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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Highs and Lows

The final day of the 10,000 Lakes Regional was definitely a mix of emotions for Team 3313. There were high highs and low lows. We performed very well during our matches but were not picked for elimination rounds. As always though, the team had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Qualifying Matches

The opening ceremonies started and, as usual,the political celebrities were on display. Amy Klobuchar, a MN U.S. Senator, was the first celebrity to speak. She talked about how important the students who are in FIRST Robotics are to the state's future. The other major celebrity during the ceremony was Minneapolis mayor, R.T. Rybak. Of course, there were appearances by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers, two of the founding members of FIRST. The nerves of team were at a fever pitch by the end of the ceremony because we were in the second match of the day.

Qualifying Match Schedule


You can watch all matches from the 10,000 Lakes Regional by going to this link http://robotics.mnmsa.org/webcast/ and scrolling down to the 10,000 Lakes Webcast.

Red Alliance - 2501, 3100, 3630
Blue Alliance - 2987, 3313, 2502

Red Alliance - 2509, 2535, 3313
Blue Alliance - 2825, 2480, 2846

Red Alliance - 3747, 525, 2227
Blue Alliance - 3299, 3313, 2232

Red Alliance - 4229, 3313, 4215
Blue Alliance - 3783, 3524, 3407

Red Alliance - 3313, 2531, 2303
Blue Alliance - 3018, 3090, 2181

Red Alliance - 4207, 3007, 3081
Blue Alliance - 3313, 2518, 3244

Red Alliance - 3313, 2532, 3038
Blue Alliance - 3723, 2052, 2498

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

Once upon a time, in the land of FIRST Robotics, Team 3313 was excited to have their "FIRST" day at the 10,000 Lakes Regional. Bydlon played two Rock Band songs while the rest of the team was waiting for him in the hall. But he Gold Starred "Fix You" by Coldplay--so it was okay. Everyone was up and ready to go on time, which is a feat in and of itself! Despite encountering a bit of traffic, the team still managed to arrive at the arena half an hour early. The excitement filled the lobby where they were waiting, so much so that some team members had to run around outside to calm down.


After a whirlwind past couple days doing last minute preparations, the day was finally here when 3313 could go down to the Twin Cities for our Regional, 10,000 Lakes at Williams Arena. Everyone signed and filled out permission forms and FIRST Consent and Release Forms. We printed the Business Plan, other Judge Handouts, and social media information.

Ryan's dad, Kevin, dropped off the trailer right after school and the team furiously packed it up. We also loaded up the two Sprinter Vans. Bydlon drove one and Mr. Nelson was awesome enough to drive the other down for the team. After spending the past two days packing and organizing and arranging, the actual loading of the robot was fairly simple. Everything had a place and everything was in that place. The drive down was uneventful except there was lots of singing along in Bydlon's van.

We got to Williams Arena and unloaded all of our things. However, the team had a panic attack that we left our safety glasses at the shop or lost them because we could not find them. Turns out, they were in Mr. Nelson's van which had to park somewhere else and wait because the robot unloading area is very small. Otherwise, unloading all of our stuff was uneventful.

We proceeded to our hotel, Best Western Plus in Bloomington. The team checked in and got settled then headed over to the Mall of America which is right across the street. Everyone got their assorted food choices. After that, people split up in small groups to go to the hotel hot tub, walk around Best Buy, go to the Microsoft store and other random places. By the end of the night, most people were hanging out and playing Rock Band or sleeping.

BIG DAY TOMORROW! We have to set up our pit, then replace the wheels and put our new fancy wheels on. The rest of the day will be spent anxiously awaiting and sitting through inspection (scary) and testing our robot and practicing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wave Our Flag

Just a quick update from today. This author is getting back in the habit of blogging every day in anticipation for our Regional Competition this week at Williams Arena.

So Rachel is awesome. A few weeks back, she volunteered to sew a flag for our team. She did not know what she was getting herself into. After A LOT of work and just a few struggle faces, she finished the flag today. We had been putting off posting a picture because we wanted her true accomplishment to shine through. So without further ado, here it is.

There were a few other things that the team worked on the night before we leave. Jenna made some posters to hang in our pit with announcements (Back in 13 minutes, Out to lunch, Call me maybe). She also finished remaking the picture poster board. They all look great. The business plan and other materials were brought to a local copying company to be made.

Bryce, Jordan, and Brandon worked on putting the battery shelf underneath the robot cart. This will allow us to carry tools and extra batteries to the queuing line in an efficient and cool looking manner. Really great work by everyone involved. Bydlon also bought some more extra parts and tools like master links and safety glasses.

Yet another reminder, this blog, our youtube account (click above on the tab) and our twitter (@team3313) will all be updated throughout this exciting weekend. We are competing at the U of M Twin Cities - Williams Arena all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

We are all ready to go tomorrow right after school!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Practice Run

Some team members have met up a few times in the past week after school to continue getting ready for our Regional Competition (10,000 Lakes Regional at U of M - Twin Cities Williams Arena March 29-31). We have worked on a variety of projects including the pit area, acquiring tools, arranging elementary schools tours, revising the business plan and organizing parts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Holding Pattern

After showcasing at the District 206 Student Showcase last Thursday, the team’s goals have really changed to focus much more on our upcoming Regional Competition at Williams Arena on March 29-31. We have been working on a bunch of different preparation projects including the flag, the banner, hotels, van drivers, and raising up the robot cart. The other big excitement was that some of the team members were on the radio this morning!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Highs and Lows of Robotics

This has been said before, but there are so many parts and aspects to the robot that it is really hard to figure out what is wrong when something goes wrong. That was the major theme for most of last week. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scouting Ahead

At one of the team's first meetings of the year, we all came together and decided on season goals. The big question: What did we want to accomplish this year? Some answers included:
  • Make it to the elimination rounds of our Regional Competition(s)
  • Go to two Regionals (Lake Superior and 10K Lakes)
  • Recruit more team members (Have at least 15 people on the team)
  • Expand our community awareness
  • Compete in various awards (Entrepreneurship, Website, etc.)
We have worked really hard for almost 5 months straight now to complete all of those goals. Unfortunately, we did not fund-raise enough money to attend both the Lake Superior and 10K Lakes Regionals. It costs $5000 to register for one and an additional $4000 to attend another. We did not want to miss out on the opportunity to scout and research however. So the team attended the Lake Superior Regional as spectators. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Starting Over Is Hard To Do

The team decided to make a new robot for a myriad of reasons. Those reasons being:
  • We need something to show at the Discovery Student Showcase on March 15. 
  • We wanted more practice building and wanted to use pneumatics.
  • We like being around each other and any excuse for that to happen will do. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Robotics Is Awesome!

The team went up to Parker's Prairie Elementary School to help with their Robotics Week. The title is a quote from an elementary student.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March-ing Along

Apologies for the lack of posts the past week. After six and a half weeks of INTENSE drilling, thinking, cutting, designing, and worrying, the team needed some time to catch back up. Quite a few developments from last week. The main ones being on our practice robot, Beckham (it will be able to play soccer), the flag, and the banner.