The Lost Blog from 2014….

We have several team members committed to writing about their experience as a Killer Bee, and if you know the Killer Bees, you know that anything could happen here!


April 2014


The district season is over and the championship events are gearing up.  What makes the Killer Bees good?  Lots and lots of hard work. What kind of work do the students do?

Students in the stands – We stand and cheer at every match, even the matches we predict are not going to end in our favor.  We scout every match, using a paper system to build a complete picture of every robot. These data are compiled on spreadsheets by other students in our stands.  During our weekly meetings, the lead scouting mentor works with this group of students to improve the data reliability and refine our custom scouting sheet.  Some students will watch matches to record data and some students will watch matches to look at strategy.  Other students will record match videos for our drive team to review.

Student Ambassadors – Often, special people will come to our events and want to see everything that happens at an event.  Our student ambassadors will take these VIP’s (from grandmas to governors) and answer their endless questions, tour the pits and point out interesting things at the event.  Our awards mentors works with this group to prepare answers to common questions.

Student Presenters – Students on our Chairman’s Award presentation team and other students work to prepare formal and informal presentations for spectators, sponsors and judges who stop by our pit.

Pit team – Students on the pit team are responsible for the subsystems on the robot. They set up the robot for each match, perform system checks on all systems, swap the batteries and do any required maintenance. The pit crew takes the robot through all parts of the inspections process and must know the rules   On the practice field, they are responsible for working with the drive team to make changes to the robot. They are led by a mentor designated as the “Pit Boss”.  This team also prepares and presents formal and informal presentations for judges and visitors.

Drive team – Students on this team are responsible for the robot on and off the field.  Before the matches, they read scouting reports, work with upcoming alliance partners and plan strategy with other teams.  They set up the robot and driver station for each match, plan and execute game strategies, load and unload the robot on the field and bring the robot back to the pit crew after each match.  They drive the robot and give feedback to the pit crew and mentors on the robot and subsystems.  Students on this team must know every game rule and potential penalty and be able to work with other teams, mentors, field personnel and key volunteers. During elimination rounds, the driver may also be the alliance captain, keeping track of the other teams and timeout coupons.

March 27 2014 The Killer Bee Team Rules
We live by Rule #10 – Never give up!”
KB Top 10 Rules


March 9 2014

Week 1 and 2 of the competition season are behind us. Lots of robots have played Aerial Assist and the robotics community is creating statistics, apps to track teams and discussion strategy. What we do is about more than a machine – a few years ago, Dean challenged the FRC community with a homework assignment to connect with our team alumni and we had a great response.  Need some inspiration? Read our alumni responses here. The alums that responded represent a wide range of graduation years, some all the way back to our rookie year.  And yes, the names have been changed to protect the guilty.


February 25 2014

How did this much time go by without an update?  Building robots will do that to you!

In case you missed it – here is what we have been working on:

And we have some more things to publish and a competition to get ready for in only 3 days and a Chairman’s presentation to give and the writing team has had very dirty hands lately with all of the grease, glue and paint that have been around.  We will make them get back to the writing and publishing soon.


January 22 2014

It that’s part of the build season where we are waiting on parts. CAD is being done… lots and lots and lots of CAD. So CAD… designs are being created for the robot. It’s that time of the year again where everything is planned but it feels like nothing is created. Meanwhile in the BATMAN Room, students are working on website, the Chairman’s Award, Executive summary, and so much more. While we anxiously wait for the supplies to come in, antenna are being created. Lots and lots and lots of antenna… Much to be done, little time to do it. One thing is for sure… we are not dithering…while we are on the lookout for FedEx, UPS, Amazon Prime Air, US Mail, and even the pony express.


January 8 2014

Another snow day for the students and some lessons learned with prototyping. New Bees are building a kit chassis while design and prototyping are being done by more experienced team members.  Sometimes working in a secure facility is a pain, but the good part is that we have been able to work this week and have not had to postpone a build meeting due to weather.


January 7 2014

Nothing disrupts a wrap-up like the “no school tomorrow” text. Students are out of school, mentors are working. We are working with our “sister” team, FLL 33 in Oklahoma during our snow day.  Their tournament was postponed due to an ice storm, and we are using our experienced FLL students to mentor them remotely.  It is very interesting to see how other teams build FLL robots, outside of Michigan.


January 6 2014

Today’s work:  Understanding the game, playing Aerial Assist with human “robots”.  Answering the question: What does our robot need to do?  And there was homework, even though we didn’t have school.

Advice for New FIRST teams – Jim Zondag’s presentation

Killer Bees Freshman Book

And something you won’t see very often – a clean Jim bench…Something you will only see once per year!