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A Year in Review

posted 10 Jan 2017, 18:22 by ellie@thedropbears.org.au   [ updated 10 Jan 2017, 18:31 ]

2016 has been a big year for the Drop Bears. We started the year off off with build season kick off on the 7th of January. Everyone was excited and enthusiastic about the new season. FIRST Stronghold proved to be a challenging but enjoyable game. We had soon designed a robot we were very proud of and began construction and coding. The last weeks of build season were frantic as usual, but it all payed off at the end when we were able to see our finished work.

Our next event of the year was the robot reveal! It is always one of the best events this year as the team is able to show their friends and family what we have been working so hard for throughout the intense six week build period. Following this we moved into the competition season, the most exciting part of the year. This year we competed at the Sydney and Hawaii Regional. During the Sydney regional we didn’t place as well as we would have liked, however we were able to learn from the experience and work on the robot. This paid off at the Hawaii regional where we ranked 5th and became the 4th alliance captain – the first time The Drop Bears has achieved this. Hawaii was a fun trip for the whole team to travel together. Before the competition we spent a fun day at the beach. Besides the robots, the competitions give us a great opportunity to meet other teams from all over the world. It is a truly important experience for us all to be able to attend these competitions and definitely a highlight of the year.

After a well needed break, we came back for term 2. This term we were working towards the annual Duel Down Under competition. This meant making any changes mechanically or in software. Software worked on refining and perfecting the code whilst mechanical worked on a new intake mechanism. The competition started off great and we were able to keep in the top rankings, but unfortunately ran in to trouble with the robot and were not able to keep up our performance. However, it was a good last competition with the robot.

In term 3 we had a massive number of 15 recruits join our team. Our main project was making ZumoBots for our Zumo Competition. As well as this, veteran members worked on designs for swerve drives and refurbishing a cnc machine. These projects were put on show at our annual Sponsor Showcase. The event was open to all of our sponsors as well and family and friends so they could see what we had been working on. It was a great event for the students as well as they were able to showcase what they and the team had been working hard on. 

Term 4 was dedicated to training and learning new skills for build season. Mechanical focused on refurbishing a previous robot as well as learning how to CAD and do basic calculations. Software worked through tutorials that taught them python and well as writing drive base code for our potato bot. Software members also took part in a computer vision lesson from our software section leader.

Overall 2016 has been a great year for The Drop Bears and we can't wait to see what is in store for us in 2017!