Bounce Search & Rescue

team in front of deflating bounce house

JoshR, MelissaS, MarcellaN, EricS, CaseyS, HenryH, RiverH (and CalebS!)

SWARMing the IBEW 280 Picnic


HenryH, MarcellaN

Thanks to our members who kept things running smooth at the IBEW Local 280 picnic today.  We braved the heat to help give some kids a great time in the obstacle course and water balloon area.

Extra kudos to team members for stepping up when challenged by our guests to race them through the course. That’s not in the usual robotics skill set, but you all did the best you could 😉



While not the hottest day of the year, it was close. Something to remember on those cold January days at the shop.

This the second year we’ve been invited to help out at the picnic and it was a great opportunity to help the IBEW. The ones I spoke to are also at the Central Electrical Training Center so they’ve seen us around and it was great to talk about what we do there.  (Shhh…it’s SWARM’s HQ)


CalebS, RiverH, JoshR, MelissaS



The game doesn’t end

Josh & Steve

Josh & Steve

Yup, we go all summer.  This year we are working towards running our bot at the State Fair on August 27th. But this is also an excellent time to hone our skills and take on new members.


MelissaS, HenryH

There’s plenty to do if you are looking to work and to learn. The 2016 bot provides a great platform to work on old problems and come upon new ones. We will be simplifying our bot a bit, but hope to get a lot of good use out of it until it’s time to take it down and build a new one.

Eventually, our bots get recycled into new ones, made into special projects, end up in a tote on the shelf, or sent off to scrap.  Our members, however, continue to learn and grow. Every year is a new game, a new team, and opportunity to try new things. Last year it was belts and a new drive train, this year maybe Java code and something else?

RiverH, CalebS

RiverH, CalebS

SWARMing the Rotary

MitchellG, MelissaS, EmmaC l-r

MitchellG, MelissaS, EmmaC l-r

A big thanks to the Rotary Club of Albany for giving us a chance to show them what we are up to.

We went through FIRST, our team history, cooperatition, and gracious professionalism. Plus, we drove the robot for the crowd.

It was a great audience, with lots of good questions. (And a tasty lunch!)

Thanks to CalebS, EmmaC, MarcellaN, MelissaS, and MitchellG for presenting.

Summer Push For State Fair

We have been hitting it hard at the shop to get our 2016 bot ready for scrimmaging at the Oregon State Fair.


Jace L

Working on the 2016 bot gives our members a great opportunity to jump in and get their hands dirty.

Alex M

Alex M

With the advantage of hindsight and time, we are excited to be continuing our work on this bot.   With its belt driven six wheels, ball capture and launch abilities, and compact size this bot has a lot of fun potential.

New for this competition is Java. We’ve been running Labview, but are switching over our software to Java. We are excited for the learning opportunities it offers and have already been driving the bot successfully and rumor has it, launching boulders…

RiverH, RobinH, CalebS, BrianM, MarcellaN l-r

RiverH, RobinH, CalebS, BrianM, MarcellaN l-r



But it wouldn’t be summer without out other project…shhhhh…



Philomath Scenes

l-r Abbi D, Jordan H

Driving l-r Abbi D, Jordan H

For some of us, competitive events are a blur of activity.  Many thanks to Steve for helping capture our time in Philomath-

Katelyn M, Jace L, Mike D, Alex K, Jordan H, Nathan B.

Katelyn M, Jace L, Mike D, Alex K, Jordan H, Nathan B.

The pit crew had a huge task on their hands this year. With never enough time, they managed to get a working bot on the field!


Scouts l-r Jace L, Jacob G, Eric S, Issac G, Jasper S, John N


Discussion l-r Jace L, Eric S, John N


Holding court l-r Jace L, Jacob G, Eric S, Issac G, John N, Jasper S, Henry H, Brian M, Mike D


Next match l-r, Henry H, Mike D, Brian M







l - r Marcella M, Kassie K

l – r Marcella N, Kassie W








The work in the stands kept team members on their toes as well.

Keeping track of how the other teams were doing, means watching all their matches and being an expert on them.

That doesn’t mean there’s no time for a quick chat or two.



l-r Melissa S, Rose B, Alex K, Katelyn M, Emma C, Jordan H, Abbi D, Jace L, Nathan B

Part of the 2016 pit crew and helpers keeping it loose in Philomath.


Jordan H

Sometimes jester, never a clown.



Abbi D

Driver extraordinaire



Action on the field. (FIRST TV)


Catch the action in Philomath, March 25-26

We are very excited to have a local event and want everyone who can make it to stop by! There are almost 30 teams, with us and other local teams playing the last district match of the year. It will get intense.

Some of the pacific north west’s top teams will be there including IRSSkunk Works Robotics, Bear Metal, Shockwave, and others!

Catch a few matches, walk through the amazing pits, and see what high school students in FIRST robotics do.

The event is at Philomath High, Friday and Saturday. Check out the schedule for details.

Be there!

Team Electric

River H

River H

Electrical team member River H works the underside of the electrical board.

For several years now, we’ve been putting all major electrical components on a single board that can be fairly easy to take on and off. While we haven’t put the drive motors directly on it, we have been known to place a solenoid or two if there is room.

This year was a bit different with a large “hole” for the boulder to pass through.

Robotics is about solving problems, one after another…

l-r Eric S, Robin H, Mike D, Emma C, Steve S, Kately K, ?, Jordan H

l-r Eric S, Robin H, Mike D, Emma C, Steve S, Kately K, ?, Jordan H


In order to do well, early on we decided our bot had to climb the castle tower. That’s lifting ~120 pounds about 2 feet up in 20 seconds or so.

We soon found out that if all the bots were going to climb, ours would need to be narrow. Then there is the matter of approaching the tower on an incline, reaching up to the bar, and not going more than 15″ outside our frame perimeter. Oh, and we are already using or main motors for the drive system, so that comes into play.

What started out as an interesting feature, with a working prototype, became a series of lessons in geometry, analysis, and ingenuity.