Weegee's Features: a Q&A

Weegee is looking better than ever. He is getting built up and ready for stop build day.

Question: “Well, what features does he have. I want to learn more!”

Answer: Well, hypothetical person that asks questions I just made up, you’re in luck. Weegee, has his vacuum manipulator I wrote about previously. To sum it up, it uses a vacuum to grab onto the cargo, a rubber ball.

This is the vacuum manipulator.

This is the vacuum manipulator.

Question:“Well, I watched the animation, and the cargo looks like it has to be raised to be put into some of the bays. What is your plan with that?”

Answer: We have a linear slide which moves the manipulator up and down. “What is a linear slide?” Wow! You ask great questions. To quote Wikipedia: “A linear-motion bearing or linear slide is a bearing designed to provide free motion in one direction.”

Those three bars make up the linear slide.

Those three bars make up the linear slide.

Question: “How does he move?”

Answer: He uses 6 HiGrip Andymark wheels, nothing special.

A (clean) HiGrip wheel

A (clean) HiGrip wheel

Question: “How does he see? The sandstorm won’t let the drivers see, so what’s going on there?”

Answer: Weegee uses a webcam that will stream the video to the driver station. We will be navigating through the sandstorm based off of that. We have a vision tracking system that allows us to get close to objects and not hit them. It bounces light off of reflective tape and when it gets close, it slows then stops.

The camera and light on the demo bot

The camera and light on the demo bot

A test of the camera on the demo bot.

This blog post in video format.

Blog post, photos, and video by Colin Kovick.

Quick Update

Quick update: Our robot sucks. No really. Weegee has acquired a vacuum for grabbing cargo.


“But what is this ‘cargo’” one may ask. The cargo is a rubber ball 13 inches in diameter, that gets loaded into a cargo bay.


The cargo bay must be covered by a hatch panel to retain the cargo. “Tell me what a ‘hatch panel’ is too” one might also say. The Hatch Panel is a disc 19 inches in diameter, with a 6 inch diameter hole in the center of it.


This covers up the cargo bay so that the cargo won’t fall out. “But that vacuum won’t be able to hold it, it’s got a giant hole in the middle.” The hatch panel has hook and loop tape on the rim. The vacuum manipulator has hook and loop tape on it, so that it can grab the hatch panel.

If you want more information, I would suggest you watch the game animation or read the manual.

Blog post and photos by Colin Kovick

Kept you waiting, huh?      A long awaited update.

February 5th, 2019

Kept you waiting, huh? In the blog’s absence we have been working long and hard. But this week we’re trying to finish up Weegee’s Revenge. He was named after the Smash Attack of Luigi from the game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he sucks his opponents into a vacuum and spits them out. Hint: Vacuum manipulator.


Weegee is without his socks and without his parts, but is changing fast. Currently, all his  guts are on the Demo Bot blogged about previously. We have taken on a new design with our electronics. We also make sure our electronics are safe and tested. The light ring didn’t work, so we tested to make sure every part works. We changed our drive train to arcade drive, easier to move forward without going at an angle, from tank drive.

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Meanwhile, We had Andrew, Anson, and Nick working on Chairman’s. They had been working on this since week two, so about 80 to 100 hours collectively. They began a countdown, drawing a crowd. They then submitted the document successfully.

“We got a lot of stress off our back” said Nick.


Blog post and photos by Colin Kovick

Team 1502's Demo Bot

Recently Team 1502 has been working on a demo bot. The demo bot is being built by an eccentric team of members, all whom are working towards an exciting robot to display their skills in engineering and teamwork to the Chelsea Robotics Community.

The demo bot will be armed with pneumatic cannon that will shoot projectiles through utilizing air pressure inside a cylinder tank. Keeping audience and presenter safety close in mind, the pneumatic technology has proved to be a difficult challenge to tackle.

Working on the pneumatic cannon designed for entertainment

Working on the pneumatic cannon designed for entertainment

Pneumatics are similar to Hydraulics as they both depend on built up pressure. However, pneumatic technology relies on air pressure, whereas hydraulics relies on water pressure. The team has chosen to use pneumatics to prevent unfortunate circumstances whereas the technology could break and become a hazard to surrounding persons.

The cannon will serve purely entertainment value to the intended audience of Elementary School Children. The demo bot will help share Team 1502’s mission and diverse range of talents with the Chelsea community.

To demonstrate engineering abilities and mount a pneumatic cannon that will entertain children.
— Aidan D.

Meanwhile, the cannon will be mounted on a sturdy base which will drive forwards and backwards, as well as adjust the cannon through the use of a mechanical arm. By using pillow blocks to create movement as well as a 90 degree pivot in the arm, the pneumatic cannon should become an outstanding display of teamwork and robotic talent.

Planning the functions of the arm

Planning the functions of the arm

The team has salvaged parts from retired robots to construct a successful and spectacular presentation of pneumatic power, and currently is working on the movement of the arm, and the pneumatic technology which will power the cannon.

Team 1502 hopes to inspire the Chelsea Robotics Community by presenting the demo bot and other amazing creations which represent the work ethic and teamwork which was invested.

Chelsea Robotics FLL JR. EXPO

The FRC Team 1502 just attended the Chelsea Robotics FLL JR. EXPO! How exciting!

Many of our own team members volunteered for a variety of tasks helping out. A panel of Team 1502 members personally judged each entry and several others assisted with the  Are You Smarter Than A Mars Rover? activity. 


Later, we all celebrated the FLL Team’s spectacular presentations with a dance party. Some of our volunteers showed the kids how to moonwalk, and others just danced along.

Team 1502’s talented designers made gear shaped trophies to be distributed to each team. The parents made the award ceremony very special by standing up and making a tunnel for each team to run through. 

I’m sure we all had a blast helping around, and we hope the FLL teams did as well.  

Everyone wins! Medals for all!

Everyone wins! Medals for all!

2018 has come to an amazing conclusion for the Chelsea Robotics community, and we’re sure to make the start of 2019 even more spectacular.

Exciting Announcement from Principal Kapolka

Good morning, Team 1502 parents and students.  It is with great excitement that I am emailing all of your this morning to inform you that Kirk Findlay has been named the adviser for the high school team.  Kirk brings passion and experience to this role and is eager to meet with students and parents to share his vision for the program.  

Additional information regarding meetings, dates, events, etc. will be forthcoming from Kirk shortly.

I am looking forward to a great season with Kirk at the helm. 

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend with your family!