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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Minnesota Robotics Invitational 2013

Hey Guys! It's Andrew Roth here. On Saturday October 12th, we all woke up really early (around 5A.M.) to pack up into our vehicles to head down to the Minnesota Robotics Invitation (MRI) which is similar to a scrimmage for football but, instead of football games, there were epic robots battles.

On the way up to MRI, we had to stop at a gas station because neither the truck nor the sprinter van had cruse control on it. I would  imagine your foot would get tired from all of that time on the freeway. I don't think those gas station cashiers would ever expect a big group of 16 kids to just flood into their store at 5:45A.M.  When we finally got to MRI after about a two and a half hour drive, the team got set up.

It was amazing for a first timer like me to see how many different types of teams there were. Robots of all shapes and sizes and designs. Evidently, our robot was the first to compete. I also found it crazy how excited the teams got in the stands, it was almost like a miniature Superbowl, even though it was only an invitational. There were many different ways the robot competes, some might block others from making a shot or getting frisbees so that other people on the alliance can score points. Then there are shooters. The ones who will run back and forth getting Frisbees and shooting them, or maybe just sit at the loading station and shoot them across the field. Other robots were climbers who climb the pyramid to score points, and ones who just drop the Frisbees in the lower one point slot. So many combinations!!

Our team had 2 different drive teams: Bryce, Mitch, and Molly were the A team. Brock, Owen, and Brooklyn were the B team. They alternated matches. We also had team members in charge of scouting, batteries, pit scouting, pictures, and the mascot.

When all the pre-elimination games were over the announcers asked all the teams captains to step on to the field our team was at #13 on the list. Then they asked for the top 4 teams to select their 2 partners and their 1 backup team just in-case something goes wrong. they chose their first partners, not us. They chose their second partners, not us. Now they were choosing the 1st back up team it was alliance 2's pick, not us. Alliance 3, not us. Alliance 4, not us.We were sitting in the stands sweating bullets. It was all up to alliance 1. The alliance leader said "Team 3313" and we started cheering like no other. Backup team is better than not in it at all. No matter the reason, we made it to playoffs. Now all we could do was cheer.

I guess our cheering worked because our alliance won the first round by a landslide. I guess it was mostly thanks to one team who could shoot across the field with almost 100% accuracy. In the end our alliance took first place and we didn't even have to do anything.

Even if we didn't get picked for the playoffs I still would have had a ton of fun because I got to meet a lot of awesome new people from around the state of Minnesota. Now I can say that I have a better understanding of what a robotics competition is. I would have to say all and all it was a really fun day for everybody.

Signing off,

Andrew Roth

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