The DECC is a Great Place to Hold a Robot Party

By Lauren W., March 13, 2012

FIRST Team 1816 - The Green Machine was busy last weekend. We went to the Lake Superior Regional, Duluth, where we competed, continued to modify our robot, Zephyr, as well as helped a lot of other FRC teams with their robots! There were 64 FIRST teams that came to the DECC to compete. We managed to get in 9 matches for each team. In all, there were 96 qualification matches. At the end of qualifications, Team 1816 was ranked number 26. We made our rounds, talking to other teams, and were thrilled to be picked for the 8th alliance by FIRST Team – The Litchfield High School Dragons. We joined forces with them and FIRST Team 3276 – NSR, New London-Spicer, to face the competition in the elimination rounds. Alas, we faced off against the first-seeded alliance and went down in two straight matches, but we had a great time in the quarterfinals!

Our team also won two awards: the Entrepreneurship Award (for business planning and team structure) sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the Best Website Award! We would like to thank those on our team that made these awards possible.

While at the event itself, Team 1816 worked very hard to do all that we could. We had people in the pits working on our robot and were working, just as much, on many other teams’ robots. The Green Machine donated people, and programming expertise, and materials – even our last motor! -- to teams that needed them. We loved working Safety Glasses as well! At the same time, we had people in the stands scouting other teams’ robots and showing off some team spirit. Our mascot, (also known as animator Megan), was often seen dancing in her Hornets costume along with the other mascots.

All the FIRST teams worked very hard at the event, and it showed in how their robots played. Congratulations to the winning alliance, Teams 1714, 2169, and 3018, who move on to the Championships in St. Louis.

As a rookie, I thought this regional was really amazing. We were always busy talking to someone about Zephyr, or working on a robot, or scouting, or programming, or explaining our business plan and CAD designs, but it was so much fun. There were so many ideas in that arena and so much creativity with the robots. It was awesome how everyone showed gracious professionalism, that we all helped each other even though we were competing against each other. FIRST Robotics is definitely something entirely different from all other team sports. It creates an environment where teams are encouraged to be friends instead of rivals. I personally cannot wait until the next competition that we attend on March 29 – 31, the North Star Regional at the University of Minnesota. C’mon down and see The Green Machine in action!