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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Days Like These Are Awesome

Saturday was a GREAT day! The team was able to test their robot in a real environment, they got some awesome help, and they had a ton of fun! Especially after the trouble we had on Friday, Saturday meant a lot. Check out YouTube videos of our performance!

Saturday had an inauspicious start however. After staying at school until after midnight, Bryce did not wake up in time. So we loaded up final parts in the trailer (THANK YOU RYAN'S DAD FOR DRIVING) and everyone got in the Sprinter Van. Our first stop: Bryce's house. Bydlon went in and got Bryce. He, along with all the team members, is extremely important so it was worth the stop. No other excitement on the way down. We unloaded the trailer and van without incident. Matt (mentor from last year) met up with us.

Honestly, I can't remember everything that happened during the day but a few key things are organized in the next few paragraphs.

First: The robot. Ryan's dad, Matt, and Bydlon's brother, Josh, came to help the team during the competition. Their help was invaluable. THANK YOU SO MUCH! We made a few fixes (and had a few problems) with the robot. Our first problem was that our drive train was not working. We had 6 sticky wheels so it was almost impossible to turn. To alleviate that situation, we used Team 2220's metal shop and raised the back wheels. This allowed the robot to rock on the middle wheels and not have 6 wheels in contact with the ground anymore. Another problem we had was that the horn broke. There was too much torque on the window motor. Kevin, Josh, and Matt provided a bunch of really helpful ideas to fix it when we got back to Alex. Our last main problem was batteries. Basically, we have a lot of bad batteries. We were constantly fighting with voltage problems. The shooter wouldn't get up to speed or we wouldn't be able to turn because we had no voltage. By process of elimination, we figured out the good and bad ones and our second to last match was BY FAR our best. Indescribable seeing something you have put so much time into and have it work so well.

Second: The mascot. Jesse really made Team 3313 visible with the mascot. There were so many people looking at him and complimenting the work that he, Kacy, and Steph have put in. This will be HUGE at the regional where a big part of our job is to get noticed by other teams (especially the good ones). Gabe took a ton of amazing pictures including some really awesome ones with Jesse in the mascot. Funniest moment of the day was seeing Jesse dancing to the Chicken Dance. Multiple team members were crying from laughter.

Third: General practice. Not only were we able to test mechanisms with the robot, but we were also able to test out team organization for the Regional. We split the team up (mostly) into pit crew, scouting, and drive team. This arrangement really helped alleviate congestion in the pit and gave everyone a purpose. Rachel did (and still is doing) some awesome work with the statistics collected. The scout team was also able to refine the scouting form for Regionals. Drive team did a great job talking to other teams and practicing how to the drive robot. Their definitely improvement throughout the day on picking up balls and shooting them. Balancing was still a problem but will hopefully be fixed by Regionals.

Fourth: Some adult mentor support. As stated earlier, Ryan's dad (Kevin), Bydlon's brother (Josh) and Matt (college mentor last year) came to the Regional to help. Their help cannot be overstated. They gave the team some really good advice on how to fix problems and make the robot the best it can be. Ryan's dad drove the trailer which carried the robot so the scrimmage literally would not have happened without him. Josh took some awesome pictures and Matt is just plain cool. It was great to see such awesome and excited adults helping the team out.

Fifth: Buffalo Wild Wings. This has nothing to do with the robot but is probably the most memorable part of the day. We stopped at B Dubs on the way home to eat. Ryan decided to take the Blazin Wing Challenge. He was successful and got a headband but it wasn't pretty.

Truly, Saturday was one of the best days that Team 3313 has ever had. A lot was learned and a lot of fun was had. That's about all one can ask for in a day. The team's effort after a looooong week and staying up late the night before was incredible. This scrimmage and day will pay GIANT dividends at Regionals on March 29-31 at Williams Arena.


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