Giving our Robot “The Works”
It was just a few weeks ago when we showcased one of our robots at the grand opening of the new building devoted to The Works, a community hands-on center focused on science and technology. Tech Fest at the end of February is one of the premier events hosted by The Works. It turns out that day was just a warm-up to coming back to The Works April 14 for Robot Day, an invitation we were happy to accept because it meant we could pack up the trailer once again with ZEEBO in tow to meet and greet the visitors. Joining us for Robot Day were demonstrations staged by the University of Minnesota as well as two other levels of FIRST Robotics, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Lego League. We also were side-by-side with the FRC Teams from the two Bloomington High Schools, 3081-Kennedy and 3313-Jefferson. Watching young kids come and stand in awe before ZEEBO before daring to hand the robot the inner tubes from the 2011 game LOGO Motion, never grows old! Their smiles are big every single time. We even got creative with the game pieces at hand, having one of the Bloomington robots shoot a 2012 squishy basketball through a circular tube dangled by ZEEBO. The kids were not the only ones having a good time, as the parents too were eager to ask questions not only about ‘the robot’ but about how they could get their children further engaged in technology and engineering via FIRST. The day was a success, with fun all around! The event also took our minds off the next significant events rapidly approaching. In 10 days, we are off to the Championships competition, followed next by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Competition for which we qualified. This event is very different from a regular FIRST event, in that it is only one day, does not have practice matches, and focuses explicitly on the robot game itself. It is also much smaller than the competitions we are used to, with only 28 teams invited to this inaugural event. There is no doubt that FIRST Team 1816-The Green Machine is set to have a great conclusion to its 2012 Season!