November 23, 2014

2014 Minne Mini-Regional Robotics Tournament

2014 Minne Mini-Regional Robotics Tournament
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for 11/23/14

This weekend was the fourth annual Minne Mini Regional FRC robotics tournament at Prior Lake High School.  35 robotics teams from across Minnesota as well as 1 team from North Dakota brought their robots to compete against one another in the Aerial Assist game.  It was quite intense!

Miss Sheri and I are the marketing and fundraising mentors for the team and spent the day manning a table featuring information about FIRST Robotics as well as seeking out new volunteers, mentors, and sponsors for the team.  It was quite enlightening.

We also sold about 300 raffle tickets to help raise money for the team.  It was quite enriching!

The boys help the team in a variety of ways including helping with the analytics and scouting out the competition as well as helping to identify which other team's robots would make for good alliances.  It was quite informative!

Luke also took part in the KING TeC band performance.  It was quite Funky!

The opening ceremonies started the event off with a bang.  It was standing room only and people were ready to watch the nearly 50 matches of 3 on 3 robot action that was about to unfold before them.  A lot of metal scraping metal was set to begin.  It was quite electric.

We didn't get to watch too much of the tournament because we were supposed to be working, but ended up spending much more of our time harassing the other parent volunteers.  There's a lot of ornery people that hang around these events.

I was very excited to have the chance to meet Yoji Shimizu.  He's world famous in the Robotics community.  He's a professor and assistant dean at the University of Minnesota as well as an MC and game announcer at a lot of the state and world's FRC robotics tournaments.  He's also very photogenic if I do say so myself.

Our team's robot #2169 performed quite well and ended up being a member of the winning alliance at the end of the tournament.  We were all quite thrilled because the kids have been working so hard at tweaking it to run well.

The kids were excited that their robot was winning.

Dance Break!

I even figured out a way to weasel myself on to the center stage insisting that I needed to be the one to announce the winners of the raffle.  I thought it was kind of a weak argument, but it worked.  I sure do love having a microphone in my hand.

So this will be the last official performance for this robot.  The team will start anew this January when the new game is rolled out by the FIRST organization and then they will have  6 weeks to build a brand new robot that will be required to do some crazy new tasks.  We can't wait to see what that new game will look like!

On Sunday, we went to the University of Minnesota to watch the Minnesota Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers.

Some people on the Vikings stage invited us up to come to take some pictures.  We didn't know they started taking them while we were still yelling at Avery to come join us!

Luke insisted that he could beat his brother and cousin in the football passing contest which we all thought was cute.  Then he hit the target 2 out of 3 times while the other two boys went 1 for 6.   I gotta remember that Luke has a lot of positive energy on his side.

We went in to the stadium and immediately walked down to the field to see if we could get close to the players. 

Unfortunately we were on the Packers side of the field so we only got to see players like Aaron Rodgers.  Nobody good.

 The smoke started rising high in the sky so we figured the game was ready to begin.

The team did a lot to honor the military throughout the game which is always a nice thing.  We probably wouldn't be able to have games like this if it weren't for the US Military.

We were worried the game was going to be a blow-out because the Packers have been on fire lately while the Vikings have been struggling.  But it turned out to be a really good game, even though the home team lost by three.  Although you wouldn't really know they were the home team because there were so many darned Packers fans at the game and all around us.  That can get to be really annoying after awhile.

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