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Chill Out Build Update (Spoiler Alert: We’re Slaying)

Design Process Updates:

January 6th, the clock started ticking.  Less than 2 months until our first competition at Glacier Peak High School. Kickoff was nearly 2 weeks ago, and the team has already made considerable progress since then!

That started with the kickoff of the Crescendo Season when our Design Lead, Eli, led us on our journey through the game, strategy, robot goals, and very general design ideas. The goal was to learn about the game without the metaphorical blinders of a design archetype in mind, to create an awesome robot that is as simple, reliable, and relevant as possible. In order to be a strong team, the mantra has been “Raise the floor, not the ceiling.”  A consistently good robot is better than an occasionally great robot. We knew if we tried to do it all, we’d spread ourselves too thin. 

After compiling a list of “needs,” “wants,” and “luxuries” for our robot (name still TBD), we only then began the process of robot design. Eli and our team captain Apollo, started playing with early design archetypes using a technique called KrayonCAD, which enables rapid discovery and exchange of subsystems, with constant checks back to our strategy. Basically a fun little low-effort sandbox. This led to our first version of a robot design, temporarily nicknamed ✨ El Pollo ✨, based on its creators (Eli-Apollo).

Since then, the team has been prototyping the design for a note intake/shooter and climbing mechanism, using adjustable pieces of laser-cut wood and running using our control system and motors from Cold Fusion (last year’s robot). Simultaneously, another group of students have built from scratch: a Speaker, an Amp, and a Stage - 3 parts of the game arena that we’ll use during build season for testing and programming.

As we wrap up our second week, the team is almost finished with their final CAD (computer-aided design) and will complete “alpha subsystem” testing this weekend. We also just sent our CAD files to a local machinist to cut our belly pan, which is the piece of metal on the underside of the robot.

We’d share our preliminary design with you but, well, it’s a secret so you’ll have to use your imagination until our reveal. We can, however, share with you our seasonal logo reveal.  Chilly’s alter-ego, “Boombox Chilly,” created by Allison. In the meantime, prototyping for our subsystems (intake for the Notes, our outtake/shooter, and our climbing system) has been completed and our practice field parts have been built! 

Other News:

Fundraising Goals: 

We have officially exceeded our goal of raising $40,000! After a busy offseason of fundraising and outreach, we’ve met our goal needed to get to District Championships (DCMP). This has come from amazing support of the local community like Alderwood Terrace Rotary, Hazel Miller Foundation, Ace Hardware of Mountlake Terrace, unwavering support from mentor/volunteer corporate matching funds, and friends & family.

We’re not done though - when you smash a goal, you make a new one. We’re on our way to our next goal of $70,000 needed to get to Worlds! 

Thank you to everyone who has helped us to reach this goal, your support means the world <3

Merchandise Updates: 

If you ordered it, team merchandise will be here in 2-3 weeks! Additionally, we’re placing team jersey orders soon, and they’re hopefully expected by the end of February. These jerseys are for competitions and are paid for by the team. 


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