Umbrella Corporation Conquers First Stronghold at Haymarket District

After winding up our most productive build season to date, Team 1719 stormed the qualification rounds at the Northern Virginia Districts with a dominant mastery of the opposing teams' Outer Work defenses placing 12th out of field of 39 at the end of qualifications. Ninth ranked Pan-tech Team 3872 moved up to become captain of the sixth alliance and selected Team 1719 as their first round pick. Rounding out this alliance was team 1123, AIM Robotics. Feel free to visit the Photo Gallery and Video Gallery to see highlights of the qualification rounds and the Quarterfinals (where this alliance swept the best of 3 series 49-48 and 96-92) and Semifinals (where they won the first match, but in spite a valiant effort, fell to a come back rally from a very strong opposing alliance of teams 1629, 1731, and 5338). Congratulations to Team 1719 for an amazing 2016 season!



Exciting Developments in Technology Application

In 2014, we added 3d printing to our repertoire, and have incorporated printed parts in each of our robots since then. Click here to see video of our 3D printer in action.  We also expanded our use of computer-assisted design (CAD) in the build season by, for the first time, adding a dedicated CAD sub-team.  With the help of tremendous instructional videos provided to our team by our sponsor, TEDCF Publishing , students on the CAD subteam have utilized their sharpened CAD skills to successfully design and integrate the chassis, devices, and electrical systems.

This year, we have incorporated carbon fiber into our robot as part of a weight reduction effort. The material was given to us by Middle River Aircraft Systems, a General Electric plant in Baltimore that employs one of our mentors. Thanks to MRAS we now have access to a generous supply of that material and we are looking forward to incorporating carbon fiber even more in the future.  Carbon fiber is a composite material that embeds woven strands of microscopic carbon fibers in an epoxy matrix. It is one-fifth the weight of a comparable volume of steel, and about one half the weight of aluminum, while providing comparable degrees of strength and stiffness.  By learning how to build structural elements out of this material, we hope to create a robot of more robust functionality while staying within the challenging weight limits established by FIRST.  Working with this material presents several challenges, including the difficulty of molding the layered material into the necessary structural shapes, curing the molded material in a vacuum-sealed oven, and machining the hardened material. But we are excited about the challenges and looking forward to building even more sophisticated robots in the future.