In just a few days, GOFIRST hosts a Kickoff and starts its FIRST (oh, you get the pun) year as a Robot in 3 Days Team: ’Snow Problem. Trust us; we’re excited!
For those who don’t know much about us, here’s a quick overview:
Hailing from snowy Minnesota, ’Snow Problem proudly joins Ri3D with over 75 years of FIRST experience. All our members are from or affiliated with GOFIRST, which is the FIRST Support Organization located at the University of Minnesota. A large part of GOFIRST’s mission is to aid FIRST throughout Minnesota, and that principle, as a result, represents a core component of ’Snow Problem’s mission.
In our years in FIRST, we’ve found that there are enough teams in Minnesota but nowhere near enough mentors, and we plan to help that situation in any way we can. Though we’re a small team with a smaller timeframe, we endeavor to create resources, guidelines and tutorials for FRC teams throughout the year, enabling them to better themselves and their surrounding communities. Further, we hope to become mentors for everyone during our three-day build.
A potent broth of ramen, coffee, and Mountain Dew fuels us as college students. A formidable mix of ambition, Hobby Pox, and Robot Fever powers us as engineers. We’re ’Snow Problem, a team that scoffs at a shut down from a so-called “Snowmageddon.” After all—as proud Minnesotan’s, the snow runs in our blood.
Only the gracious support of our sponsors makes this team possible, and we would like to thank The University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering, GOFIRST, AndyMark, BlackDog Modular Robotics, and REV Robotics for their kind support and generosity this year.
Outside the kitsch, I’m very excited to be a part of the 'Snow Problem team. We’ll be taking a little bit of a different approach to the Ri3D problem that previous groups have. While many previous teams have focused on completing the “main game objective” or doing everything, we’re hoping to focus on what is possible with a robot that focuses on support functions (presuming the game allows us to).
If anyone has any questions for the team, I’m sure Evan, Caleb, or myself would be happy to answer them. We also plan to do a few live Q&A sessions during the build-- if you have any questions about the process we’re going through or technical questions about the robot, consider them open time to ask them! We’re planning to do at least one of these daily, around 3PM CST Sunday and Monday and around 9PM Saturday (probably not those times exactly, but in the general vicinity).
I think I can speak for all of us at 'Snow Problem when I say we are all incredibly excited to be taking this opportunity to serve the FIRST community. Good luck to everyone come Saturday!
I’m also super excited to be part of 'Snow Problem! Ri3D simulates a 6-week build season in 72 hours, and the important things teams do during build seasons aren’t just CAD, game strategy, and manufacturing. Performing some of the non-technical workings of teams allows us to more openly share resources that are not as common in the FIRST community (Identity standards, social media strategies) and helps to improve the reach and educational effectiveness of our build folks. It’s awesome to be part of increasing the breadth and variety of Ri3D, in technical and non-technical ways.
I believe that there are always “support” functions in any game that many more teams should strive to achieve in place of the “main” game task. Now if I could just convince the rest of the team that we should build one of these robots…
In all seriousness though, I’m really excited to be part of 'Snow Problem. Seeing all of the great Ri3D robots in previous years was awesome, but they always seemed distant. Having one right here in MN will hopefully be a great resource for local teams. The statistic that our team has 75 combined years of FRC experience really got to me when I saw it. That might not seem like very much to those from older regions, but here it seems enormous. I can’t wait for the upcoming years in which we will have a large population of FRC alumni, and numbers like this won’t seem so high anymore.
Below is a quick summary of the content and videos we’ve put out so far and how they’re helpful to teams:
Ri3D 2015: Snow Problem “Week 1” grabber prototyping
Three members of our Mechanical team discuss the ups and downs of various forms of the grabber we’ve been prototyping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz4P45opHfM
`Snow Problem: Human player tote stacking
After seeing this thread on ChiefDelphi, we thought we could help the community by sliding totes through the inbounding station ourselves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h928WDUTPSA
Ri3D 2015: `Snow Problem’s First Impressions
Prior to analyzing the game, we talked out a few of our first thoughts on strategies we expect to see, what we expect from the game, and more! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_rXdnsZSyk
**Ri3D 2015: Meet Snow Problem's Evan Hochstein, Peter Irvine, Nick Aarestad, and Kate Azar** Meet a few members ofSnow Problem in our Meet the Team Videos. We liked them so much we’re going to make them for the rest of the team! Descriptions and links below –
Evan Hochstein: Team leader of Snow Problem, FIRST Senior Mentor for Minnesota, and head mentor of FRC team 2470, Evan Hochstein does it all! To find out more, check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tNG2b9pjTk