The Traverse City robotics program began thirteen years ago (2006) as a partnership between the SCI-MA-TECH program at Traverse City Central High School and the Manufacturing and Technology Academy (MTA), as FRC Team 1711, the ICEBOTs. After one year of competition, SCI-MA-TECH decided to form its own team at Traverse City Central High School; the MTA team became Team 1896, named The Concussive Engineers (now disbanded), while Central High School became Team 1711. In 2008, the team name was finalized: The RAPTORS (Robots And People Transmitting Objective Radical Synergy).
How We Work
The student team captains are elected by the whole team, and are responsible for leading the team smoothly through the build season and managing the other student leads. The student department leads are responsible for overseeing their respective sectors: Mechanical, Programming and Controls, Media, Game Strategy, Communications, Fundraising, and Safety. Each lead, as well as the captains, works with a mentor who has experience in the respective field to the ease the burden of the position. Major decisions, like the design of the robot, are decided by the entirety of the student body at scheduled team meetings. Each team member has the opportunity to share and discuss ideas in a respectful manner.
Click the button for the 2019 parent meeting document
Design is a team dedicated to concepting and creating working virtual models for team 1711. In season, design team leads the discussion on how the robot should work and preform game specific tasks. Design then shifts into using Autodesk Inventor to create the virtual models. The models are accurate representations of the robot the build team creates. These models may be referenced many time throughout the season to show to other teams, judges and to each other on 1711. This is all to rapidly create a quality machine so team 1711 can do its best during the competition season.
Mechanical team manufactures, assembles, and maintains the robot throughout the season. Mechanical works closely with design and programming teams to create the team's robot. Team members work with our mechanical mentors, Great Lakes Stainless, Trimet Industries, and the our school to manufacture parts. Then mechanical assembles the robot as a team and works with programming to test and revise. Finally, during the competition season, mechanical contributes members to the "pit crew," which is responsible for robot repair and upkeep between matches.
Programming team is in charge of writing all of the software that runs on the robot. Programming team writes Java code for the robot to operate on its own, with no user control, and code where a driver is able to control a robot with an Xbox or joystick type controller. It is also common for them to help in the design and creation of the computer board that is put on the computer.
Safety Team is in charge of maintaining safe practices in everything the team does. All RAPTORS must be safety certified, and know how to properly use any tools in our team’s build room. Safety team also maintain the safety equipment for the team (safety glasses, hearing protection, etc) to avoid as many incidents as possible in the build room. During competitions it is Safety Team’s job to make sure that the pit is clean, and the “pit crew” is still taking safety into account despite the pressure and time restraints. It is also safety team’s job to keep record of any injuries and incidents that occur, and to fix the hazard that may be causing them if multiple incidents happen. Safety team even has the power to issue safety cites if necessary, which keeps unsafe workers out of the build room until they have proven that they have learned their lesson.
The communications team is the link between the RAPTORS and the rest of the world. Communications organizes volunteer and outreach events. They function as the marketing and public relations team in a corporate setting. Communications also envisions and writes submissions for FIRST awards, like Engineering Inspiration and the Chairman’s Award.
2016 Chairmans video
Every year, our Communications team is responsible for creating a new Chairmans video. This is a video that describes how our our team has influenced our community in STEM and FRC.
The Media team deals mostly in making the image of the team look its best. This team uses Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create graphics for team posters and spirit-wear. Media team is also responsible for designing and fabricating the pit and team awards.
Social media team works to update our community on the RAPTORS' whereabouts through various social media accounts and our website. Social Media team informs the team's followers of our accomplishments as a team, and the direction in which we are headed.
Game Strategy is responsible for gaining a thorough understanding of the FRC game objective and rules. In the past, team mates worked to create scouting sheets which allow us to record specific features of other robots to gain the maximum amount of points possible. This information is now available to all teams through the use of a RAPTOR created app which gives the ability to any team to search for their competition location and through a cloud basis see every team member's submission of scouting records.
Fundraising for team 1711 is about two things, achieving business connections and making a better community. Our goal is to fund the massive costs provided in robotics by getting numerous grants and sponsors. Getting these sponsors entails reaching out into the community creating a better environment for not only our robotics team and school, but also for the businesses in our area. Support from businesses helps culminate the next generation of skilled workers and encourages youth to find life long passions. Team 1711 also provides numerous advertising opportunities from shirt logos to banners at events we try to cater to the sponsors wants and goals in order to achieve a successful year.