2016 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).

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2016 Bag n’ Tag

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).

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2016 Week 6 Update

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).

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2016 Week 5 Update

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).

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2016 Week 4 Update

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).

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2016 Week 3 Update

In Week 3,  Team 3303 finished assembling our wooden  prototype chassis and mounting all our electronics.  Our Creative Team was able to finish our standard and banner. Our team also tested and sorted out our motor controllers.

Here are some pictures from the week. CAD model of our robot (Top Left). Our wooden chassis with electronics mounted onto it. (Top Right). Our electronics board before wire organization.  (Bottom Left). Our electronics board after wire organization. (Bottom Right).

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2016 Week 2 Update

Team 3303 is excited to display our pictures to all of our sponsors, friends, and families.

During Week 2, we began working on a wooden chassis prototype. Our Programming/Electronics Team have also begun programming our electronics to work with our motors and the RoboRio (which is the center for all our robot’s code.) This week was a great start for the 2016 build season.

Below we have pictures of students working in the Fresno Ideaworks machine shop, a picture of the Awards Team working on our Chairman’s Award essay, pictures of our prototype chassis, and finally pictures of our electronics board. There is also a picture of students in our Creative Team.

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2016 Week 1 Update

Week 1 of the 2016 robotics season was incredibly exciting and productive. After we watched the kickoff video at the McCormick Barstow/law firm our minds were swimming with ideas. Fortunately, our leaders bought chaos to order, but not before a safety talk! The Safety Manager from Cargill Meat Solutions gave an engaging and informative safety demonstration. Leaving us with practical tips to creating a safer work environment, something we have been sorely lacking. With a new design process in mind, our team divided into three sub-teams (Red, Green and Blue) of five members each. During week 1, the three teams thought of and designed three separate robots, each meeting the design requirements we had set in place.  At the end of the week we met back at McCormick Barstow to narrow down our focus to a final robot design. Following a presentation from each design team, our team as a whole group pulled the best bits out of each design. With a new direction in hand, we started CADding! Everyone agreed that week one was the most productive and focused week we have ever had as a team!

Red Team’s final robot design:20160116_093625


Green Team’s final robot design:20160116_095916

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Blue Team’s final robot design:20160116_101517

blue group concept base 5

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!


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Setting Up Shop

Here we are moving into our new home at The Fresno Ideaworks.


2015 Veteran’s Day Parade

Metallic Thunder had the opportunity to connect with other robotic teams and march in the 2015 Fresno Veteran’s Day parade. Team 3303 met at 11:15 am to wait to bring our robot into the parade. We brought our Recycle Rush robot, and draped an American flag over it. While we were waiting, we met Team 1671 (Buchanan Bird Brains), and Team 3970 (Duncan Dynamics). We spent most of the wait time socializing with these two wonderful teams. Our team had fun telling stories and discussing robotics with the other teams. Two hours later we made our way into the parade. Together with Teams 1671 and 3970, we held a long banner honoring our heroic veterans, while some of our team pushed our robot. When the parade finished, we wished the other teams the best of luck and parted ways.