We are a FIRST® Robotics team located in North Saint Paul, MN working out of North High School. During the 2017 season, we competed at 2 regional events, in Duluth and St. Paul, MN, and took 7th place at the 10,00 Lakes Regional. This year we hope to make it to the national competition.
FIRST is an organization that promotes the learning of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to kids of all ages. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" They help inspire creativity and life skills in each of their programs, including self-confidence, leadership, and communication.
One of the most important qualities FIRST advocates is Gracious Professionalism®. Gracious Professionalism® is working at a high caliber to compete against others, but at the same time, helping the other people that will also be competing against to do their very best as well. It is about being polite and respecting everyone, even if you have just lost or won. People who practice Gracious Professionalism® do not brag but help everyone to the best of their ability.
FRC® stands for FIRST® Robotics Competition. This is the competition that Team 2501 competes in every year. FRC is composed of high school students in, as well as a group of mentors that help each team in being successful for the competition. Mentors teach valuable skills and enable team members.
Every year, FRC announces what the challenge will be for that year in competition, usually at the beginning of January. Teams then build a robot in 6 weeks in order to complete the year's challenge and participate in the competition. At regional competitions, teams are put into alliances of three at random to compete in each match. Prior to the match, teams may stratigize with the other teams in their alliance. For example: an alliance may decide to have one team's robot to play defence to stop the other alliance from scoring points. Another robot may be the main scorer for the alliance, and the last robot to do both jobs. Alliances are then put against another alliance of three to compete in the challenge for the year. At the beginning of the match is a 15 second autonomous period that robots are only controlled by programming that each team designed. During this period, teams can score bonus points. Next is a two minute tele-operated period in which two people from each team can control their robot to carry out the strategy that alliances discussed prior to the match. Typically thirty seconds from the end of the match, teams can do a sort of bonus challenge to score even more points. At the end of the match a buzzer sounds, robots are deactivated and taken off the field. Points are tallied up and the alliance with the most points wins. Each team on the winning alliance gets qualification points. At the end of the qualification matches the top 8 teams with the most qualification points get to choose 2 other teams to be on their alliance. These alliances then compete in a bracket like system with each match being best two of three. The winning alliance of the bracket then goes on to the Championship, along with the winners of a few special awards given out at the competition.
We highly encourage anyone and everyone to join, even if you think you do not have the technical know how. You will learn everything you will need to know. Being part of a robotics team is a lot of fun and you get to meet all kinds of people. We are a FREE activity at North High School. Meetings are held in the Fab - Lab behind the cafeteria, Tuesdays and Thursdays before the season begins. When we are in full competition mode we will meet everyday after school, as well as on Saturdays. You do not need to attend every meeting, but it is encouraged. While you are at the meetings, we expect you to be working to benefit the team in some way, whether that means working on the robot or on another project. To join, just show up to a meeting, or contact a captain or team member.
Build team is responsible for building the robot frame, drive system, and other critical components. Build team members will use basic hand and power tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, drills, and taps, to assemble materials such as sheet metal, bar stock, polycarbonate, and fasteners to build the robot.
Electronics team is responsible for creating the basic wiring harness and electronics system that controls the robot, using motor controllers, relays, sensors, encoders, and other electrical components, along with different hand tools, connectors and wire. Electronics team members will work closely with the programming team to effectively control the robot.
Programming team is responsible for creating the code that controls the robot, using a variety of programming languages, in order to make the robot interact with the drivers,field, and other robots effectively. In addition to programming, programmers will work on other projects, such as managing the team website and social media.
Marketing team is responsible for managing team resources and securing grants and donations to keep our team running, along with creating promotional materials and aparrel for the team.