Today the Sumobots finally did some battle against each other. There were several entries from our student teams, which included names such as Bozo Bot, Mama Tipson, Connoli, Open-Faced Sandwich, Reverse Sandwich, and Kendo(Revived). Many of the bots were not as fully developed as the students wanted, but they are learning the difficulties of creating a fully autonomous robot from scratch. My favorite bot had to be Kendo(Revived) which is far and away the most advanced bot of the group. It features a plasma and waterjet steel scraper and jaw to remove combatants from its path, and is build on a solid foundation with triple traction wheels and custom circuit board. Additionally, the students were adding small magnets to get the bot to the heaviest allowable weight for combat. We had a lot of fun watching the robots today, and will probably have another day of bouts in the next few weeks, which will allow students to update their robots and make them better.

Water Jet

With our seniors leaving yesterday, myself and another student took on the task of learning the waterjet machine. The process is fairly simple, as its a two dimensional cutting machine much like several others we have in the shop. The hard part is understanding all of its moving parts, as well as its antiquated operating system and software. That being said, we were able to cut some parts out of steel on our first try yesterday, so I think we at least have a good enough understanding to keep the machine running.


Yesterday was the last full day with our seniors. Most of them continued to work on their cardboard canoe, which still has a long way to go, but they have vowed to come back and finish it over the next two weeks. Additionally, Myles spent some time teaching the next generation of students how to use the Omax Waterjet machine. We were able to make several successful cuts with it, and when it is working, it is a remarkable machine that has the ability to cut metal with incredible accuracy. A photo below of Myles in teacher mode.


It has taken quite a while to come together, but Senior Myles Y has nearly completed the large metal sign that will hang on the wall outside our shop. The CAD required was fairly complex, and was mostly done in Inkscape. He had to break our logo down into 4 equal parts, plus a center part to make everything fit on our waterjet, which was the machine used to cut each piece. There were a lot of hiccups, and the waterjet can be a temperamental machine at times, so there were a few stop and go moments on this project. Still, Myles persevered and we put up most of the pieces of the sign today and it looked great. There is a plan to add LED lighting on the back, but that will most likely fall on a different student next year as Myles is graduating. A few photos of the project below.