Triple Helix Robotics produces inflection points: in the personal growth of our students and in the strength of other competitive youth STEM teams in our community. Our work helps develop the young leaders who will drive our region’s knowledge economy.
We make permanent, positive change in these areas– causing fundamental shifts in outcomes for the individual students we engage, a revitalized culture of engineering excellence in teams we reach, and the continued sustainable growth of a network of young people who are enthusiastic about the real work of science and technology careers. We do all this with a proven tool: the FIRST Robotics Competition. FRC gives us a way to pair students and technical professionals to co-investigate hard, exciting problems in STEM. Along the way, Triple Helix students develop rewarding relationships and learn an empowering personal truth: that it’s fun to work incredibly hard on complex problems as a member of a team, learning together alongside peers and mentors.
Triple Helix is passionate about high-quality documentation and the iterative engineering design process, and we demonstrate these passions in our prototype testing videos, whitepapers, and conference presentations.
Triple Helix Robotics is seeking mentors to help us level up our program!
Triple Helix is located in industrial Newport News, Virginia, a city where real people make real things. Ships, space vehicles, fuel injectors, photocopiers, particle accelerators– these things are conceived, built, and improved by rockstar designers, engineers, scientists, and technicians who live and work in our hometown. Our team aims to create the STEM experiences that transform students into these future rockstars.
Our team is distinguished by our two major passions: the iterative engineering design process, and good documentation. Together these two interests make us a constant and effective force in building a stronger youth STEM competition community. Our Peninsula STEM Gym, as well as the pre-season scrimmage event we run with partner teams 1610 and 5957, both provide unique opportunities for local teams to iterate on their solutions so they can be at their strongest at competition.
Our mentoring philosophies
Our team is relatively small, but our mission is large. Our core belief is that the most powerful way to engage our students in STEM is to provide a safe environment where they can experience complex problems in the form of a thrilling, challenging competition. We see our mentors as equal partners with our students as together we co-investigate those tough problems, forming awesome relationships along the way.
Desired areas of expertise
New Triple Helix mentors are not expected to know how to design and build an FRC robot– we can teach that! However, we are aiming to recruit mentors with the following expertise.
Math and physics
Ordinary differential equations
Modeling of dynamic systems
Linear–quadratic regulator (LQR)
Model predictive control (MPC)
Engineering and design
3D CAD (we primarily use PTC Creo and Onshape)
2D and 2.5D CAM
Additional focus areas
If this sounds like a group that you would like to join, please reach out to us at email@example.com. Come build real cool stuff with us!
In this presentation to the judges for the Infinite Recharge @ Home challenge, Triple Helix students emphasize the team’s work over the past two years to grow our trajectory-generating and path-following capabilities. The Infinite Recharge @ Home challenge was a part of the 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition.
Here are Triple Helix’s best raw scores (so far) for each of the Skills Competition challenges of the 2021 FRC game: Infinite Recharge at Home. This post will be updated when we have more scores to share.
During the summer of 2020 Triple Helix designed and built a testbed for developing software code to accurately aim a turret on a moving robot base. This first generation uses an unpowered base on casters, with a camera and laser pointer on a geared pan/tilt. The goal is to be able to automatically hold the laser spot stationary on a vision target while manually rolling and spinning the mobile base. If successful, this can be the basis for future turret style shooters for Triple Helix to use in competition.
As 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. In these slides, senior mentor Todd Ferrante explains the team’s current thinking in response to the continued public health crisis: this season, it’s up to us to create the spark of inspiration that will draw people– students and mentors– to participate in the team this year.
Triple Helix returns to flight by coming together to create the Tele Operated Robotics Competition– an internal tech challenge involving small bots which can be built by students at home and at the Peninsula STEM Gym, using the tools and techniques that are available to us.
People with disabilities are often challenged to resume the activities of their everyday lives. Assistive technology (AT) helps people resume independent participation, however commercial devices are often expensive and unsuited for individual use. Occupational Therapists (OT) increase client access to AT, but may lack skills, material and equipment needed to make individualized solutions. In this presentation, we discuss the collaboration between our FIRST team and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Occupational Therapy program and present a model for establishing similarly unique and mutually advantageous partnerships to increase the skills of health practitioners, introduce real-world application opportunities to STEM students, and address community AT needs.