Muskrat, FRC Team 7513
About Muskrat
Posted: Mar 12, 2019
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About Muskrat

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
— David Bowie

Not everyone is born to be an engineer or be interested in science. Regardless of that fact, team spirit, commitment, focus and sheer will are values that can be applied to any endeavor. And when you add creativity and artistic spirit, you can make any activity all the more interesting and compelling. Our quote from the multi-faceted and renowned artist David Bowie resonates with our vision. As long as you are able to make your creation something that is not boring, embedding a touch of art and imagination to it, your results will inspire others, regardless of your field of activity.

That is our vision: adding artistic inspiration to whatever we want to accomplish and making our future something extraordinary.

Our Members

Muskrat team members, who are students different schools, are supporting each other with steadfast collaboration. By seeking common points while observing differences, we have developed team culture of honest engagement. The ambitious Muskrat team members are in committed to detailed analysis and the pursuit of perfection. We look forward to gathering more experience and knowledge from every competition we take part in.
Muskrats work hard with dedication and cooperation, living in groups and exercising teamwork.
They do their work at night, just as our team does, due to our school schedule. We also aim at working just as hard as a solid team, respecting every member’s individuality, personality and uniqueness.
We endeavor to creatively search for possibilities, combining scientific knowledge with artistic endeavor and intuition expressing all of it in our performance and craft.

Our Core Members

  • Senior Management (System Team)
    • CEO: Decision making; technology mastery; internal communication.
    • CFO: Business strategy; team development; financial planning.
    • CIO: Data analysis; data-based recommendation, strategic research and allocation of resources.
  • Chief Directors
    • COO (Chief Operating Officer): Commercial & financial sections may be segmented into CMO and so on (PR).
    • CTO (Chief Technology Officer): Segmented by mechanical, programming, design and planning sections, respectively.
  • Mentors
    There is a specific mentor for each section. The mentor for the design section is to be determined.
    The mentors’ opinions are authoritative for each section.
    To appoint chief directors based on experience and competence comprehensively.
    Chief directors are entitled to select sectional members independently, without mentor
    of system team members. Each section shall set forth requirements of candidate
    selection in details.

Our Team Sections

  • Mechanical Section: Completion of routine study and working mission; pre-competition rule mentor; robot design and construction.
  • Programming Section: Completion of routine study and working mission; pre-competition mentor of programming manual; programming and construction of electronic components.
  • Design Section: Brochure, website and pit design; bracelet and peripheral product design; animation production.
  • Commercial Section: Commercial planning; cost control; financial statements; budget and final settlement.
  • Data Analysis Section: Record and analysis of each test, experiment and technology; members in technology section.
  • Media Section: Website update; WeChat account management; SNS account management; coordination with commercial section for advertisement; official document preparation; media.

Our Rules

  • If 2/3 of the members disagrees, the changes in the matter will not be carry out.
  • Members shall not assume the office as chief directors in two sections or any position in system team.
  • Sectional decisions shall be made by chief directors. Any decision objected by 50% of sectional members or above can be submitted to system team. Mentors’ opinions can be referred as authoritative opinions.
  • To hold periodical meetings every two weeks for sectional working reports and detailed financial statements.
  • To use sponsorship as members’ awards, reimbursement of travel fees, costume and material cost proportionally.
  • Performance evaluation.
  • Handle members disqualified by performance evaluation. Mutual restriction with senior management regarding any project with a disapproval.

Our Building the Robot

Our Doodle on Walls

The space and technology themed mural on the wall catches the visitors’ eyes every time they enter the lab. When we came to our Lab in NSYCC for the first time, the wall was completely blank, with paint peeling off. Hardly the look of a workplace for creative people. An artistically gifted member of team suggested creating a mural to leave unique imprint of our team, as well as to inspire and strengthen our relationship.

Our Laboratory

Our Lab is located at the Nan Shan Youth Community Center (NSYCC), which lies inside Zhongshan Park (Sun Yat Sen Park) and neighbors Nantou Ancient Town and Nantou Middle School.
The lab has equipped with a variety of hardware and enough room to welcome visitors while we work on our robot project. We may also gaze at the stars, standing amid the nature and history, absorbing inspiration from the environment. We also value safety: every place where potentially dangerous tools may be operated have posters reminding you to wear goggles and gloves. Basic first aid items are always within reach. We also
have a very soothing and well decorated lounge for the members to rest.

Our Building Process

  1. Game rule discussion
  2. Scheme discussion
  3. Scheme Determined
  4. Mechanism Prototype
  5. Mechanic CADing
  6. Program development
  7. Components Purchasing
  8. Mechanic Fabrication
  9. Robot Assembly
  10. Program Test
  11. Driver Training
  12. Lock Up

Bumper to Bumper

To build game field of this season, we had
a local workshop to fabricate wooden
components. He showcased his many
skills and different tools which helped us complement
the robot. While we went through his
workshop to get our things, we were
amazed by his fine craftsmanship
of wooden art pieces spread around at the sight. Out of
curiosity, we asked the owner to have a closer look
at those crafts. While he was digging them
out of dusty piles, he told us his story. The family of
the owner had been doing wood carving for 200
years. However, the transformations in Chinese
society throughout the 20th century left his mother
as the only heir of the family
craftsmanship. He came to
Shenzhen himself in 1980s in search of new opportunities.
But after bouncing around between jobs, he
decided to embrace the family heritage and
to revivify his family craft tradition. We were impressed by his
professionalism, seriousness and craftsmanship.
We took his love and dedication as a
lesson to inspire our own endeavors.

Our Social Responsibility

For Students

Muskrat team believes that senior high school students in China should not just stick to textbooks, but to
experiment and practice. In order to recruit new members and inspire more students regarding technology and
robotics, we held presentations at 7 local schools, including high schools, junior high school and primary
schools. We expect that by showcasing our work, we may help junior high school students to become
familiar with IT industry and get notions of robotics and engineering. However,
members with different skills will be able to find their own positions in this competition. For junior high
school students with outstanding academic results who lack participating in social activities, appropriate
personal publicity will add to their extra-curricular activities and the precious experience instructed
by them to younger ones will be recorded in documents, turning into the strong evidence for
their CSR. For students who have been admitted to colleges or universities who lack training in
linguistic expression and acting skills according to circumstance in schools. And presentations done in
front of critical parents and students can significantly improve their speaking skills, laying an important
foundation for their future careers. The team is also sponsored by SUSTech – Southern University of Science and Technology, affiliation which bridges high school education with university level academics.

For Companies


  • Priority: Classified into six types, A, B, C, D, E, F. The one with higher priority can be more likely to fund us; the
    judgment here is made based on subjective reasoning.
  • Heavy/light-asset companies: Divided based on the quantity of real estates owned by a company. The so-called
    real estate includes workshop, machinery, assets. Here, RMB 2 million is the threshold to differentiate light
    asset companies from heavy-asset companies.
  • Capital flow cycle/working capital: Capital is always expended first before earned; and capital flow cycle
    indicates how fast the expended capital can be earned back. Working capital indicates the balance of the checking
    account of general company account. Sponsorship means additional expenditure from our sponsors; therefore, if
    they don’t have enough working capital and their capital flow cycles are too long, then they won’t have spare
    capital to fund us. These are two opposite concepts based on subjective judgments.

Upstream Industries

Semiconductor Chip Production [B]

Semiconductor chips are the core element of embedded robots. Which means that all the other elements are
Based on the master chip performance.
Both designers and producers of semiconductor chips are heavy-asset companies, which usually have more
working capital; some emerging semiconductor chip companies bear a sense of social responsibility.

Element Production [F]

Element producers are supporting the operation of our main chip in an important way.
All of element producers are heavy-asset companies.
Yet, the element industry is characterized by established technologies with no substantial evolution in the past years, so that even if we suggest that our components are
manufactured by those producers as a promotion, it will be unlikely that they would support us.

Midstream Companies

Circuit Board Printing (Customization) [D]

Those companies help customers to print circuit boards and produce usable development boards.

Those companies are featured by low technology threshold and fierce competition as heavy-asset companies.

Development Board Design and Promotion [A]

These companies (organize) design circuits and use semiconductors and elements to produce the development of boards
available for direct programming.

Downstream Industry

Retailing [D]

Retailing companies purchase components from upstream industry and midstream industry and sell them to
individual developers.

These companies are light-asset ones, with short capital flow cycle and face relatively fierce competition.

Mechanical Components (Customization) [E]

These mechanical component producers customize product shells and other components for customers.
These companies are generally facing the situation of market saturation due to the low technological threshold.

Therefore, they may not cooperate with us.
Financially speaking, these companies may sell their products to us with discount or even as giveaways; That may prove useful in the future.

Hardware [A]

These companies develop products applicable to customers. They are the terminal enterprises in the entire
industrial chain.
They are light-asset companies with extremely short capital flow cycle; meanwhile, they emphasize on
technology and the cultivation of talents, have certain sense of social responsibility, as
the priority contact selection.

Thanks to all our sponsors

And especially for this one.


Article License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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Article Markdown:
  1. 1. About Muskrat
    1. 1.1. Our Members
      1. 1.1.1. Our Core Members
      2. 1.1.2. Our Team Sections
      3. 1.1.3. Our Rules
    2. 1.2. Our Building the Robot
      1. 1.2.1. Our Doodle on Walls
      2. 1.2.2. Our Laboratory
      3. 1.2.3. Our Building Process
      4. 1.2.4. Bumper to Bumper
    3. 1.3. Our Social Responsibility
      1. 1.3.1. For Students
      2. 1.3.2. For Companies
        1. Glossary:
        2. Upstream Industries
          1. Semiconductor Chip Production [B]
          2. Element Production [F]
        3. Midstream Companies
          1. Circuit Board Printing (Customization) [D]
          2. Development Board Design and Promotion [A]
        4. Downstream Industry
          1. Retailing [D]
          2. Mechanical Components (Customization) [E]
          3. Hardware [A]
    4. 1.4. Thanks to all our sponsors
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