Team MEAF Engineering Notebook

Our Journey Throughout Ultimate Goal

Ezra attended after-school practice. Ezra started building a basic "push-bot" following the provided tutorial to better understand how tetrix robotics parts work, how to connect chassis, pieces, etc.

Ezra, Makani, Kamalu
Three students attended after-school practice today. We came up with a plan, started by modifying the "push-bot" Ezra had from 9/25. We also mounted the four mecanum wheels onto our robot. Additionaly, we wrote our first codes so we are able to remotely control our robot on the field for the first time.

Logan, Carlos
We came to robotics after-school practice for the first time. After seeing the robot Ezra, Makani, and Kamalu built from 9/29, we assisted wth wire management, robot maintenance, and mounted the control hub, expansion hub onto our robot. After we finished, we did another remote-control testing on the field.

Ezra, Makani, Kamalu
Our goal today is to change our motors' gear ratios. Previously we had 60:1 ratio motors, which meant a slower robot, but more torque (power). We decided to swap those 60:1 gears with 20:1 gears so we have a robot that's three times as fast. After that, we did a remote-control test on the field.

Logan, Carlos, Livia, Aren
We modified our remote-control code to enable left-right directions. We now have an all-direction mecanum-wheel drive robot.
Logan started building a system that will allow the pick-up of wobble goals, as well as rings.
Carlos created a google doc that will take notes, share ideas with the whole team so everything we do will be documented.

Ezra, Kamalu and Makani
We flipped the control hub and the expansion hub 180 degrees outward so that we have more space in the middle to explore an intake-option.

Ezra started planning an intake-system that allows the robot to pickup rings from the back of the robot and launch at the front.
Kamalu started building a grab system using a servo that can pick up a wobble goal.

Ezra, Kamalu and Makani
We prototyped a wobble goal grabber combined with a linear slide system.
Fixed code so that the direction is now correct.
Battery is the front of the robot.
Talked about some more ideas and build designs for an intake system for grabbing rings.

10/14 First Team Meeting
Members are distributed into different teams self-assigning jobs:
Team Managers: Mason, Tyler
Strategy Team: Ezra, Carlos, Makani
Build Team: Ezra, Carlos, Aren, Livia, Logan, Makani, Kamalu
Programming Team: Kamalu, Andrew
Logistics Team: Andrew
Communication & Marketing Team: Aren, Livia, Logan
Fundraising & Business Team: Mr. Han

Strategy Team
This team studies the game rules to help the team develop a strategy to be more successful during the season. They keep track of changes to the game rules and make sure that the team’s robot and strategy complies with current roles.

Build Team
The build team helps design, document, and implement the mechanisms needed to complete the desired tasks during a match. This may consist of a Drivetrain and a Mechanism sub-team.

Programming Team
The programming team helps write, document, and test the computer programs or “op modes” needed to complete the desired tasks during a match. They manage the source code to keep track of versions and backup copies.

Logistics Team
This team helps plan the season schedule (when is the first competition, where will it be located, what we need to bring). These team members help organize and keep track of kit components and tools. In addition, they help order/procure the items needed for the season.

Communication & Marketing Team
The communications and marketing team helps document team activity as part of the engineering notebook. This team keeps track of intermediate and long-term goals. The team develops promotional materials to publicize the team to parents, the community, and sponsors.

Fundraising & Business Team
The fundraising and business team helps track budgetary goals. This team helps identify and approach potential sponsors. The team develops a plan to raise money and resources for the season. In addition, this team helps identify and recruit new mentors and team members.

Logan, Carlos, Livia, Aren
We built a prototype launcher mechanism and tested launching rings. Now we know how a basic launching system works.
Our launcher prototype was tested from the back of the field, with the right power percentage, it can launch all the way into the tower goal. Something we want to consider with autonomous so we can score without moving the robot.

Ezra, Kamalu and Makani
We put the robot back together with new cable management, tested the robot, and are now in the process of mounting the launcher, wobble goal grabber all onto our robot.

Logan, Carlos, Livia, Aren
We mounted the wobble goal grabber on the robot, programmed the grabber and tested grabbing the wobble goal.

Ezra, Kamalu and Makani
Some minor modifications to our robot, and realized we need to modify the grabber design so it can better grab. Right now it's slipping.

First Team Weekly Meeting (as a whole team)
Meeting Agenda

Logan, Carlos, Aren
Livia worked on logging down our T-shirt sizes for our robotics shirts. Logan, Carlos, and Aren tried to modify the wobble goal grabber so that it can lift the wobble goal high enough to go over the field. Right now, it's not high enough yet.

Kamalu and Makani
We continued to work on the wobble goal grabber, and did lots of testing.

Second Team Weekly Meeting (as a whole team)
Meeting Agenda

<------ Mason, one of our team managers tried to work with our team members that are still in distance-learning. In order for them to program a robot remotely, a total of four devices were used. This came out to be a very hard way to happen, more problem solving time. Perhaps we should try to assign a different job to our DL team members.


Logan, Carlos, Aren, Ezra
We decided to return to a launching + intake mechanism, and we decided to re-position our control hub and expansion hub so that we have more open space in the middle of our robot.

We've also added some sick lights!

Ezra, Carlos
We did some cable management.

Logan, Aren, Carlos, Livia, Kamalu, Makani
We started our intake design, we mounted the launcher motor, and it's finally looking like it's a robot that will do well in this year's season!

Logan, Aren, Livia, Kamalu, Makani, Ezra
We continued with our intake design, it's looking good!

Third Team Weekly Meeting (as a whole team)

Meeting Agenda

We are almost completed with the intake design. We got a lot done today as a whole team. Three of us continued with programming lessons with our team manager Mason and learned how to program an autonomous code. Mason worked on our website remotely from home and Carlos added the chain system so we have a working intake system. Kamalu cut polycarbonate sheets and Livia drilled holes into the polycarbonate sheet and mounted the sheet onto the robot. Aren and Logan put the conveyor belt on and combined it with the intake system. Ezra then wrote our very first autonomous program to navigate onto the line and park for 5 points.

Test Fail 1

Livia also finished our t-shirt design, Logan and Aren then assisted with uploading the tshirt design onto for tshirt ordering. Pending school approval then we can order our tshirts.

Test Fail 2 (getting better)


Logan, Kamalu, Makani, Aren

Everyone, including Mr. Han, brainstormed ideas on how to bring the ring up to the launcher. We quickly settled on using tank treads; we observed other teams with a similar system.

Kamalu and Logan replaced the orange tubes that were pulling the ring up with tank treads. The orange tubes were just too unreliable, finicky, and caused us many problems.

We also brainstormed on a better thing to have for the ring when it is entering the intake.

Aren added the flap made up of coupons.

Makani added a servo at the end of the wobble goal grabber so that it has the ability to turn left and right.


Aren, Makani, Logan, Carlos, Livia

We adjusted the tank treads and taped the floor so that the ring would make it up to the launcher. We also adjusted the flap where the ring enters the robot.

Makani coded the servo that turns the wobble goal grabber.


Aren, Makani, Logan, Carlos, Livia

We adjusted the tank treads and taped the floor so that the ring would make it up to the launcher. We also adjusted the flap where the ring enters the robot.

Makani coded the servo that turns the wobble goal grabber.


Makani and Logan removed the servo that turns the claw side to side. Makani reduced the height of a part of the plexiglass because it was hitting the gear as it spun, and it hindered the claw from rotating up and down. For the majority of the time, all of us practiced driving and controlling the robot in the field.


Carlos, Makani, Aren, Kamalu, Logan

We decided on when we are going to submit scores.

Aren also glued and taped the plastic coupon ramp to the robot.


Makani, Aren, Logan, Livia, Carlos, Kamalu

Makani, Aren, and Logan fixed the problems of the ring not being sucked up into the intake and the ring popping out of its place to not be launched properly.

Everyone later practiced controlling the robot in a game scenario.


Aren, Logan, Makani, Carlos

We brainstormed on ideas on how to move the ring and launch it efficiently and reliably.

We wanted to use a 3D printed piece shaped like a cross. It was supposed to be used as a paddle to lift and push the ring forwards. However, it was too small to reach the ring. When we drilled into it to apply a screw to extend the length of the "paddle”, it snapped. We then decided to print larger ones the next day; we used tape as a temporary fix, and it seems to work very well.

We've also added a ziptie to prevent the ring folding back on itself and the tank tracks too much.


There was no robotics on these days, as school has been at home for the time being.


Aren, Kamalu, Ezra, Livia, Logan, Carlos, Makani

We learnt how to solder, tweaked and maintained the robot and submitted our first set of scores that might be replaced by new scores on Friday 12/11.


We brainstormed on different ways to replace the paddle thing. It was not working like it was before; it was not long enough to reach the robot and was not strong enough to push the ring forward up the ramp in all situations. In the end we decided on abandoning it because the paddle thing seemed to have been causing more problems than it was fixing.


Carlos, Makani, Logan, Aren

We submitted our six scores for the first week. All of our scores of the season can be found here at this link. Our top ten can be found here.


Aren, Logan, Ezra, Makani, Carlos

The prototype for a new intake system got assembled. Instead of having the motors pulling the ring from above, we will have the motors pulling it from the sides. However, we only have one motor left to use, so we used that for one side then connected it with gears for the other side.


We modified the prototype of the new intake so that it would fit onto the robot and so that it would use a chain instead of gears.


Ezra, Kamalu, Livia, Aren, Logan, Carlos, Makani

We adjusted the intake so that the robot would be less, but still over 18 cubic inches.


Ezra, Kamalu, Livia, Aren, Logan, Carlos, Makani

We adjusted the intake so that the robot would be less, but still over 18 cubic inches.


Logan, Aren, Makani, Livia, Carlos, Kamalu, Ezra

We improved upon the robot by shortening it to be under 18 inches in all directions. We were planning on submitting 6 new scores but submitted only one score because our robot was not in a good working condition.

12/19 - 1/3

Winter Break (no robotics)


Logan, Aren, Makani, Carlos

We tweaked some things here and there, however that was only to distract from the still needed solution to the looming problem of the Intake System™. We brainstormed ideas, then came to the bright idea of reworking the whole thing. We decided to mimic the chain system below, sucking the ring forward into the ramp and into the conveyer. Ideally, there will be tank treads on both sides of the ramp pulling the ring from the sides, using only one motor. Previously, the tank treads were positioned so that it would pull the ring from the top. This has caused a flurry of frustrating problems, so we hope that our new, and ambitious but dire idea will succeed and let the robot be free for (at least) some of the problems that were the source of most of the major faults of our robot.


Ezra, Carlos, Kamalu, Logan, Aren

We have decided to revamp the virtually entire robot. We are getting rid of the metal plate that falsely supported the conveyor platform and replacing the whole of the conveyor platform with a new big sheet of plexiglass. A prototype of the tank tread system was implemented.


Since the robot was not under 18 mainly due to the intake, we made some changes to the intake and to some things in the front like the launcher wheel to make it almost exactly 18, but still under it. The new intake however did not pick up rings at all. We steepened the ramp/platform so that the bottom of it would be lower to the ground but it was too high.


Logan, Aren, Carlos, Ezra, Livia

We submitted another set of scores. Our robot was subpar to what we originally thought and we identified a handful of problems.


Carlos, Makani, Aren, Ezra, Kamalu, Logan

We fiddled with the robot and tried to fix the problems that arose the previous day but for the most part, the problems were not fixed.


Robotics was cancelled because of flooding and heavy rain.


Makani, Aren, Logan, Carlos, Ezra, Andrew, Kamalu, Livia

We adjusted and fixed some small problems that arose while testing the robot and showcased it to the eighth graders for move-up day. Makani with the help of Mr. Han greatly improved upon the autonomous code so that it can shoot its rings and not only drop off the wobble goal.


Logan, Aren, Makani, Livia, Carlos

We continued to add to the autonomous code. However, something unfortunate happened. The Remote Control code from the last couple months were wiped out. Luckily, there was still saved code from late November, so we are rebuilding off of that.


Ezra, Logan, Aren, Makani, Kamalu, Carlos

We cut a corner off of one side of one of the plexiglass sheets so that the claw can turn further down. We then played several practice runs. Upon observing Team Waffle’s robot in action, Makani and Logan decided to replace our wobble goal grabber claw with a design symmetrical to that of Team Waffle’s. The new design has thicker arms to grab the wobble goal with one arm being stationary.


Robotics was cancelled as Mr. Han got his COVID vaccine. :)


Makani, Carlos, Aren, Ezra, Logan

Carlos attached the new claw and we put on rubber bands for the grip. We then practiced with the robot for the rest of the time.


Ezra, Kamalu, Livia, Aren, Logan, Carlos, Makani, Andrew

We started off by thanking the AFCEA for the grant they gifted us. We then started to adjust and then changed the launcher speed for the remote control.

We then played games and finished with scores of: 40, 72, 52, 40, 40, and 64. We beat our previous record (60) twice with our new and improved autonomous codes and with our new claw.


Makani, Logan, Aren, Carlos

Carlos added a servo motor that lets us store rings in our conveyer. Makani also coded the launcher to spin slower. We then played practice rounds with one game scoring 96 points, making it our new unofficial personal best.

(Bonus thing: We shot a ring and it landed on a wobble goal like a horseshoe. :) )


Carlos, Aren, Makani, Logan, Kamalu, Ezra

We did one practice run and got a score of 84. After that, we cleaned up the first robotics kit. We plan to increase the speed of autonomous to move the second wobble goal to the assigned zone. We also plan to learn how to use a camera to make our autonomous even better by having it detect images around the field to align itself.


Logan, Carlos, Aren, Makani, Livia

Aren and Logan practiced controlling the robot. Later though, we still wanted to mount a camera onto our robot. Makani learned the position and the code from Mr. Han. However, we found out that the USB port is blocked from the control hub by a tetrix block. Even after half an hour, we could not fiddle the USB into its USB port on the control hub because it is in such a hard spot to get to so it is basically impossible to plug in the USB. We will try to fix the problem tomorrow.


Carlos, Makani, Aren, Logan

In period three, Carlos rotated the control hub. A few wires and things were unplugged and changed, so we reversed that and put it back to normal. After school was over, Carlos, Makani, Aren, and Logan fixed the robot. We plugged back in one of the grabber’s servos and one of the intake servos into the hub. We played a practice match to demonstrate how to play the game to another of the school's robotics team. Makani then learned how to code autonomous using the camera. We have a few missing blocks but it generally works, as it goes to the correct zone every time.

This is the entirety of our autonomous code, at least so far.


Ezra, Kamalu, Livia, Aren, Logan, Carlos, Makani, Andrew

Today, we played “soccer”. Us eight were split into two teams of four (Logan, Makani, Ezra, Livia, and Aren, Carlos, Andrew, Kamalu). We were then given 1½ hours to create a robot from scratch to beat the other team and get a higher score. Coding both an autonomous and a remote control was important too. The 90 stressful minutes passed with hurried designing, building, testing, coding, and problem-solving. The two robots were very similar in design, but the main differences were between the size, the autonomous code, and the number of wheels. What we learned at the end was what it would be like to speedily build under pressure when you are playing a game pre-covid. We also strengthened our communication, teamwork, and coordination skills.

Later, we received our Assets Robotics T-shirt and cleaned up and organized the area.


Makani, Aren, Logan, Carlos

Makani learned about coding the camera to detect the pictures around the field. We also fixed a problem with one of the wheels being loose.

2/12 & 2/15

These days were a holiday, so no robotics.


Aren, Logan, Makani, Carlos, Kamalu

Makani was fixing the Autonomous code. Some of us learned about a different linear system.


Kamalu, Livia, Ezra, Aren, Andrew, Makani, Carlos, Logan

Mr. Han reviewed Team W.A.F.F.L.E.S.'s (last year's best team) Engineering Notebook. Logan learned more about linear systems. We fixed some shenanigans with the camera. We also submitted another set of scores, and Makani and Carlos got the best score out of the 6 with 86 points. It was our top recorded score so far.


Logan, Aren, Makani, Carlos, Ezra, Livia

For most of the time the field was occupied so we played around by parallel parking our robot and having a timed precision race. We then played a couple test matches once the field was available. No new adjustments were added to the bot.


Aren, Logan, Makani, Kamalu, Ezra

We were going to prepare for tomorrow but we had to do little for preparation. We adjusted the Autonomous code so it would be more reliable and played a few practice games.


Logan, Makani, Kamalu, Aren, Carlos, Ezra

Today was a Saturday, but today some of us played a scrimmage match against a few other schools in Hawaii. We got second place out of four teams.


Logan, Makani, Aren, Carlos

Makani coded the autonomous and improved it so that the robot would pick up the second wobble goal during zone A. Aren also attached an attachment so that the rings would not double up and jam the intake anymore.


Makani, Logan, Livia, Aren, Carlos

Hawaii News Now was here at the school and at Damon Hall so we had to be quiet for the majority of the time. This hindered us and we did not get the chance to work on the robot much at all.


Makani, Livia, Carlos, Aren, Kamalu, Andrew, Ezra, Logan

We added our sponsors to our robot, then we took some pictures of it. We also updated our group photo. We then played another set of six scores, and got two new records. Logan and Carlos even broke 100, which was our goal for a while.

This is the entirety of our autonomous test code, at least so far.


Logan, Aren, Carlos, Makani

Mr. Han helped Makani changed the code of the motors to read the velocity instead of the power, which makes the robot maneuver a lot more smoothly. We also added to the zone A code so that the robot picks up the second wobble goal, giving us an additional 15 points during autonomous. Not only that, a 3D-printing library was added to the website so that other teams can use it to 3D-print the pieces that they might need.


Makani, Kamalu, Carlos, Logan, Aren

During third period, Carlos and Kamalu coded zone B so that it can pick up the second wobble goal. After school, we realised the gears for the claw weren't fully touching so we tried to replace the gears but that did nothing. We tried to make the gears make reliable and constant contact but to no avail. We then realized that the axel wasn’t fully secure, making it more difficult to move the claw and adjusted the claw to maximize contact with the gears. Yet again, Mr. Han saved the day and fixed it. It allowed Makani to finally start to code zone C for the autonomous mode.


Livia, Makani, Aren, Logan, Carlos

We watched videos of robots from previous seasons. We watched some blow up, catch fire, get stuck, and break down. During it, new LED lights were attatched to replace the old one that has gotten cut.


Makani, Aren, Logan, Carlos

We practiced driving the robot for a little, then Makani added to the code for zone C in autonomous mode so that it works. We then learned more about linear slide systems.


Ezra, Kamalu, Aren, Makani, Livia, Carlos, Logan, Andrew

Initially, we split up into 3 groups. Makani, Aren, and Carlos started by finishing the autonomous code for Zone C while others were cleaning boxes and learning how to do the linear slides with REV parts. We then started to submit our last set of scores for the season. We broke the school record thrice with 101, 105, and ending our season off with a comfortable 120.

This marks the end of our regular FTC Season score submission.
Our top 10 game recordings can be found here on our other team subpage, "Game Recordings":


Logan, Carlos, Makani, Aren

We spent most of the time learning from Chloe, a senior member from one of the school's other teams, about the linear slide system. We took apart the one we were building on to replace it with one that used a different method that turned out to work much more smoothly. We've also ran a practice game, and got a new (very) unofficial new high score of 124. Some things went wrong during the practice game, so if we can get a casual 124 we can hopefully secure an average score above 100 points.


Robotics was canceled due to Mr. Han getting his second Covid-19 vaccine dose.


Makani, Logan, Aren, Carlos

Aren thickened up and fixed the bar where the two intake servos rest on. After that, we retaped the camera and added zip ties to secure it. Mr. Han showed us the new linear system he made. He extended the one Chloe constructed. He explained to us what it needs to work and how it works. It isn’t complete but tomorrow’s period 3 class can finish it up.


Logan, Makani, Aren, Carlos, Kamalu

We fixed some problems with the robot, and tweaked the power of the launcher. With that, we've completed all of our code. Makani and Logan also played a few games, notably getting a score of 129 for one of them.


Logan, Makani, Carlos, Aren, Kamalu, Livia, Ezra, Andrew

We started and made most of our engineering portfolio, which can be found here. Some of us also learned how to solder and Mr. Han soldered our robot lights to working order again.


Logan, Carlos, Makani, Aren

We played many more games, and only one of them was below 100 (99). We got a new high score of 138.


Makani, Logan, Carlos, Aren

We played several more games and got a new high score of 164. Mairi from Team Waffles has offered us to join their team next year, but we think that at least four of us will stick together.

Shortly After

We made our enginnering portfolio and submitted our games for the State.