Bind Tour and Demo

We presented to the employees of the company, Bind Benefits, and demonstrated our robot to the people there.

First, we gave them a presentation about youth robotics and the Freight Frenzy game. We explained how our robot works and detailed the programming specifically since we talked specifically with the engineers focusing on Bind’s website and app. We invited the engineers there to drive the robot and we answered their questions about youth robotics. We then received a tour of the company’s facilities and talked with some of the engineers at the demo. Since Bind is mostly focused on software we went more in-depth on the programming and computer vision portions of our robot when speaking with them. They were very nice and it was interesting to see the way that the company ran. Many of the employees work in Bulgaria so many of the attendees watched our presentation virtually.

Form 5 Prosthetics Workshop

Two of our members participated in a prosthetics workshop hosted by the company Form5 from Ohio. Our members were there to learn about the creation process of prosthetics. We got the chance to share what FIRST is and educate the volunteers on what we do as a robotics team. This workshop was spread across 3 days. On the first day, we learned about different limb injuries, the many kinds of prosthetics, and the history of prosthetics. The next 2 days were spent designing and prototyping a custom limb. Throughout the workshop we learned the process of creating a prosthetic limb for a client, rigging the movement of prosthetic parts, and advanced CAD techniques. It was really fun being able to work with other students from the FIRST community and we plan to reach out to Form5 to learn more about Fusion 360. 

University of Minnesota Biosystems Tour

One of the Algae Growth Labs we visited.

After meeting some representatives of the U of M biosystems lab, we took a tour of their facility and learned about various projects they were working on. A majority of the research we saw was about algae relating to plastics. One scientist showed us algae designed to digest plastic and convert it into other, more useful materials while another scientist showed us algae that produces environmentally friendly plastic. We also saw some research into natural plant-grown gasses and were able to tour each one of these facilities. Some of our members who were more interested in these subjects got tons of very useful information from this visit.

Kraus-Anderson Tour

At the White Bear High School construction site, the engineers of Kraus-Anderson taught us about how they organize the construction of a building. We learned that they often order custom parts. Many of the custom parts in this build are used for both structural and aesthetic reasons. They also taught us about their imaging systems which utilize a laser, camera, and drone to help layout the plans for buildings. The information from these devices can even be put into a CAD to help with planning. They showed us how they plan out everything about a building before starting to construct it which is a strategy we are going to use next season. We learned a lot from our tour and discovered many similarities between commercial construction and the FTC build season. For example, we both go through full designs before commencing with the physical construction process. Kraus-Anderson also CADs out their buildings in a similar way to how we use Fusion to CAD our robot. The tour was very interesting and we hope to be able to see the school again once they’ve finished it.

Our team spoke to the Kraus-Anderson engineers about our previous two seasons. We showed them a video of our robot and explained the FTC program. We told them about our various uses of CAD and custom parts. We also explained the FTC game to them and described how we work through the season to build the robot.

HPM Demo and Tour

Demo

At this event, we went to Herold Precision Metals (HPM) to present about FIRST and demo our robot to several engineers that work there. At the beginning of the demo, we started off by presenting about our team and about the season, what FIRST is, how it works, and how to help in the FTC community. After the presentation, we demoed our robot to the engineers. We showed them how the robot works, how it completes missions, custom parts on our robot, and our EN documentation. They seemed very interested in FIRST and asked many questions about it and our robot.

Presenting about our team.

Demoing our robot to HPM engineers.

Tour

After our team demoed to HPM engineers we got a tour of their facilities. We got to see many of their advanced pieces of equipment in action like a high-powered laser cutter and a metal shaping machine. It was very interesting to see one aspect of STEM in the professional world, and our team really enjoyed touring HPM.

Touring HPM

HPM engineer showing us a metal bending machine.

Promet Demo

 Recently, we have been looking for sponsors whenever we get the chance. One of those sponsors is Promet Optics, who sponsored us when we were in FLL. They create high-end optical sensors, and we demoed to 11 of their engineers. We went to their company to tell them about FTC, and how it’s different from FLL. We showed them our robot and told them about our sub-systems. They asked about what the hardest part of our robot and how certain systems worked. When we were if FLL, it was fun to demo there, and now demo-ing FTC is still fun.

IoT Convention Demo

 

4 of us went to go demo our robot at the IoT Convention at the Convention Center in Minneapolis. This event was for companies to show off some of their products. We were offered to demo our robot with 2 other FTC teams. Team Untitled 1 and Ananobots. Our team talked to over 100 people at the convention about FIRST. We let people drive the robots around and we gave them robot driver’s licenses. We also drove the robot down the hall and got to talk to a lot more people. This demo was a blast and would love to come and demo again.

Magenic Demo

 

We were asked to come back to ‘Lunch with Robots’ by Magenic. We had previously attended their ‘Lunch with Robots’ as an FLL team, The Dots. We went to the Magenic Headquarters in St. Louis Park to do the demo. We packed our robot and brought our Engineering Notebook to show.

We were talking to Magenic workers for two hours and shared with 32 employees and two kids. We told them about how FTC worked and then show them our robot and how it worked. We also mentioned our 3D printing and showed them the Engineering Notebook. Many people we interested in the program, saying it was a great thing for kids in STEM. One person we talked to was very interested in FIRST as a whole. She loved what we were leaning and took a flyer about FLL Jr. for her nephew.

The demo went really well. We talked to people who supported FIRST or were just learning about it. It worked really well to talk to the employees during their lunch break and they seemed to enjoy it too. We would love to attend this event again.

Conquest Engineering Tour

 

We initially went to Conquest engineering to get some parts cut for our robot but ended up getting a tour as well. We walked around the big warehouse area of the Conquest Engineering building and saw many different machines, custom-made parts, and we got to be introduced to the many workers at Conquest. The whole tour took about an hour. This was a fun and educational experience and we hope to go back in the future.

Conquest Engineering

 

One day during the building process of the lander we discovered we needed some metal pipes threaded. So, we went to a local engineering company called Conquest Engineering. There, they showed us how to tap the pipes and then we got to do it ourselves. They took us into the machine shop and we got to use their tapping machine. We tapped all eight of the pipes we need. They were really nice and we hope that they will be sponsors in the future.