Thursday, April 14, 2016

Robojacks Blog Twelve

April 14th, 2016

Year Four Ends

And so we have reached the end of this year's season. There is still, of course, more to be done, but for us, FIRST Stronghold has come to an end. We placed well, being 25th out of 60 teams. Unfortunately we where not one of the 24 teams to be chosen for the finals, though we where one of the alternatives. We performed to our limits, and had perhaps one of the best pit areas of all the teams. And arguably, this may have been our most enjoyable competition yet, and marks the final competition for the students who where freshmen during the making of Team 4674.

4674 Movie

Currently in the works is the final montage of video and images for our team. This is one of the last projects left for the robotics team before the end of the school year, and even then the non-seniors of the team may continue to do things after the school-year has ended, such as participating in Bemidji's 4th of July parade. After the official 4674 Movie and 4674 Senior Tribute are complete, they will be posted on our YouTube Channel.

And so, the end to another year. This is my final year, as it is for all the seniors. I hope that the people who take my place as blogger, website manager and photographer do their jobs well. Here's to our most stable year! (Now I can finally stop using that silly old-English text in spirit of FIRST Stronghold.)

-Author Hunter Bolte

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Robojacks Blog Eleven

April 6th, 2016

Driver Station Completion

After many hours the driver station is complete! It is quite heavy, but since it has an on-board lighting system and acacia wood covering, the negativities of weight are far out-weighed. Thanks to the head of electrical, Ryan Speck, its completion has come along swimmingly.


We now have many things completed for this competition, including the battery station and a new, shorter robot cart. Many of the things that Team 4674 owns now glow with LED awesomeness, and may give some people Fast and Furious nostalgia. This is perhaps our most promising competition yet, and all of our efforts of getting the tools we need to make things better certainly puts us in higher spirits.

New Camera

We were finally able to get an official camera for the Robojacks that shoots better than 8 megapixels, and can now shoot with professional clarity and get great video! The camera we got was the Canon Rebel T5i, and it has served the PR team great so far.

The Time Has Come

We are about to go to the First Robotics Competition! This is of coarse, the first time we have been to the one in the North Star competition, so it will be a new experience for all of us aside from our new coach, Mr. Conway. Here is the basic schedule from here to April 9th.

April 6th: Arrive at the Radisson of Roseville

April 7th: FRC practice rounds

April 8th: FRC "main competition"

April 9th: FRC Final rounds and championship (if we make it),
then the return home

the timeth hast finally cometh! we art packing the vans and the trail'r and making our final prep'rations bef're we leaveth at 4. wisheth us luck!

-Author Hunter Bolte

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Robojacks Blog Ten

March 30th, 2016


One of the projects that we recently finished was the bumpers. In last year's competition we did not need to have bumpers as the teams where completely separated, but this year they are, as is the norm, required. To create these we first had the build team secure pool noodles to wood using the fabric that signifies our team color, then they added the Velcro for the ease of changing our team color (red or blue). After that the business team created stencils, then painted our team number onto all of the 8 surfaces for our bumpers. As with many things this year, these are most certainly the best bumpers we have had thus far, and we look forward to driving onto the playing field come April 6th.

Driver Station

The diver station is one of the most important assets to our team when we are competing in scrimmages or the FRC itself. It is where our laptops and controllers are stationed to remotely control the robot on the field, and also helps to represent us as a team. Some teams go the simple route with their driver station, while others go all out with LED's, Velcro and other fancy stuff. This, as with many other things this year, will be the best yet for us. With the artistic expertise of Roger Loyson, Ryan Speck and myself, Hunter Bolte where able to create the main aluminum frame for it using unique aluminum welding techniques. Now all we have to do is insert the LED light strips, the light deffusers, Velcro and other things. Who knows, we may have created the very first tank-proof driver station.

The Booster Club

Due to unforeseen inconveniences with money transfers and reimbursement with the Bemidji Area School District, our team had to do a things a little different this year. Now, we fortunately have the Booster Club, which helps with the flow of funds and financial decision making in our team. The people on this include team member's parents and mentors (who may also be parents of our members). These people include Colleen Speck, Nick Rowland, Joyce Siegert, Twila Bolte, Mary Bjerke and Terri Mans.

we art going to has't a new parteth in our arsenal of pit items anon, and thee'll heareth about t at which hour we has't t did complete! and i might not but eke bid thee about the new cam'ra we did get f'r the team on the next posteth!

-Author Hunter Bolte

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Robojacks Blog Nine

March 15th, 2016


The FIRST Robotics Competition that we will be attending will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the U of M campus. We will leave April 6th and be coming back on April 9th, more details can be found in the CADD lab at BHS if you are attending. A few things we have left to do include making the winch system for lifting the robot, getting the new media camera in and having the t-shirts ordered. Again I must say we are fortunate to be in one of the latest brackets the FRC, so we have had more time to prepare than we ever had in previous years.


During each competition we go to either the Duluth or Minneapolis Regionals for the FRC. Since the competitions last about three days (depending on how far we advance), we need to stay at a hotel or motel of some sort. For our first competition as a team, we stayed at the Radisson for the Duluth regional, which was a nice hotel overall and even had a rotating restaurant atop it. It seems we are re-living our old days, as this year we will be staying at the Radisson in Roseville, which is conveniently located near our competition site!

aye, anoth'r week clos'r to competition, and anoth'r week clos'r to graduation f'r us seni'rs at 4674. 'tis always int'resting to wond'r what the team will be liketh once thou class hath left. 

-Author Hunter Bolte

Monday, March 7, 2016

Robojacks Blog Eight

March 7th, 2016


After build season had ended, Conway chose the top 10 people to automatically go to the competition, and to also vote on who else is going to competition. After about an hour in the CADD lab, they decided that all the people who applied deserved to go. Nothing is final on the matter of what will be paid for and what will not, but the hotel and transportation will for sure be paid for all students on the list.

Below is the list of people on our team eligible to go.

Top Ten (randomly mixed order)

Joe Rowland
Tyler Rieger
Gabe Anderson
Ryan Speck
Deven Elliot
Zach Mans
Brock McCory
Toby Glen
Jenna Fuerstenburg
Michael Johnson

The "Chosen Ones"

Shelby Bjerke
Hunter Bolte
Star Bolte
Daniel Murray
Tyler Pachel
Nick Hoover
Alyssa Danielson
Madisyn Tyk
Mariah Sandburg

Pit Decor Near Completion

The Business Team and the Build Team have collaborated together to make both the trees and the archway for our pit, which are the main parts of the new setup we are having this year. Below are pictures of what the trees will look and what the archway looks like.

Go Jacks

Jenna Fuerstenburg created a model based on the logo that Star Bolte drew, for what you may call a souvenir of the Robojacks. After playing around with the two 3D printers here at BHS and the one that Ryan Speck has, we have produced some nice results. The reasoning behind this is to be unique, because at the competition teams often had bins outside their pit areas for other teams to grab buttons with there team name and number on it, a tradition if you will. So we have decided to 3D print these instead of making buttons.

things art sloweth anon, but some of us art still hard at w'rk with some things. thankfully our competition is not until april, so we still hast much timeth to geteth the winch system done. and sirrah doth i looketh f'rward to getting the cam'ra in!

-Author Hunter Bolte

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Robojacks Blog Seven

February 24th, 2016


At Nevis, Minnesota is where we attended our first and only scrimmage before build season ended. We had a great time and got our robot to work far better than it had been. Pieces of field elements went flying, as well as wheels and other robotic components, but in the end almost everyone was better off then they were before. We learned that our robot could traverse over or under most of the obstacles in the field, and afterwords we decided to add a mechanism that would allow us to traverse over at least one more obstacle. We had two days to complete it, and we did, but our work is far from over.

Build Season Has Ended

Yesterday, at 11:59 pm is when build season ended, and now most of the robot is put away for safe keeping. We will continue to work on the mechanism that will lift us up at the end of each game, but for now our robot can do the following: It can drive over rough and uneven terrain, it can pick up boulders and shoot them a short distance into the low goals, it is low enough to do anything that requires a short robot and it can lift the door obstacle.


We are always looking for sponsors or people to contact for sponsorship, so if you are interested in sponsoring us (and have not already), or have a businesses or individual that you recommend we contact, we would be happy for you support!

Take a Peak

Here is our robot in action, but it won't be truly complete until competition comes.

this is by far the best robot we hast built yet, and i am fustian of how clutch the buildeth team came in with the final adjustments bef're we did our final hours of driving it. with an actual official scouting team, a beastly robot, top-notch spons'rs, a great cam'ra and ev'rything else, we shouldst be doing fine at competition, which will taketh placeth april 6th-9th.

-Author Hunter Bolte

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Robojacks Blog Six

February 16th, 2016

Nevis Scrimmage

On Saturday, the 20th of this month, we will be going to Nevis Minnesota to our first scrimmage. This will be soon before our season will end, so the robot will be near its complete form. During this scrimmage the will have a mock-up of what the arena will be and we will be able to see how our robot will interact with other robots while on the field.

The Upcoming End

Next Tuesday (the 23rd) will be the final day of our build season, thus ending the time we have available to work on the robot. We are surpassing our goals on how fast we wanted to get the robot done, but are facing some challenges. We will have a little bit less to do after build season without most of our robot to build, but anticipation for the competition will grow ever stronger.

Lumberjack Live

Tate Martinson came to our robotics meeting tonight and got another taste of what our team is about. He got some interviews and got some video. If all goes well we will be on Lumberjack Live within a week or two. And if you did not know, Lumberjack Live (or LJL) is the Bemidji High School "news" outlet and gives us information and announcements every morning, and entertaining videos every Wednesday.

The Cheer and the Cannon

This Friday we will be showing off our t-shirt cannon at one of our school snow week get-togethers in our main gym. We have conspired with the cheer-leaders and will be giving a decent show for the students and staff at BHS. Our t-shirt cannon has undergone many modifications since the summer and will be more than ready for the task at hand.

aye, i am in a hie so i will maketh this briefeth. things art great and we art hard at w'rk (f'r the most parteth. ) aye, this is the sooth.

-Author Hunter Bolte

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Robojacks Blog Five

February 4, 2016

Field Elements

We are getting well into the progress of building our field elements, and have built three so far. These will be used for testing our robot and seeing how well it will be able to traverse over, through or under certain obstacles. Unfortunately we may have to make minor changes to these as the season, due to the changing rules that FIRST releases.


Our robot is being built and we are getting more done than just the chassis. We are currently working on a new way to mount our electronics in a unique way, and our boulder manipulating device is being constructed. The treads will also have a harder time falling off with new adjustments the build team has made to the "wheels". This may be the year where we have our most expensive robot yet (while staying within the FRC limit of course.)

Setting the Presets

The business team is currently working towards making templates, creating accounts, getting new equipment and doing other things to set us up for the future. This is similar to programmers making the first programs in our first years of 4674, then only having to modify them later.

i am impress'd as ev'r with our progresseth, and the outlook on things is pretty dog at this moment. we couldst be going festinate'r with some things, but the ammount of new stuffeth that we art doing far outweighs that.

-Author Hunter Bolte

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Robojacks Blog Four

February 1, 2016

Putting the Pieces Together

Our chassis is coming along using a variety of original designs, and some major components are even products of one of our 3D printers! We are happy with our progress, and are considering what we should use for pneumatics in our design.

The Hero

Thanks to the heroic efforts to Gabe and his wallet, our day was saved and our bellies filled. We have a sign-up sheet for snacks every Tuesday of the build season, and for his day Gabe brought several hot Domino's pizzas and several 12 packs of pop. "Ya, I wanted to get too much pop," he says "so that we can have some in reserve." Our productivity increased exponentially after a temporary flat-line, and Gabe was thanked by most of the students that where there.


The programming team has been busy at work on the expensive laptop that LaValley donated to us, and now are waiting for the completed chassis to test them. We have a lot of programmers-in-training, so we are confident that when our seniors leave that 4674 will be in good shape.

plenty of things to be built f'r this year, a new robot cart, new pit dec'r and of course a new robot. and i hast anon decid'd that mine final w'rd of each blog will be in shakespearean in hon'r of stronghold, this years competition. we art staying active and venturing onward!

-Author Hunter Bolte

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robojacks Blog Three

January 19, 2016

The Game

The time has come and the season has started! This years game: Stronghold, will host a variety of challenges to complete within the game, and perhaps has the largest amount of objects on the playing field. From driving over rough terrain to shooting dodge balls (boulders the're called), hopefully our treads will be able to traverse over them all. For full details on what the game is and how its played, visit the official website:

Buisness Cards

We have developed our first business cards! Now all we have to do is get a few printed and we will be good to go.

Tank-ish Chassis

We have decided to go with a tank drive system for our chassis this season. This will involve some home-made 3D printed parts and other professionally-made makeshift things we have also made some progress on what we will build for the ball-grabbing mechanism.

We are on our way! Its crazy busy in the CAD room (the computer lab in which we work) right now and we are getting stuff done. This is to the new season!

-Author Hunter Bolte

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Robojacks Blog Two

January 7, 2016

Coaches Corner

We are eagerly awaiting this Saturday in anticipation of the launch of this years game. The team is making final preparations for the next 6 weeks of building a robot which we hope will meet our season goal of making the playoff rounds at our Regional Competition in April. We are still in need of some outside help and mentorship for our team. If you are interested in helping us with everything from; electronics to programming, metal working, and carpentry work we need your help! Please contact me at 218-556-3645 to discuss details. Watch for next week's blog blast to find out what this years game is and our progress. Thanks for your support!

Go RoboJacks!

-Coach Chris Conway

LaValley Industries

We visited Lavalley Industries and where able to talk with them to tell them about us and see exactly what they where about. It was an interesting experience  to see some of the major equipment built in out own town that sets the standard high across the globe! At the end of the whole thing, I believe that it went well and that they at least know a little about what we do.

Popcorn Sales

The popcorn sales have been doing fantastic! Some of the members in our team have truly been going out of their way to sell as much as possible, and it has been showing as our varieties have been reduced and we will now have to order more of flavors that have quickly sold out. Stay tuned for more popcorn sales information.

Pit Decor

If you walk around the area designated for the pits at a FIRST Robotics Competition, you will see that many teams have decorations marking the boarders of their pit, or that are somewhere within their pit area. In previous years we have had small things such as a banner, (which looked great by the way) but that was about it. This year we are going to have an actual pit design, which was designed by a small group of our build team and programming team students. We will continue to post updates on the "pit" for your viewing.

New Fundraising Opportunity!

Our business team has set up something with a website as to where if someone where to complete any amount of tasks given, such as watching a short advertisement, you could raise up to $4 for our team! This is short lived, only lasting about 9 days from the day it started, and can give our team up to $200. If you have the spare time we would highly appreciate your participation, but completely understand if you do not wish to or have already sponsored us. However, if you are apart of our team it is recommended that you at least take a look.

Sorry for the late post this week, and thank you for your patience.

-Author Hunter Bolte