Lessons Learned 2009 Season

main.cppC++ lessons - session 4.pptC++ lessons - session 3.pptHere is a list of currently active projects. Feel free to add any you feel are important to ALARM or that you would like to lead. Just put the title of the project, the name of the person leading it, and a description of the goals and work which the project has.

Team Image - Lab coat fundraiser and t-shirts

Leader: Devin Hegger + Jess LeBel

We need to get rolling on lab coats and t-shirts. If you are interested in helping out with the 2009 design and/or putting the logo on the lab coats, please talk to Jess or Arnold or post on the fundraising page.

Lab Coats are $15 per person. These lab coats are not a requirement for anyone to purchase, however if you are interested see Jess. We would like to have those ready by the Boston Regional. A due date for the money will be set soon.

Software Training - C++

Leader: Arnold (Sr.)

Only having two people know how the program works once we get to events is a *bad* idea. More people need to learn to program so that we can get better control over our robot. We will be teaching 3 classes in C++ (the language used on the new controller).

These courses will follow the general outline contained in: Learn to Program C++ and using the on-line book Learn to program C++ in 21 days modified a bit to apply to the FIRST tools and robot target.

As learning to program is a VERY hands on kind of activity and we do not yet have the development environment from FIRST, we can use the
Dev-C++ IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to get started. This is FREE and available from Dev-C++

The main topics I see covering in each session are:

  • Session 1- Computer Parts, Steps in writing software, Using an IDE, What does C++ look like
  • Session 2 - C++ syntax and grammar, Using an IDE for debugging, Pointers and memory use
For session 2 we will use the following files (created in session 1) cat.cpp, cat.h, dog.cpp, dog.h, main.cpp
  • Session 3- C++ types, classes and objects, Inheritance
For session 3 we will be using the following files: w3 cat.cpp w3 cat.h w3 dog.cpp w3 dog.h w3 main.cpp w3 pet.cpp w3 pet.h
Power point notes we will be using for session 3 are here: C++ lessons - session 3.ppt
  • Session 4 - Classes and object, we will use the animal code intended for week 3 (but never got to) and get a start on classes and objects.
Power point notes we will using for session 4 are here: C++ lessons - session 4.ppt

As we had several new people express interest last week, I will circle back to the the session 3 topics for our meeting on Saturday 12/6. If you have already been through that come by anyway, either to help others out, or get a second look at the stuff. Also I would like to ask those of you who are already comfortable with this work to take a look at the code from last year and compare it with the classes that WPI has documented to see how we migrate.

I have uploaded some of the files intended as examples for session 4. main.cpp, info.h, person.cpp, person.h, student.cpp, student.h

I would expect that will have a Session 5 on robot code (taking a look at the WPI classes)

For more info contact either Arnold.

CAD Training - Inventor 2009

Leader: Mr. Miller

In an ideal world every single part on the robot would be modeled before it is built. Since we don't have very many members who have experience with this, it hasn't been possible in the last two seasons. As many people as can should learn and practice with this before the season.
Contact Mr. Miller or Arnold for more info.

Corporate Sponsorships

Leaders: Mr Haggerty, Arnold (Jr.)

A big part of our money comes from corporate sponsors. We need to keep the ones we have happy and find new ones. Calls and visits to important people in companies are key to getting this to work. More info on the fundraising page.


Leaders: John P, Arnold (Jr.)

Most of the money that does not come from corporate sponsors is from grants. We are in the process of getting grants together for EMC and MERIT. Grants are also available from many other sources. We need people to look into these. More info on the fundraising page.

Drivetrain Development

Leaders: Arnold (Jr.) and Steven

Members interested: Devin, (add your name if you are interested)
Even though we can't build any parts of our real robot yet, prototyping and CAD modeling before the season are extremely important. Right now we are working on putting together a prototype six wheel skid steer chassis (parts should be ordered by the end of this week). We are also working on CAD models for a new swerve module. If you want to be involved in building and designing what will probably be the most important part of the robot, this is the project to join.
More info on the Drivetrain Development page. Contact Arnold or Steven if you want to get involved.