Category Archives: Build Season

Week Zero Recap

Week Zero is the time to put some finishing touches on the robot, get some driving practice, and network with some amazing FRC teams! We were able to participate in the Centurion-Krawler Week Zero Scrimmage at Centennial High School this past Saturday, and gained some valuable experience for the upcoming competitions.

In talking to some of our SubZero Team 5690 members, we were able to learn their thoughts on where they think we’re at right now in regards to our robot’s build and capabilities. IMG_0876 hunterHunter, a veteran fabrication department member, said, “I learned just getting the feel of what needs to be done to be consistent in repairs and the routine, and giving the robot a check-up. I’m looking forward to having the robot perform pretty well now that we know everything is working.”

Every department is important in putting the robot together, as Sarah and Cassie, first year electrical members, found out. “Just learning how to wire and connect things, and making sure everything works was a huge takeaway from the scrimmage because if one thing was off the robot wouldn’t work.IMG_0783 sarah cassie Organization is crucial! We’re looking forward to the experience and seeing the hard work pay off.” Like every other year, our main driver will have a critical role during competition. This year’s driver, Logan, was most surprised at the scrimmage “when the robot fell over.” At our regional competitions in Duluth and Iowa, he’s most looking forward to “the robot not falling over!”IMG_0978 logan

Following the debut of this year’s robots at the scrimmage, other 5690 team members shared their perspectives on things that surprised them about this year’s POWER UP gameplay. Camden, a second year programmer, was expecting more diversity in the robots, but he found that the designs were more or less the same. IMG_0778 camdenHe also stated that, “Climbing at the end will be a challenge, and avoiding the penalty points of hitting the scale is going to be integral in this game.” Alec, a 3rd-year mentor in programming agreed that climbing will be the biggest challenge, noting that, “the robots barely had enough room to fit on the platform, let alone climb.” Strategy department member Skylar was “surprised [at] how some of the teams were playing the games, a lot more skills than what we originally thought. Some major challenges for this year we found out will include picking robots that are going to be compatible with ours because of different and similar skills.”

Our reporter is hard at work interviewing team members.

The week zero scrimmage also allowed our scouters the opportunity to see how everything is going to work and where their role fits in. Gage a second year scout, and Carsen, a first year scout, said “it’s harder than it was last year because it’s all stopwatch timing and thinking on your feet. I’m [Carsen] personally looking forward to seeing if anyone can climb. From a scouting perspective, keeping score and not missing any information is going to be the trick this year.”IMG_0803 gage carsen

Just three days after the scrimmage, and a frenzy of last-minute adjustments, our robot went into the bag to await our first regional competition, the Lake Superior Regional on March 8 – 10 at the DECC in Duluth. The event is free and open to the public, so we invite everyone to attend and see how exciting a FIRST Robotics Competition can be! We’re excited to see how our robot will perform this season.

Three team members seal up the bag.
The Robot is in the bag!


Kickoff 2018

Kickoff IMG_9834

On January 6, the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition season officially began with the release of the POWER UP game animation and rule manual. SubZero Robotics Team 5690 joined 22 other teams at the Marshall Performing Arts Center at UMD for the Kickoff event hosted by Duluth East Daredevils Team 2512, with Denfeld Nation Automation Team 4009 helping with registration. SubZero and the Iron Mosquitoes Team 5653 from Babbitt assisted with handing out the Kit of Parts following the game reveal.

Kickoff then moved to the home of the Duluth Marshall School TopperBots Team 4230 where we debriefed with six fellow Northland FRC teams about this year’s challenge. We would like to thank the teams who participated and strategized with us over lunch and in breakout sessions:  Carlton Doomsday Dogs Team 7041, Team 6044 Circuit Breakers, Moose Lake Robotics, Hermantown Talons 5232 Robotics, Gogebic Range Robotics, Babbitt Iron Mosquitos 5653, and Marshall Topperbots 4230. Big thanks to TopperBots for co-hosting this event with us for the second year.

Kickoff IMG_9995

Following the worshops at Marshall, we headed back to Esko  for the rest of the day to organize and formulate a plan for SubZero to proceed at full force into the 6-week build season. Good luck to everybody this competition season!


Season Conclusion

This season has been such an exciting time for everyone on the team. Our growth from this season to the last has been truly remarkable.

We have had an amazing build season this year. We began at first sharing ideas, collaborating with other teams, and analyzing this year’s game. Juggling many different ideas from team members, we finally came to a consensus on our robot design. We had many new experiences this year. This ranged from building bumpers, to reaching out to sponsors in order to have a sustainable build season – something we had to be less focused on last year due to working on simple robot design. With mentor knowledge, many late nights, and student dedication, we were able to produce a robot we thought would best fit the game requirements. That is exactly what we did.

Our competition season started off on March 3rd-5th at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) for the Lake Superior Regional. Competition qualification matches started off looking up. We juggled between first, second, and third place during the second day of the regional, finishing the day in 1st place out of 63 teams. At the end of the three day regional we received the Industrial Design Award that celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. We also ended the challenging three day competition as finalists with a record of 11-5-0. With being finalists, we were offered the opportunity to attend the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, Missouri on April 27th-30th at the Edward Jones Dome.

Being able to meet and work with teams from many countries all over the world was a fantastic experience for everyone on the team. We began qualification matches with motor trouble on the left side of our robot. After an hour of work from the build team, we were able to get B.A.R.D. (our robot name) back in commission. Later in the competition, we broke a shaft for the jointed arm due to friction. After these issues, we were back in shape. We finished the Championships in 38th out of 75 teams with a record of 5-5-0.

We were also able to attend the Minnesota State High School League Competition on May 20th and 21st at the Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. We had to make minor adjustments to the arm and shooter similar to the Championship tournament. At the end of the day, we finished with a record of 3-5-0 in 19th place. We were very excited to participate in this tournament as one of the top 30 teams in Minnesota invited to compete. Minnesota has 208 First Robotics teams as of the 2016 season.

We would like to thank all our sponsors, coaches, mentors, parents, and finally all the students for making this year the success it has become.

Press Collaboration

This year, SubZero Robotics joined forces with the Duluth East Daredevils team 2512 in writing for the BlueDevil Press. The BlueDevil press covered both the Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regionals held at the DECC in Duluth. These students also wrote articles published in various papers including the Duluth News Tribune. Here is a link for some of the stories written by SubZero and the Daredevils. Thank you for this opportunity 2512!

Bag & Tag

As the build season comes to an end for us tonight, we want to say thank you to all of our hardworking mentors and gracious sponsors. We have had many late nights that otherwise would not have been possible without these mentors.

We are also looking forward to seeing all of our friends at the Lake Superior and Northern Lights Regionals at the DECC in Duluth  next week. Good luck to everyone!

ICC Scrimmage

Lots of cool stuff happening at SubZero!  Many team members and mentors were at the school today building, programming, and refining the many mechanisms for over 16 hours today.  We are very thankful for our mentors to help out with all our happenings.  Stay posted, as we are developing a new “mentor profile” page right here on our blog.