Newsletter: Triple Helix Robotics – September 2020 update

Triple Helix Robotics wishes everyone well! We’re proud to share the following long-overdue updates about our team…

Triple Helix returns to flight with a FPV drone competition Triple Helix Robotics begins a new school year, our team leaders have been thinking about how we’ll accomplish the goals of the team– inspiring students with STEM– within the restrictions placed on us by the pandemic we’re all living through. We have decided to expand beyond the scope of the FIRST Robotics Competition by starting a new (and mostly remote) parallel program which we’re calling the Tele-Operated Robotics Competition (TORC). This is intended as an internal tech challenge within Triple Helix involving small robotic vehicles which can be built by students and mentors at home, occasionally visiting the Peninsula STEM Gym for guidance from mentors and access to specialized tools. We looked at multiple options for the robot platform and went with the option the students were most excited about: “CineWhoopclass” first-person view (FPV) quadcopters.
How can I get involved in the Triple Helix drone competition?Students and mentors interested in participating in our Tele-Operated Robotics Competition are invited to:

  • Register with the team via (this is an annual requirement for all students and mentors).
  • Register with the FAA as a drone operator under The Exception for Recreational Flyers at The cost is $5 for 3 years of registration.
  • Join us on the team Slack where you will learn how you can pick up your kit of parts and start the process of building your quad!

Our first skills-building activity will be assembling a battery pack required to power the goggles you wear to see the video feed from the onboard camera. Building this pack will teach you the soldering skills you will need to wire the quadcopter.

Peninsula STEM Gym re-opens serving FRC, FTC, and indoor drone competition teams
The STEM Gym has moved into a new warehouse, but we’re still located at the same address in central Newport News. Our new setup offers us a location for continued development of our FRC robot for the extended Infinite Recharge season, as well as enough meeting and office spaces to support an adequately socially-distanced STEM program. We’re also offering a complete FTC field for any of our friends who are playing the new FTC game ULTIMATE GOAL, and over the next few weeks we’ll also be building an aerodrome for our FPV drone challenge! Thanks to all who have supported this new evolution of our innovative STEM Gym space.