Measure twice, cut once.

Yesterday and Sunday, Bryan, Zach, and myself designed a new kind of shooting mechanism which somewhat resembles the one in the video I linked a few days ago. We noticed quite a few problems with their design and realized how much better it could be if it were made out of metal. So what do we do?

We make it out of metal. As of now, the two support arms are fully done and ready to be mounted to our wooden base via L-brackets. All we have left to make is the piece that connects the air cylinder’s travel to the rod and kicker mount.

If you guys come on weekday nights like these, we can teach you how to use the milling machine and lathe so you can also help make parts. Last night, the milling machine, drill press, and scribe (with surface plate) were used. Eventually you all will understand what that stuff is.

Also, please do know that if you email us eight hours after an email blast goes out asking for help, you shouldn’t think that you don’t have a chance of getting involved. We didn’t hear from people until the next day after the blast and we scheduled coming to my house in person. It would have been a lot easier if people emailed me that night or that morning so I can work things out more.

As for organizational structure, we have assigned chairpeople of the committees listed last week:

  • Build Team – Jake Schlinkmann
  • Information and Communication – James Fitzsimmons
  • Sponsorships – Jesse Schlinkmann
  • Awards – Zach Weingarten

Please talk to the committee chairs about what you can do to help if you’re involved in that committee. We need writers and editors for the awards committee so we can do the Chairman’s Award essay and executive summaries, as well as some people to take videos of every meeting we have (even two/three hour long ones on weekdays) and someone to edit those and make them look pretty (thanks to Bryan for the video up there).

We need all the help we can get, guys (and girl). As Mr. Adkin said, the Chairman’s Award team is the most important group on this entire robotics team, since that’s what allows to even participate in competition. We can’t have some half-done crap getting submitted to NASA. We want a professional and well-thought-out piece.


I typed the email this morning but we have a bunch more to add. Tonight we finished the first stages of the prototype kicker and it looks very promising. Currently Bryan is fixing up a video for everyone to watch that shows just how awesome it actually is. The thing kicks FAR and is really powerful, but we need to make various improvements.

Bryan also created a photos page that will be constantly updated with cool photos that he took! Get to it here:

Lastly, we won’t be doing anything after school on Wednesday, but would like help on Thursday and Friday. If you guys wanna come and help, make sure to let me know by tomorrow or the next day!