The Design and Engineering Department is one of the main branches of Crevolution that students can join. This branch's job is to plan and produce our product, the robot. The robotics season starts with the training of new department members. Veteran students teach and refresh newcomers with AutoDesk Inventor, the design software, and National Instruments LabView, the programming environment. After Kickoff, the team as a whole decides on a strategy and what the robot will do. After this session, the Design team begins to work on the “how.” We break up into groups for each major system on the robot including drive train, manipulators, and frame/structure. After prototyping and testing, each system is designed using CAD. When each system's computer model is finished, the systems are put into the main robot assembly and the building begins. Right before the end of the Build Season, the completely built and programmed robot is tested and put through examinations to ensure that everything is running perfectly.
The Crevolution programming team uses Labview, a visual programming language, to program the robot. Programming gives commands to the robot to tell it what to do during the two main parts of the match, teleoperation and autonomous. Teleoperation is the operation period where human drivers operate the robot. The programming team programs joystick controls and sensors to work and aid the driver. Autonomous period is strictly automatic, code-based operation where the robot does a task that it was told to do by the programmers. Autonomous code is much tougher because real-time changes cannot occur as easily as a human operator could give.
The main goal of the public relations and marketing team is to spread the word of FIRST and to get students and adults interested in the FIRST Robotics program. We send out newsletters, utilize the Internet through websites such as Facebook and our personal website, march in parades, sport our recognizable attire of all black with a crazy hat, write and organize the award submissions, and control the communications outside and within the team. Although the PR/Marketing group of any robotics team is often overlooked, it is an essential part of the team because it helps to spread the message of FIRST.