Diamond BarHigh School

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Robotics Team Headed To Regional Competition

Diamond Bar High School students on Team DBobotics are getting ready for upcoming regional competitions.


For the past five weeks, the 23 members have been on a strict deadline to get their ‘bot ready.


We’ve been working after school five days a week, and putting in about 25 hours a week, explained senior Cindy Sun.


They are now in their sixth and final week of preparation.


“Then we’ll have to bag it up for inspection and we can’t touch it,” Sun said.


The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional competitions start next week. The one we chose happens to be at the end, Sun explained.


Team DBotics will vie among 20 teams in the contest held in San Bernardino on March 28-30.


“We’re hoping everyone will be on the competition team. We just feel that since everyone is contributing they should have the chance to go and compete,“ Sun said. The team will also participate in another FIRST regional competition in Las Vegas on April 3.


“We’ve really starting from scratch on this robot. I’ve done physics, but never done the practical part of it,” Sun said.


The team advisor teachers are Steve Acciani, Marie Sato, and Track Coach Stephen Espinosa. They work with mentors from Boeing, Mt. San Antonio College, and Harvey Mudd College.


Students approached the Boeing mentors Clark Rucker (lead), Tony Torng, and Lu Jackson for help last September.


“They had no budget, no advisors, no mentors, and no support. They were going to try and put together a community team. We turned all that around and got them to where they are today,” Rucker said.


“The mentors aren’t doing the work for us, they want us to learn. They watch over us to make sure we do everything correctly; and thendouble check that we did do everything correctly,” junior Alice Jin said.


Students are getting hands-on experience grouped in programming, electrical and mechanical divisions.


The electrical team is the bridge between programming team and mechanical team.


“We take care of the wiring, the motors, and making sure therobot is electrically safe,” Sun said. “We have to understand how the program works and apply that and tell the programmers should write their program.”


The programmers make the robot move because without program obviously the robot would just stay there. We make it shoot Frisbees and collect them,” Jin said.


“We got it moving in different directions during the second week,” she said.


The robot is programmed to shoot Frisbees into three goals that are 19”, 81”, and 108” high. The aim is to get the most points during the contest.


The size of the four-wheeled robot with fully extended arms must fit within a cylinder that is 54” wide.  It runs on a 12-volt battery.


The robot is equipped with two arms - one is the Frisbee shooter on the front and at the back is the Frisbee collector.


It is programmed using the Nettech software with JAVA scripting said Mt. SAC mentor Richie Han.


During each round of competition, the team will play on either the blue or red team alliances - with three robots on each alliance – 6 robots on the court at a time,” said junior Grant Shav and electrical team leader.


“There’s this whole world of robotics that people don’t know of,” said mentor Brandon Antillon, a Mt SAC engineering major and captain of their special robotics team.


“The hardest part was building up the team. It took a lot of time and effort. We started with a group of eight and spent a year putting the team together. It was a long road,” said senior Hoi Wong.


The team has been very conservative with money it’s received from grants from the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, Brahma Foundation, Diamond Bar Senior Citizen Group, along with parent and community donations.


“If you could see what the mechanical team is doing – they’re not buying pre-fab parts, they’re making all of it,” Brandon Antillon said.


“It’s a two-fold benefit: it’s better to have a design that is built with hand tools to save money and to be able to re-build a broken part during a competition. It’s a little engineering thing that we picked up from our competitions at Mt. SAC,” he added.


“We haven’t spent any money on tools and parts. We been improvising and borrowing from team member. We really want ateam lab of materials,” said senior Hoi Wong.


“And we want to set a foundation for future DBHS robotics teams,” Antillon added.


FIRST inspires young, aspiring students to pursue their dreams of changing the world through technology. By supporting Team DBotics, you not only help us fulfill our dream but also stimulate the growth of technological advancements. Your financial support, regardless the amount, will help us achieve our shared goal, “ said Boeing mentor Clark Rucker.


To support the robotics program, please send your donation to Team DBotics at Diamond Bar High School, 21400 Pathfinder Road, Diamond Bar, Calif., 91765.


PHOTOS:

  1. Geoffrey Wang measures the internal diameter of a threaded hole to find the right size screw.
  2. Mt SAC mentor Brandon Antillon watches as the team readies their robot.
  3. Robot driver senior Mian Bilal uses two joysticks to control the independent wheels so they can go in circles. The DBobtics robot shows off spinning and wheeling during a demonstration. Shown with Alice Jin.
  4. Senior Sean Oh puts a bracket on the base to keep the wheel slightly elevated. The arm pushes a Frisbee to make contact with wheel and shoots it. 
  5. Team members shown staging the Frisbee collecting arm in the workshop.