Mar 25

Waterloo District 2018

At the 2018 Waterloo District Event, Team Dave won the event, bringing the win home to Waterloo for the first time in team history!

After loading in and setting up our pits on Thursday, we set out to work with some quick maintenance and practice matches to give our graduating driver more full-field experience with the robot, as well as to allow the entire drive team to get comfortable with the game and venue. The Chairman’s presenters also took the opportunity to get in some practice, while the scouting and strategy team did some preliminary pit scouting to gain some basic knowledge about teams at the event.

Our dedicated scouts arrived early at the University of Waterloo PAC Friday morning, eager to get seats with good views for watching the matches. The morning commenced with opening ceremonies and more practice matches, with the official qualification matches beginning at 10:00 AM. Unfortunately, we lost our first two matches; however, we rebounded and won 7 of our next 8 matches to end the day in 6th place. The highlight of the day was a match with team 2056 – OP Robotics where we took a ride on their assist climber for a perfect 4-ranking-point match.



A few of our scouts using our new electronic scouting system
_MG_6138 Up, up, and away!

Our Chairman’s team put down an excellent first presentation, cruising through lines and answering very thoughtful questions at the end. We’d like to congratulate our friends, team 1241 – Theory6 on a well deserved win! Meanwhile, our presenters are excited to give it another whirl at our next district event. _MG_5845

One of our Chairman’s presenters talking to judges in the pits.

The next day, we won our final two matches, including a nail-biting final qualification match to rank sixth going into alliance selections. Here, we were delighted to be chosen second overall by our local friends from Elmira, Team 4917 – Sir Lancerbot. We were also thrilled to be able to round out our alliance with rookie Team 7058 – Strathdroids, from Strathroy.

_MG_5957 Part of our strategy team & pre-match discussions

In quarterfinals, we met a tenacious 7th alliance of Team 5032, Team 6856, and Team 2634. After fighting multiple tight scale battles, we emerged victorious, winning our first match 403-346 and our second match 384-262. We also revealed the ace up our sleeve: a double climb with Team 4917 that allowed us to get the maximum 90 points in the endgame.

_MG_6309 Double climb!!!

In semifinals, we played 3 tough matches against Team 772, another local friend Team 4678, and Team 1374. While it appeared we had won the first match, a missed penalty call was discovered, and the win was turned over as we lost the match 328-341. Fortunately, we battled back to win the next two matches 423-282 and 447-279.

_MG_6379Our Human Player in action.

In finals, we met the first seeded alliance of Team 2056 – OP Robotics, Team 1241 – Theory6, and Team 4777 – Spirit Robotics. Our strategists went to work, and our drive team executed flawlessly, allowing us to win intense scale battles. After winning the first match 399-332, the elation in the stands was tangible. Once both us and 4917 climbed at the end of the last match, our team was on its feet, cheering to no end. When the final score appeared, revealing we had won 393-312, the stands erupted in cheers! Congratulations to the finalists for some very well-played matches!_MG_6233_MG_6009

In addition to winning the event, we also picked up the Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson for working well with other teams in the heat of competition, helping them with tools and software. Our very own Noah Betik was also named a Dean’s List Semi-Finalist, earning the chance to be considered a Finalist at the Ontario District Championship.

Team Dave will be competing at the McMaster University April 6-8, with the goals of moving on to the Ontario District Championship in Mississauga and the World Championship in Detroit, Michigan. You can keep up with us on Instagram and Twitter at @team3683 or by liking us on Facebook._MG_6534

Feb 12

2018 Week 5

Team Dave’s week 5 was productive as ever, with leaps and bounds being made in all areas of the team. By the end of the weekend, the practice bot was virtually complete, save for a couple small pieces and bits of wiring. The software team took this opportunity to push their first-draft code and had the robot driving around. Saturday and Sunday also saw our power cube manipulating/scoring mechanisms spring into action as the robot was becoming mechanically complete. The first steps of auto have also begun, with our programmers working with the robot’s encoders for precise movement.

The competition robot, or “comp bot” is also taking shape, with the drivetrain assembled and mostly wired. Plus, the superstructure for power cube manipulation was machined and is waiting to be mounted early this week. The electrical team also took advantage of the practice bot’s mechanically complete status to plan out some internal wiring for comp bot — we’re planning on running wires and pneumatic tubing through structural box tubing to make the robot’s internals clean and easy to check.

Our awards team also made steady strides, submitting our Entrepreneurship Award entry and the essay for our Woodie Flowers nominee, Rishi. The annual “awards are submitted!” ice cream party also took place, giving the team a chance to breathe after many weeks of awesome productivity. The Chairman’s video script is nearing it’ final draft, and presentation ideas are starting to bounce around, so Awards, will definitely still be keeping busy until our first District Event.

In other team news, we took team photos over the weekend, taking individual photos of students as well as an assortment of group photos. Plus, our bumpers were also constructed on Saturday and Sunday, giving us the ability to bring our practice bot to scrimmages and practice fields.


One week left. The pressure is on, but Team Dave is racing towards the finish._MG_4724 _MG_4805 _MG_4714

Feb 04

2018 Week 4

Team Dave’s second half of build season is off to flying start! While continuing our in-house manufacturing, we sent in our sheet metal design to sponsor Melitron, and on a P.A. Friday, “Sheet Metal Christmas” arrived! We’ve begun the assembly of our practice bot with the help of an awesome pneumatic riveter. Plus, as our gearboxes are rapidly taking shape, and our software team is getting the teleoperated (driver control) code, we’re hoping to have a robot moving around by the end of the weekend. Our other mechanisms are also making rapid progress in the assembly stage. We’re excited to see the practice bot take shape so we can get a glimpse of how our 2018 creation will look in real life!

The awards team also celebrated a milestone today, completing and submitting the Chairman’s essay and Executive Summary in Team Dave record time! We’re also tying up the loose ends on our submission for the Entrepreneurship award, and hope to have it ready to go sometime over the next week. The Chairman’s video is beginning to take form, with a first draft of the script completed today, and our media team beginning to work on some concept art. We think filming this one is going to be a ton of fun, so we can’t wait to get to it!

Finally, the scouting and strategy team continues to make improvements on our database and scouting sheets for competitions. We’ve had multiple discussions on what metrics we want to record, and what data points we want our database to show and return, which has helped shape the system immensely. We’re also really intrigued with some of our new data input methods — right now we’re looking at an interesting combination of paper and electronic scouting methods.


As the clock winds down, Team Dave is getting more and more ready for FIRST PowerUp!


_MG_4695 _MG_4652_MG_4678

Jan 27

2018 Week 3

And the shop is back in action! With the CAD virtually finalized, we’ve begun machining parts on the lathe and CNC mill to get a head start on the assembly. Our design has also been sent of to our sponsor Melitron, who will laser-cut it for us. We hope to have it in sometime this week so we can begin assembly of our practice bot. Our most recent project has been working with gearboxes to find a ratio we like for our drivetrain. We’ll continue iterating until a winner emerges._MG_4482_MG_4480_MG_4475_MG_4507

148 is a bit of a fan favourite in and around our shop…


Admin has started the script for our Chairman’s video as the Chairman’s essay is reaching completion. We finally got the character count underneath the 10 000 limit and just need to add a couple finishing details before it’s ready to go! In the meantime e’re excited to keep working on the script — would it be biased to say that we are totally in love with our idea?

Our scouting database is also underway — our drive coach and a couple scouting students have drawn up a couple spreadsheets, which we will be combining over the weekend. As our first competition doesn’t happen until the fourth week of comp season, we’ll have plenty of time to refine it.

With half the season done and another three weeks left, Team Dave is heading into full swing!

Jan 21

2018 Week 2

With all of our preliminary prototyping done, Team Dave’s shop has been pretty quiet this past week! However, there’s still been plenty going on behind the scenes! Our design team has been hard at work creating the CAD model for this year’s robot, working with resources from previous year’s designs as well as our prototypes to have everything optimized and finalized. As it nears completion, we’ll be sending it off to one of our primary sponsors who will laser cut the sheet metal for our chassis. As soon as it arrives, our mechanical team will be hard at work assembling it!

Meanwhile, the software team has set up the framework code for the year, using the prototype drivetrain and intake as a test vehicle. They’ll be continuing to make refinements and teach rookie students over the next week.

The admin team is continuing to take long strides, completing several drafts of the Chairman’s essay and beginning work on our Woodie Flowers submission. We’ve also started to update our Business Plan and Chairman’s Booklet documents so we can have prepared resources for all our competitions. Over the next week, we plan to start our Chairman’s video script.

Over the weekend, we also helped build a full practice field at the Kitchener Google office, along with teams 2702 – Rebels (Kitchener), 4678 – Cybercavs (Breslau), 4917 – Sir Lancerbot (Elmira), and 2609 – Beaverwork (Guelph). We’re excited to be able to have this resource be so close this year!


A quiet shop does NOT mean a quiet team! We can’t wait to see how next week will progress!_MG_4430_MG_4373_MG_4449

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