March 26, 2012
By Taylor Lupardus BRONZE, Grove, Oklahoma
Taylor Lupardus BRONZE, Grove, Oklahoma
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

At my high school, we have a semi-new organization. It’s not like any other organization. It’s called F.R.O.G. which stands for FIRST Robotics Organization of Grand Lakes. We have meetings twice a week and sometimes almost every day of the week. The F.R.O.G. members meet at the G.L.A.R.E. building. G.L.A.R.E. stands for Grand Lake Area Robotics Education.

F.R.O.G. was started in 2010 by a group of students, Mrs. Smith a teacher. Mrs. Smith is our head mentor; the other head mentor is Mr. Malone. Mr. Malone gives a lot of his time to F.R.O.G. He also lets us use his machines from his very own CNC Machine Shop, which is where he makes spare military aircraft parts. Mr. Malone bought us the G.L.A.R.E. building in January of 2011.

At robotics we have one goal: to win the competition. Every year we have a new competition. A competition round is usually two minutes and fifteen seconds long. The first fifteen seconds of the round is the autonomous round. In the autonomous round, the robot must function without the help of humans. It must control itself and do the designated task, and this is successfully achieved thanks to our excellent student programmers. After the autonomous round, the students are allowed to start controlling the robot. In 2010, our first year as a part of the FIRST organization, the competition was called “Breakaway.” The robot had to function properly and be able to kick a soccer ball into the goal. At the end of the round, the robots had a choice of either climbing on to the raised platform, or hanging from a robot already suspended on the raised platform.

In 2011 the competition was called “Logomotion.” The objective for the competition is to place a series of tubes shaped in the FIRST Logo, a triangle, a circle and a square, on a series of pegs placed at three different heights on the game wall. The lowest peg is worth one point, the middle two, and the highest is worth three. If the tubes are placed horizontally on the pegs in the correct order of the FIRST Logo, the points double for the row. The game lasted two minutes and fifteens seconds. The first fifteen seconds of the game was an autonomous period in which the robots, without human interaction, placed "uber tubes" on the pegs. Any tubes placed on a peg with an “uber tube” on it double the value for that peg. During the game, alliances must place as many tubes as possible on the scoring rack. In the last fifteen seconds, an alarm will sound to warn alliances that at ten seconds Mini-Bot deployment will begin. The first Mini-Bot to reach the top of its pole wins a score of thirty extra points. Second place earns twenty points, third place fifteen, and fourth place ten. The alliance with the highest collective score wins.

This year’s competition is called “Rebound Rumble.” Rebound Rumble is played on a custom basketball court. It has four goals on each end at three different heights. The robot is supposed to be able to pick the balls up and shoot them into a hoop. The higher the hoop, the more points it’s worth. This year, during the autonomous round, we are to program a Microsoft Kinect, given to every FRC team by Microsoft, to control the robot by using humans as controllers. During the final moments of the game, the human players are allowed to shoot the foam basketballs in to the hoops to score extra points.

The author's comments:
I am a new member in Robotics, and I love every minute I'm there!

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