An Award Winning Team

Team work, problem solving, using tools… That’s so much fun! But winning is also fun! Did you know that KC Robotics Team is an award winning team? Check out our awards page and see for yourself.

As the competitions approach, we would like to win more awards, on top of enjoying all the fun of robotics competitions. Today, the FTC team was working hard on updating the Team Notebook, practicing driving, and making inventory of parts used in the robot for the Bill of Materials.

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The FRC team had a brainstorming session with Mr. Bull to improve the design of the lifting mechanism.


Categories: 1553 Robot, 208 Robot, Build Season | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trial and Error

The FTC team is focused on practicing driving the robot and figuring out strategies to get the most points. At this point, the robot is programmed to get 70 points in autonomous mode by doing the following:

  • driving off the ramp
  • dragging the goal to the team area
  • dropping the plastic balls in the goal

Check it out!


The FRC team focused on finishing up the elevator and they got to test its limits!

One crate….

Two crates………….

Three crates!! There is definitely room for improvement!

What would you do to stabilize the elevator?

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We are social!

Are you enjoying this blog? We are active on the web through several social media sites. Follow us through your favorite social media site, or all of them!

Instagram: @kcroboticsteam

Twitter: @kcroboticsteam


Google+: KC Robotics Team (

YouTube: KC Robotics Team

In your opinion, are there any other social media sites in which we should participate? Let us know in the comments!

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Holiday Workday

We took advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday today to have an intensive workday instead of the regular afternoon session after school on Tuesday.

When I walked into the robot room, it was obvious everybody was at work. There were students drilling, sounds of metal clanking, tools everywhere, the deafening sound of the vacuum… There is no reason to waste time! The clock is ticking, and every moment spent working on the robots or straightening up the room out helps in getting ready for both the FTC and FRC competitions. We even had Mrs. Welch running an errand to refuel the mentors with coffee and the students with soft drinks! Thank you!

The FTC team (208) came back from their scrimmage on Saturday with quite the list of upgrades needed to improve our performance in the game: the bucket was too low, the string for the telescopic arm was sticking, the wheels were lagging, and more practice was needed to score points correctly. Needless to say, this scrimmage proved invaluable in getting the team ready for the competition. The middle school students worked hard today to fix these issues.


The FRC team continues to work on the frame and elevator truck for the big robot.


The students also made gear boxes for the wheels and attached a motor to the boxes.


The media team (Mrs. Putnam and I) worked on updating the FTC engineering notebook and of course, this website.


Categories: 1553 Robot, 208 Robot, Build Season | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buiding Season Week 2 Recap

Today, the FTC team is at a scrimmage competition in Hartsville, SC. There will be a later post outlining the details on that.

The FRC team made progress in building a frame for the base and the elevator mechanism and figuring out a prototype to turn the totes from the upside down position. There was math, measurements, and tools involved in the process. Even I was put to work and learned to use the drill!

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No School, No Problem!

Even though the public school students did not have to attend school on Tuesday, we had a good group of students show up to play with robots!

The FTC team has been working on updating their engineering notebook by adding pictures and short snippets about the students that are participating in the upcoming scrimmage on January 17. The students were able to practice driving the robot and were able to fix some problems that came up.wpid-img_20150113_164256580.jpg wpid-img_20150113_164133058.jpgThe FRC team had several tasks from which to choose so there was plenty of work for everybody. The software has been installed in the computers. Some of the students worked on making a prototype for the frame, elevator truck, making wheel supports, or figuring out how to turn over a crate from the upside down position and from the sideways position.

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More than just the Segway….

This segment from today’s Sunday Morning (CBS) almost brought tears to my eyes because it portrays a true revolutionary. Dean Kamen is the creator of the FIRST competition and the reason we get to have fun in these amazing competitions. It is true that Kamen is mostly known for his Segway invention, but this man has dedicated his life to innovation and it shows. Click on the link below to see a glimpse of his life and achievements–inspirational to say the least!

If you had the chance to meet Dean Kamen, what would your conversation sound like? Please share in the comments section.

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FIRST Saturday Workday–pun intended!

Both students and mentors came to the robot room early this morning to work on both the FTC and FRC robots.

Some advancements made on the FTC robot are the very “high tech” wood sticks that prevent the plastic balls from flying away from the robot as they are picked up. The FTC team is currently experimenting the optimum spacing of the sticks. The white plastic rolls rotate and the alternating plastic “teeth” pick up the plastic balls and elevate them to a plastic receptacle that guides the balls to a bottle holder. This holder is mounted on a telescopic pole which can extend up to 5 feet high.


Mr. Bull also spent some time going over the basic rules with the students to make sure everybody is aware of what is allowed and what gets a penalty.


Finally, the students were able to test the robot and fine tune some issues.

The FRC team built the robot control system board and was able to test it today. The instructions for the wiring were followed closely, so everything lit up like it was supposed to. It is alive!


McKinley and Jarrod started building a ramp out of Plexiglas and plywood.


Later, other students joined in the design and building of the ramp.

wpid-img_20150110_105813670.jpgThere is a lot of work that needs to be done in the upcoming meetings. What is your favorite “job” in the robotics room?

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New Year, New Challenge!

Happy 2015 from the Kershaw County Robotics Team!

One of the most exciting events for our robotics team is the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (C). On January 3rd, the following video was released explaining the new challenge for the high school group:

Today, we watched the kickoff video together and inventoried the parts received from FIRST. Shortly after, the gears began spinning and the students started devising strategies and how to materialize them in the robot. With the competition taking place at the end of February, there is no wasting time in the robot room! That being said, please check out the calendar for additional meeting times. While it is understandable that all students and mentors will not be able to attend all meetings, please plan to be present for most of the scheduled meetings.


Mentor Paul Sullivan discussing possible strategies.

The middle school team is also busy as their competition approaches. There is a scrimmage on Saturday, January 17th, so today, the FTC team has been busy stabilizing the frame, reinforcing the motor, and improving the “grabbing” mechanism.




What do you think about this year’s challenge? What are some strategies you would implement to get the most points?

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FTC Workday

This morning, some of the students and mentors met in the robot room to focus on the design of the 208 team robot for the upcoming First Tech Challenge (c). This year’s competition, “Cascade Effect,”  involves three periods, including autonomous and driver-controlled periods, in which the teams can score points by accomplishing tasks such as knocking over the kickstand holding dozens of plastic balls, moving rolling goals, and scoring balls in the goals. Here is the official video explaining each of the game periods:

Today’s major objective was to build a replica of the game field and the base of the robot.

Mentor Paul Sullivan coaching students Kelley Welch, Daniel Putnam, and Ethan Welch in the mock field.

Mentor Paul Sullivan coaching students Kelly Welch, Daniel Putnam, and Ethan Welch in the mock field.

Daniel Putnam securing a metal hub before drilling holes in it.

Daniel Putnam securing a metal hub before drilling holes in it.

Kelly Welch building the robot base.

Kelly Welch building the robot base.

Mentos and students assembling the robot base.

Mentors Paul Sullivan, Henry Bull, and Dave Stanek, assembling the robot base with the students.

Almost finished?

Almost finished?

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