This past Saturday, I headed to Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to attend one of the first working meetings of the Cristo Rey SHPE Jr. Chapter's "Los Clasicos" robotic team as they prepare for their second ever participation in FIRST Robotics. Last year, they were a rookie team, this year they hope to learn from last year's lessons. When I arrived at noon, I met 5 people from their team: Jason (a senior and marketing chair of the chapter), Anthony (President of the chapter, a senior and robotics team lead/mechanical/programming, interns at Medtronic), Miguel (a senior and in a mechanical role in the team), Nelson (a senior and in a programming role) and Gysselle (just joined the team, and a senior) along with their teacher, Eric Hartz, who is also their faculty advisor.
They were building the chassis and attaching the drive train for the robot, the first part of a six week creative/technical journey to FIRST Robotics. They had to cut and fit pieces of aluminum to assemble this. They are following the guidelines for this new chassis they were able to acquire. They chose the long configuration. The contest this year will take place at the University of Minnesota this year on April 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2015.
We were later joined by Andres (Hardware, Senior, interns at Medtronic), Jenny (Senior, no role yet and second meeting), Uriel (Junior and first meeting) and Karla (sophomore, no role yet). Michelle arrived two hours later, second time here, role on team was mechanical.
We had to wear goggles because they were cutting metal. The whole assembly took about 3 hours of solid work. Good thing that the metal only needed to be cut once due to the precise indications of their teacher. The more demanding part was to screw the parts in place, due to the awkward location of some of the washers. So now that the chassis is assembled, the next part begins with design and assembly of the turret. This year the challenge is to have the robot move and stack recycling boxes one on top of another. Best of luck team!