Age: 16 Inspiration: Other robots at competitions that were decked out with flashing lights Purpose: To make my team's robot stand out Significance: This project demonstrated perseverance and the LEDs are just plain awesome.
Since the beginning of the robotics season I had asked the team's leader if we could purchase LEDs to put on the robot. He reluctantly agreed. Getting the LEDs on the robot was an uphill battle. At every competition I brought the LED strands and my custom made control board with me hoping that at some point the robot would be free for me to attach them. That moment never came and I made sure that everyone knew how frustrated I was that I wasn't able to attach my LEDs. Finally, before the teams first off season event I was allowed to attach the LEDs and the skeptical team stared at them in awe. Not only did people from my team come to me and say how good they looked, but other teams asked about the LEDs to see if it would be possible for their team to attach LEDs. After months of fighting for the LEDs they turned out better than anyone ever expected. The LEDs have several different modes that are handled by an ATMEGA328. The microcontroller is signaled by the robot over I2C when it needs to change the mode based on different robot actions.
The robot the LEDs are attached to is the TechHOUNDS 868 robot from the 2013 season. The robot was built to play a game similar to frisbee. This robot was arguably the team's best and I was ecstatic to be the electrical lead during this phenomenal season. For more information on the robot visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-Rvk1Xr_ns.