FRC Team 967, the Iron Lions
Learning by overcoming challenges as a team with mentor guidance and sponsor support to develop workplace leaders.
The Iron Lions debuted at Linn-Mar in 2002. Since then they have worked their way through many different game types on their way to winning a number of regional events as well as attending the World Championships on several accounts. Through their involvement in FIRST Robotics, the team has formed a process to tackle each new season that consists of four basics groups; business, design, building, and programming. For a complete team history visit the About page.
With FIRST‘s push to make robotics “more than robots,” the business group of the Iron Lions really took off in it’s 2016 season. This team works to promote team outreach through communicating with schools, companies, and other FIRST groups in the area. Other jobs handled by the business team include team documentation and marketing.
A key part of the process is design. Before the team gets to the tools and begins prototyping and building the robot, CAD (Computer Aided Design) is used to design the entire robot. This step in the process allows 967 to be far more efficient with materials and is often faster than building each and every idea in the shop. Though not perfect, it helps to find flaws in the design early and have precise measurements for parts when ready to move on to prototyping.
This section of the team is split into various sub-teams, including drivetrain and multiple game-specific teams. After the robot has been designed using CAD, the build teams proceed to build and prototype the designs and test them under real conditions. At this stage many flaws are often found, but this allows the team to make critical changes which improve the overall design of the robot.
The programming team has worked in a variety of languages including; LabVIEW, C++, and Java. In 2013 they changed from LabVIEW to C++ for robot code and in 2016 will again change; this time to Java. Each year, the team creates a scouting app for tablets as well as codes for the robot itself. An electronics board called the “Iron Bird” is used to test and practice programming various sensors while the robot is being designed and developed.
The 2016 FRC Season is set to kick off in the beginning of January and last until the end of April with The Iron Lions hopefully competing in the FRC World Championships. The team aims to continue improving throughout the competition season.