Archive for March, 2011

March 18th

Posted in The Blog on March 18, 2011 by team3840

Due to popular demand, I am posting the epic that my dad wrote about our robotics team.


Ode to TNT

We drove to St. Cloud for a kit of parts, then we scratched our heads and said, “Where do we start?”

A scissor lift, an arm, a claw, we’ll stun the crowd with a sense of awe.

We drove to Minneapolis to get us some steel, while Nik kept us all on an even keel.

While Danny kept the home fires burning, we all settled down for some techno-learning.

Then Allen came over all dressed in black,we all would exclaim, “What’s the plan of attack?”

We all used the drill press, the saw, and the hammer; while Andrew stepped in as our needed programmer.

With hammers and saws and drills all a-sounding, Karl kept us going with ideas abounding.

Then Chris would stay over and sleep on a cot, his mom would come get him and bring Minibot.

Then off to Simley for initial rounds, for drivers to practice and shake it down.

To view the competitors was our greatest gift, but we wowed them all with our scissor lift.

As we strove to honor Jack Kamen posthumously, Andrew tried to scare the crowd autonomously.

Then we packed it up and said goodbye, “See you in Duluth,” was our parting cry.

We got to Duluth and unpacked our parts, now it’s time for the games to start.

We did fairly well in the initial rounds, but trouble was brewing as we soon found.

We needed a Jaguar, a bolt, and a key; would this be the end of little TNT?

But we made the repairs quickly with the help of some friends, then back to the floor to compete again.

We finished the day with a fairly high seeding, some great alliance partners is what we’ll be needing.

Then came the choosing to fill up the quota, we joined up with Simley and then North Dakota.

We clashed with the others, tried to fill up the racks, we switched to defense to fend off attacks.

We went to the semifinals then it became clear, we won’t go to nationals, this would not be our year.

Then as we prepared for the games to end, we met Herobotics, our new best friends.

They cheered us all up, we had met for a reason, what a great way to end an outstanding rookie season.


Build On,

Team 3840


March 13th

Posted in The Blog on March 13, 2011 by team3840

Wow, yesterday was so very eventful. After the remaining qualification matches, our team was seated 17th out of 40. Due to the 3 vs. 3 format of the matches, the top eight teams pick their alliance partners for the championship matches and we were picked by the third seated team. Our drivers played some awesome defense while our alliance partners hung tubes and we made to the semi-finals. Unfortunately this was not our year as we were unable to advance any farther. I will be posting pictures on here as well as on the website soon and I will also be posting an epic that my dad wrote about our first year.


Build On,

FIRST Team 3840

March 11th

Posted in The Blog on March 11, 2011 by team3840

Today, the qualifying matches started and currently we are placed 12th out of 40, 41? There are still a few matches to be played, but this has really helped make us noticed by veteran teams and the team’s optimism is up. There were a few major issues that happened: we lost a motor control for a match and we are struggling with a motor bracket that won’t stop bending. Expect more updates tomorrow as we will have the final results of how we did.

March 10th

Posted in The Blog on March 10, 2011 by team3840

We arrived at the competition this morning and were immediately impressed that there are veteran teams that are worse off than we are. Overall, I think we did quite well. Today was only practice rounds, so it was a major help for our drive team to practice driving. Some off the problems that we faced today were tubes getting stuck on top off our robot, a problematic claw, and overheated motors. These problems all seemed to happen after the same match, too. The tube problem was solved by sawing off part of the scissors lift and creating a slope for tubes to slide down the back. The claw problem was solved by installing a metal plate to limit the distance that the motor travels.Finally, we installed the biggest fans possible on our drive motors to keep them from overheating. Tomorrow the qualifying matches start. Wish us luck.

March 9th

Posted in The Blog on March 9, 2011 by team3840

We are leaving today to go to Duluth for our competition. During the competition, we will not be sending our regular sponsor updates, but will be updating this page as we progress through the weekend.

In other news, the website has been updated with current pictures of the members and I will be adding pictures to the team website, not the WordPress site, as soon as we get back from the competition.

The Story So Far

Posted in The Blog on March 8, 2011 by team3840

March 6th

Its been a while since I updated this page. Anyways here’s whats happening with our team. On February 16th, we received our team t-shirts from the printers and presented our mentors with their complimentary shirts. Without our mentors, our team would have never made it this far. Thank You!! On February 19th, our team participated in a pre-ship scrimmage. The veteran teams were amazed at what we had been able to accomplish. They also commented on how we had been able to make a scissors lift design that worked. I got some practice building some autonomous after receiving some tips from the knightkrawlers (team #?). I also tested the E-stop button after an unsuccessfull run in autonomous. On February 22nd, our robot was shipped out at about 6:30 PM. On March 2nd, we borrowed a button maker from a local printer and made our first batch of 125 buttons. On the 7th, we hope to receive our additional supplies for 500 buttons and we will be making 375 more. 125 of our supplies will go back to the printer as replacements for the supplies used in the first batch. We hope to purchase our own button maker next year. On March 6th, I made extensive updates to the team website. 3 days to the Duluth Competition!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 24th

We finally got the cRIO put together enough to format it and we can’t find the Labview image because it was never installed on the Classmate for want of an external CD drive. We attempted to image the cRIO from our desktop, but the network connection between the two isn’t working. We will try again tomorrow after installing Labview on the Classmate.

January 17th

The team, including three of its junior members, received a tour of Team Industries, which showed us how robots are used everyday to help people, not replace them. We also did some work on the drive train and tried to get familiar with the electronics. Over the past week, we have been working almost daily on several parts at once. We have the chassis and drive train assembled, and we have made good headway on the scissor lift design. On Friday night, Pete Hesselroth, from Aurelius Manufacturing Company Inc. came over to help us with the wiring(thanks a lot, Pete!). We met again Saturday and put together much of the wiring that we learned about from Pete. Next, we will turn our attention to the claw, which will go on top of the scissor unit.

January 10th

We met at Team Industries in Cambridge to hold a design meeting (Much thanks to Team Industries for providing their meeting room, and thanks to Ken Lashinski for mentoring us). We selected a design, and did some research.

January 8th

The team assembled at 7:00am to go to St. Cloud, where the kickoff session was held. We learned what this year’s game and objectives were, and we picked up the starter kit assigned to us from FIRST. We took inventory of the parts, and then brainstormed over possible robot designs. The video for this year’s game can be found on the FIRST website

January 6th

The team held a meeting at the Cambridge/Isanti High School, at 7:00pm. We finished an experiment on friction, which we performed with our junior members, and discussed our plans for Kickoff. We also welcomed our newest member, Chris.

January 1st

On this Saturday night we gathered at the home of one of our mentors to begin building the shipping crate for our robot. The crate must be four feet long, four feet wide, and almost six feet tall. We built the base of the crate and put handles on it. The crate will be used year after year. When fully loaded, it can weigh up to four hundred lbs. This allows us to ship our tools in it too.