FireBears at the MN State Fair!

September 1, 2015 – FireBears were with Team 2220 from Eagan High School doing robotics demonstrations in the Education Building at 10 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm.

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At the end of each demonstration, FireBears allowed anyone in the audience who would like to drive the robot to have the chance to do so.  There was a line each time.

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Next it was time to line up for the State Fair Parade.

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Having fun with Ronald right before the parade started.

During the Parade.

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We were the only team to successfully get with in  an inch of this box.

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In the end we were awarded the 2nd place ribbon!

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We were able to give a lot of information to spectators about FIRST and how our competitions work.

Gitchi Gummi 2015

Cabin with sign on it that cautions of bears in the area

That’s right. The bears are here.

This weekend, the FireBears camped out at Spirit Mountain in Duluth for the Gitchi Gummi Get Together, an off-season FRC competition hosted by the Duluth East Daredevils.

The campsite that the FireBears camped at

The campsite that the FireBears camped at

This off-season competition was unique in that there were only ten teams in attendance, and the amount of people the team brought to Duluth was very light. Because of this, everyone on the team was given the opportunity to drive the robot.

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Our team did not win unfortunately, our team got 10th place. The ability to train a large number of people in driving the robot was extremely valuable however, and we have the Duluth East Daredevils to thank for that.

What does it take to drive the robot? The drive team has four members, the coach, two drivers, and the human player. The coach has the position of leading the drivers, as they have less of a focus on an individual task and more of a wide view.

View of field from behind the driver's station

View of field from behind the driver’s station as the robot is being set up

The first driver has the job of controlling the robot’s actions with a joystick. Forward to go forward, left to go left, right to go right, and twist to turn the robot. One thing to expect with inexperienced drivers driving a robot with a high center of gravity is tipping. Sometimes it even fell over. For most teams this would mean game-over for the rest of the match, however, our robot this year has the ability to turn itself back upright if the second driver moves the arms of the robot down. Anytime this happened we would cheer and say our robot could do push-ups!

I said to rotate left, not strafe left!

I said to rotate left, not strafe left!

The second driver has the job of controlling the level of the arms for the forklift, and whether or not the arms are open or closed. They do this with a panel of buttons. On the left side of the panel, two buttons for opening and closing the forks. In the middle, a switch that raises the presets up six inches to clear the step for coopertition stacks, and a button which switches to manual control, allowing for slower, more precise lifting. On the right there is a line of presets, each increasing the height of the lift more than the last.

The big green button you see is what we call the celebration button. You flip up the box around it and while you hold the button down a special light sequence is shown.

The robot control panel

The robot control panel

Finally, the human player is in charge of operating the tote-chute door, and throwing noodles. When throwing noodles, they cannot put their hands over the rail and into the field, else they risk fouls for their alliance. Since our robot doesn’t typically feed from the feeder station with our primary strategy, our human player frequently does not control the tote chute. Meaning they have a lot of practice throwing noodles, as it is usually the only thing they will do during a match.

The noodles thrown by human players

The noodles thrown by human players

There are also other miscellaneous things. The drivers have to carry the robot onto the field, typically done be the coach and first driver, setup the drive station, accomplished by the second driver, and move the cart, which is done by our human player. Gitchi Gummi taught our team the values of good drivers, showing everyone that driving isn’t as easy as it looks. Watching our drivers at this off-season competition has us excited for the years to come.

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RoseFest Parade 2015

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On June 29th, the FireBears participated in the RoseFest Parade. The parade, which is part of an annual festival in the city of Roseville, is an annual tradition for the robotics team. This year however, the team marched in the parade without their beloved robot. This year, the parade was delayed due to weather. The parade was able to continue, but the streets were still filled with water, and putting the robots through the puddle filled streets would have fried the electronics. It’s a good thing that there hasn’t been a water game yet.

3rd Place Alliance at Northern Lights

We ended our first regional of the 2015 season as a part of the third place alliance!

Special thanks to our alliance partners 4659, Cybears, and 876 Thunder Robotics.

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We finished our qualifiers rank 29 out of 60 before we were picked up by the fourth place alliance. Working closely with them we managed to walk away with the third highest average points.

Thank you all for making this great weekend possible!

The below links show our scouting data for this competition.

Notes Day 2 – Northern Lights

Notes Day 3 – Northern Lights

Allies and Coopertition – Northern Lights

 

 

The Parts: Atlas Precision Sheet Metal Solutions

FireBear Logo (A Bear Head incased in flames) as a hole in a piece of black powdercoated metal

Atlas Precision Sheet Metal (http://www.atlasmfg.com/) did a fantastic job with our robot parts

The mechanical team had wide smiles when they finally got to set their eyes on the parts.

The parts, manufactured by our sponsor Atlas Precision Sheet Metal, were beautiful pieces of artfully crafted metal. “I almost cried, they were so awesome!” said Marketing Captain Amy. The best part of these parts wasn’t the beauty however, it was the timing. Atlas accelerated the production of our parts to make them available earlier in the Build Season. “I really appreciate that one of our sponsors Atlas was able to get us the materials earlier than we expected to help facilitate our building the robot in only six weeks.” said Head Mentor Mike.

With the parts here, and building humming along smoothly, the team is optimistic they will be able to do well at competition. “We’re determined and motivated to accomplish an awesome robot!” said Marketing Mentor Denise.

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