2014-2015 Season

5Cascade Effect was our first season in FTC. Our original lineup was Aaron, Benjamin,download2 Braden, Gray, Jacob, Matthew, Nicholas, and Richard. Our coaches were Coach Andy and Coach Linda.

To start our season, we held meetings to learn all of the new items that would be in FTC. We started by brainstorming team names, logos, goals, and roles. We also formed a business plan in order to obtain sponsors for our team. Once our team identity and funding was taken care of, we got our first hands on with the kit. Our programmers began learning the new coding while the rest of the members got familiar with the new parts. We started to record our meetings for the engineering notebook in a wiki format online. This made it difficult for everyone to edit the notebook, and everyone had to write down their reflections for the meeting and give them to the membersĀ in charge of the notebook. Multiple social media accounts were created for our team to help us reach out to the community.

We started our season by having a kickoff party when the challenge was released. We brainstormed ideas for our design and researched what was available for us to use. We compiled a list of all possible scoring elements and what would be required to score them. A rudimentary system envelope was created to help us visualize our sub systems. Rough drawings of our subsystems were created as well. Using our scoring sheet, we came up with our game strategy so we would know what we would need to build in order to do what we wanted. About this time we obtained PTC Creo for 3-D modeling. Unfortunately we did not make much use of it this season.

We created a point system in order to chose our subsystems. We evaluated them based on requirements that we chose, such as speed, accuracy, size, etc. Once this was done we began to build our robot. We modified our system envelope based on our subsystem choices, and tried to figure out where to mount our electronics. We started to build prototypes and a working chassis very late into the season, a mistake we made because we spent too much time brainstorming. We also made a lot of custom parts out of plastic, something that caused them to break very frequently. A banner for our pit was designed and printed, which helped us to stand out at the competition. Because we spent too much time brainstorming, a good portion of our robot ended up being made out of plastic or cardboard. This led to inconsistencies in our launching system.

At the state competition, our robot did not perform very well, but we placed 8th overall in robot, were chosen as the third choice by the third place alliance, and won first place in the Think Award.

All throughout and after the season, we participated in outreach events across the Lowcountry, and helped mentor several FLL teams. We also acquired several sponsors and attended some of their events.