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FIRST Robotics Team 1504
“The Desperate Penguins”
2011 Season Information Session
What is FIRST Robotics?
•FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”
•It was created by the inventor of the
Segway personal transport – Dean Kamen
•It is an organization whose goal is to give
high school students an opportunity to learn
about science & technology by playing a game with robots.
•A new game is unveiled each year in the beginning of January
•The students work as a team with mentors, to develop a strategy of how they want to play the game,
design, and then build a robot to compete in the game. All of this is done in a short 6 week period.
•The teams also have projects like animation, web design, and community service.
What does it mean for students?
• A chance to learn new skills & develop new talents
•A chance to work with real engineers &
•Lots of fun!!
•Lots of College scholarship opportunities $$$
Who are we?
•We are FIRST Robotics Team
1504, “The Desperate Penguins”
•We are made up of Okemos,
Lansing Christian and Williamston
High School students
•Mentors are from Rockwell
Automation, IBM, General Motors,
TechSmith, Liquid Web, Michigan
State University and Kettering
•We are a 6th year team in a
competition that has been around
for 19 years
www.team1504.com 2010 Team
Groups within our team
• Mechanical unit
– Design & fabrication
• Robot Controls unit
• Business unit
– Web design
• Team building activities
• Technology workshops
• Design prototyping
• CAD development
• Tools/machinery training
• Safety Animation
• Web development
What kind of robot do we build?
• Robot must fit within the following approximate dimensions (2 ft x 3 ft x 6 ft)
• It must also be within certain weight limits (4ft tall = 120lbs, 5ft = 110lbs, 6ft =
• We can only use certain motors, batteries, pneumatics and materials (defined
• The build season lasts 6 weeks, we must design and build a complete robot in
What else do we do?
• We develop an animation video to be submitted for an award
• We develop a new web site and submit it for an award
• We develop a writing/presentation for submission for an award
Why do we do it?
•Team 1504 was started by a bunch of college kids who learned so much from
FIRST Robotics in high school that they needed to stay involved and to share it
with Okemos High School
•It’s hands-on, it’s intense, and it’s lifelike
•FIRST opens so many new doors:
scholarship money, a chance to try out engineering
before college (a huge leg up on other high schoolers), and so much more
•We, as mentors, find a huge value in this program, big enough to volunteer
almost 40 hours a week after classes and work, to help out these kids. We
believe in it and we think that it’s worthwhile, that’s why we do it
The Game… Animation
2010 FIRST Robotics BreakAway
Our design strategy
• Be able to play BOTH offense & defense
• Be able to drive fast, remove balls from
the overpass, hurdle, and place balls on
the overpass. Basically… do it all!
The Match – 2010 Breakaway
An initial match at Kettering A match at Grand Valley
Videos on Blue Alliance are down at the
moment. Will get them up here ASAP!
What we learn
• Gracious Professionalism • Control software design &
• Team work construction
• Strategy development • Web site development
• Problem solving • Animation development
• Mechanical design & • Working to a deadline
construction • Working to a budget
• Electrical design & • Importance of
• Pneumatics design & • Importance of
Goals for this Season
• Enhanced team communications!
– Wiggio (Main Team communication)
– Team Wiki (www.team1504.pbworks.com)
• More team involvement in fund raising!
• Living the 5P’s everyday
• More prototyping!
• Lego League help!
• More parents involvement!
• More student leadership!
What is FIRST in Michigan?
• A program in FIRST, being offered only in Michigan
• The goal is to grow new teams, and help sustain existing
teams, through a reduced cost structure.
• Reduced travel costs, minimize time away from school &
work, eliminate shipping costs, reduced event production
• Competition event structure
– 2 day events, Friday & Saturday (no Thurs. practice)
– 7 district events in Michigan
– 1 Michigan State Championship
• Team meetings will be every week on Wednesdays from
5:30pm-7pm beginning on October 19th @ Okemos High
School room D137.
• Need to submit team application by October 29th.
• Need students to run Lego Mindstorm sessions! We can
get these started at all schools involved!
• Build season kick off event January 8th.
– Novi High School Novi, MI
– Build season meeting days (times T.B.D)
• Kettering University District (Confirmed)
– Date(s): March 4th - 5th
– Location: Kettering University Flint, MI
• Ann Arbor District (On Wait List)
– Date(s): March 25th - 26th
– Location: Skyline High School Ann Arbor, MI
• State Championship (If We Qualify)
– Date(s): April 7th -9th
– Location: Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
• World Championship (Qualify, Depends on funding)
– Date(s): April 27th -30th
– Location: Edward Jones Dome - St. Louis, Missouri
• Oct 20th -Dec 15th : Preseason meetings, every Wednesday 5:30-
7pm @ OHS.
• Jan. 8th: Kick off Novi High School
• Jan. 8th-Feb 19th: 6 week build season, Mon/Wed/Sat meetings
• Mar. 4th - 5th : Kettering Competition
• Mar. 25th-26th : Ann Arbor Competition
• Apr. 7th -9th: State Championship @ EMU
• Apr. 27th-30th: World Championships @ St. Louis
What parents can do?
• Support your kids
• Volunteer at competitions
– We need 2 at the minimum!
• Fund raising support
• Team spirit
• Field construction
• Engineering design support
• Food arrangements
• Travel arrangements
• Many others…
What do you need to do?
• Fill out Application
• Sign up on STIMS
• FIRST’s Student Information System
• https://my.usfirst.org/stims/site.lasso .
• $200 Dollar Team Fee
• To help pay for Competitions Fees and K.O.P.
• Can be raised from sponsors you get!
• Come to the next meeting!
• Wednesday (Tomorrow) October 20th, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in
What do you need to do?
• Join the Wiki