March 24, 2016

Competition Update

New leadership is about to take over, therefore it is only fitting that we have some new voices writing the season’s last club update. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done this year and I’m confident that the club is in good hands. Thank you Fiona, Christina, Aaron and Clyde for the Competition Update:

The Iron Riders, FRC Team 4180, have had a great FIRST Robotics Competition Season! Following the hype-inspiring kick off of this years challenge, FIRST Stronghold, we had our busy, six week Build Season. It was full of challenges and achievements, resulting in this year’s beautiful robot, Silver! This season, we participated in two Pacific Northwest District Events. At Glacier Peak, we finished the Qualification Round 5-9-0 in Rank 24, and made the 7th Alliance. Teamed with 4-H Botsmiths and M*A*S*H, we made the quarterfinals, going toe-to-toe with SRF, CyberKnights, and the RoboCubs, scoring our first 100 point match!

For the first time in team history, we made it to the Elimination Round at both of our District Events. At Mount Vernon, we finished the Qualification Round 7-8-0 in Rank 21, and once again made the 7th Alliance. This time allied with Top Gun and the NeoBots, we rocked the quarterfinals, squaring off once more with the CyberKnights, who were allied with Chill Out and Team Pronto. After scoring two 100 point matches, we lost 111 to 112 points in a tiebreaker match! However, our hard work was rewarded when we won our first ever event award, the 2016 Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation. Because of the way the District Ranking System works, there is still a chance we might make it to the District Championships in Portland, so for now, Silver is remaining safely in its bag. Either way, it's been an amazing FRC season.

Thank You,

Halle Remash | Vice President

Iron Riders, 4180, a Washington FIRST Robotics Team

February 26, 2016

Build Season is FINALLY over! ..But not really.

I’d like to thank everyone for coming out these last few days, especially on Monday and Tuesday when members and mentors worked until 11pm. Much thanks to our project manager, Aaron Jacobson, for organizing the build season debrief yesterday and for leading today’s competition planning session.

Next week the team plans to organize competition carpools, food, scouting, robot access, pit schedules and strategy. In the following week, we will use our “out of bag” time to test robot mechanisms and autonomous. The schedule for team elections as well as competition jobs will be announced on Wednesday the 2nd. It’s a lot to accomplish before the 11th of March, but we will manage.

For now, keep your eyes peeled for an email with more competition details. If you already know that you are interested in providing a ride or food for our competitions at Glacier Peak (3/11-3/13) or Mount Vernon High Schools (3/18-3/20) you can contact me at

Photo: The Evolution of our 3D Printed Camera Mount

February 17, 2016

Build Season is almost over!

We have less than a week left before the robot is to be bagged and completed. This weekend the team built and tested the robot at Electroimpact. The following systems on the robot are functional: flywheel shooter, drivetrain motors, pneumatic piston, and gear shifting. Most of the work left is in integrating these systems. In the upcoming days the team will also be constructing and attaching the robot’s intake system as well as testing autonomous code.

We could not have been so productive this weekend without Jim Thompson. Thank you for getting food and workspace for the team. Thank you Andrew Murphy for providing the last two Wednesday dinners (tonight’s curry was wonderful). Thank you to all of the parents who drove members and supplies up to and back from Mukilteo. So much of what we do hinges on community support, and we have that in spades.

February 6, 2016

Week Four: Panic

The team has yet to receive vital parts for the robot. Waiting on about a $1000 worth of parts from VEX is stressful. We aren’t in crunch time quite yet, but Stop Build Day is ever approaching. The team is shifting into high gear now that semester finals are over. The chassis is mostly constructed and the robot CAD is almost complete. We have milled parts for the shooting and intake systems, tested more efficient joystick code, and furthered image recognition research.
Thank you Ben Swanson for providing this week’s Wednesday dinner. The homemade pizza was delicious and it was nice to see an Iron Riders alumnus. Thank you Ellen Tan for bringing side dishes. Thank you Keith, Daniel, Mike, Fitz, and John for pushing the team in the right direction. As always, thank you Mr. Ruff and Ms. Myers for keeping your doors open.

February 2, 2016

We are more than halfway through build season!

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their support last week. Thank you Melodie Tebbs and Debbie Vaughn for Wednesday dinner. Thank you Garrett Olsen for getting lumber. Thank you Mr. Ruff for ordering parts. Thank you Fitz for sharing github expertise. Thank you Mike and Daniel for reminding us of our deadline.

Stop Build Day is approaching as the team gains momentum and materials. Last week began with finishing prototyping, field element construction, and the chassis CAD. We have begun chassis construction and software has fixed Github issues. We are still waiting on parts, but we will work with what we have.

The team will be ordering team spirit gear this Friday, so please fill out the following Order Form before the end of this week if you would like a club t-shirt or sweatshirt. 

January 24, 2016

One-Third of the way through build season

This week the team worked on sensor testing, robot connection, prototyping, CAD, and field element construction. Members built three “defenses” for robot testing and software fixed the Iron Riders github repository. Mr. Ruff’s room has been very crowded as of late due to his class’s upcoming semester deadlines. We plan to pick up the pace as his students finish their projects, giving us more workspace. Next week we will begin constructing the chassis and the drive train.

We really appreciate the support we have been getting in these past two weeks. Thank you Peggy Confer for providing Wednesday’s wonderful dinner. Thank you Joe Farra for getting the team construction supplies. Thank you Daniel, Fitz, Keith, John, Mike, and Will for showing up to mentor. As always, thank you Mr. Ruff and Ms. Myers for having your doors open.

January 16, 2016

The first week of build season is over!

I apologize for the lack of recent updates, build season is a little busy.

Kickoff went wonderfully. Getting up at the crack of dawn was totally worth the cool new challenge (Here is the FIRST Stronghold Reveal Video if you are curious). Thank you to the numerous mentors, drivers and food providers who made it all possible.

During our kickoff meeting at the University of Washington, members analyzed game strategies and acted out the challenge. Pictured below are robots (Jake, Fiona, and Matthew) “climbing” the castle walls (Andrew, Christina, and Brendan).

The team's focus this week was design, yet we have also started prototyping and coding the Stronghold robot. Thank you Mary and Michael for providing Wednesday’s club dinner. Thank you Daniel for showing up every day of the week to help us out. Thank you Mr. Ruff and Ms. Myers for always having your doors open.

Have a great three day weekend Iron Riders!  

December 10, 2015

$9,817.12 in one week?!

Recent team fundraising efforts have been extremely successful. Our hardware lead, Jax Damir, helped us retain last year’s Electroimpact sponsorship. The recent completion of our Snap Raise fundraiser has also added to our total. The club budget has doubled as of last year due to our awesome business team, and our awesome business lead. Good job Zoe. 🙂

November 27, 2015

After Thanksgiving...

In light of Thanksgiving we’d like to thank the Golden Grads program for our new MIG Welder. We would also like to thank everyone who donated to our cause on Snap-Raise. Thank you to new mentors, Keith, Daniel, Mike, Karen, and Remington, for helping pre-season efforts. Thank you returning mentors, Fitz, Charles, and John, for your help with the mentor meeting. Thank you Mr. Ruff and Ms. Myers for the countless hours of support and advice. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On another note, there is a parent meeting this Wednesday at 5:00pm in Room 217 at Roosevelt High School. We will be discussing the basics of build season as well as logistic information such as carpools and team snacks, so please try to attend. If you are a parent that is unable to attend please email in order to get a summary of the meeting.
Good luck to seniors working on college apps and thank you for your time.

November 19, 2015

The first quarter of the 2015-2016 school year is over!

While it might seem insane that we are already one fourth of the way through the school year, it isn’t so outlandish when you consider all that has been accomplished in such a short time. The club has introduced new members to the team, held a team bonding game night, submitted grants, received donations, met with mentors to discuss plans, and more.
Our current focus lies in completing a pep robot, ordering sweatshirts, building flags, and preparing for build season. This preparation includes an upcoming parent meeting, which will be on December 2nd at 5:00pm in Mr. Ruff's Room (219) at Roosevelt High School.
As of today, we have eight days left in our fundraising campaign with Snap! Raise. You can donate at the following link here:
Only 51 days until build season...