Robotics Brochure 2016 (click for more information)



Welcome to FRC Team 95 – The Grasshoppers have been a US F.I.R.S.T. competitive robotics club since 1997.  Generally located in the Upper Valley, we have students participating from area high schools and home-schools. For more information about what FIRST and FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) please visit www.firstinspires.org.

Our home base and primary build site is at Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) located at 1 Gifford Rd, Hartford, VT. Our build season is coming to an end and we’re entering our competition season where our robot will compete on alliances of 3 vs. 3.

Keep an eye on our calendar to see what is going on and coming up. Below is a typical overview of our season and preseason.

The Grasshoppers Team 95
Typical Preseason/Season Overview

Preseason: May – June and September – December (occasionally summer meetings will occur)
Season: January – April

More Than Robots!

Typically the team meets once per week, usually on Wednesdays, at HACTC from 5:30-8. Students will be asked to attend/speak at different events for recruiting. For example, Mascoma students may be expected to attend Freshman Orientation and speak to other students about what we do. Students will also be given packets to see which events they plan to attend. All information is expected to be turned in on time or early or consequences may occur.

During the preseason the team will be working on any of the following:
Learning how to use the equipment
Working on CAD curriculum
Working on Programming curriculum
Mini engineering challenges
Test driving old robots
Paperwork for the season

Kickoff for the season is the first Saturday of the new year (very occasionally it becomes the second Saturday) where the game of the year will be revealed and we’ll begin discussing strategies and game play techniques. The team meets six days a week however we encourage students to take a day or two off during the week so that they don’t burn out. The schedule is typically 5:30-8:30 on Monday through Friday and 9-6 on Saturdays. Build season is six and a half weeks and we meet during winter break at our typical times. We meet anytime that school events are not canceled. During this time we ask each parent/student to supply a dinner for the team to eat during these meetings. Parents are also asked to supply snacks for our classroom and snacks for our competitions.

During the season the team will typically break into groups and work on the following:
Programming the robot and plybot
Reworking plybot
Creating field elements (goals, obstacles, etc)
Creating and assembling the robot
Working on the electrical components of the robot
Test driving the robot/plybot
Learning how to use the equipment
Attending competitions (typically two to four events per year)

The team typically signs up for two to four competitions a year and each event is typically three days long. This are typically within a three hour radius of the Upper Valley. Students will be bused to the event (typically leaving Friday right after school) and bused back (typically Sunday about 8pm). During these events students will be expected to pay for their hotel and food costs. Depending upon how well we do during the season, we may attend more events (District Championships and Worlds) which will be for longer than a weekend (typically four to five days). Coaches will typically shuttle the students back and forth from the hotel to the event center. The typical event cost for hotels is about $100 per student per event plus the cost of food (suggested $40 per day).

Student Expectations
Students are expected to be on their polite and to be cognizant of safety while working on the team. Students will be given a copy of the handbook (electronically typically) and asked to sign off that they have read it. If any problems occur the coaches will deal with them as they arrive in the manner addressed in the handbook. Most coaches are volunteers and therefore students are expected to work on team related things while in a meeting (no playing games) this includes while at competitions. If students need a break to recoup then they need to inform a coach that they need a small break before getting back into the groove of things (this happens occasionally on Saturdays or at competitions). Students must be added to the google group to stay on top of everything (email jamesch13@gmail.com to be added) and should respond to emails promptly as everyone’s time is valuable.