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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lake Superior Prep

^ That sounds like a private school doesn't? Anyways...

Team 3313 has been busy busy busy the past week gearing up for the Lake Superior Competition in Duluth, MN. We have never done two Regionals before and never competed at one this early before. There are some adjustments to make.

We have a van and hotel reserved. Only 10 team members can make it to Duluth so we're squishing into 3 hotel rooms (saves money). 5 girls in one room, 5 guys in one room, and 3 mentors in another. Good thing we like each other! We're also only taking two vehicles. A Sprinter van that holds 10 people and a truck with a trailer provided by one our sponsors, Randy Fischer Real Estate. Again, good thing we like each other, it's a 4 hour drive to Duluth!

We have been finalizing some plans for the Lake Superior Regional such as:

  • Making spare parts. We use a pincher style pick up. So we made 2 extra copies of the grippers in case something goes wrong. We will also bring some sheet metal, lexan, and window motors in case something goes wrong.
  • Swag. We have some really cool plans for swag at the Regionals. They're tied in with our Chairman's theme which is cool. Plus, they look awesome. However, they are EXTREMELY labor intensive so we hope we get enough done by Duluth. We also have some additional stuff for the judges which is going to be sweet.
  • Banners. We have the new team banner but we're also making a sponsor banner and a team photo banner which will be on the sides of the pit. The sponsor banner looks awwwwwesome!
  • Chairman's Video. Our first draft is complete. We will submit this version at Duluth. Then, if we want to make changes or add things, we will be able to do that before 10K Lakes in 3 weeks. Probably won't upload it until after 10K Lakes.
  • Chairman's Speech. Still adding, still tweaking, still memorizing. We will run through it multiple, multiple times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. 
  • Judge's Handouts. We made a robot-centric one that actually looks pretty sweet! The outreach one is being worked on. 
We've been watching a ton of matches. We hope teams will be realistic about what they can do during alliance driver meeting planning. If a team says they can do autonomous and can't, that wastes a lot of time spent chasing down balls that don't get bonuses. Same goes for picking up the ball and passing, if you can't do it, just say so and then play defense (correctly). Being realistic about your robot is very important.

There's definitely going to be a "feeling out" period for the first few matches. Seeing what people's strategies are and seeing what works best for our robot. Also, seeing how close the refs call fouls will be important for elims.

Basically, we are super excited. We leave in 4 days!!! AHHH!

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