Article contributed by the RoboRoos team.
On the 19th and 20th of July the RoboRoos set up and ran a small stall in the Indie Games section of AVCon 2014. Over the 2 days we demonstrated the robot many times to many people, adults and children. We told people about FIRST, FRC, the robot, the team and much more to try to get people interested in joining the team and also to let people know what opportunities are out there. AVCon was a very fun and interesting experience for me as it was my first time attending. When we were not manning the stall, we would be walking around, exploring and playing all the games. During AVCon most of our team that was there learnt how to drive the robot and the controls for it so that they could drive it later on. Even though there were some complications with the robot where it wouldn’t work, we sat down and de-bugged it to make it work. -Bryce Simmons
Science Alive 2014
The RoboRoos have once again been busy on the BAE Systems stand at Science Alive. This is a huge science expo offering hands-on fun for all ages with over 50 participating organisations. We were kept busy with fascinated patrons checking out our latest robot Marvin (Mark II), playing our video game of aerial assist or seeing the Lego elephant pick up things with its trunk. We met some potential new team members and mentors and invited them along to our open day. A big thank you to all the team members who helped with the demonstration, you all showed what a great team we are and your enthusiasm was fantastic.
Commercial Mentor Report
2013/14 has been another busy and successful year for the RoboRoos, with major achievements during the build seasons, competitions and “off season” events.
The FLL team (our Lego robots) had a wonderful season, with great team spirit and mentor support shown throughout the season and the build up to the competition day, and the results….wow….SA State Champion, and invitation to the Nationals and a win there also… we are just about to kick off this seasons FLL and I wish all involved the same level of spirit, team cooperation, creativity and energy as last years. Welcome also to new team members for the FLL team.
The FRC team (the “big” robot) continued to go from strength to strength. The 2013 season was exhausting, with the first trip to Hawaii, winning the Rookie All Star Award, the invitation to the Nationals in St Louis, and all the resultant pressure on budgets and time. So, it was with that backdrop that the team gathered in October 2013 to contemplate and begin to plan for 2014…and what a year that turned out to be also, with another hectic build season, some real challenges with design, and translating that into a workable solution saw a small but enthusiastic group head off once again to Hawaii in March. The team work and camaraderie shown by the group that went to Hawaii is a credit to them and the whole team. Once back from Hawaii, the decisions as to rebuild or not for Duel Down Under in June were intense, with the prevailing view that improvements were needed. This effectively resulted in another “build season” – great for team involvement, but not great for finances or the overall level of required commitment from students, mentors and parents. The result however was worth the effort, with the team at DDU again doing us proud, and making it all the way to the final, and then graciously sliding into second place – an amazing effort considering where we were only weeks before.
These achievements should make everyone feel proud, well done.
Behind the scenes the Management Group continued to make progress in strengthening the framework that RoboRoos operates in. We have submitted our application to become an incorporated club, the Student Robotics Club of South Australia, trading as the RoboRoos. Incorporation does create some obligations for us in terms of record keeping and reporting, but it strengthens our fundraising capability, reduces personal liability for mentors and parent hosts, improves our ability to obtain insurance coverage and makes us “more real”. Importantly, we have continued our other “non-robot” activities of outreach and fund raising, with a number of external opportunities to demonstrate the robot, including school exhibitions, AV Con and Science Alive.
Going forward, there will be a couple of structural changes to make it easier for us to run RoboRoos. Probably the most important is a change to the membership year, which will now run from 1 July to 30 June of each year. This better aligns with the US academic year and FIRST calendar, so that members of both FLL and FRC teams can conduct development sessions, build, compete and finish off the season in the one membership year. It also means that we know team strength at the beginning of the season, as for any other competition.
Once again, congratulations on another great year, and we look forward to continued growth and success….go Roos…. – Peter Ryan-Kane
Thanks to all those team members who helped out at the recent promotional events, AVCon and Science Alive. This is all part of being in the team and helps promote our profile to our supporters.
Royal Adelaide Show Display: Sept 5th to 14th.
Systems Engineering Course: Sept 27th
Thanks to our supporters: