This page will be for news to the team, things like updates after each meeting, or to tell people to go the Google Group, etc.  It's a one-way news tool, not discussion.


Students and/or supportersClick here to sign up for Remind for texts, one for team members and one for all others. These are different Remind lists than previous years!

Game time!

posted Mar 8, 2017, 2:39 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Mar 8, 2017, 2:46 AM ]

We leave for Dalton tomorrow!

The details, and things we need to do.  I will update this as I remember things.  

  • We leave after school, at 3pm.  Don't be late, we are on a tight schedule.  I hope to pack the stuff before school ends, but meet in my room, 729.
  • They open the doors at 5pm, and we can work on the robot until 10pm.
  • I gave out information sheets for you to bring home.  There is a field trip form to sign, and some of you need a FIRST waiver since you did not sign up online (get one from me).  
  • Those going need to fill out this form for contact info:
  • Fun note:  free ice cream social on  Friday at 7pm!

Tasks to do:

Things to bring:
  • Bagged robot
  • Cart
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Spare parts
  • Tool chest (add heat gun, rivet gun, rivets, have a special "bumper set", jigsaw, Dremel, other?)
  • Laptop and cords
  • Joysticks to drive
  • A few balls and the gear (not all, there will be plenty there)
  • Ratchet straps to store stuff in trailer

Week of Feb. 6

posted Feb 5, 2017, 8:15 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Feb 5, 2017, 8:35 AM ]

We have to stop building on Feb. 22!!  We want to be done at least a week before, so we can drive this thing!  We can update the robot during the week before a tournament, but that should be for emergencies and code.

This week robotics will meet after school on Wednesday, NOT Friday.  And, if we don't make good enough progress this week, we might need to do Wed AND Friday next week, maybe even Saturday.

The parts we sent out are done, except for our 85-degree brackets.  However, we can modify some old 90 degree brackets for that.  

Coding is still an issue.  They made great progress updating the roboRio, but issues persist.  Once it's ready, we need to mount it.

- the drive base is ready
- we have a bumpers plan, need to make them and install them
- bucket legs are ready for cutting
- computer board is cut, ready to hold roboRio and electronics

Tasks to do:
- make 3D printed feet for bucket to attach to base
- build bucket legs and assemble
- attach gear plopper to bucket
- make gear plopper stick for plopping
- make BPU
- make climber
- program robot
- make "ball hopper" for practice
- rewire batteries, charge them

Update 1/31

posted Jan 31, 2017, 8:06 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 31, 2017, 8:06 AM ]

Here's the info about sheet metal cuts:

An IPT or STEP file representing the 3-D part, AND a flattened DWG file is to be submitted. The part must have been originally designed as a ‘sheet metal part’ in order to accomplish this task.

Huge Info Update!

posted Jan 23, 2017, 9:18 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 24, 2017, 2:40 AM ]

This is a huge email blast, read!!!

From Lead Robot Inspector


A quick heads up:  For the first time in my experience with FIRST, this year’s sizing of your robot INCLUDES the required bumper assemblies!  What this means is that when your robot is inspected, the maximum volume specified in R03 of the Game Manual will include the bumpers required by Section 8.5 of the Game Manual!  Plan accordingly!

Further, the maximum volumes indicted in R03 and shown in the Figure at G04 enclose the dimensions your robot can extend to.  That means if you have scoops, funnels, lips on hoppers, etc. that are contained within your frame perimeter at the start of the match (as they must be by R02), these items can extend no further than the bounds of the indicated maximum dimensions.  You are advised to built your robot smaller than the volume in order to give your extensions room to expand beyond your bumpers, if necessary, after the start of the match.

Don't think of these volumes as the size to which you need to cut your chassis!
Start thinking NOW about your bumpers.  As soon as you assemble your chassis frame, go ahead and cut your plywood bumper backing and attach it to the chassis.  That way, you will know how your bumpers will be attached, what spaces you have to work with, and where you can attach other robot components.
Have a good build season!

From Kennesaw State University – Manufacturing Support

Through a partnership with Novelis, Kennesaw State University, and GeorgiaFIRST, manufacturing support and material is available to all FRC and FTC teams in Georgia.

To learn more about how to use this service and obtain material and/or manufacturing support, please visit the home page on the GeorgiaFIRST website (  Please follow the instructions on the website carefully!

From GeorgiaFIRST

Information is being added frequently to the FRC event pages on the GeorgiaFIRST website.  Please check for updates pertaining to this season.

Very important team updates are being added from FIRST HQ in regard to the SteamWorks game.  All updates can be found here:

Check often!

Jan. 21 - After 2 weeks...

posted Jan 21, 2017, 2:29 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 23, 2017, 4:36 AM ]

We're doing okay so far, but now it gets harder, with real engineering.  This is the time you have to work together, listen to each other, and use math to find solutions.  Calculate sizes, speeds, strengths, timing, and more.

The base kit was built, nice and easy with instructions.  We have a box size, a power/computer system laid out, and some concepts.  Way to go to Stephanie and Marissa for making a "Gear Plopper" demo on Friday, and Andrew for spending a lot of time learning the power/computing with Noah.

Next up:

Week 2, design and prototype!

posted Jan 14, 2017, 4:44 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 14, 2017, 4:44 AM ]

We made some decisions in Week 1, and now it's time to get going!  We have Period 1A prototyping the ballpickerupper (BPU), and 2A working on the drivetrain and rope climber.  Most likely 1A will also work on the "bucket", and 2A will work on electronics.

For autonomous (AUTO), we plan to hang a gear, and maybe get more Fuel, maybe even score Fuel!

For drivers (TELEOP), we are going to focus on lots of Fuel, followed by a rope hang.

Weekly after school meetings will most likely need to be Friday, due to my other obligations.  If it's not too big a conflict, maybe some team members would stay Mondays with TSA, and we might add on one more day later.

Goal for the week:  working prototypes, and a start on detailed plans for the real thing.  Prototypes don't need to fit, they don't need to be pretty, they need to work!

First things after Kickoff

posted Jan 7, 2017, 8:18 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 7, 2017, 8:24 AM ]

Pretty cool contest, including live players on the field!   

Next steps:

Kickoff on Jan. 7

posted Jan 3, 2017, 6:16 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 6, 2017, 5:44 AM ]

We will NOT be going to Georgia Tech for FIRST on Saturday!  Will see you Monday!

Ignore older posts

posted Mar 16, 2015, 4:44 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Jan 3, 2017, 6:17 AM ]

We are still building like crazy, it's going to be a race to the finish.  Here's what the next two weeks look like:

  • Monday 3/16 - finalize the robot itself
  • Tuesday 3/17 - begin building the stacker
  • Wednesday 3/18 - more stacker, build field pieces, create a "bill of materials" for the robot and stacker
  • Thursday 3/19 - some students at TSA, finish stacker
  • Friday 3/20 - some students at TSA, practice driving robot, make refinements
  • Saturday 3/21 - more refinements, plan the upgrades needed to robots
  • Next week:  we will deliver the robots to the GWCC on Wednesday night.  This is a small, invited crew, it's just dropping it off.  Then, Thursday is building, coding and scouting, where we need only those actively involved, it can be a boring day if not.  Friday and Saturday are the big days, and any relatives, friends and fans should really plan on Saturday.

Also, team members:  if you have not registered online as a team member, please do that this week!  You don't have to do it online, you can download a paper permission form, but I need that on Tuesday, along with the other permission forms which you will receive Monday (3/23).
You also need to fill out my "Peachtree info" form, which gives me phones, t-shirt sizes, etc.  That needs to be done ASAP at

Status Report

posted Feb 18, 2015, 3:15 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Feb 18, 2015, 3:15 AM ]

Here's the latest on the robot:

We worked until almost 10pm at NGHS on the Snow Day, the robot is now "bagged" (not officially, but no more working on it).

Today, Wed., Feb. 18, we will bring all of the materials and the robot over to Lanier.  We will organize the materials and tools, and get ready for building the "twin" robot.  I anticipate staying until 5 or 6pm each night until the twin is built.  We then have to get very good at rebuilding it, over and over.  Why?  Because we did not finish the NGHS nor Lanier robot, and will need to do rapid repairs on the first day of the Tournament.  Ever see a NASCAR pit crew?  That's the idea.

It's never too early to get started prepping for next year.  In fact, after State TSA, all future robotics team members, when not building or coding, should be doing these tutorials:
(All 3 tabs)

You should be able to design a lot of our robot, in Inventor, before the school year is over.  This is the key to improving our team, so be a leader and start now!

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