The Beakerhead Catharsis Catapult Competition is an annual local competition combining engineering and creativity. The competition requires teams to build and design a launching device around a theme of their choice. Teams usually consist of engineers representing various companies. The University of Calgary's Team TESLA has participated for the past 3 years and won the Boldness Award and the Accuracy Award for the innovative design and the technical prowess of our catapults.
The project runs from July to September of every year. If you're interested in being part of the 2017 team, check back in June for the registration form.
Catharsis Catapult Competition
Hack the Flyer
This epic competition pits teams of engineers and tinkerers from across Calgary against each other in multiple “wagon” racing events such as an obstacle course and an all out drag race. Our team was given a couple of weeks to turn the iconic Red Flyer wagon into a ruthless racing machine. The only guidelines: to make the piloted wagon have the ability to achieve great speeds, turn at a moments notice, run in reverse and above all, be totally sustainably powered.
Robot in 3 Days
In January of 2015, TESLA's Ri3D team was established to be the first in Western Canada. The team successfully completed their challenge of producing not only one, but two working robots for the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush, within a 72 hour time period. The team brought together over 50 students from the University of Calgary and local high schools in addition to some experienced mentors. Together, team members worked together to complete two functional robot models: Tusker and Vater. The team's progress and final design can be found on our YouTube channel.
The team has again completed the 2016 FRC game, FIRST Stronghold, with an equally large team of over 50 members and completed two robots within the 72 hour build period.
Again in 2017, FRC Steamworks was completed by over 50 members producing 2 robots.
We are currently preparing for the 2018 FRC game to be released January 2018. Registration is still open for high school students here. Visitors are welcome to our build facility during the build located at 1919 19 Street SW in Calgary, AB.
TESLA will be hosting an information session for the Robot in 3 Days Challenge on November 21st at 6pm in ENA 103. Free Snacks will be provided.
First Robotics Background
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a program within FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology). The program challenges youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to build a competition ready robot in only six weeks. Every January, a new challenge is released and teams have six weeks to complete their robot. Over 2500 teams from all over the world have participated in FRC in 2014.
Unlike other FIRST Programs, FRC robots are quite complex and are typically built from scratch. FRC robots include an electrical system, pneumatic system, drive train, robot code and any additional mechanical pieces that may be required for competition. To complete this task, youth work with professional industry mentors and learn the necessary skills from them. Additionally, FRC teams are much more than just robotics. Teams must also sustain themselves through their own fundraising and team management. To read more about FRC, visit the official FRC website.
Most TESLA members are, or have been a participant in the FRC program. In fact, TESLA was initially founded to facilitate the work of FRC Team 4627 outside of school hours. Since then TESLA members have acted as mentors to several local FRC teams.
In 2014, over 22,000 teams, from nearly 80 countries participated in the FLL competition, which had the theme of natural disasters. Teams from all over the world developed, tested and spread their innovative solution to avoid, deal with or recover from a natural disaster.
In late August of every year, a new project theme is released by FLL. Along with the released project theme is a robot challenge. FLL teams build autonomous Lego robots to complete predetermined missions on the FLL field. In addition to the technical and research aspects of FLL is an ethical and professional aspect. FLL teams are required to maintain and foster FIRST Core Values of Gracious Professionalism, Coopertition and Teamwork.
TESLA recently started a new initiative, the establishment of FRC team 6679 - TESLA Robotics. TESLA Robotics acts as a bridge between our FLL Program and our Robot in 3 Days Project. TESLA Robotics team members act as mentors to younger youth in the Cubotics FLL team, while members of TESLA act as mentors to TESLA Robotics.
FRC robots are quite complex and require a wide range of knowledge and expertise for successful completion. Team members learn a wide variety of skills including game strategy, CAD design, mechanical prototyping and fabrication, electro-pneumatic circuits and programming. This is in addition to the important core skills of teamwork, leadership and effective communication that is fostered and developed on the team.
The FRC alumni community is global, giving everyone a wide network of professionals around the world. In addition, there is over $30 million in scholarships available for students in FRC.
Registration for the TESLA Robotics is open year round. Click here to register.
If you're interested in becoming a mentor for the team, or have any specific question, please send us an email.
Read what students from the 2017 TESLA Robotics team had to say about their experience here.
Cubotics Team 2374
Our award-winning Cubotics FLL team started in October 2013 within the 18th Scout Group. The team has participated in several competitions since then, and received the Core Values Award for demonstrating valuable FLL values such as teamwork, cooperation, respect and professionalism for two consecutive years. The team is mentored by students from FRC Team 6679 - TESLA Robotics, and coached by students from the University of Calgary.
The team is comprised of youth between the ages of 9 and 14, who work together to build an autonomous LEGO robot capable of completing pre-specified challenged unique to each year's competition. In addition, team members complete and present a research project on a topic of their choice within a general theme of the challenge for the year.
This project has allowed members to develop their teamwork and critical thinking skills. Both the research project and robot game encourage creative thinking for the youth. In addition, team members learn how to build and program robust robots that aim to incorporate self-corrective code while maintaining an emphasis on design simplicity.
The team meets twice a week between September and April of each year. Meetings take place at our build space located at the 18th Scout Hall. Send us an email to request further information regarding meeting times.
Registration for the Cubotics team is open year round. Click here to register.
Interested mentors are always welcome. Send us an email if you're interested
TESLA understands that learning and growth are important aspects for our members to continue to succeed in their projects. Thus, professional development seminars are held throughout the year on different topics including basics of CAD design, electro-pneumatic circuits, and soldering sessions to support our members' learning.