Nederland Pirates | FIRST™ Robotics Team 1584

Pirate Blog

May 2, 2020

PIRATES ADVENTURES for the 2020 challenge:
FIRST® RISE℠ powered by Star Wars: Force for Change

2019-20 team picture:
Bottom right; Cedar Shupe, Clay Kress, Oliver Vernon, Hakan Chunton, Ainsley Norman, Jamieson Graves
Top right; Leo Filippelo, Zach Wiener, Cody Martin, Ande Hammers

ARRRRRRR, what a year it has been! The season started off with an epic and intricate StarWars themed challenge, and the team got crackin' to build one of our most sophisticated robots yet. As a small team with limited resources, it seems as though we are always at a slight disadvantage. However, every year the team comes together to create something spectacular that meets the challenge in new and creative ways. 2020 was no exception. This year's robot, named P1R4735, is built to gather balls and convey them to a shooter. The shooter is able to deliver balls to a target port 7 feet high. The distance range of the shooter is between 40ft and 10feet from the target. At the end of each match the robot will lift itself off the ground by using a spring-loaded set of telescoping arms to attach to a swinging bar that could be between 4feet and 6.5 feet tall.. A winch system lifts the robot off the floor and holds it aloft. In addition to just hanging from the teeter-bar, the alliance gets more points if they can use their 2-3 hanging robots to keep the bar balanced.


The whole team worked hard together in the shop and made good progress even as the world seemed to be falling apart. As COVID-19 brought an end to the competition and the team was no longer able to work on the robot physically together, they still managed to look on the bright side and persevere. Hakan Chunton took the robot to his house and worked tirelessly to complete it, and it is now one of the team's best robots yet. Every year the team challenges themselves with a sophisticated and complex robot design. Every year students learn new skills that will help them as they go on to college or the workplace. This season, the chassis group began by using AutoCAD to design the robot's chassis and drive system. They then learned about machine coding and how to use a CNC and other professional machines at a mentor's shop to fabricate these parts. The team usually fabricates their own robot parts using hand tools and simple machines like drill presses and bandsaws. This year, with the expert help of their new mentor, Mark, they were able to upgrade and use more modern, professional machines. The team designed and fabricated wheel hubs, pulleys, chassis and superstructure elements, the climbing motor mount and redesigned the climbing gearbox.


Pirates be becalmed at sea. On March 12th, one week before competition, BVSD made a wise decision to end activities. The Pirates were in the final stages of preparation for competition and all work came to an abrupt halt. As other teams at the school had to deal with the cessation of work, so the Pirates did too. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to use their robot before the beginning of school next year. The team put in an extraordinary effort, some put in 200+ hours of work, dealing with long bouts of sickness on team members' parts, snow delays and then covid-19. It feels like a let down to have this be the last year that the Pirates are associated with the high school. Such is the life of us scallywags. We learn to roll with the waves and sail on.


During this time of isolation and distancing the Pirates, FIRST ® Robotics Team 1584, have come forward to help their community. They purchased hand sanitizer to be used at the competition's administration and safety glasses tables. When competition was canceled, they donated these supplies to their own community to acknowledge the hard work and safety risks that local stores and service providers put themselves in during this time. The team also purchased two utility carts for the Nederland Food Pantry so that they can more easily handle the increased poundage of food distributed to the community. We Pirates be happy to share our booty! The team's lead mentor distributed the goods while the Pirates stayed marooned on their own home islands.

T-shirt graphics by Ande Hammers.


Fortunately: Seeking team management stability and greater grant-writing opportunities, the team will be leaving the high school hoping to find a new home with TEENS, Inc. Unfortunately: Due to the world-wide' Kraken' of Covid19, all future plans are now on hold.


For our end o' season Pirates gather'n there was a plan to celebrate the 16 years of tenure at the high school. As we all be sailing uncharted waters, this be waitin' for landfall. The team would like to end this article by thanking our Alumni, Mentors, Parents, and Sponsors, as well as the Peak to Peak Community for their help and support for the past 16 years.

September 23, 2019

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament


Saturday, September 28, 2019


Denver East High School 1600 City Park Esplanade, Denver , CO 80206


The tournament is sponsored by Energy Day Colorado and is part of the annual Energy Day Festival. The tournament gives teams in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region an opportunity to compete using their existing robots, and to reach out to the larger community of businesses and students in order to promote their teams and programs. The event has been named in honor of Kendrick Castillo, who was deeply involved in Team 4418, STEM Impulse.


7:00: Pits and playing field will open for setup and calibration

8:00: Opening Ceremony

8:30: Seeding rounds begin

10:00: Setup on the Esplanade (front of school) for Energy Day

11:00: Energy Day open to the public

12:30: Lunch break

1:15-1:45: Awards ceremony and media event for Energy Day in front of school (all teams should plan on attending)

2:00: Seeding rounds, and Mentor Driven round (if there is time)

3:30: Alliance Selection

4:00: Energy Day ends

4:00: Elimination rounds begin

5:30 (approximately): Trophies

6:00 (or when event ends): Tear-down of field, restoration of gyms for school use

See you there!

June 13, 2019

2019 Deep Space: Season Recap

The Pirates would like to thank all of their supporters during this 2018-19 season. Meeting the goals the team set wouldn't have been possible without help from each one of them. This year, the team sponsored a fall activity in addition to the spring build for the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST© is an acronym, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and was founded in 1989. It is the goal of FIRST© to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math while building teamwork, gracious professionalism, self-confidence and life skills.

The 2018-19 school year was the 15th year for the Pirates. They had a few challenges on this anniversary, which the team met with energy and success. Each year, the team learns about electronics and wiring, graphic arts, designing then machining their own parts, and developing programming skills using C++, among many other skills.

This past year, they did all this at an off-site garage graciously donated while the high school undergoes construction. Being away from the school had its challenges and rewards. The team reached out to its village and found willing supporters to help bridge this two-year disruption. The students responded well to the challenges, became stronger and worked more cohesively as a team.

Jamison Graves, Hakan Chukon, Cody Martin, Oliver Vernon, Clay Kress, Zach Weiner, Ande Hammers and Ainsley Norman participated.

In October 2018 the team ran a workshop called 'Give A Robot A Brain'. This provided an introduction to Computer Language and Robot Programming to the larger community. We partnered with the Nederland Community Library, who graciously allowed us to use the meeting room for this four-day workshop.

In January 2019, the team began the six-week build for the FIRST Deep Space Challenge. They needed to design, fabricate and build a robot to work with other robots in a space-themed challenge. The robot, named the Stargazer, is designed to handle flat hatch panels and balls, then deliver them to cargo bays on a mid-field ship and rockets along the field perimeter. The Stargazer finished the match by climbing onto a 19-inch platform on the alliance's home "HAB" zone.

We competed in the Colorado Regional, in Denver, on March 22 and 23.The Pirates were part of a field of 52 teams from 7 states and Mexico. For the practice day this year at competition, we had a few modifications to make and so had very little drive time heading into the competition. We worked through repairs and modifications to compete in all our qualifying rounds. The robot and team performed well. Our design and engineering worked as planned, on time and under budget! The team works like a NASCAR crew going from their pit to the game field for matches again and again for three days! It is the hardest fun and the most intense learning.

The best moment of the competition happened in our first qualifying match. We were scheduled to be in round one with teams 1303 and 3704 as our alliance partners. The robot and drive team performed well and we successfully made a level three HAB climb. This was the very first time we could try climbing and it went brilliantly. Many whoops of delight and Pirate ARRRGHs were heard from the team and its supporters in the stands!

We appreciate your help in making this season a success! Look for us next year when we compete in the FIRST 2020 INFINITE RECHARGE.

The Pirates! NMSHS robotics team FRC 1584 would like to thank all of their supporters during this 2018-19 season. Meeting the goals the team set for the Deep Space competition wouldn't have been possible without help from each one of them:

Ball Aerospace

Anonymous Angel

Indian Peaks ACE Hardware

Dan Martin Excavating

Medtronic plc

Gilpin County Commissioners

Schedule Source, Inc., Inc

NederNet, Inc.

Back Door Theater

Studio NHR

Xcel Energy

Nederland Middle Senior High School

Any family member or neighbor who lent a hand or a few $!

A hearty thanks from; Hakan, Oliver, Cody, Zach, Clay, Jamie, Ande, Ainsley and the mentors! ARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!