved out of the old build room and into the new. We now no longer occupy any space at the Tech Park. While it was a great place and supported us many years, we feel that the new arrangement will be more conducive to the success of the team. We bid a fond farewell to our past home, and welcome our new with open arms. Students worked hard to get everything moved over, and that is greatly appreciated. They will recover much quicker than the mentors.


    July 20, 2014

    Here we are again. Rolling in the new school year already for the district. Friends and classmates you haven't seen in a while, rekindling friendships or acquaintances. Fall will be here soon. With all these events we also welcome the next season for robotics. Our first meeting will be held on August 6th. We will be meeting at the school in the new build room. We will get announcements out in several schools and post time and Rm # for those not familiar with it all. We look forward to seeing you there.


    2014 Season Updates

    May 14, 2014

    Our wonderful sponsor, Caterpillar, Inc., took us on a field trip to their proving grounds, where we were able to learn new things in controls, and where the future is headed for several industries. As you can see by our new pictures, we were also able to witness the sheer awesome size of some of the machines in use in the mining industry. Thank you, Caterpillar, for this inspiring event.


    April 23, 2014

    This week will be closing out with the BoxerBot Banquet and the Boxer Expo held at Vail Academy and High School. The Boxer Expo will be held on Friday, April 25th. The BoxerBots will be demonstrating several robots during this event. Feel free to stop by and see what happens at the school, and to visit the BoxerBots and see them in action.


    Arizona Regionals

    March 22, 2014

    We have completed the season. We hit it hard at the Arizona Regional in Chandler, AZ. We installed our new 5" wheels on the bot to avoid any further clearance issues. We installed LED lighting in the arms of "Not Bad" to highlight the cutouts. We replaced the Thera-Band that powers the catapult. The robot was put back together. Inspection went smooth.

    We were there with several of our fellow Tucson teams. Raytheon Missile Systems' Director of Community Outreach visited while we there, as well. As we made it through the qualifiers, excitement grew as we did very well, again. We ended up being in 9th place going into team selections. As it all boiled down we were the 7th seed Alliance Captain. We had teams 2375 (The Dragons from Phoenix) and 2449 (Out of Orbit from Tempe) on our alliance, and we worked very well together and we enjoyed the run. Thank you, guys.

    Our resolve and high spirits all the way through won us the Spirit Award this time! Thank you, Remy, for leading that effort! All-in-all it was a very successful trip and we are already looking forward to next season. Don't forget the End-of-Season Banquet next month. Stay up to date with our Facebook page. GO BOXERBOTS!!


    Inland Empire Regional

    March 9, 2014

    Our first regional event is done. The Inland Empire Regional is a great experience for any that can make the event. This year it was a little more than wet, considering we ran into a good storm front. It did not, however, dampen our spirits any, or most of the other teams that were there. We had some serious obstacles to overcome. The first of which was our very low clearance on our robot. We were sporting a little less than 1/4" of free space under our bot, and that proved to be not so good with the not quite even carpet of the arena.

    We worked until 8pm the first night getting the bottom of the robot covered with anti-friction tape and the wheels covered in traction material which gave us the equivalent to 5" wheels (as opposed to our original 4" wheels). The next morning we burnt out the short motor (it stunk up the pit), so we were a non-shooting robot for a couple of matches while the pit crew slaved to get the planetary gear-box mounted on the new motor. Once we got that installed, we were rocking.

    Autonomous only ever missed one shot while the shooter was working, and our programmers are responsible for winning us the "Innovation in Controls" award presented by Rockwell Automation. Strategy changed constantly to accommodate the variety of robots and driving styles on the field. Many kudos to our driving team and their coach.

    We made it to 8th seed, where we ended up being selected by the 3rd-seed team. We made it through quarter-finals and into semi-finals, where we lost the first, won the second, and lost the third match. It was a very exciting time and we are all looking forward to using our experience during the Arizona Regionals March 20th-22nd.


    2014 Kick-off Event

    January 4, 2014

    The 2014 Challenge has been released and it is Aerial Assist. As always, the task is challenging. This year the game makers have put an extreme emphasis on teamwork within the alliances. All teams will be, I am sure, looking to be able to throw the 24" diameter ball, as well as retrieve it from the floor, and catch it, as well. Good luck to all teams, and looking forward to competing with you.

    Game Video


    Some Recent News

    November 3, 2013

    As many of you know the Tucson Tussle, which we competed in, took place on November 2nd at Sonoran Science Academy. In the competition we were the third seeded team, and chose Teams 1726 the N.E.R.D.S., and 3944, the All Knight's to be our alliance members. Our alliance placed second in the The Tucson Tussle out of 12 competing teams from all over Arizona.

    Many people from our team attended the Tucson Tussle and overall they thought it was a lot of fun. Jake Hoppe recalled that, "This year, the Tussle was more of a competition than in previous years." The Tucson Tussle was a good practice environment for future competitions, especially for those who have yet to go to a competition.

    "Next year, if there is another Tucson Tussle, I will definitely try to participate again," Kenny Schackart said. The other members enjoyed the Tucson Tussle as well, and look forward to going again next year.