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.