After several intense field building sessions, the U-Haul Truck, driven my Parentor Peggy, backed up to the HS shop on Monday afternoon!
A dedicated crew of students (Jason, Crystal, Alex R., Alex C., Andy, Lizzy and Mike H.) and a few adults started the process of loading what seemed to be the entire contents of our closets as well as the pieces to build a full size Breakaway field and our entire cotillion of robots into the truck. We were joined by several college alumni: Tommy C., Cuyler and Cristian all lent a hand in the loading and unloading process. The loading seemed to continue forever, but finally everything that Jason wanted loaded - except for the shop vac, and the kitchen sink was in the very very full van.
The crew then transitioned to the Monroe County Fair site in Henrietta where we were met by Team Leader Larry. We have spacious accommodations at the fair! The demo/field area is inside out of the heat of the day. Several exhibits were already set up and we are sharing the space with a quilting exhibit and a farm exhibit, and a hand dipped ice-cream stand!
The U-Haul was unloaded. The robot trailer was pulled inside. The largest effort was in placing the carpet. Once that was down the pieces of the field were somewhat sorted and staged for assembly on Tuesday.
The fair starts Wednesday afternoon. Here are the shifts that the robots will be in action! Rolling Thunder's bots should be joined by some other Rochester Teams. I wish I had the line-up to add, but any time you come, the show should be great to see!
Schedule These are the time shifts for the fair.
Wed. July 14: 3:30-9:30
Thur. July 15: 3:30-9:0
Fri. July 16: 9:30-4:00, 4:00-9:30
Sat. July 17: 12:300-6:00, 6:00-9:30
Sun. July 18: 12:30-5:00, 5:00-9:30 (for cleanup)
It's been a while since we have had a blog entry and there is so much going on that I have decided that it is time for an update!
June has been filled with the last push from students for good results on final projects and exams, with the selection of next year's leadership team and with the graduation of our 8 seniors. Kim and Eric were able to come from Boston for graduation and reported that it was a nice ceremony and that it was good to see all the seniors graduate!
And now school is officially out and that makes it summer! Time for rest and relaxation - unless you are part of Rolling Thunder! We never stop, or so it seems!
Preparation is underway for a major demonstration of our robots at the Monroe County Fair. Jason K. is leading the group in rebuilding the Breakaway field and the next build session is scheduled for July 10th. He is still looking for some adult supervision for that day. Parentor Peggy is coordinating the displays and team sign-ups. There is still an opportunity for other FIRST teams in the area to come and join us as we play on the nearly full field! The robots will be playing from July 14th through July 18th. The busiest day will most likely be on Friday, July 16th as that is Children's Day at the Fair.
College mentor, Josh, is organizing the decorating committee for the Penfield 4th of July Parade (to be held Saturday July 3rd in the morning). Our float will be decorated in our team colors of red, black and white and will feature 5 of our robots - three on the float and two "walking" the route. The committee will be decorating the trailer on Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm and adding finishing details and decorating the truck on Saturday morning at 7:45 am.
Work was also done at the last meeting to get ready for our upcoming Lego camps. The Legos were pulled out of the closet and five "tri-bot" bases were assembled by the end of the evening. Parentor Val especially had a good time as she assembled an entire unit by herself and then assisted me in finishing up the last base as the bricks were attached to the other units. She has the uncanny ability to spot the unique needed pieces in the whole pile of Lego parts!
In the shop, Thunderfoot has been getting a much needed replacement of its wheels. Driving on asphalt and concrete at our carwashes and outdoor demos really chews up the wheels. Mentor Mike was leading this activity and even had his lovely wife, Sharon, wielding a screwdriver. Thunderfoot looked pleased to be getting a little TLC after the hard competition season.
Other July activities on the schedule are the next carwash on July 24th and a special team Karate Class on July 28th. Need something to do to while away those summer hours? Come and spend some time with us!
It was a late morning for the Thunder who left Kim and Eric's at about 9:20 am to go down into Boston to visit the Quincy Market, and Granary Burying Ground (where Sam Adams, Mother Goose, Paul Revere & Ben Franklin''s parents!). The Quincy market was very busy and bustling with people! We saw several street performers and stopped for lunch in the food hall where a wide variety of services were offered. Everything ranged from burgers and fries to sushi, noodles and chowder!
We also stopped at the Holocaust Memorial where there were glass monuments with all the numbers that people were labeled as. Imprinted were quotes from survivors.
After exploring the market and picking up souvenirs, we headed back to Kim and Eric's and said good-bye before hitting the road home at about 1:30 pm. The drive was quiet for both cars as the students slept a good majority of the way. Larry's car slept soundly, and later watched episodes of House before getting home.
We got into school at about 7:50 pm where parents greeted us and took us right home while Larry, Leann and Mark rushed home to watch the finale of Lost!
Signing off now to do loads of homework is Communications Director...
The morning started early with everyone waking around 5:30 am.
The night before Kim kindly placed out boxes of cereals, spoons and bowls for the hungry army of kids!
Leaving home at about 6:20 am, we arrived at the Northeastern Matthews Arena ready to unload and start practicing! The coolest part of the morning was that we could drive right into the arena to unload right next to our pit table INSIDE! The venue was very small, and thank goodness Regional Competitions aren't held there!
Beantown Blitz accommodated approximately 39 FRC teams! The Thunder ended up with a very challenging day as we only had three students to drive and one alumni for coaching. Alex and Mike both switched off for drive-train, while Crystal manned the controls all day and Mark strategized.
The competition had a special feature in the matches which included a golden soccer ball which scored an additional two points! This bonus was not utilized in the very first match, but when teams began to notice the difference it made and just how much it curved matches, it was a battle on the floor the blitz the gold bean!
Overall we ranked 22nd out of 39. Thunderfoot had overcome many problems that ranged from hanging faults to controller problems and I/O Connections.
When it came time for the alliance selections, 467 -- the Duct Tape Bandits moved up to seed 7 after the first two alliances made
their choices. Because of our team's awesome relationship with the Bandits, they selected us for their first alliance partner pick. They then chose 121 -- the Road Warriors as our final partner. Proceeding to quarter finals, our first match against our very own partners from Boston was 2648 -- Infinite Loop along with 1519(Mechanical Mayhem), and 1073 (the Force team). We played a very tough match and lost by one point due to a penalty. The second match was well played by both alliances, but favored with Infinite Loop.
For lunch, we had cardboard pizza that claimed to be the best in the world. They lied.
For the rest of the day, we cheered on Infinite Loop and their alliance and watched them proceed to Finals where they fought hard but remained competition Finalists.
Leaving the arena at 6:30 pm, we said goodbye to the Matthews NU arena and headed back home to Kim and Eric's! There, we prepared vegetables, burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and even pizza bagel bites to eat for dinner! Jeff and Eric cooked up on the grill and everyone else grabbed the grub. After Alex and Mark finished, they had the brilliant idea to make a bon-fire that will stay in the back-yard for a good few years.
Mentor Adam from Duct Tape joined us for our grilled dinner and later took some members out to the Cheesecake Factory to retrieve dessert. From there it was a camp out at the fire (which was nearly coals now with a giant tree trunk section) until it was hosed and it became lights out time!
Tomorrow the crew will be getting up early to tour Boston, enjoy some New England Chowder, see the Public Market and visit historical sites before they hit the road.
Until the, signing off so she can yet again get sleep of her own, is Communications Director...
With the protection of kitty cat Scrambles who will nom all the bugs that have intruded!
The Thunder tucked away their packed belongings in Mentor Larry & Jeff's cars and headed for Boston, Massachusetts at approximately 5:15 pm.
We made two pit-stops where dinner consisted of pizza, chicken dishes and McDonalds french fries! In Larry's car, we had Mike, Mark and Crystal who enjoyed their pastime with movies, music, books and video games as well as some very interesting childhood stories among others. While in Jeff's car, Alex boon-doggled a good majority of the way here!
Arriving at a small home at about 11:30pm, we unloaded our bags and invaded the Eckhardt home! We were greeted by Kim, Eric and Scrambles, their tiny kitten!
After scheduling our plans for the Beantown Blitz event tomorrow, it went lights out and everyone is sound asleep for now! We will be leaving the house at 6:15 am and look forward to a good competition day tomorrow!
Signing off so she can get sleep of her own,
is Communications Director...
Welcome to the blog of Rolling Thunder, FIRST Robotics team 1511. The team is from Penfield High School in Penfield, New York and mainly sponsored by Harris Corp. To find out more about the team and FIRST, please visit the Who We Are page.