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Monday, November 25, 2013

Minne Mini Wrap-Up

FRC Team 3313 Mechatronics competed at the Minne Mini-Regional last Saturday. It was a super fun day filled with friends, robots, and laughs.

The drive team of Bryce, Brooklyn, Tyler, and Bydlon did a good job with the robot! We even got some matches of 3 runs (collecting 4 Frisbees). We had never done that in a match before!! Team 3313 finished qualifying with a record of 4-3 and in 13th place. Some other highlights: Tyler making a 5 point Frisbee throw (!!), Bryce's incredible driving skills, and our cheering section being the loudest section.

Alliance selection was next. As a complete surprise, Lacey asked Bryce to the JHS Sadie Hawkins Dance during Alliance Selection. It was super funny! We got selected by the 3rd seeded alliance of 2232 Deus Ex Machina, 879 Thunder Robotics, and 2846 FireBears. Unfortunately, the sheer scoring power of 2175 and 2169 beat our alliance in the semi finals.

FRC Team 3313 did not go home empty handed however. We won the "Team Inspiration" Award. That award goes out to the team with the most spirit, consist image, and positive attitude. That basically describes us. Ha!

Before matches started, our team did some presentations on Social Media, Scouting, Design Process, and Pneumatics. All presenters did a wonderful job!

Andrew and Carson designed a new banner for our pit or our cheering section. It was basically a test but it looked AWESOME (see picture above). Now that we know it works, we can make new banners for our pit for each competition.

Other random highlights: eating lunch crammed in a locker bay, Tyler trying to ask Bryce to Sadie Hawkins Dance, random little kids asking to see our mascot, having a bunch of people in the Sprinter Van while we waited for the keys, basically, just being with our team.

For real though, the best part of the Minne Mini was seeing other FIRST Robotics teams that we have gotten to know well in the last year. Teams like 3184 Blaze, 2175 The Fighting Calculators, 2052 KnightKrawler, 3883 Data Bits, 2512 Daredevils, 2846 FireBears, and A TON of other people. FIRST Robotics is so cool because it's robots competing but it's even more cool because of the community that is formed.

This particular competition was bittersweet. It was the last time we will ever compete with our Frisbee shooting robot so that's sad. But, it will be nice to have a new robot and new game and new strategy and new everything. We have competed with our Frisbee shooting robot on 6 different occasions now. It's time for a fresh start. The competitions this coming year are going to be super tough. We cannot wait for both the Duluth Regionals and Twin Cities Regionals.

Thank you so much to FRC Team 2169 King Tec for hosting such a great event and all the volunteers who helped make it happen. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun.

See you at Kickoff!!!!!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Minne-Regional!! New Sponsors!!

We are competing in the Minne Regional tomorrow!

It's at Prior Lake High School on the south side of the Twin Cities. Matches will start at around 10am and wrap up by around 4pm.

We are doing 4 presentations. Check them out below.

Design Process for Smaller Teams

Scouting for Smaller Teams



In other EXCITING news...

We got 2 new sponsors!!

Youth As Resources is a group of 11th grade students at Jefferson High School who work together to disperse grant money to organizations that are making a positive difference in the Alexandria community. It's a great group of students and we are so proud that they decided to sponsor us this year. Thank you Youth As Resources!

HPS Rental is a rental company in Alexandria, MN. They set up tents, portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, and many other things for outdoor events all around West Central MN. Bryce, one of our team captains, has worked there for many years (his uncles own the business). They are sponsoring Team 3313 this year by allowing us to use their box truck and also pay for gas for travel. Thank you so much to HPS Rental!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Presentation

On November 14, 2013, FRC Team 3313 Mechatronics participated at a meeting with city council members from all across the state. This meeting discussed the difficulties that being in rural Minnesota, or Greater Minnesota, presented. We received this opportunity by presenting to our city council last spring.

At the Coalition of Greater Minnesota, our team gave a presentation describing what FIRST is, what we do in our community, and how we work with our sponsors. We had our robot there along with our FTC team's robot. At first, we had some trouble getting our robot to start working, but after Bryce tried turning the laptop off and back on it worked perfectly!

Partway through the speech, we brought up how we, a rural Minnesota team, struggles to attend multiple events that are located in the Twin Cities. City Council members have the same problem. Afterwards, we received special thanks from City Council member, Owen Miller from Ward Three, for relating this issue to rural teams, and not just council members.

We were featured in the Echo Press, our local newspaper.

Just Bucket

Minne Regional is Saturday!!

In preparation, we were busy finalizing all of our plans.

We got our scouting binders all set up. It's all kind of old hat for us (this is our 5 competitions with Ultimate Ascent robots).

Our biggest challenge in competition has been Frisbees being sticky in our bucket. So we tried a bunch of different stuff to make it better. We tried putting a zip tie in there. We tried taking the bucket off and making something. We decided on just putting a plastic triangle at the back. Hopefully it helps. If it doesn't, that's ok.

We worked on more Chairman's ideas. We have a theme idea and are starting to talk about more specific ideas like what to include in each piece, what to wear during the speech, judge's handouts and lots of other things. It's exciting!!

Lastly, we talked about Minne Regional speeches. We are doing 4 different talks!

Social Media - Lacey and Bydlon
Design Process for Smaller Teams - Bydlon
Pneumatics - Bryce and Tyler
Scouting - Kacy and Carson

Come check us out!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quick FTC Wrap-Up (with great news)

Our FTC Team 7799 Autobotics IS GOING TO STATE!!! WOOOOOO!

They won the Judge's Award. They also placed 3rd in the Inspire Award (kind of like Chairman's for FRC). Because of that, they qualified to go to the State tournament on February 22, 2014.

In qualifying, their record ended up being 4-2. Team 7799 finished qualifying in 5th place. They were graciously picked by FTC Team 4140 Fish In The Boat. Unfortunately, Murphy's Law (everything that can go wrong, will) struck them during the semifinals and they lost in that round. 

But it was a great day. The cheering section was HUGE and the purple bandanas were awesome (even without the team t-shirts). 

So proud of all the 7799 team members, high school mentors, and adult mentors. Unreal. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


FTC 7799 Autobotics has finished their robot!! Helping a rookie team is humbling (and frustrating and exciting and a million other things). But the 7th and 8th graders on the team are going to do awesome!

They compete tomorrow (!!) at Eagan High School from 10:30am to 4pm. Come and check out some exciting robotics action!

You can see their robot here: YouTube Video Link

Check out the pictures below. We will update throughout the day tomorrow hopefully.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crunch Time for FTC

Our FRC team was pretty busy today with lots of little projects. A big one was helping the FTC team keep progressing. We also worked on the Business Plan and our 5 gallon bucket sticking issue.

We taped off a 12' by 12' area for our FTC team to practice on. Their competition is in a week and a half!!! Yikes!!

Their robot is coming together. Check out their progress at their blog.

Bryce worked on the 5 gallon bucket for our robot from last year. We keep having problems with frisbees getting stuck in there. He tried using a little bit smaller bucket. Unfortunately, it's a little bit too small and the Frisbees don't slide down it. But, it was a good idea!

One big item we've been helping the FTC team with is their mascot. Lacey can be seen painting the helmet above. Heidi, Tyler, Molly, and Mitch helped make the body. It's like a mini version of our mascot. It's so cute!

Brooklyn kept working on the Business Plan. She finished up the history section! Each season section gets longer and longer and longer, the older our team gets and the more we do.

Kacy worked on wrapping up our fundraising plan. It looks great! We'll start handing it out to businesses in December (too busy now).