Posts about Mentors

Climbing Threads and Videos

30 Point climb: Video: Another climber: Another climber: Summary of several ideas:

Posted in: Mentors

Onboard Processing

Raspberry Pi Information: Alternative, although more expensive, to Raspberry Pi:

Posted in: Mentors

2012 Stack and Balance This bot was at Davis last year. I never saw it do this at Davis, but it might have happen. Pretty cool to see an inventive design work.

Posted in: Mentors

Steering Committee July 2012

EDUHSD Robotics Team

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

July 23, 2012


  • In Attendance
  • Main Frame – Mike
  • FIRST Admin – Jay
  • Secretary/KOTC – Candice
  • Lab Manager – Mattias
  • Co-Captains Coach – Tom
  • Booster Rep – Lynn
  • Student Recruitment – Wendy
  • Student Co-Captains – Avery
  • Tour Guide – Charlotte
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Posted in: Mentors, Team

Steering Committee June 2012

EDUHSD Robotics Team

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

June 17, 2012


  • In Attendance:
  • Mike Donlon
  • Charlotte Lindborg
  • Mattias Bergman
  • Tom Bray
  • Lynn Morgan
  • Wendy Sedgewick
  • Jay Rutten
  • Candice Hughes

Team Storage Solution

Today, as many of you know, we are using Dropbox as the team’s shared file storage solution.  Dropbox provides 2GB of storage for free to anyone that registers with them.  Dropbox provides software for your Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and even your mobile devices to make use of the online storage as seamless as possible.  Dropbox provides tracking of file changes, even providing the ability to retrieve files that have been deleted previously.  Dropbox also allows sharing of folders between accounts, which is how we share files that we want to share amongst the team.  If you are interested in accessing some of the Circuit Breakers content, such as documents, spreadsheets, pictures, and videos, all you have to do is create an account with Dropbox (remember, it’s
free) and then ask one of the mentors to invite you to the Robotics Dropbox folder.

Here are a few tips for using Dropbox:

  • The space you have available to you when you first sign up is 2GB, but the Robotics shared folder is ~2.6GB.  Unfortunately, the shared folder consumes your Dropbox space, so if you do not have over 2.6GB available, you will not be able to see the full contents of the Robotics folder.  Fortunately, it is possible to get more space for free if you follow some simple steps on Dropbox.  After you’ve signed up and logged in, there is a link next to your name that says “Get free space!”.  Follow that link to find out in what ways you can get more space.
  • If you feel the shared folder is consuming too much of your Dropbox space and you don’t want it anymore, PLEASE DON’T DELETE IT!!  Instead, log into your account on the Dropbox website and click on the Sharing link.  Click the Options like to the right of the Robotics shared folder.  This will open the Shared Folder Options window; click on the Members link.  At the bottom of the window, the Leave Folder button becomes available; click that button to leave the group.  You will now have all the space back that you didn’t have before!  Check out the Dropbox help
    instructions for additional details.
  • If you don’t want to consume the space of your own personal Dropbox account, you can also create a separate Dropbox account just for the Robotics-related content.

Since the free Dropbox account starts with only 2GB space, we may want to look at alternatives to accommodate new users that haven’t had a chance to bump up their free space by following the “Get free space!” steps.  Some ideas are:

  • Separate the Robotics folder into categories and/or seasons.  For example “Robotics 2012 Pictures” could be one folder
  • Look into the Dropbox Team accounts, which are not free but provide a much larger amount of space (1TB or more).  Maybe they have non-profit rates.
  • Look into other shared file storage solutions.  Some offer as much as 10GB free.  However, few offer the seamless integration with file systems across so many different platform like Dropbox does.

If you have any questions or comments, please post! You will need an account to post a comment to this entry; you may contact me for the account information.

Mr. Donlon

Posted in: Mentors, Team

Parent Meeting notes and other updates

Hello Circuit Breaker Robonauts and Mission Controllers!

A lot of things to cover; please bear with me. This mail is primarily to provide notes from the Parent Meeting that was held last Sunday, June 3rd. First a few other items:

Upcoming Events (each of these is on our team calendar at

  • Boosters Meeting, June 24 (Mrs. Morgan organizing)
  • Intel Kid To Work Day, June 25 (setup) and June 26 (Mr. Donlon organizing)
  • Steering Committee Meeting, June 27 (Mr. Donlon organizing)
  • Laser Tag & Overnight Party, June 29 (Mrs. Lozano & Magnus organizing)

If there are any other events which should be on the team calendar, please let me know so I can pass the information to Mrs. Hughes.

One event that is not a team event but is important nonetheless is the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Michael Combrink. Unfortunately this is happening at the same time as the Circuit Breaker Laser Tag and Overnight Party, but if there is a chance you can support him please do. Details are:

Eagle Scout Court of Honor
for Michael Combrink
Troop 658
Friday June 29th 7:00PM
at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
4621 Pony Express Trail
Camino, CA 95709

Congratulations Michael on your achievements!!

I also want to give a big THANK YOU to our recent supporters
– Spencer & Karen Malysiak $25, through Autumn
– Tom Hogan $20, through the Donlon family

OK, on to the meeting notes

Last Sunday, June 3, a large number of parents met with Charlotte to find out what was going to happen next year since she would no longer be able to be Team Coordinator. To our (pleasant) surprise, Charlotte had not only defined all the positions which encapsulated what she does, she had also chosen parents who might be able to fill the roles. During the meeting, Charlotte explained the different positions and also asked each assigned person for their agreement on accepting the position. The positions are summarized below and both the summary and the the full definition of the positions are listed in CB 2012-13 Volunteer Assignments. The original document is available on Dropbox.

Steering Committee (meets once per month)
Main Frame*: Contact/Facilitator/Communicator/Admin Laison/ Shipping Mentor (The Hub, Cartilidge, Human Sacrifice) –> Mike Donlon†
EDUHSD Admin/Finance* –> Esperanza Eusibio
FIRST Admin –> Jay Rutten†
Secretary/Keeper of the Calendar –> Candice Hughes†
Lab Manager* (bouncer, cop) –> Mattias Bergman†
Co-Captains Coach –> Tom Bray?
Build Mentor Rep
Booster Rep
Business Mentor Rep
Co-Captains (students) –> TBD

Boosters (meet once per month)
Officers as prescribed in Booster Guidelines to be filled by people in positions below
Fundraising Coordinator –> Lynn Morgan
Fueling/Kitchen Manager –> Ady Langer
Travel Coordinator –> Wendy Sedgwick
Party Planner –> Lori Lozano

Business Mentors (meet once per month)
Co-Cap Coach –> Tom Bray?
Leadership –> Ady Langer / Wendy Sedgwick
Spirit –> Sherri Donlon†
Website –> Sherri Donlon†
Presentations/Community Support –> Candice Hughes†
Media –> Gerry Hughes†
Awards –> ??
Community Outreach – FIRST –> John Hewitt
Student Recruitment –> Lori Howe†
FIRST Scholarships –> Jay Rutten†

Build Mentors (meet as needed)
Design Engineers
Mechanical Engineers –> Adam Reif*, Karl van Dyk
Software/Computer Engineers –> Jay Rutten†, Mike Donlon†
Electrical Engineers –> Tim Magoffin
Wizard –> Mattias Bergman†
Carpenters –> Bill Sedgwick, Gerry Hughes†
VIP Extras –> Tim Magoffin, Jim Curtis
Shipping Contact –> Mike Donlon†

Talent Pool
*Indicates Position/People with Keys & Codes for ROPA
†Indicates People who have Senior students (and therefore may need to find a replacement for their position)

Charlotte did an amazing job keeping most (if not all) of these jobs under control, making it look relatively easy even though it obviously was not. I definitely appreciate her taking the time to lead the team for the past 3 years, and now taking the time to break down and explain all the jobs and get people assigned.

I also appreciate being offered the opportunity to fill the Main Frame position and will do the best that I can to fill the requirements of that position… and I know I will rely on the rest of the Mission Controllers to keep me on task.

I thought the term Mission Controllers seemed appropriate for those parents that are on the list above; we are the team of supporters that are guiding the stars of the show, the student Robonauts; helping to keep them on track, assisting where we can, helping solve problems, and letting them take the credit they deserve on their way to the moon and beyond. But that does not mean we are going to do all the work for them; it is still the Robonauts that need to step up and do the hard work that will get them where they want to go.

Additional notes from the meeting:

  • Upcoming events that need to be planned:
    • Leadership Retreat (One-day event for student co-captains and other lead students (Program / Project Managers and group leads))
    • E-waste (need one in fall, one in winter around SuperBowl time)
    • Football games (happening in fall)
    • Freshman Orientation for recruitment drive
  • Additional Mentor Position (not on list shown above or attached):
    • Mentor for student Ambassadors
    • Mentor for student intake (could be part of student recruitment)
    • Mentor for Business Manager (Tom Bray has business plan from team #1662 that he can share)
  • Tasks for Steering Committee that don’t necessarily need a separate mentor:
    • Design / schedule pre-build education
  • Parking Lot
    • Maker Faire: Participation next year?
    • Design workshop (Gerry)
    • Make sure work zone in shop mimics pit area at competition
    • Disallow hours if student does not contribute to team?
    • CalGames participation (currently on agenda for Steering Committee)

One last bit of information before I finish (if you’ve gotten this far)… Please change your email for me to [email protected]. My home mail is accessible only when I am home; the eduhsdrobotics email I can access nearly anywhere.

Go Circuit Breakers!!

Mr. Donlon


“The mediocre teacher tells,
The good teacher explains,
The superior teacher demonstrates,
The great teacher inspires.”
~ William Arthur Ward, 1921 – 1994

Posted in: Mentors, Team

We Build Robots


We Build Robots

Posted in: Mentors, Team

Electrical Components Being Used

As we anxiously await a robot that we can start testing with, we at least have the electrical components identified which means we’ve been able to program the control of the components in the robot code.  Working from the bottom up:

  • Drivetrain
    • 2 Jaguars controlling 2 CIM Motors
    • 1 Gyro (for balance)
    • 1 Accelerometer (for balance)
  • Funnel Arm
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Window Motor
    • 2 Limit switches (to indicate ‘Full Up’ or ‘Full Down’ position)
  • Collector
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Window Motor
  • Elevator
    • 2 Victors controlling 2 Window Motors
    • 3 IR Sensors (to indicate ball presence)
  • Turret
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Banebots Motor (for rotation)
    • 1 Jaguar controlling 1 CIM Motor (for shooting)
    • 1 10-turn Potentiometer (for Turret angle)
    • 2 limit switches (for Turret rotation limits)
    • 1 Axis camera (for targeting)

Now all we need is an assembled robot so we can test the code.  We can dooo it!!!

Posted in: Electrical, Mentors, Programming


Circuit Breakers and Fans!

The design is in!

The order form is here:  T-Shirt Order Form 2012!
Student Team Members are required to wear a team shirt at competition!
Deadline for order forms and money is Friday, March 2nd.
If you can’t pay for one, please come talk to me.
Is this poetry?

So far, I have 15 available carpool seats. First come, first served!

I do not have Practice Day permission slips from some of you. If you plan to attend, please get those to me Friday. Tomorrow. February 17th.
We will have a decision about Practice Day hours (departure and return or none at all) by Friday late afternoon. You will have to watch your emails closely. Sorry for the indecision, it is the nature of the beast!  Please do not wait for the decision to make tentative body transport plans. The carpool planning takes time. Thanks.  :)
If we go to Practice Day at St. Francis, regardless of hours spent there, we will return to ROP-A and work feverishly until 10pm. Please bring Pizza money for Saturday night. There are quite a few of you who still owe me pizza money. May the Ghost of Pizza Past haunt you until you pay. :)
Sleep tonight, Circuit Breakers, this may be a long week!

Ms. Lindborg
Posted in: Mentors, Team