No Exit Strategy

Posted by Guest Blogger on July 28, 2014

We have often talked about FIRST as a progression: You join a FIRST Lego team in elementary school, then you work your way through school as part of FIRST Robotics, you study STEM in college, and once you’ve graduated from college, you look around for opportunities to volunteer and to mentor a team. This is certainly the case with Matt Mittag, a development engineer with Dow Water Solutions, Edina. When he moved here from Michigan, the first thing he did was search the web for a FIRST Robotics team. We’re truly glad that he found us! And we’re doubly pleased he’s sharing his skills as a mechanical engineer by volunteering as a Lead Robot Inspector at our Minnesota Regionals.

Grand Prix

Posted by Guest Blogger on July 20, 2014
Sam KenKnight (2nd from right) and engineering team members with the revamped precision power measurement device.

Sam KenKnight (2nd from right) and engineering team members with the revamped precision power measurement device.

Sam KenKnight (2nd from right) and engineering team members with the revamped precision power measurement device.

Sam KenKnight (2nd from right) and engineering team members with the revamped precision power measurement device.
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From time to time, The Green Machine hears from its alumni! Sam KenKnight, a robot builder/drive team member during our 2011and 2012 seasons, is currently studying electrical engineering at Purdue University. He sent us this very brief update.

Summer Solstice Already

Posted by IvyB on June 22, 2014

The Green Machine is keeping plenty busy this summer with outreach, off-season events, build sessions, and more. Eight of our team members are just back from the STEM Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. Plus, other members are in the midst of running Lego Robotics camps and planning is underway for additional camps in July with the Girl Scouts. Then there's the competitions at the State Fair in August. All of this as we begin our tenth year as a FIRST team and continuing working to spread the STEM message about FIRST throughout Minnesota.  Technical difficulties cannot ever stop us totally – at long last here’s our 2014 World Championships video.

3rd at State wraps a winning season

Posted by IvyB on June 1, 2014

The Green Machine wrapped up its 2014 competition season at the Minnesota State High School League State Championship at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. Under a points system, we had qualified to compete in this one-day event by winning the Chairman's award earlier this year at the Lake Superior Regional. Our day was jam-packed beginning immediately with qualification matches, and we were cheered on by mentors, parents, and other “superfans” who were able to attend (special shout-out to our principal Doc Loc!). We know it was your support that helped our alliance win 3rd place at the competition, enabling us to bring home the first-ever third-place trophy!

Challenges Met

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 12, 2014

We welcome Ivy B as our newest blogger. Wonder where she'll take us in 2015? On Saturday, The Green Machine tested the waters of a new kind of outreach with the Cold Water Challenge. We were nominated by our fellow Minnesota team 3018 Nordic Storm to jump into a chilly lake or donate to the Cancer Fund for Landon. We then nominated other FIRST Teams to do the same. You can watch them at The brave swimmers had been misinformed that the water was “perfectly fine,” but still had a blast, as you may be able to see and hear in the video.  

Heading to the World Championship!

Posted by Lauren on April 20, 2014

The Green Machine is so psyched to go to Championships in St. Louis this year! We’ve been working hard on our practice robot and have tried out several new ideas for Zeke, our 2014 robot, to make him stronger and better than ever. After our Finalist finish at the North Star Regional in Minneapolis, we are optimistic about Championships -- even more so now that Zeke's twin has been taken out for several practice drives. Our drive team is ready to assist and score! Stop by and visit with The Green Machine when you’re in St. Louis. Stop by our bright green pit, whether for visiting, scouting or need help with a mechanism or software. Good luck to everyone this week!


Well-Played at North Star

Posted by Lauren on April 3, 2014

At the North Star Regional, The Green Machine was very excited to see our robot Zeke do very well in the competition. He more than lived up to our expectations -- Zeke ended up ranking 3rd at the end of Qualifications!  Working with our alliance partners, we ended up robot-to robot in the Finals, working very hard to the very last second of the very last match. While we ended this event as Event Finalists, we are so proud of our team's accomplishments this year with regard to our well designed robot and how well it performed at regionals. We cannot wait to see what we can do at Championships in St. Louis. We also won the Gracious Professionalism award and were an honorable mention for the Industrial Safety Award at this regional as well.

A Win at the LSR!

Posted by Lauren on March 12, 2014

The Green Machine is going to the FIRST World Championships! Thanks to our wonderful team members who worked tirelessly on essays, the video, presentations and speeches, as well as to the rest of the team that turned out all year for countless outreach events and community projects, Team 1816 won the Chairman’s Award at the Lake Superior Regional! At the same time, our robot, Zeke, also did very well during this competition. Our final rank was 16th -- and we were picked by the 8th rank alliance. We battled fiercely through four quarterfinal matches against the #1 alliance – and fell just short of making it to the semi-finals.  All and all this past weekend was super fun and full of great accomplishments. Before we get to St.

Next Stop, Duluth

Posted by Lauren on March 4, 2014

Zeke is going to the Double-DECCer in Duluth! The Green Machine is going to our first 2014 competition this weekend in Duluth, Minnsota. We are competing in the Lake Superior Regional. We are all so excited to be able to see all the other designs and solutions to this years game. We believe Zeke cannot wait to see how well he will run in a real competition. For the spectators (and parents) who are reading this, these competitions are free and so much fun! This is a great activity if you have kids who are interested in engineering or who just want to see a bunch of robots compete against each other. We hope to see you there!

Zeke is in the Bag

Posted by Lauren on February 19, 2014

The 2014 Build season is over and, while we are all sad to stop working, we are pleased to welcome to the FIRST competitions The Green Machine's 2014 robot, Zeke. Zeke has a mecanum drive train for optimal maneuverability. He's fitted with a catapult shooter fabricated out of harpoon tubing elastic which glides smoothly over a 3D printed roller. The intent is to shoot into the high goal with reasonable accuracy. Zeke also has a wheeled ball collector, which doubles as a low goal shooter. Furthermore, our robot is able to to catch the giant exercise balls and shoot over the mid-field truss. Excitement is building to see how well Zeke does in the real competitions.