Kickoff and Week 1 Update 2017

Our first week of the 2017 robotics season was very fun and inspiring!  We found out what the game was this year and immediately jumped into work.  First, we analyzed the manual and figured out the rules.  Then we decided on the basic function of our robot and broke up into three groups (red, blue, and green).  In our individual groups, we each brainstormed and came up with our own unique designs.  Deciding on our designs, we made prototypes and constructed CAD models for our robots.  At the end of the week, each of the design teams presented their ideas to the whole group.  Then, collectively, we voted and discussed the parts of the robots we liked.  By the end of our first week, we had a basic outline of the robot!

Red Team’s Design.

Blue Team’s Design.

Green Team’s Design.


Fresno Elementary School STEAM Outreach

On December 14, Team 3303 partnered with Fresno Ideaworks for a community outreach at a local elementary school. We did a Santa’s Workshop where each student had the opportunity to make little robots of their own! In the past, the after school program would  give away toys to the students and celebrate, but they decided a better gift would be to give them the experience of wiring their own robot. The students were all so enthusiastic and they enjoyed every moment of it.

The robot options were a scribble bot, that consisted of a plastic cup, a motor, and some pens. A bristle bot, that was the end of a toothbrush and a motor. Or a catapult, made of laser cut wood which was assembled and used to fire objects at cup towers.

It was inspiring watching their faces light up when we told them they’d be making robots. They picked up the building concepts very quickly, and were so willing to learn. It was cool to see how much joy the students got from making something as simple as a scribble bot.  By the end of the night, we had just over 200 students come through.

It was also really nice to get to know more Ideaworks members while we worked. We look forward to more outreaches in the future and would like to thank Ideaworks for inviting us to this awesome event.


FIRST World Championships

The FIRST World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri was our robot, Joule 7’s, final official competition. Unfortunately, she wasn’t selected for the playoff rounds. However, she performed at her very best, blocking many shots, conquering the outer-works, and working wonderfully with the other teams.

Our students really enjoyed attending classes that pertained to each of their sub-teams. We also got the chance to talk to each team in the pit, many of which were from other countries. It was so motivating to see how much they accomplished as well. Just the sheer size of the whole thing was fantastic.

Our team has learned so much and met so many amazing teams at Championships! This has been an amazing year as a team for us! After seeing how well we did at Central Valley Regional, we realized we might have a chance to move farther in the alliance rounds. Then, when we made in into the finals at Silicon Valley Regional and qualified for World Championships, we couldn’t believe it! But, now we’ve been to World Championships, and we are so proud of our accomplishments.

Our team has been greatly inspired by this season and everything we learned. We are excited to see whats in store for Team 3303 in years to come!

Fresno Mini Maker Faire

On Sunday, April 17, Team 3303 participated in the Fresno Mini Maker Faire at Chukchansi Park. Occurring during a Fresno Grizzlies game, the Mini Maker Faire is an event where anyone can bring a creative work, and display it to the public within the stadium. Our team was proud of one of our team members and her three sisters, who were invited to sing the national anthem before the Fresno Grizzlies game.

Our team was privileged to participate in this event alongside Teams 1671 and 3495. For this event, our team showcased our robot and provided demonstrations of our robot crossing the cheval de frise and rock wall. We also had opportunities to share about our team and talk about the FIRST organization to everyone that visited us. Additionally, our team passed out fliers for the live stream showing of the 2016  World Championship at our work space at Fresno Ideaworks.


Our team at the Mini Maker Faire:

Pic from minmaker fair


Silicon Valley Regional

The Silicon Valley Regional in San Jose was Team 3303’s second competition. When we realized the potential of our robot, our team desired to try again at another regional. The Silicon Valley Regional was the closest competition that our team was invited to. Eleven of our team members, plus ten mentors and parents, drove to San Jose in four vehicles.

In the qualification matches (which spanned the first two days), our team had a record of 4 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie. We were exceedingly happy with these results; we were also happy with the possibility of being selected to play in the Playoffs. In the Alliance Selection Rounds, our team was selected to play defense by the #2 seed, which included Teams 971 and 368.

In the Quarterfinals, our alliance beat the opposing alliance 124 to 57 the first match, and 172 to 51 the second match. After progressing to the Semifinals, our alliance defeated the opposing alliance 158 to 120 the first match, and 137 to 100 the second match. Consequently, our alliance continued to play in the Finals against Teams 1678, 254, and 1662. The first match, our alliance barely beat the opposite alliance by a score of 159 to 150. However, it was discovered after the match that our team had accidentally committed a foul. Because of this foul, the other alliance was awarded 10 points. These 10 points allowed the other alliance to barely edge us out by one point. The second match, the opposing alliance defeated us by a score of 202 to 142.

During the Awards Ceremony, our team was awarded the Industrial Design Award. Additionally, we received our Finalist Award medals. The most exciting part of the Award Ceremony occurred during the announcement of the wildcards. The emcee explained that since Teams 1678 and 254 had already qualified for the 2016 FIRST Championship, they generated a wildcard each. Also, because Team 971 (our Alliance Captain) had already qualified for Championships, the two wildcards were given to our alliance partner Team 368, and most excitingly, our team.

Talking to judges in the pit (Top Left). Our robot in the lineup (Top Middle). Our robot crossing the Cheval de Frise (Top Right). Finals – playing defense with our new and improved screen (Middle Right). Our team with Finalist medals and the Industrial Design Award(Bottom Left).Jumping over the Rock Wall

DSC_0474 Our robot in the lineup  Crossing the Cheval de Frise   DSC_0822DSC_0270-001

Central Valley Regional

Our Drive TeamThe Central Valley Regional in Madera was Team 3303’s first competition. This event was especially exciting, since it was the first time our robot actually played with or against other robots. When qualification matches had ended, our team had finished with 3 wins and 7 losses. However disheartening these results seem, our robot performed extremely well during all our matches. In the Alliance Selection Rounds, our team was selected by the #3 seed, which included Team 3482, Arrowbotics, and Team 1671,  the Buchanan Birdbrains.

When we were matched against Teams 5817, 1323, and 5677 in the Quarterfinals, our robot played defense for our alliance. In order to play defense, we had to hastily construct a screen made out of PVC and Gorilla Tape. The first match, our alliance won with a score of 105 to 77. The second match, the opposing alliance adjusted their strategy, and won with a score of 132 to 106. Unfortunately, in the third match, our alliance lost by a score of 115 to 98. Consequently, we were knocked out of the Playoffs. However, our robot played exceptional defense, blocking several shots with our makeshift screen. Our team was not discouraged by this defeat, but rather motivated to try even harder next time.


Our pit area (Top Left). The Drive Team at the beginning of their 7th qualification match. (Top Right). The team standard raised high (Middle Left). Our robot getting onto the batter at the end of a match (Middle Right). Our alliance partners from Arrowbotics and Buchanan Birdbrains (Bottom Left). Tinkering with the robot in quarterfinals (Bottom Right). Team 3303 (Bottom).

Screenshot_15 Screenshot_10Screenshot_12 Screenshot_13  Screenshot_14 Screenshot_16Team 3303

Bag Day 2016


Besides Kickoff, Bag Day is perhaps the busiest and most exciting day of the build season. For most of the night, our Creative Team was absorbed in constructing the wooden cover to go on our robot. They stained the cover with golden oak, and connected the separate pieces with copper wires. The rest of the team was involved in practicing and perfecting our robot’s functions. Because we worked furiously, even as the deadline approached, we were satisfied with what we had accomplished. As the final minutes ticked down, our drive team got some final practice driving in. Five minutes before the deadline, our team got out the large plastic bag that we had to place our robot into. Before the deadline had passed, we had secured our robot in the bag.

Creative Team assembling our wooden cover (Top Left). Our finished robot with its cover on (Top Right). Team 3303 (Middle Left). Our Drive Team (Middle Right). Putting the robot in the bag. (Bottom Left).

DSC_0062 DSC_0100 DSC_0131 DSC_01372DSC_0148

Week 6 update 2016

Week 6 was our team’s last week of build season before bag day. Most of the time we spent this week was devoted to practicing and maintaining our robot.  Our Drive Team was able to get lots of practice time in, which will be invaluable for competition. Even throughout the frenzy of final build week, our team still had time to participate in Fresno Ideaworks’ Art Hop. We had several late nights, but somehow we got the robot finished for bag day.

Spectators eagerly watching our robot (Top Left). Our team brainstorming around the robot (Top Right). Michael Adam giving us some great advice (Bottom).

IMG_6847 IMG_6835IMG_6850

Week 5 Update 2016

During Week 5, our team finished putting the final touches on our robot, which included mounting our electronics onto the aluminum frame. After attaching the pneumatics and wheels, we were ready to  test drive! Our team was extremely excited to see our robot functioning and driving for the first time. We encountered robot communication problems, but these were quickly resolved. As our robot drove over the defenses, it flipped over a couple times. Fortunately, our robot was undamaged, and was able to get up and running.

Working on adding pneumatics (Top Left). Working on adding the drive train (Top Right). Our finished robot (Bottom Left). Our robot driving towards an obstacle (Bottom Right).

IMG_6698 IMG_6708 IMG_6733 IMG_6736

Week 4 Update 2016

Week 4 was especially productive for Team 3303. At the beginning of the week, our team finished assembling our metal chassis.  Then we worked specifically on fabricating the parts for our drive train. Before we could do anything, our team had to cut churros and axles for our wheels. We put together our 8 in. pneumatic wheels, and mounted them to our robot’s pneumatic suspension system. By the end of the week, we were extremely close to having a drive-able robot.

Putting together our metal chassis (Top Left). Our logo cut into the chassis (Top Right). Working on the drive train of our robot. (Bottom Left).

IMG_1752 IMG_6560 IMG_6591