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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The team met for the first time after a very tiring, very exciting day on Saturday. We worked on a number of different projects. Our busy schedule never stops.

Bydlon and Kacy worked on writing another email to West Central MN teams about the Robotapalooza. Robotapalooza will be on December 1. It will be a fun day filled with games, conversation, and camaraderie. We purposefully did not plan for a lot of workshops where people are directly talking to others. We really wanted a more laid back kind of day where teams from a similar region can just hang out with each other. So far, 4 teams have responded with a "yes". Perham, Morris, Wadena, and Moorhead. We are so excited to host these teams at our school!!

Bryce, Brandon, and Demian worked on making field walls for the Robotapalooza. We want to have half a field for teams to practice on and play around with. To do this, we need to build the walls out of plywood and 2x4's. We bought all the supplies necessary.

Carson worked on creating a Pizza Ranch poster. We will be hosting a Pizza Ranch tip night on Monday, December 3. 10% of all sales will be donated to our team. To promote the event all over our town, we will hang up posters at schools and small businesses.

Kadi and Miranda worked on writing the blog post about the Minne-Regional. It turned out great! Just scroll down to read it.

Miranda also worked on finding some carpet for us to use. Unfortunately, it was pretty expensive so we'll have to figure out another plan.

More updates to come after Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


For a visual recap of our AWESOME day, check out our YouTube playlist!!! 

Team 3313 Mechatronics arrived at JHS at around 5:30am to attend the Minne-Regional. Everyone got on the bus heading to Prior Lake High School at 6am. Almost everyone slept until the sun finally showed through the window.

We arrived at the Minne Regional excited at 8:30, jumping off the bus and running from the chilly weather, carrying boxes into the large school. Miranda and Kacy took off for the classroom where they hosted a Public Relations workshop. The other teams seemed very interested to know about our PR strategies and what we do to get the community involved. The audience asked many good questions. They loved watching all the videos that we made about our fundraisers and driving Murphy around. While they presented, fellow team members attended workshops, and the pit crew prepared Murphy ready for competition.

Later, it was time to compete. We all got up and started dancing and cheering, watching as all the other teams got up to come and joined us in our craziness. Sooner or later we all had to sit down and watch the match we were all cheering for not only our teams but all the teams. Talk about good team spirit!  

Match after match, Team 3313 screamed and cheered for all the teams to make baskets. We screamed even louder if they did make it into the hoop. Team members were amazed by all the awesome robots that other teams made. Some of us decided to check out how Murphy was doing in the pit.

Unfortunately, we were not safe from Murphy’s law. In one of our rounds, we realized the laptop battery had died. Luckily, we were prepared to charge it. The next round didn’t go much better. Murphy’s battery came disconnected from the robot after they had already closed off the field. That wasn’t enough to stop us though! In multiple other rounds, we were able to make both autonomous shots. Murphy finished with a 5-2 record, ended up placing 4th out of 30 teams, and being the 3rd seeded alliance.

During lunch, we all chatted about what might happen and how good we had been doing. A really funny moment of the day was when Jordan took out his iPad and we took funny pictures. Once we all got done eating we wanted to try something new. Some of us laid on the floor while the rest of us got in a line behind. We looked like a bunch of weirdos lying on the ground, but if you went up a floor you could see the numbers 3313. Other teams were walking by us giving us odd looks until they figured out what we were doing. It was bomb!

Bryce represented our team in the alliance selection and chose Team 3883 and Team 876 to round out our Blue Alliance.

That’s about when the dancing started again we got a short break about 15 minutes for the teams to get ready for the semifinals. King Tec got up first this time, then us, then other teams around us. Jumping up and down was awesome, but it got really hot in there. Some of the teams went out in the foyer to sit down and have something to drink.

We went back in to watch the semifinal matches. While the pit crew was pulling murphy on o the field, the rest of the team was shouting and jumping out of their seats screaming, “3313!!!” This let Alicia and Bryce know that they were going to do amazing.
In the first match, the red alliance won but team 3313 wasn’t finished yet. !he second match Team 3313 and the blue alliance won! That meant another dance party!

Unfortunately, Team 3313 lost the third match so we were done for the day. Everyone in the stands still danced their hearts out even though we knew that we didn’t win. We packed up our stuff and got back on the bus heading back home. We were so excited to eat! Maple Grove was our spot to pick up some food. Some of us went to chipotle and the rest went to Five Guys burgers. This was pretty close to the best food EVER!

We got back to Jefferson around 10pm. Everyone was so tired. We unloaded the trailer and made sure everything was locked up. All the team members went home telling everyone that we will meet Tuesday! Yay!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Just a few of the team members came today but actually led to quite a bit being accomplished. It was a good day.

First of all, Murphy programming upgrades occurred today. Alicia mounted the green LED light we bought and wired it up. Allen and Dalton, green LED light installed, finished the vision processing programming. They have it so, after pressing a button, Murphy automatically centers itself on a basketball hoop. IT IS SO COOL! Pretty great work by those two. There are still a few kinks to work out but overall, it will be really helpful during matches to not worry about that. The other programming upgrade is that we added autonomous. Funny moment: someone suggested we should add it in, Allen goes "Give me a minute". Literally a minute later, we had autonomous. Incredible. AND IT WORKS! WOOO!

Kacy and Miranda got to work on our Public Relations workshop for the Minne-Regional on Saturday. We volunteered ourselves to host a workshop on dealing with the public. It is a big deal for our team to get our name out there among other FRC teams as a major player. Over the weekend, Kacy and Bydlon worked on a general outline for the workshop. Today, Kacy worked on turning the outline into a slide show. Miranda worked on a booklet to hand out to teams when they attend the workshop. Both of them worked really hard. Carson also contributed by finishing our coloring book idea from last year. Each team in attendance will receive a "Mechatronics Coloring Book" as well. Should be a fun half hour or so!! (That's the plan anyway).

Bryce worked on numerous projects. Dalton, Bydlon, and Bryce got the robot weighed at UPS. It's only 110 lbs! WOOO! After adding pneumatics, we were all a little concerned about it being overweight. Luckily, it's not. Bryce also worked on getting extraneous pieces off of Murphy and switching some stuff around so it is optimized.

Kacy fixed some of the broken or beat up pieces on Mechatron, our mascot. After going to Chicago, Massman, lunches, and many other public appearances, it can look a little worse for wear. Kacy and the others have done a great job of keeping it looking great.

The rest of the day was spent by Bryce and Alicia practicing picking up balls and shooting baskets.

Tomorrow is another full team meeting. Lots more to accomplish!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bydlon Beard Off

The Bydlon Beard Off happened today. Check out the recap video here and the full picture gallery here.

Our head coach, Mr. Bydlon, shaved his beard into mutton chops. During lunch all week, we raised $300 from student and staff donations. When people donated, they put money into different beard design boxes. Mutton chops got the most money so that is what he did. It was a super fun day. Our local newspaper brought a photographer, team members took pictures and video, and the crowd was HUGE.

Thank you so much to the Jefferson High School community for it's support of our team. It means a lot to all of the team members.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Practice Makes Better

The team met today without any plans really other than practicing driving. We brought Murphy and all of our driving equipment to the gym. Different team members took turns driving the robot around and shooting baskets. It was super fun. Kacy and Bydlon worked on our Minne-Regional workshop about public relations and websites. Solidworks gave our team 20 free copies. Brandon and Bryce downloaded it and started playing with designs. After driving for a while, the cheerleading squad walked through the gym. A few of them volunteered to come with to the Minne-Regional! To end the meeting, some team members used the 10 sided die to decide where to eat. Dairy Queen won.

Not exactly a super productive day but it was still really fun. Love this team.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PMMC Meeting 11/6

 The PMMC Meeting today went great!! We brought 10 team members and Bydlon to present. An incredibly wide range of topics was addressed. You can see the presentation here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bydlon Beard On

Today, the team started the Bydlon Beard Off fundraiser. We are going to have a table out during lunch every day this week. Students and staff can donate money to the Robotics Team. When they donate, they can choose which beard design Bydlon will shave (mutton chops, goatee, clean shaven, etc.). If we reach $300 total, Bydlon will shave his beard on Friday. So we brought out Murphy and drove it around to get attention to our fundraiser.

After school, we met again. Tomorrow is a PMMC meeting. The PMMC is one of our major team sponsors. Because of all the events our team has done this past month, 10 students are coming with. We practiced the presentation at the beginning of the meeting. After that, Bryce did an AWESOME job cleaning out the Robot Room. Kacy and Bydlon worked on Robotapalooza. Team 3313 will host West Central MN teams on December 1 for a fun filled day of hanging out with robots. We are really excited about it! So Bydlon and Kacy drafted an email to regional teams. Carson worked on posters. Allen and Dalton created another Java programming tutorial.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Murphy 3.0

Some of the team members met today to work on a few different projects. You can see video of Murphy 3.0 here.

Bryce and the build team worked on upgrading Murphy for the 3rd and, most likely, final time. The upgrades came about after going to the Pack Expo and seeing designs we liked. It also came about because of the shooter wheel change we made at the Pack Expo. We changed the drive train again. This time we went SUPER SIMPLE. Just gear boxes chained very short to plaction wheels on the front. Omni wheels are in the back. That's it. The CIM motors were reduced to 3 (left wheel, right wheel, shooter wheel). The pneumatics were hooked up again. The programming was fixed so it all worked together. The conveyer was put back on a victor. Basically, we simplified everything and made it much cleaner.

Alicia, David, Carson, and others got stuff ready for the Bydlon Beard Off. David did an awesome job and made signs for each beard design. Carson got boxes for money. Alicia and David made a GREAT poster for the table we'll have set up at lunch.

Brandon worked on learning about AutoDesk. Bydlon emailed Solidworks to see if our team could get some copies.

The best part of the day was driving Murphy to the commons area and filming it. It drives SO NICE. Can't wait to use it the Minne-Regional on November 17!!