Design is in charge of designing the robot and its systems. The Design department is in charge of making sure all the parts needed for the robot can theoretically fit into the robot hardware. Once the design department has a sound design, it shares its findings to the CAD and Manufacturing department
The Manufacturing department undertakes the building of the robot parts as well as the assembly of the robot. This department also makes field elements for our team to practice with. New members will lear
how to use power tools and other skills needed to build the robot.
The Electronics department is responsible for the wiring and other power distribution in the robot, including the wires that send signals to motors and input from sensors and controllers. It also works with the hardware sensors on the robot and the hardware used to control the robot during competition (the OI).
During Build Season, Electronics makes sure that adequate power is available to the motors and that they are controlled by either a speed controller known as a jaguar, or a direct on/off controller known as a spike. Working together with Programming, Electronics is responsible for designing and building a usable control system through the OI(Operator Interface) and RC(Radio Control). It also works with the Mechanical departments, primarily Chassis, to ensure that necessary motors and sensors connect to power and the RC. They also must make sure that there is access and space for the battery, sensors, radio, power distribution, and RC. Finally, it makes sure that these components are safe and used in accordance with the FIRST rules and regulations.
One resource for electronics: http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/
The CAD department designs 3D parts on the computer, and also designs the entire robot on the computer. The CAD lead teaches new members and delegates the CADing of different parts to different members, allowing new members to get lots of experience. CAD, or computer-aided design, is a division of the mechanical department that bridges the design and manufacturing processes. After creating designs on paper, CAD brings the ideas to life through a digital model. Making computer models is an essential and efficient part of the robot building process; we can find integration mistakes early on, revise initial designs, and ensure that the actual manufacturing, or building, of the robot, goes smoothly. At Mitty robotics, we use the industry-standard program SolidWorks to make our CAD models.
The Programming division is a creative, dynamic group of students with a knack for logical and mathematical problem solving. The Programming department deals with programming the robot, coding in Java (a programming language) in addition to actually testing it on the robot. Software is in charge of providing flexible, functional code for the robot. This includes basic driving and environmental manipulation functions. In addition, our code must be efficient and reusable, so that it can be easily modified for future generations of the robot. The department is also responsible for providing code that takes full advantage of the robot’s capabilities. Programming communicates with the Electronics department to decide where the sensors and motors on the robot and the operating interface should be wired. Finally, Programming must interact with potential drivers of the robot to inform and instruct them on safe control of the robot.
The role of Operations is to facilitate all team matters that do not directly relate to the design and building of the robot. Operations takes care of things like the logistics of team travel to Regionals and other events, the team’s budget, and the publicity of the team within the school and in the outside community.
Operations provides the Engineering division of the team with the resources, money, and support they need to build an excellent robot.
The Website department is in charge of developing the team’s website. The purpose of the team’s website is to promote the team, science, technology and FIRST Robotics. The website is the primary way for people to learn about our purpose. The making of the website is a procedure which involves coding the website itself, designing its layout, and writing its content, currently in: HTML, CSS, JQuery, and PHP.
The Website department works with every other department at some point or another, whether it be for consultation on accuracy of certain subjects in the case of the Engineering division, or with Animation on planning and animating certain parts of the website.
The basic function of Scouting is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of other teams at competitions to determine which teams would complement our robot’s capabilities best in an alliance. Before the qualification matches, team members are sent around the pits to talk to other teams and ask about their robot’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their approach to accomplishing the goal of the game. Once the matches start, team members in the stands focus on one robot, each recording information such as their autonomous method, how much they scored, etc.
In the event that our team becomes an alliance leader after the qualifying matches, this information is very valuable in choosing the other teams to ally with us. We are able to choose teams who cover our weaknesses and complement our strengths, allowing us to go into the final rounds with the greatest chance of success.
PR (Public Relations)
PR, or Public Relations, is given the responsibility to spread and promote FIRST and our own FRC Team, 1351. One level of marketing is aimed at the Archbishop Mitty High School community. We utilize many approaches to raise awareness of our team for recruiting and support purposes. Some examples of our advertising around the school are fliers posted in hallways, display boards and slides on LCD screens. Others include making our own safety animation for competitions. We also are represented at school events such as Open House and Freshman Welcome Night, allowing a wider crowd of students to converse with real robotics team members from 1351.
The second level of our marketing and awareness is within the FIRST community. The PR department is in charge of spreading awareness of our team at competitions and other events. This is done through visual aids such as buttons, robot data sheets, and our highly visible “TKO Blue” T-shirts. We are also responsible for promoting FIRST and its vision in the San Jose area, which is done through publicity at outside events; for example, staffing a booth at the San Jose Grand Prix and contributing to articles in local newspapers.