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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Season Begins

Hello from team 3313 Mechatronics!

A couple of weeks ago we started the recruit portion of our robotics season. Since the start of recruitment we have been showing new recruits what it's like to be on the team. New recruits have been enthusiastic about the robots and what we do.

After looking at the game hint video for Stronghold, it's gotten us super excited for what is to come.

We have started introducing what each role is as well as introducing them to old robots and showing them building and programing.

We have been meeting every thursday and cannot wait until we get to start building the new robot for the new game.

For the past couple of weeks we have been looking for a new coach, since our old coach moved to St. Paul to go back to college for a different career.

Thank-you everyone for being supportive of us and thank-you to our sponsors! Team 3313 Mechatronics can't wait until we get to see all the teams again! Just keep building!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The One and Only 2015 Regional

Had a crazy time at the 2015 10k Lakes Regional! Though we didn't quite reach the glory we got to last year, it was still a pretty kick-bot time. Mechatronics fought hard and partied hard, and are definitely proud of our performance.



Through qualifications, we did great. Though we had a few bum matches, overall, team 3313 had a game that stood out. By the end of qualifications, we were ranked 11th. Then came the scary part. Alliance selections. Teams filled the stands, and the tension in the room was nearly suffocating. we waited, breathless, as teams began to call out numbers. Finally, after six nerve-racking team numbers were called, we finally heard the words we were looking for. "We would like to invite team 3313 Mechatronics to our alliance." Of course, we accepted, and got on a team with 2498 Bearbotics and 5434 Falcon Robotics.

Mechatronics got out in Semifinals, ranking 4th overall in the competition with the average score of 85.66. However, our glory was not over, because by presenting a spirit-filled Chairman's, making lots of friends, and being totally, completely pumped the whole competition, we won team spirit award.


By the end of the three days, the team was thoroughly exhausted. However, it hasn't dampened our drive, or spirit, for State.


But wait, we don't want to forgot the BeFIRST award! Last year Mechatronics received the BeFIRST award at the Duluth regional and this year the team gave the award to another team. After walking through the pits and talking with a couple of teams, 3313 choose to give the award to Blaze Robotics, Team 3184. This award is given to a team that Mechatronics thought represented the qualities of FIRST the most, and next year Blaze will give it another team!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

First time for the STEAM Expo!

On Thursday March 26th, Mechatronics went to the STEAM Expo for the first time, this expo is STEM plus arts. This is a new event at our new high school this year, displaying booths for STEM careers and art in the commons and gyms of the school. We were invited to attend this event and demonstrate Guido to the community, also representing the team and spreading the message of FIRST to those who haven't heard of FIRST robotics before.

This was a large event with lots of the adults and children coming to see the interactive booths and demonstrations. Mechatronics, RC cars from physics and manufacturing and 5th graders showing their Lego robots were all incorporating STEM ideas and sharing it with the community in one of the gyms.

Throughout the event a lot of community members stopped to look at our robot and ask questions about the team. This event also helped us recruit some new sponsors and team member for next year!
The children at the event had fun watching Guido stack totes, drive around the gym and sometimes controlled the stacking of totes themselves. We only came across a couple of problems during the event, but we were able to keep going till the end of the event.

Hopefully we will come back again next year and show off our new 2016 robot and spread the word of FIRST to the community!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Guido Visited Empty Bowls!

On Tuesday March 24th, the team headed over to the high school to show Guido to the community for the first time! The robot has been sitting in the bag at the shop over at the middle school since the end of build season and finally was let loose!

But first before Guido could stack some totes, some assembly was required. He is a bit taller this year than our robot Thor from last year, because of this we had to move some parts around for it to fit in the bag. Once he was all set up and we had communications, we drove around and showed Guido to the community.

During the Empty Bowls event the kids were chasing Guido around,
controlling the robot with Bryce and giving Guido hugs. Guido doesn't
just stack totes like any normal robot, he also gives hugs! 

Not only did Guido show off his stacking talents but also helped the community recycle!
That doesn't look like the normal game piece, right? 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Guido is Bagged and Tagged!

On Tuesday Team 3313 bagged and tagged Guido, ending the 2015 build season! The past couple of days the team has been working on fixing up the robot after Week Zero to make sure that Guido is all set for 10k lakes regional coming up in about a month.

The drive team, Mitch, Brooklyn and Tyler, have been practicing and testing out a couple techniques on how to stack and load the robot during competition. With practicing it also helped the build team see any changes they would have wanted to make.

At around 8 o'clock we took off the grippers and then bagged and tagged Guido, with four hours to spare! Over the next couple of weeks the team is going to be working on the grippers and seeing what we could change to make them grip the totes better and easier without creating such a hassle with trying to grab multiple totes.

But before Guido was all bagged up, Tyler and Bryce bagged themselves and joked around for awhile. Don't worry, no students were harmed in the bagging of the robot.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Forgetful Week Zero

This past Saturday, Mechatronics went to Week Zero, this event was hosted by Team 2472 and Team 2052 on Valentines Day. We started off the day at 5:30 in the morning with our head coach coming late with the sprinter van we headed out later than we planned. After hooking up the trailer and packing up the two vans, we headed to Circle Pines, MN! 

After driving for about 2 hours, one of our the vans broke down on the side of the highway with only about 10 more miles to go before we would have made it to the event. Luckily  the team traveled in more than one car, so all of us could make it to the event! 

Once at Week Zero, we started to get Guido ready for some practice matches. But before anyone could accomplish anything, the tools and batteries had to be warmed up from sitting in the freezing cold all night. When everything was being unpacked, we realized that our whole drivers station was forgotten! Thanks to Team 3407, Mustybots, and Team 2472, Centurions, they let us borrow a joystick and controller for the event. 

When on the actual field we realized that the autonomous needed to be tweaked to run the intended function. Now fully optimized, the autonomous should be ready to go for the upcoming regional, still adding a little tweaks here and there to make it just right.

With going on the real field instead of just practicing in the workshop, we found some obstacles with picking up the field pieces with our current grippers. So the team brainstormed some new ideas on how to fix the current problem and is testing them the upcoming days before the end of build season. Guido is almost ready to be bagged tomorrow night!

After the event and once Guido was all packed up, we headed to Maple Grove for dinner. Taking some unneeded detours through parking lots. Not the best idea for two vans and a truck with a trailer. Once again while we were heading home after the long day, the same van broke down again after being fixed up during the event!

But looking past the van breaking down twice, forgetting some important items and getting lost a couple times. Week Zero was a fun and eventful day for Team 3313 and we are ready for the 10k regional coming up in April!

Here are some extra photos, one of Guido from the drivers station before autonomous on the same side as the drivers, which is different from the years before! Second, the Valentine buttons that Team 2052 and Team 2472 were handing out during the event, pretty creative sayings they created.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Week 6: The Finishing Touches!

FRC team 3313 Mechatronics has worked throughout the short weeks working on Guido the Robot. It's amazing how something that starts from an idea on a piece of paper can turn into something truly amazing and spectacular!

Looking back, we started by drawing out the ideas that each of us had onto a blackboard. Then from there we worked on melding these ideas together and applying the challenges that the prototype would face. Once we had the ideas together, we revised the final idea and started building right away. Over the next 2 weeks after getting our prototype idea down we started making the frame and wiring board for the robot. Throughout the last few weeks we've added and built onto the robot making sure that the robot was in fit condition to handle the obstacles that were put before it.

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."

Another huge thank you to all of the people who have helped us throughout these short weeks. We can't wait to see what all of the other teams robots look like. Week Zero is coming up this Saturday and i have a feeling that we will have to make some changes on the robot. Don't be afraid of change. New things are good. We can't wait to see the other teams soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Guido's Ready for Week Zero!

Yesterday, Mechatronics brought the robot from our workshop to the high school to weigh dear Guido. Transporting the robot only about five miles on the back of a pickup truck in a bag-- while it is snowing, was honestly a bit scary. Weighing the robot was an adventure, one could say. First trying to get the robot through the doors, then losing the key to our truck that we drove over and getting locked out of the school. There was a eventful couple of hours, when it should have only taken about a 30 minutes, if not less.

The total weight of our robot came to 116.6 pounds, only about 4 pounds off from the maximum weight. What a relief to know that we made it in the weight limit, since last year Thor was over 15 pounds above the limit! As well, we had to shed some weight before build season was over. 

The programmers have finished and tested the autonomous so its all ready for Week Zero this upcoming Saturday! Now they are attempting to program in our limit switch, which has become harder than they thought.

Yesterday, the build team was working on fixing anything that might need a little tweaking. Today they built three platform plates on the two sides and back of the robot, on these platforms we will add our team number. Either with stickers or painting them on, haven't heard which one they choose yet.

All while the build team has been building the robot, our PR team has been working on the awards and getting some fundraisers set up in the next couple of months. Last night the main leaders submitted the Entrepreneurship Award, not wanting to miss the due date of today! Now they are working hard on finishing Chairman's; finishing up the video, adding small changes to the executive summary and adding some puns to the essay, here and there.

Week six is coming up and our team is ready to compete at the 10k Regional coming up in April! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week Five: Guido the robot!

FRC team 3313 mechatronics has been working all week on chairman's and extra programming that we need to make for the robot. After long consideration we have finally named our robot, Guido, named after the forklift in the movie Cars. 

Guido from the movie Cars (Right)
Our robot Guido (below)

We are anticipating the upcoming day of the week Zero, which will show us the needed tweaks that we need to make for the robot. So far we have had a very productive week and soon we will be done with the chairman's things.

Thank you everyone for your hard work and thank you to all of the people who has helped our team throughout the weeks. Competitions are going to be upon us soon so everyone work as hard as you can and we can't wait to see what all of the other teams have done for Recycle Rush!

Week 4: Programmers Unite!

This week, FRC Team 3313 Mechanics spent hours in our shop testing our robot and fixing every nook and cranny we can find so that we can so that we wont have too many surprises at week Zero. Our lift design has has proven to be quite effective since we fixed the problem in our pistons.

Along with this, our chairman's team has been hard at work on our super hero themed Chairman's essay. Our programmers have been working hard on constructing our autonomous program figuring out every movement our robot must make and the calculations to do so.

We also constructed a safety break system to insure that when we lift the totes and stack them the grippers won't drop them.

Overall this was another great week for the team. We hope that the other teams had a fantastic week and we can't wait until we get to see all the other teams at the competitions!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Chairman's Couch: Week 3

This week, Team 3313 Mechatronics brought new and exciting events. Anything from tweaking our robot to working on chairman's.

During the week our building team worked and tweaked a few things on the robot so that the robot would be able to lift more than one tote at a time.

Our head coach Mr. Rye through the week looked at hotels. He is planning on signing us up for week zero where we can test our robot and improve our robot.

Also, during the week our PR group worked on the Chairman's executive summary, finished up our video outline questions as well as the video itself. This week had been a great week for 3313 Mechatronics and I'm sure it was a great week for the rest of the FIRST community. We look forward to seeing you all at the competitions and seeing how you all tackled this challenge.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week Two!

This past week we here at 3313 Mechanics have been hard at work building our prototype for the new robotics season. We have tried a lift design which with just a little tweaking worked, but it ultimately pulled too fast and broke the arms. We will continue working on the little kinks as we go.

Along with designing and prototyping we have been organizing information for the Chairman's Award essay, as well as the Chairman's video to be able to root out what we need in our Chairman's essay and video.

We will continue to do our best at sharing our progress and we look forward to seeing what other teams will be coming up with. We hope to see you all at the competitions!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Beginning

On Saturday January, 3rd 2015 the FRC Team 3313 Mechatronics went to the FRC game reveal. This year’s game reveal told us that the game will be called Recycle Rush! The game involves the moving and stacking of totes and recycle bins with the choice of placing “litter” (pool noodles) in the bins for some well earned points. What a wonderful way to start the new year and the Robotics season.

On January 4th, 2015 we brought back the materials contained within some of the totes to help with our building process. As soon as we opened the door to start the meeting, ideas started to flow around us. We split the team into two parts; brainstorming and building. Half of us went into the brainstorming room and half of us stayed in the work area.

In the classroom we started off by putting everyone who had an idea onto a chalkboard and writing down the wants and needs of the robot. Then from there we assessed each idea that was presented on the board and we changed a few things on each of the ideas. After we did the changes we finally had a few prototype ideas that we could build and test out in the near future, but before we do that we have to have help from the building mini-group so that the robot can start to come to life!


IMAG0321.jpgIn the workshop we started off by coming up with a game strategy. Once we came up with the strategy, we started to work on building half of the game field where we could test out the prototypes and see what we need to improve. Some of the members worked on the wheels of the robot and also the robot board where we can test the prototype. We also assembled the dry frame of the robot.

For the first meeting of the year we were all able to work together, meet new people and conjure up some ideas for a prototype. We can’t wait for the upcoming weeks of building with the rest of the team members and we are super excited for Recycle rush! Let the building begin!