Team Phoenix Robotics OKC

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Heartland BEST 2011 Results

Posted by Sean Shenold on Sunday, October 30, 2011,
Just returned from the 2011 Heartland BEST competition in Alva, OK.  Team Phoenix made it into the semi-finals, into the Elite Eight, and ended up placing 6th overall.  Things have been absolutely insane over the past week, far too much to cover at this time, having had just about 3 hours sleep in the last two days, so full details will have to wait until later.  Suffice it to say that Team Phoenix has pulled off yet another amazing example of drive and determination, and did fantastically we...
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Quick Update Oct. 4, 2011

Posted by Sean Shenold on Tuesday, October 4, 2011,
We managed to get the drive base from last year's BEST robot operational, and are able to use it to practice driving.  The ability to accurately and quickly get the robot to where it needs to be to accomplish what needs to be done, is critical to success in any competition.

Here's a couple of links to YouTube videos of our member practicing driving:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQWnUGVZYOs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtvDMrt18gA
    
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Status Update, Sept. 25, 2011

Posted by Sean Shenold on Sunday, September 25, 2011,
Team Phoenix returned from the 2011 BEST Robotics kickoff at the Heartland BEST hub on the campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University on September 17th.  Never having been to Alva, OK, despite being a life-long resident of the Great State of Oklahoma, I was very impressed with the town of Alva and NWOSU in particular.  Having switched from the OKBEST hub at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond to Heartland BEST, it was interesting to note the differences.  I certainly don't mean to s...
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Team Phoenix Registered for Heartland BEST

Posted by Sean Shenold on Saturday, September 17, 2011,
(LIVE from the campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, in Alva, OK!)

Team Phoenix is now officially registered for the 2011 Heartland BEST competition.  Our 'official' team number is B5938, and we've got the kit and are ready to go!  We will be holding a meeting/briefing for all members (and anyone else that's interested) on Sunday, Sept. 18th, from 5 to 8 pm, at our regular meeting place, New Hope Christian Church, 12323 S. Pennsylvania.

This year's competition is going to be a littl...
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Team Phoenix Will Compete at Heartland BEST

Posted by Sean Shenold on Saturday, August 27, 2011,
Team Phoenix will be competing in this year's BEST Robotics Competition, starting at the Heartland BEST hub at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, in Alva, Oklahoma.

Team Phoenix is proud to have been accepted by the folks at Heartland BEST.  The BEST competition is unique amongst all the various organizations that hold competitions for middle and high school students, in that the BEST hubs provide all the materials needed for teams to build a robot for the competition.  With only a very f...
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Yuri's Night -- April 12, 2011

Posted by Sean Shenold on Monday, April 11, 2011,
Team Phoenix will be observing Yuri's Night, an international celebration of space exploration, time to coincide with the anniversary of the first manned space flight, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.  This year is the 50th anniversary of that first flight, and coincidentally it's also the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle flight.

Given the prominent role that robotics has played in space exploration, from the earliest Soviet efforts to explore the moon, through our own Ranger, Surv...
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FIRST Robotics Challenge--Oklahoma City Regional

Posted by Sean Shenold on Sunday, March 27, 2011,
Members of Team Phoenix attended the Oklahoma City Regional of the FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) on March 17th & 18th.  We were there only as observers--the cost of fielding an FRC team starts at about $8k-$10k--but it was still a good thing to go see.

One recurring theme that does not seem, to me at least, to be such a good idea is to have only 6 weeks or so to design, build, test, and compete with a robot.  FRC does this, BEST does this, and several others do as well.  The idea is to simula...
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A More In-Depth Update

Posted by Sean Shenold on Sunday, March 27, 2011,
As was mentioned earlier, we participated in the 2011 APEC MicroMouse competition, held at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. 

First off, the convention center there is HUGE!  It could probably host the Democratic or Republican National Conventions in a presidential election year--it's that big.  We finally found where we needed to be, about an hour early, just as the APEC folks were about to start setting up the competition field.

In the earlier post, I compared our robot to the others competin...
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Quick Update

Posted by Sean Shenold on Wednesday, March 16, 2011,
OK, just a quick update . . . I'll have to post a more in-depth update later.

First off, the APEC MicroMouse contest went great! We didn't win, though; our entry was sort of like a '62 Chevy pickup entered in the Monaco Grand Prix.  Still, it was a lot of fun, and we managed to impress the world-class competition with our robot and our extremely limited programming experience.

We're also getting ready to attend (but not compete, not this year, anyway) in the FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) compe...
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We Have A Sponsor!

Posted by Sean Shenold on Sunday, February 20, 2011,
Team Phoenix now has it's first sponsor!  Mickey Hampton, of Mickey Hampton Motors, has agreed to sponsor our team! 

I'm sure I speak for all of our members when I say that we greatly appreciate his contribution, and will greatly aid us in our future successes.
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MicroMouse Update

Posted by Sean Shenold on Friday, February 11, 2011,
In checking into things with the APEC MicroMouse competition, I've learned that, according to David Otten, a professor at MIT, the chairman of the APEC MicroMouse competition, and a major fan of MicroMouse competitions worldwide, no team has ever entered a LEGO Mindstorms-based robot that has successfully navigated its way to the center of the maze.  It's never been done before.

Looks like Team Phoenix is going to make history!
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No Meeting Again!

Posted by Sean Shenold on Tuesday, February 8, 2011,
OK, so we didn't have the meeting last Friday like we thought.

AND ONCE AGAIN Oklahoma's weather is not going to cooperate with us; the forecasts are calling for the freezing rain, sleet and snow to start up once again by the evening rush hour tomorrow, Feb. 8th.  So, once again, in the interests of safety, there will not be a meeting of Team Phoenix Robotics tomorrow.  Friday's regularly-scheduled meeting is still on, however.

New Hope Christian Church, where we meet, now has a snow-clearing s...
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Friday Feb. 4th Meeting is On

Posted by Sean Shenold on Friday, February 4, 2011,
I've just returned from a trip around the southwest side, and road conditions are not all that bad, though far from ideal, of course. 

We also are up against a time limit with the APEC MicroMouse competition, which is March 7th.  While we've got our robot designed and built, and a sample maze partially complete, that's only about 25% of the total task we've got to do.  The big challenge now is programming--designing and creating a program that will enable our robot to successfully navigate it...
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Feb. 1st Meeting Cancelled

Posted by Sean Shenold on Tuesday, February 1, 2011,
Due to the impending snow storm / blizzard, this Tuesday's meeting is cancelled.  At this time we plan to meet on Friday the 4th as scheduled.
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