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Weekly blog post update 1/30

Hello Blue Twilight!

Week Zero planning is underway! Each year, Team 2220 hosts a practice competition during the last weekend of build seasons for local teams to test out their robots on a competition-like field. This event requires a lot of manpower from our team, so we expect all students, mentors, and parents to volunteer. Please mark your calendars for February 17th and 18th. See the sign-up sheet here.

An email was sent out a short while ago with signups for travelling to our upcoming regionals. Make sure to read through the provided information and RSVP as soon as possible.

1/24 — Full Team Meeting

This past Tuesday, the full team met to give subteam updates and discuss various necessary items.

1/28 — Week Zero Meeting

Team members helping organize the upcoming Week Zero event met to give updates on the various aspects of planning.

Control Update

This week, after determining pneumatics would be necessary on our robot, we built a functioning pneumatic system that held pressure for a decent amount of time. We were able to determine what new components we might need to make this pneumatic system as leak-proof as possible. We also worked on creating a new universal controller board, which will now have to be redesigned due to the addition of the pneumatics system on the robot. Finally, after putting encoders on to the prototype drivetrain, we were able to program the robot to drive more reliably, which enable our autonomous programs to be more successful.

Mechanical Update

This week the mechanical sub team got a lot of work done on the first robot. They got drive train, collector, raiser, and washer completed. With only the shooter and hopper left to mount they plan on having a mechanically finished robot on Thursday.

MTR Update

Throughout the week, More Than Robots (MTR) successfully transferred our website to a new hosting domain, submitted another grant for the team, continued to plan for Week Zero, and make multiple updates to our website. MTR students learned the importance of a healthy night’s sleep to keep up with the constant demands of our busy build season! This next week, MTR students will be continuing to plan for Week Zero while making more changes to the website.

General Build Season Work Time

We will be meeting to continue robot testing and tweaking throughout the week. Official meeting times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, as well as Saturdays from 1:00-5:00pm. We will also be meeting beyond these times, and specifics will be communicated as they are decided upon as well as be added to the calendar. Make sure to attend as many extra meetings as possible — this is when a lot of the work gets done and we need all the manpower we can get!

MTR Meetings

MTR will meeting to continue working on various projects. Meeting times are Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm, Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, and Saturdays from 2:00-5:00pm.

1/30 — Booster Club Meeting — Room 80 — 7:00pm

The booster club will be having its monthly meeting. All are welcome to attend to provide input.

1/31 — 3M Eagan Design Review

A small group of students and mentors will be meeting at the 3M Eagan facility to give a brief presentation on our robot design and receive input from the company’s experienced engineers.

1/31 — Full Team Meeting — Commons — 8:00pm

This Tuesday, we will be meeting as a full team to give subteam updates and cover various other items. All are encouraged to attend to participate in team discussions and decisions.

2/2 — Leads Meeting — Art Room — 8:00pm

The leads will be having an informal weekly leads meeting to give subteam updates and discuss various other topics.

2/4 — Photography Training — Graphics Lab — 2:00-3:00pm

This Saturday, MTR has set up a photography training session to teach attendees about the technical and conceptual aspects of effective photographs. While not a requirement, this session is open to the full team and it is highly encouraged that students attend if they are interested.

2/4 — Week Zero Planning Meeting

Team members will be meeting to continue general planning for the week zero event. All that would like to help plan this event are welcome to attend to provide input.

See you this week!

Captains Morgan and Josh

Weekly blog post update 1/24

Hello Blue Twilight!

1/17 — Full Team Meeting

This past full team meeting, team members finalized various strategy decisions: we have switched to the shorter, wider robot size dimensions as well as set a deadline for robot build (Tues. Jan 31st). Groups also presented various prototypes to the full team for review.

Control Update

This week, Control finished up the 2nd universal controller, mounted it onto the prototype drivetrain, and had a functional drivetrain running by the end of Sunday (1/22). We managed to update the software for our roboRIOs and a few laptops, which are all now 2017 software. We continued to make some progress on the robot vision, but it still needs work which will be one of the things we continue to work on this upcoming week. Looking into the upcoming week, we will be mounting electronics onto the final robot, programming it, and trying to get the Pixy Cam working for the robot.

Mechanical Update

This week mechanical completed prototyping, making the gear holder on the final robot and completed the drive train frame on the final robot. We plan on finishing our robot by the 29th so that means lots of meetings this upcoming week!

MTR Update

More Than Robots (MTR) had a busy week trying to plan out our website hosting transfer as well as planning for Week Zero. Currently, we’re working with EaganTV to coordinate their involvement in recording and broadcasting our Week Zero event. In addition, MTR has been busy working with mentors this past week to give our social media, website, and photography skills an extra boost in content and quality. More Than Robots (MTR) has specifically learned the importance of being close to robot action this week as we continuously recorded our prototypes in action. This next week, MTR hopes to take even more pictures as our team’s prototyping and plans grow, as well as successfully transfer our website to a new hosting domain for a better experience for all.

1/24 — Full Team Meeting

The team will be meeting after general build to give updates, present ideas, and finalize decisions.

Build Meeting Times

We will be meeting to finalize design and build the robot. Official meeting times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, as well as Saturdays from 1:00-5:00pm. To meet our planned deadline of next Tuesday, build will be meeting every night this week from 6:30-9:00pm; please attend whenever possible.

MTR Meetings

MTR will meeting to continue working on various projects. Meeting times are Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm, Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, and Saturdays from 2:00-5:00pm.

1/28 — Week Zero Meeting — 1:00-2:00pm

Team members will be meeting to continue general planning for the week zero event. All that would like to help plan this event are welcome to attend to provide input.

1/30 — Booster Club Meeting — Room 80 — 7:00pm

The Eagan Robotics Booster Club will be having their monthly meeting. All are welcome to attend.

See you this week!

Captains Morgan and Josh

Weekly blog post update 1/16

Hello Blue Twilight!

Week Zero planning is underway! Each year, Team 2220 hosts a practice competition during the last weekend of build seasons for local teams to test out their robots on a competition-like field. This event requires a lot of manpower from our team, so we expect all students, mentors, and parents to volunteer. Please mark your calendars for February 17th and 18th. A sign-up sheet will be sent out within the next few weeks.

With work on Chairman’s in full swing, it’s very important that all students keep up with their timesheets! A laptop will be available at all Saturday meetings for students to sit down and enter in any missing information. However, timesheets should be updated more often if possible.



1/9 — Strategy Meeting

Team members continued discussions on game strategy by analyzing the potential and complexity of various strategy options. From there, team members began building rough prototypes to get an idea of the time needed to complete various strategy options effectively.

1/10 — Skyline Brainstorming Session

Team members had the opportunity to attend a brainstorming session with Apple Valley High School’s FRC team that was hosted by Skyline Exhibits, a longtime sponsor of Eagan Robotics. Students were given a presentation on project management before having a brief discussion on game strategy.

1/10 — Full Team Meeting

At this week’s full team meeting, team members presented various prototypes. Attendees then used information gathered throughout previous strategy meetings to decide on our top 3 game strategy options: 1. Gear placement, high goal shooting, climbing; 2. Gear placement, high goal shooting; 3. Gear placement, defense, climbing.


Control Update

This week, the Control Subteam worked on refining vision processing through a new camera, as well as a basic electronics board prototype.


Mechanical Update

This week, Mechanical worked on our strategy planning, score analysis, and prototyping. We have prototyped three shooters, one collector, three ball management systems, a drive train and a gear holder. We learned how much of a challenge space management will be as well as how we plan to get our shooter more accurate. We plan to make some final decisions on our robot for this year so we can start building the final design.


MTR Update

This past week, More Than Robotics (MTR) worked hard alongside the build subteams. While the build subteams were busy prototyping, MTR worked with mentors to post to Twitter and Facebook, update our team’s website, and edit team pictures. Overall, MTR is learning how to cover this unique build process! With our fast paced build subteams, MTR is learning how to best cover our team’s progress. Next, MTR is hoping to work alongside the Control and Mechanical in the commons. We’ll see you all there!



General Build Time — Shops

We will be meeting to continue robot prototyping and build throughout the week. Official meeting times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, as well as Saturdays from 1:00-5:00pm.We will also be meeting beyond these times, and specifics will be communicated as they are decided upon.


MTR Meetings — Graphics Lab

MTR will meeting to continue working on various projects. Meeting times are Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm, Thursdays from 6:30-9:00pm, and Saturdays from 2:00-5:00pm.


1/17 — Week Zero Meetings (FMS and Concessions) — Art Room — 6:30-7:30pm

The groups planning the Field Management System and the concessions for Week Zero will be meeting to plan out their specific parts of the event. All students, parents, and mentors that would like to assist with these are welcome to attend.


1/17 — Full Team Meeting — Art Room — 8:00-9:00pm

We will be meeting each week as a full team after Tuesday’s work time to provide updates on various projects as well as finalize any necessary full-team decisions. All members are highly encouraged to attend.


1/19 — Leads Meeting — Art Room — 8:00-9:00pm

The leads will be having an informal recurring leads meeting each Thursday to discuss the progress of build season and make any necessary leads decisions.


1/21 — Week Zero Planning Meeting — 3:00-4:00pm

Those helping with Week Zero will be regrouping to discuss progress on the event planning. All are welcome to attend.


See you this week!


Captains Morgan and Josh

Weekly blog post update 1/9

Hello Blue Twilight!


1/5 — Full Team Meeting

This Thursday, we had a brief Full Team Meeting to go over the general plan for the build season.


1/5 — 10th Anniversary Party

Team 2220 had a wonderful 10th Anniversary celebration! A big thank you to all the volunteers that helped the event run smoothly as well as all that attended.


1/7 — FRC Kickoff

This Saturday was the official FRC kickoff for the season. Many of our students attended the formal kickoff held at the University of Minnesota as well as volunteered to hand out the kit of parts to attending teams. Other team members stayed back at the school to watch the livestream and start brainstorming right away. After team pictures and lunch, we kicked off our team strategy process by doing some game analysis and brainstorming possible robot roles. It is highly encouraged that students read through the game manual at least once so that they can better understand the rules and more effectively participate in strategy discussion.


1/8 — Strategy Meeting: Scoring Analysis

Team members met to continue strategizing, this time focusing on how many points each individual strategy will theoretically earn and how complex each one would be.



1/9 — Strategy Meeting: Pick Top 3 Strategies — EHS Commons — 6:30-9:00pm

We will be meeting tonight to rank different strategies based on difficulty, and then compare that to the information discussed yesterday. At the end of the meeting, we will narrow down strategy options to our top three, which will then be used during tomorrow’s session at Skyline.


1/10 — Skyline Brainstorming Session — Skyline Facility in Eagan — 3:00pm

Students and mentors have been invited to collaborate with Apple Valley High School’s FRC team, Knights of the Valley, in a joint brainstorming session held at Skyline’s facility in Eagan. The sign-up for the event is closed.


1/10 — Chipotle Fundraiser — Promenade Ave. — 5:00-9:00pm

Come support Eagan Robotics by having a meal at Chipotle! Make sure to bring the flyer (located in the email sent out by Mr. Mueller yesterday) on paper or on your phone so that we get credit for your purchase.


1/10 — Full Team Meeting — Aviation Shop — 6:30-7:30

We will be meeting as a full team to discuss our top 3 strategy choices and officially pick our top strategy for the build season. We highly encourage that all students attend so that they can be involved in the decision-making process. From there, we will move into brainstorming robot design and will decide further meeting times for the week.


1/10 — MTR Meeting — Graphics Lab — 7:30-9:00pm

MTR will be meeting to go over general subteam updates and work on social media, website, photo, and miscellaneous tasks.


1/11 — Week Zero Planning Meeting — Art Room — 7:30-8:30

All students and mentors are welcome to attend a planning meeting for our Week Zero practice tournament. At this time, leads for various roles will be determined and a few general tasks will be discussed.


1/12 — General Build Season Meeting — Shops — 6:30-9:00pm

This Thursday, there is time for general build season work. Topics and projects TBD.


1/12 — MTR Meeting — 6:30-9:00pm

MTR will be meeting during general build season time.


1/14 — General Build Season Meeting — Shops — 1:00-5:00pm

This Saturday, there is time for general build season work. Topics and projects TBD.


1/14 — MTR Meeting — Graphics Lab — 2:00-5:00pm

MTR will be meeting during general build season time.


See you this week!

Mayo Clinic Writes on WIRES

After a recent visit to Mayo Clinic, Team 2220’s WIRES (Women In Robotics Empowering Sisters) program was recognized in a brand new way. Not only did WIRES have the chance to see “how advanced technology and robotics are used in medical training and simulation.” This unique opportunity turned even more special when Mayo Clinic interviewed WIRES’s adult mentor Candace Lindow-Davies on the involvement of women in STEM fields. Read the exact article below.


Note: the following text was not written by a Team 2220 Blue Twilight member, but is credited to the Mayo Clinic and its publication of their network newsletter.


Connecting WIRES to future careers in health care

Aug. 5, 2016

For a group of junior and high school girls from Eagan, Minnesota, a recent visit to Mayo Clinic took their interest in technology and robotics to a whole new level.

Lisa Schimmenti, M.D., Otorhinolaryngology and Clinical Genomics, and Erin O’Brien, M.D., Otorhinolaryngology, who is the diversity leader for the department, recently led an event specifically for Women in Robotics Empowering Sisters (WIRES), an extracurricular group of female students. This gave the students the opportunity to explore how advanced technology and robotics are used in medical training and simulation.

“Our whole initiative is to get girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields,” says CandaceLindow Davies, one of the WIRES parent mentors. “And, often in robotics we talk about the mechanical, the electrical, the Information Technology side of it, but we don’t talk enough about other innovative uses. Coming to Mayo Clinic is an opportunity to expose them to science and novel medical applications of those skills.”

“We spoke a lot about how much technology and robotic innovations have changed medicine and surgical practice,” says Dr. Schimmenti.

Her goal — to show a broad range of applied science and technology — from studying zebrafish vision and hearing under microscopes, to patient simulation to 3D anatomical printing.

These “robotics wizards,” as Dr. Schimmenti calls them, showed great interest in the Rochester Multidisciplinary Simulation Center where they learned about technology used in simulation training and high-tech mannequin patients. They also visited the 3D printing laboratory at Mayo Clinic Hospital’s Saint Marys Campus, where they explored high resolution imaging used to create intricate 3D models used in planning surgeries.

“There’s so much correlation between what we learn in our robotic activities and medicine and research,” says Davies. “There’s teamwork, grant writing, presentations and problem-solving. The students were quick to pick up on these various aspects as they talked through some possible simulation situations.”

“For me, seeing women physicians leading labs and doing research was a real eye-opener,” says one of the student participants. “It tells me I could do that. Using robotics to learn patient care is amazing. My head is spinning thinking about all the robotic possibilities that could be applied to medicine.”

Dr. O’Brien also noted that it’s important to start early, and Mayo Clinic offers a unique opportunity to break down barriers to diversity and let students explore the many pathways that are available to careers in health care.

3Mgives Volunteer Award to 2220 Mentor John Peterson

For the second year in a row, a mentor from Team 2220 Blue Twilight has been awarded the 3Mgives Volunteer Award! Congratulations to long-term mentor John Peterson on receiving this award. This award builds on Mr. Peterson’s collection of hardware as this past competition season he was awarded the Woodie Flowers Award at the 2016 Central Illinois Regional. Blue Twilight would like to thank Mr. Peterson for that he has done for our individual programs and projects as well as his unwavering support for our team. Attached below is a personal message from Mr. Peterson to Team 2220.

Congratulations Mr. Peterson, we’re so grateful to have you on our team!


Team 2220,

As Jane did last year, I was selected as one of only thirty worldwide 2016 3Mgives Volunteer Award winners.  A huge thanks to Jane for her excellent nomination letter, and to the Team 2220 mentors, Mrs. Trebesch, Mrs. Tester, Mr. Meuller and Mr. Hendricksen, who wrote testimonial letters to the judges.  We have learned it’s not enough to have a good story, we must also tell a good story and that tradition in Team 2220 continues to reward us.

As with the Woodie Flowers award, the work I did to earn this 3Mgives Volunteer award was inspired by the students of Team 2220 whose drive to learn, achieve and help others will someday make this world a much better place.  I was/am also inspired by the Team 2220 coaches and mentors whose incredible devotion to our team leaves me humbled.  We all shared in earning this award.  To quote Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.  Thanks to all you giants, students and mentors alike.


John Peterson

Mentor, FRC Team 2220

FIRST Robot Inspector

2016 Robot Reveal– Obsidian

Obsidian is the name and STRONGHOLD is the game! Team 2220’s robot for the 2016 season is named Obsidian after it’s laser-cut black decorative plating and it’s ability to shine under pressure.

Obsidian’s drivetrain is one specifically designed by Team 2220 for this year’s game. The four two-wheel modules shift heights to cross tough defenses while still being able to fit under the low bar. A skid plate underneath keeps electronics from getting harmed by rough terrain while lights below the frame keep Obsidian shining bright.

Obsidian’s manipulator has an intake that grabs balls and shoots them into the high goal at about 6000 rpm. A photon cannon mounted on the robot tracks the reflective tape on the goal for consistently accurate shots. There’s also a scissor-lift that reaches up and hangs on the bar during end game.

Obsidian is now bagged and ready for competition! Good luck to all competing teams; we’ll see you on the field in FIRST STRONGHOLD.


Click here to check out Obsidian’s reveal video

Week Five 2016

Only five weeks into the build season and Team 2220 already has much accomplished.  At this point much of our robot is built and everything “feels fairly ready for regionals” which is right on par with the goals that we had for ourselves last week.

After speaking with the mechanical subteam, we learned that even though they have only some of the robot built, the parts that aren’t built are currently organized so it will all be readily available to put together in a matter of days. Maggie S., mechanical co-lead compared it to a game of Tetris stating that if “you were lining all of the blocks up beforehand, for some reason… [and] people were just looking at where all the blocks were all gonna line up” it would appear as if there was nothing was there. But then “as soon as you press fall, you don’t have to do any work, they all just fall perfectly; we lined everything up and now it’s all falling into place.” In addition to this we learned that the new implementation of a whiteboard in their workspace has made things significantly easier for the team. As stated by Maggie, “it forces us to talk to each other” and also gives an “at a glance tell [at] what we’re working on”.

Control is currently working on their electronics board—specifically a new design for it, because with the way that our robot works the electronics board wouldn’t have fit. They’ve been working hard along the mechanical subteam since then to get it to work. They came up with a new design and Alyssa R., mechanical subteam member, describes the changes needed on the electronic board as simple things such as “cut[ting] it down” in length, “cut[ting] out a couple of holes for the motors and then also for the gears” and just in general trying “to make it flat[ter]” and smaller.  They are also currently “working with [the] new encoder” and as Arunima B., control sub-team lead stated, and “it’s actually really nice”.

The subteam More Than Robots has been continuing to maintain the blog and social media for Team 2220. In addition to this we’ve updated our display case with new pictures, bright blue paper, cut

out lettering, and clean trophies to attract the eyes or more students in the halls of EHS. MTR has also been continually communicating with other teams for the upcoming Week Zero event to make sure everything runs smoothly.

For next week Blue Twilight hopes to finish building the robot and get the electronics board successfully and securely onto the robot.

Week Four 2016

Week four of the build season has begun, and Team 2220 has already completed many of their goals from last week. Our three subteams have been working in unison to make our build season as safe and entertaining as possible. The subteams have constantly been communicating between each other so everyone knows the status of the robot.

Our mechanical subteam has been busy working with the control subteam while expecting machined parts from sponsors. Co-lead Maggie Swanson said “we already have most of [the parts], and hopefully the rest of them will be getting here Tuesday.” This week, they created prototypes for the high goal shooter and lifting mechanism. So far, they have both been successful.

The control subteam has been making the electronic board for our robot, creating classes for our code, and using a website called GitHub so the code can be easily classified. Each class is meant for a specific area of the robot so, for example, there’s a class for driving and a separate class for the talons. Co-Lead Arunima Bhattacharya says, “we have a design ready for the electronics board that should be completed by the end of Saturday.”

The MTR subteam has been working on our Chairman’s requirements and also has been continuing their weekly series on Twitter in which they give tips for providing our insight to new and old teams. “We started the 2220 tips series to provide other teams and our community with important things we’ve learned,” says Co-Lead Morgan Davies. Along with these things, the website is in the process of being updated to include a new page dedicated specifically to safety.
For this upcoming week, the mechanical subteams hopes to have completed the first drive train. The control subteam hopes to simplify their code so it’s less complicated and it’s smoother, finish up their electronics board, and get everyone to use GitHub so they know when code was made and who it was made by.  The MTR subteam is going to be finishing up Chairman’s, making safety videos, updating social media and the blog, and updating the website.

Week Three 2016

Team 2220 Blue Twilight Week 2

Now that we are in the third week of the build season, Team 2220 has been developing our robot for optimum performance in the 2016 game FIRST Stronghold. There has been continuous cooperation between MTR, Control, and Mechanical sub teams to certify that the team is firing on all cylinders.

The mechanical subteam is getting a head start by ordering the custom motors and controllers for the robot through our generous sponsors. This week, they have focused on building our FrankenDrive, our test drivetrain for the beginning build weeks. Through mentor guidance, mechanical has worked through three versions of this drivetrain to ensure a functional design. For this upcoming week, the mechanical team will be working with the parts we receive back from our sponsors to construct our first drive train as well as finalizing the FrankenDrive.

The control subteam has been developing the electronic board to then mount onto our drivetrain. A great thing about our current electronic board is that it’s modular, meaning it can removed and worked on at home which will make it easier to be improved. For this upcoming week the team is to work on organizing the code into classes and then mounting the board onto the drivetrain. In past years, our control subteam has struggled to work efficiently with the code due to the coding structure. As Arunima B. explained, to then fix this problem “[they] have created specific classes that deal with specific parts of the code to try to eliminate using so many different segments of code.” So far, this system has worked smoothly!

The MTR (More Than Robots) has been working on a new series of tweets titled #2220tips, where we give pieces of advice to both rookie and veteran teams that we have learned throughout our ten years of being a team. For this upcoming week, we are planning to update and finalize the Team 2220 and BlueDevil websites. In terms of safety, our Safety Captain has focused on getting everyone their newly personalized safety glasses that have been decorated with puffy paint, duct tape, and sharpies. 

As we work on their individual subteam goals, our whole team has been working hard to ensure that this year’s game FIRST Stronghold will be the best one yet. We also are looking forward to the Eagan Week Zero tournament which will take place on February 20, 2016.

Team 2220 Blue Twilight Week 2