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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2nd Annual Minne Mini-Regional

Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will, will go wrong.

That's a good description of what happened during the trip down to Prior Lake for the 2nd Annual Minne Mini-Regional. The mini-regional was a competition of 24 teams from around Minnesota. There were two main purposes. It was a fundraising event to buy a field for the state of minnesota but, more importantly, it was chance for rookie team members to get an idea of what a FIRST competition is all about.

The day started bright and early at 4:45am. We got the robot in the truck and loaded up the van. Bydlon, Chandler, and Bryce were the only people to stay awake the whole drive. Bydlon and Chandler were driving so that's good. Bydlon decided to take a tour of Prior Lake (i.e. he got lost) but eventually made it to the high school and unloaded the robot.

Going back to the Murphy's Law theme, here's a list of things that did not work or did not go well during the competition day:
  • camera (first wouldn't connect, then didn't have one)
  • batteries (no charge)
  • wireless network was too busy
  • no ethernet cable (got yelled at)
  • no surical tubing (had to borrow)
  • minibot would not deploy correctly
  • no solder gun
  • too tired
  • one wheel had no power
  • scissor lift leaning like the Tower of Pisa
  • first major snowstorm
Let's just say a lot of lessons were learned and we made some good friends (thanks King Tec 2169!). The most stressful part was that part of 94 was closed so we had to stay in a hotel in the Cities. We found one by the Mall of America and stocked up on necessary supplies (or played video games in Bydlon's case). We drove home the next day with no surprises thankfully.

In all seriousness, it was a great bonding experience. The rookies learned a lot about competition. The team learned begging will get you free pizza. Most importantly, we learned that our next competition can't go any worse.

Roll Out!

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