The (Fresh) Bot of the 'Birds
Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the bot of a team called Firebirds
In the Firebird shop built and raised
On the table was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out buildin' codin' all cool
And all shooting some boulders after school
When a couple of bots who were ranked up on top
Started earning spots to the Championship
I got a spot off the list and my team said yes
They said 'You're movin’ to the Champs in Saint Louis'
I cheered and planned with them day after day
And they packed my tool case and sent me on my way
They gave me a kiss and then they gave me my ticket.
I got in my crate and said, 'I might as well kick it’.
FedEx, yo this is cool
Sitting in my crate with boxes of tools.
Is this what the people of STL living like?
Hmm this might be alright.
But wait I hear they're scaling, scoring, all that
Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat?
I don't think so
I'll see when I get there
I hope they're prepared for the bot of the ‘birds
Well, the crate landed and when I came out
There was a girl who looked like a friend standing there with my name out
I ain't trying to get inspected yet
I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, drove away
I whistled for my team and when they came near
The cart said 433 and it had a handle to steer
If anything I could say that this cart was sweet
And I thought ‘Let’s get on it' - 'Yo, home to my pit’
I pulled up to the pit about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the mentors 'Yo team see ya later'
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the bot of ‘birds
P.S. These are the types of things I come up with when I am stuck in a crate all day. Can't wait until I get to Saint Louis!
No CRATE-astrophes Here!
I’m sitting here in my crate, waiting for FedEx to pick me up. In the meantime, I will tell all of you about my day and how exactly I got here.
After school, the girls got to work. They knew that the crate had to be ready by the end of the day today, so they didn’t let a single minute go to waste. Some girls started constructing the battery box while others began carrying the bins and supplies up to the crate. Then, they rolled me up to the crate and put me on my cart inside. They made sure I was nice and comfortable, because I will be in here for over a week! Then, they carefully placed the various bins and items around me. It was like a giant puzzle! They tied me in with my crate and built a shelf for bins above me, Some girls took the time to paint the two new sides of the crate blue. When everything was finished, they said goodbye, sealed up the crate, and put on the labels.
I’m kind of upset that I won’t be seeing my team for a while… I can’t believe that the next time I see them, I’ll be in Saint Louis!!!!
What A CRATE Day!!!
The past two days have been very busy for my team! Yesterday, some girls went to Lehigh University to watch the FIRST Mid Atlantic District Championship. They got to have lots of fun, see all of their friends from other teams, and watch some really cool matches! It was a very exciting day! Congratulations to all of the teams who did such a wonderful job at the competition!
Today, the girls came in to begin the process of getting ready for Saint Louis. While we don’t know quite yet when I will need to leave in the crate, the girls know that they do not have much time to get everything ready. They started off the day by making buttons and bows together. Most of the buttons and bows that they made in the beginning of the season were used up at districts, so they needed to make a bunch in time for Saint Louis. They worked on an assembly line. Some girls cut strips of tape, others folded the bows, some cut out button designs, others made the buttons with the machine. In the blink of an eye, they had already made a ton of buttons and bows! They will keep working hard until they leave for Saint Louis, but this was a great start! At the same time, some girls went over to our friends from E=McD to get our crate back since they borrowed it last year. When the crate was unloaded, the girls looked at the pieces and decided that some panels needed to be replaced because they were becoming old and weak. A shopping list was made and new materials were purchased. The team carefully replicated the sides of the crate and assembled it. Next, a major question had to be answered. How will everything get to Saint Louis? Usually, the team drives the materials in a van, but the drive is too long for this trip. The team considered building a second crate or sharing a vehicle with another team. However, in the end, they decided that they could fit everything in my crate if they were efficient with space. They carefully planned out what needed to come and where it would be placed. Then, they began to assemble the crate and laid out everything. One girl even got on top of the crate to fasten it down. It looks like everything will fit!
Tomorrow, the girls will get everything together so that the crate can ship out as soon as it can! I can’t wait to travel to Saint Louis! I wonder what I will do when I am in that crate for a week…..
P.S. Starting tomorrow, the Firebirds want you to join us in our first ever Fly With Us Week! It's the week before the World Championship, so help us to spread the sparks! All season, we have been tweeting using our daily hashtags, and now it's your turn! Just tweet @firebirds433 with the daily hastag! Be creative! We can't wait to see what you share!
4/18 #mentormonday - show some love and appreciation for your team's mentors!
4/19 #treattuesday - what keeps your team fueled?
4/20 #wisdomwednesday - share some inspirational words with us!
4/21 #throwback thursday - travel back into your team's history and tweet a little blast from the past!
4/22 #firebirdfriday - we want to hear some of your favorite memories with the Firebirds!
4/23 #shopsaturday - take a picture wherever your team is and share it!
4/24 #selfiesunday - send in your craziest team selfie!
The Party of the Century
Some people say that on the most important days of your life, you can feel that something good is going to happen when you wake up. Today was one of those days. For the past few days, I have been sitting in my bag in the shop. I’ve been pretty bummed out. The girls have visited me a few times, but it just hasn’t been the same. While the girls were so thankful for three fabulous district competitions, the season just didn’t quite feel over yet. They weren’t ready to let go of this year. Neither was I. I heard about this super cool thing called the World Championship. It will be taking place in Saint Louis in less than two weeks. Robots and teams from all over the world will be getting together. It sounded like the party of the century, and I was so sad that I was not going to be there.
Flash forward to today. I was sitting in the basement when I heard about the big news. My team was selected off of the wait list to go to the World Championship!!! I could not believe it!!! The girls were so happy when they found out. Saint Louis is going to be a huge adventure for my team. The girls struggled to contain their excitement all day. Immediately, they began planning for the next week and a half. There is a lot to get done. Everything needs to be packed up for the big trip. I’m going to be traveling in a crate for over a week! Lots of buttons and bows need to be made for everyone in Saint Louis. After school, the girls dashed into the shop. Flights were booked, spreadsheets were made, an plans were developed. Of course, the girls ate lots of sweets and snacks to celebrate!
I cannot believe that I am going to have more chances to do what I love. I'm going to get to hang out with my team, meet other robots, cross defenses, hang, shoot, play defense, and have fun!
The next week and a half is going to fly by. Every minute, new developments are made. I know that my team is going to be working so hard to get all of the details together. More importantly, I know that this is going to be the trip of a lifetime!!!!!!
Every competition that I go to is better than the last! This weekend, my team and I went to the Montgomery district competition. Calling this weekend amazing would be a huge understatement!
The girls started packing on Thursday and finished on Friday. The drive to Montgomery was the longest yet, so the girls tried to get ready as quickly as possible after school. They piled into the cars and drove away, excited to see what the weekend had in store! Each car had fun singing, chatting, and joking around. The beginning of the evening was the same as usual. Everything was unloaded and set up. I got inspected, the girls found a spot in the stands, and everyone got acclimated to the competition. In between, the girls played FIRST trivia with each other, danced around, and laughed a lot. I wasn’t there for dinner, but the girls told me all about their adventures. They had pizza and birthday cake. Most of the cake was eaten, but some wound up on people’s faces. I’m just glad that I didn’t get any cake on me! After all of that, the girls brought me to the field to practice. My first two practice matches went pretty well! When they set me up for my third, something unexpected happened. The fire alarm went off, and the girls had to leave me. Don’t worry, everything was ok. I waited patiently inside while the girls waited outside. Eventually, they came back in and got ready to drive me. After that match, it was time to go home.
Saturday morning, the girls arrived, ready to get started! They got the robot ready, spoke to some judges, planned the scouting, and discussed strategy. At this competition, I saw a lot of robots that I had never seen before. We all worked together during each of my matches to achieve our goals. Sometimes, I would need to play defense. Other times, I would need to breach many defenses. For some matches, my focus was on scoring boulders. Because I never scaled at my first two competitions, my team really wanted to get my mechanism to work. Before one of my matches, they practiced multiple times. Then, the coolest thing ever happened! I scaled on the field! It took a lot of precision. I had to drive to the correct spot, my tape measure had to go out at the correct speed, and everything had to line up correctly. Luckily, it all worked out. My team screamed so loudly when it happened! I held onto the bar until my team came and lifted me off. I continued to work hard in all of my matches for the rest of the day. It was a very long day for my team, and they needed to go home and rest up.
Sunday was a fresh start. The girls were prepared to work hard every match. I continued to scale in some of my final qualification matches. By the time alliance selections arrived, my team knew that we had done the best we could. The team waited patiently in the stands to see if they would be chosen. Then, the 8th alliance captain, the Iron Mechs 5684, called our team name! The girls went crazy! After that, they waited with anticipation to see who the final member of the alliance would be. The alliance chose our friends from the Cybersonics 103, to join us! Immediately, the team began strategizing. The alliance went out the field with a plan to try and stop the other robots. Together, our alliance would breach, score, defend, and scale. Unfortunately, our team did not move on, but the alliance did an amazing job together! For the rest of the day, the girls danced, cheered, and sang in the stands together. They had so much fun! At the end of the day, the team was given the Creativity Award for their innovative designs and ideas. Everyone was so thrilled!
I’ve had an amazing year so far with my team. I know that no matter what happens, I’m the luckiest robot in the world because I have these girls. I’ll let you all know where our adventures lead us in the upcoming days and weeks!
P.S. Don’t worry! Annie’s competition video is coming soon. She’s working hard to make it the best it can be!
Today was wild! A major problem that I've been having was finally solved. Sometimes, during a match or practice, my driving would become choppy. No one knew what was going on. The girls checked many things, from the batteries to the drive train to the wiring. Today, after much trial and error, the code was cleaned up and the problem was removed. Everyone was so excited!
In other news, the girls built a mount for the camera poll on the driver station. The drivers will need to extend and retract the pole before and after the matches. They also worked on completing media materials for this weekend.
My time outside the bag is completed now. The next time I am unbagged, I will be at the competition! I am so excited!
Happy Birthday, Dean Kamen!
Today is no ordinary day! The girls told me that today is Dean Kamen's birthday! If you don't know him, Dean Kamen is a super cool guy. He is the whole reason FIRST robotics exists! Without him, I wouldn't get to spend every day with my team. I don't really know what a birthday is, though. I wonder if I have one of those. I'll ask the girls about that tomorrow.
In celebration of his birthday, the girls opened my bag and got to work. To start, they repaired my wheels and their connections. They started to get worn out at the competition last weekend. I will need them to be very strong if I want to be able to compete this weekend. Once they were fixed, the programmers started working on automated hanging code. Because I had time to practice at Westtown, the girls know that I can hang. The main issue is consistency with deploying my hook. With an automated code, the girls will just have to press and hold a button to get the process going. They will test this code more tomorrow. Finally, something really cool was designed! To help the drivers see during the match, the programmers built a camera pole! I can't wait to see it in action at the competition!
This week is going by so quickly! Before I know it, I will be competing at Montgomery!
P.S. The video from Westtown is ready! Check it out!
I'm so blown away. This weekend was indescribable. My team and I competed at the Westtown district competition. I have so many stories to share with you!
On Friday, the girls and mentors gathered in the shop and worked on packing. They were much more organized this time. They took the time to pack things that they forgot last time. Every item had a specific box that it needed to go in. They actually finished a while before they needed to leave, so they decided to have a little adventure! The girls walked 15 minutes down the street to get snacks and food. It was so funny because it kind of looked like a parade! They were in their tutus, tiaras, team shirts, and hats! Once they had fueled up and returned, they loaded into their cars and drove to Westtown. I was with all of the bins and tools. It was a longer drive than last time, so I took a nap. Once we arrived, the girls carried everything into the building. I came in last. By the time I got in, the girls were already setting up. Before I knew it, the tent was up with its lights and signs hanging nicely. Not long after that, the girls pulled me over to the scale and had me weighed for inspection. Once the inspector checked all of my electronics, mechanisms, and features, I was able to get started. My team went to the hanging bar and had me practice. A lot of trial and error occurred all throughout the weekend with my hanger, but my team always found a way to improve my design. Friday was a funny day. The girls said it was called April Fools Day. I don't really understand it, but I'm glad no one pranked me. I got to go on the field before the end of the night. When I was finished, I went back to the pit and snuggled up in my crate for a long night. The girls sang some songs in the pit together (kind of like a lullaby) before they left. I was so excited to start the competition!
Saturday was crazy. I had a bunch of things that I needed to do. The day started with practice matches. I had two of them. They were both great opportunities for me to get warmed up for the real deal. After opening ceremonies, I had to start my qualification matches. All throughout the day, I tried a bunch of different things. I used many of my autonomous programs. I tested various strategies. I figured out what worked and what didn't. Along the way, a few things needed to be repaired, but nothing was too bad. I crossed a lot of defenses, scored a ton of goals, played some defense, and earned a bunch of points. The girls worked so hard during every match so that the team could be ranked well. I wasn't as nervous as I was last competition because I knew what I needed to do. I got to see some of the same robots as the last competition, as well as some new ones! Some of the old ones got new features since I last saw them. The scouters took notes on all of my robot friends. The time between matches was precious for my team. They were always testing things out, from autonomous to hanging to my drive train to my boulder intake. Just like last time, the girls spent a lot of time dancing, cheering, and singing in the stands.
Today, Sunday, was a big day. I had my last few qualification matches in the morning. They all went well, and my alliances did what they had to do. My team was very proud of everything that I accomplished during the qualification matches. I was not picked for an alliance, but it was ok. My team made the time that they had with me in the afternoon count. While some girls were supporting teams and cheering in the stands, other girls stayed back with me. The programmers got to test their code on me, and a few mechanisms were repaired. Eventually, the time came for awards to be given out. My team waited patiently in the stands for the results. For their positive attitudes all throughout the weekend and the team's family-like energy, the team was awarded the Spirit Award! I was so proud of the girls! After everything was cleaned up and packed, we journeyed back home and unloaded everything.
Competitions rock! I have one more district next weekend at Montgomery! I can't wait!
P.S. Annie is compiling her videos from the competition as we speak. She will have them ready soon. As soon as it is finished, we will share it with you!