Build Season: Day 10

Today we worked on making revisions to the Chassis Robot design as determined during the design review. The electronics board for the chassis is almost done and ready to be lasered out. The current design will likely be altered with the addition of other mechanisms. We opted to make a custom gearbox this year and need the chassis robot to test out the drive train as well as give programmers time to work. We also helped mill out some parts for Apex Robotics from Seattle. The rest of the team members were split up working on putting prototypes into CAD and building field elements. Tomorrow we plan to finish the chassis robot revisions and a big chunk of field elements.

Ryleigh Weston

Secretary of Communications

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 9

Today was not a fast day. We worked on CADing our power cube collector and had a design review for our chassis. This is so we can build one for our programmers to start playing with and making paths for autonomous. In addition we continued to cut apart old aluminum from the 2017 field to build features for the 2018 field.

JT Hammerstrom

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 8

Day 8 , no robot.

Check tomorrow.

Design is working on the drive train, and other unspecified tasks. A very exclusive interview with Noah Miller has told us, “this design is taking a long time”.  Another revealing meeting with Conor Nickel, quote says “ math”.

Our cube manipulator prototype is making great bounds in the right direction. The next step is putting it into CAD. Lead worker, Shane Beres says “new design come back later”.

In Bear Metal we trust,

Parker Ulrey

Bear Metal Robotics



Build Season: Day 7

A week has passed as our mechanisms start to come to life.

The collector mechanism is going very good. Today the team discovered which wheels are more effective in collection. We also determined how we would climb. Prototypes are coming to the point where they are advancing into higher quality. 

Taylor Peterson

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 6

To whoever is listening,

Today we broke off into new groups- 2 competing collection groups (Sub-teams Epsilon and Romeo) and 1 climber group (Sub-teams Alpha and Bravo). The collector groups already had already been working on previous prototypes and were just tweaking them and looking into new options. Specifically:


Almost done with the hard prototype of the arm and will probably be done by tomorrow.


Changed and adjusted arm tubing on 2nd hard prototype of arm, tomorrow the arm will be adjusted because of problems with taking and releasing the box, also try different types of belt for guiding the box into the arm.


Went through different ideas for a climber.

They went through the pros/cons as follows:

Climber #1:


  • We can lift other robots
  • Simple to construct
  • We can climb


  • Extra distance off ground
  • Could damage other robots
  • Might pivet
  • Have to wait
  • Center Mass?
  • Deterioration after constant use

Climber #2:


  • Climbs from side
  • Out of the way for other alliance members
  • Uses other robots mechanisms


  • Have to climb further
  • Complicated concept
  • Twisting

They decided to pursue a simple mechanism that stays out of the way of other robots.

The climber group then created a list of what they need to do in order to get the prototype running.

The next few days will be essential to our team’s development.

Stay tuned,

Aldrich M.


Ryleigh Weston (on editing of course)

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 5

5 days down.

Many more to go.

Today we finished off the first round of prototyping with our strategy presentation. From here we will be refocusing our prototypes to match the mechanical goals set by the strategy team. The current prototypes have really started to take shape with metal iterations and more precisely designed parts. We plan on continuing with the prototyping process for about another week as we work on finishing up the robot design. Electronics and programming also started to develop vision and messed around with some new technology.

Until next time,

Ryleigh Weston

Secretary of Communications

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 4


Today we made a flowchart of what we should do in relation to strategy, and evaluated different scenarios to see what works and what doesn’t.

students work on strategy

Conor’s arm team made a stronger/reliable prototype to manipulate the game pieces that was developed over the last couple days. It already is functional but the added strength will give us critical information on how it will work if we were to use it on the final robot.

Zoey’s arm team shortened their arm so that it fits the size of the box better and started on a new iteration of a grabber.

Zoey works on prototype

Exclusive interview: Programming is advancing their knowledge of critical vision techniques to detect critical game elements.

Robot not done.

Check tomorrow.

Nick Scofield

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 3


Today we once again broke off into our strategy and prototyping groups. Our collector group tested out their mechanism, fixed gearboxes, and looked into other mechanisms. They plan on continuing to make new iterations.

The climbing group worked on brainstorming more ideas and testing them out. They have also discussed the teamwork aspect of climbing with such a small bar to hold on to.

The strategy group divided themselves up into two sub-groups. One group focused on what information needs to be relayed to the prototyping group in terms of robot design and the other focused on game-winning strategy. The strategy calculator was also finished and ready to use. We plan on finalizing our initial strategy and preparing our presentation to be ready for the Wednesday meeting. This strategy will change and develop more over build and competition season.

Until next time,

Ryleigh Weston

Secretary of Communications

Bear Metal Robotics

Build Season: Day 2


As the second day of our build season commenced, our team started to settle down and look at the game’s strategy and possible mechanisms with a critical eye. We broke off into our strategy and prototyping teams to start to work out the game.

The prototyping group started by going over the different mechanisms that we could use and comparing this year’s game to past years to find the best ways to approach it. They then broke down into different groups much like in our prototyping challenge and started to design and build various mechanisms.

The strategy team started off the day by creating minimum and stretch goals for each action. The difficulty of the game strategy and importance of the strategist (drive coach) position was revealed in the discussion. This team member will have to be able to make decisions faster than strategists in past games. Much of the match strategy will be determined during the autonomous period, especially in regards to what each alliance member will work on during the tele-operated period. This will require amazing communication skills in the drive team members.

Our strategists then went on to debating our priority list in relation to each of our competitions. This timeline of priorities will be infinitely important to our prototyping and design team in making decisions on what mechanisms we should use. Several members of our team also worked on creating a calculator spreadsheet in order to calculate possible scores.

Our team plans on continuing to make strives in both strategy and prototyping leading up to our Wednesday meeting in which the strategy will be shared with the team. After the meeting, we will continue to prototype but with a more focused approach.

This meeting has given our team a lot to consider within the next week and we plan on making great progress in the build process over the next week.


Thank you for your time!

Ryleigh Weston

Secretary of Communications

Bear Metal Robotics

Prototyping and Programming Challenge Finale


As our prototyping and programming challenge came to a close, Bear Metal students demonstrated their final product to other students, parents, and mentors. For the prototyping challenge, each sub-team had to have their mechanism prep done in under 10 minutes, weigh under 7.5 pounds, sized under 18″ x 18″ x 18″, and able to collect and place a cone on a table. Teams were also able to collect additional points for prepping in under 5 minutes, weighing under 5 pounds, the amount of cones placed upright on the table, and having stacked cones. They had 90 seconds to score points with two human players controlling the robot from Xbox controllers.

The programmers on the other hand had to create an autonomous program that could start in one box marked with white tape, back up into and hit a sensor on a tote, and drive into another white marked box.

The meeting started at 10AM with breakfast being provided by our amazing Booster Club and with teams making any final adjustments to their prototype. Around 3PM, we took a break from prototyping to reflect on the past week and take a look at our strengths and weaknesses. We found that our team was well trained over the past few months but still with room to grow. We were able to improve on our ability to work together, listen to each others opinions, and how to piece our skills together to build something. It also gave our team information on what we need to work more on and who is a reliable teammate.

We then went on to discuss our weaknesses and any strategies that can be used to address them. In order to utilize our team more effectively, we have emphasized delegation and using problem solving skills to look for things to do rather than constantly bothering team leaders for one. By setting goals and tasks at the beginning of the day, we will be able to use our time and people better. This year, our team has 65 members. Under the right management, we will be able to use our numbers much to our advantage in comparison to other years. Towards the end of our discussion, we had each of our mentors stand up and talk about their background and what they will be working on with the team.

We ended the prototyping challenge with sub-team Epsilon taking home the gold. Here are some pictures of our members competing:

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The programming team spent the day testing their programs before finally competing against each other to get the most points.

programming challenge results

programmers getting ready to test


After a successful challenge we feel prepared to go into build season and can’t wait for the weeks ahead of us.

Thank you,

Ryleigh Weston

Secretary of Communications

Bear Metal Robotics