FTC Team Arrowhead – Build Blog Week Five

Brief Summary

With nearly two week to our first competition, we have had to make several important decisions throughout the meeting from understanding the value of space needed to add components in a robot, to approaching the most efficient way to determine the measurement of the holes that need to be drilled through the plexiglass. 

October 22, 2019


The main goal for the engineers was to start to mounting of the electronics. Two members worked diligently on that aspect of the robot while the others discussed how they wanted to work on the input mechanism. The input mechanism that we had initially voted for was the vacuum input where a suction would ‘suck’ a side of the sky stone, a lightweight plastic yellow block. However, the provided vacuum was to small to accomodate for the sky stone even considering the light weight of the stone. In substitution of the vacuum, Team Arrowhead decided to work on the second input option: the clamper, where two compliant wheels ‘grip’ on to the sides of the stone and pull it in for the elevator to lift up.


Throughout the meetings, the programmers have been using a robot that they have put together to see the output of the code that they had written to make the front two wheels turn and move. The programmers continued to work on their code which makes the robot spin. However, there was a problem with one of the motors. (It was eventually fixed next meeting.) The programmers are very comfortable with using the phones and understanding their function in conjunction to their code.

Prototype programmers are using to test out code

Accomplished tasks

The team had several different ideas of how they wanted to mound the electronics to the robot. The electronics mounted to plexiglass was the most appealing option due to its versatile function of serving its main purpose while making the robots look cool. Therefore, the plexiglass was measured and cut to fit a side of the robot. The team also ultimately decided to start prototyping how to make the compliant wheels cater to the needs of the robot as the last prototype was based on VEX parts. 

Cutting the plexiglass with a miter saw

Maker Space left at 6:08 PM


October 24, 2019


The engineers started by working on the compliant wheels, taking measurements, and using those measurements to recreate a compliant wheel input mechanism which would satisfy the constraints and needs of our robot. The engineers also started to mark where the holes would need to be drilled on the plexiglass using a dry erase marker as it was efficient to do so. 


The programmers were facing one challenge: one of the wheel was not working correctly. solved this problem by working on fixing the wheel for the entirety of the work time. The programmers were introduced to autonomous code. Autonomous program is a type of machine learning, and this helped the programmers solve the problem. They were successful in fixing the wheel’s code.

Maker Space left at 6:08 PM