Become a Daredevil

Daredevil Robotics 2018

What are FIRST and FRC?

Twenty-five years ago, Dean Kamen created FIRST (Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) using a sports competition format. Since then FIRST has expanded to include has FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and in 2017 the FIRST Global Challenge.

Who are the Daredevils?

We are a team of students that take on the task of building a robot for the annual FRC competition. This is a challenging endeavor, but the rewards are great. We have been competing in FRC since 2008. As a part of this team, you will learn and use real-life problem-solving skills in a variety of fields.

The Daredevils are much more than the yearly competition. We use our skills to promote STEM and STEM education to the wider community. We do this through community outreach at local events as well as hosting STEM camps for younger students.

Team Membership Requirements

You must enjoy a challenge, be enthusiastic, and have a positive attitude. We need members who are willing to work with others, commit time, deal with tight deadlines, and never give up. Students must have and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be qualified to participate. Since FRC is an officially sanctioned Minnesota State High School League sport, students must sign and abide by the MSHSL student athlete contract.

Team members do not need prior experience with robotics or FIRST. Team members do need skills they can use to help the team.

Yearly schedule

Our year is divided roughly into four seasons. The level of team activity varies from season to season. While all team members are expected to commit a great deal of time to the team during build and competition season, it is during the pre and post season that the future team leaders step up.

Pre-Season

From the beginning of the school year through December the team meets after school three days per week from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. The team meets in room 1049 at East High School, this room is also available for homework from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. if the student chooses. We suggest this time is taken advantage of.

During the pre-season, new team members are brought up to speed with the processes of the team. In mid-November we will compete at an off-season event known as the Minne-Mini, held in Prior Lake. This is an all-day competition that is structured like a shortened FRC regional event. We will travel by school bus leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening. All team members are expected to participate.

Later in pre-season we will prepare our build areas for constructing our new robot, we will begin to examine which second regional competition might be practical for us to attend, and we will prepare to host our kickoff event at UMD. In December, each department will also present a workshop at a pre-season event held at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, MN.

Build Season

Our build season begins in early January when the new game challenge is revealed at the kickoff event hosted by the Daredevils at UMD. From then we have six weeks to build our robot, so we will be particularly busy from Kickoff to the end of build season. During this time, the entire team will meet every day after school from 4:30 to 6:30. All fabrication team members and some logistics members will work as late as 9:00 p.m. and will also meet on weekends to complete construction.

The weekend before build season ends, we will attend a mock competition at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, MN.

Competition Season

We compete at two FRC Regional competitions each year. Our first regional will be the Northern Lights regional, held at the DECC from March 7th to the 10th. We will attend a second regional competition which will be decided by the team members during the pre-season. If we are invited to the championship event we compete  in Detroit April 24th – 28th. Attendance at these competition events is required for all team members and each will require several days absence from school.  If the Daredevils advance to the State Tournament, we will travel to Minneapolis in mid-May.

Summer off season

During the summer we host our own off-season event The Gitchi Gummi Get Together. We host several Lego robotics camps for younger students, and engage the community at events from Rhubarb Fest to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The summer season provides team members an opportunity to show additional leadership and their commitment to bring STEM to all members of our community.

Fees

The initial team fee has yet to be determined but will likely be in the range of $400. This fee goes entirely to supporting the costs of the team. Much of our budget comes from sponsors but this is a commitment that families must be prepared to make. In the event we are invited to compete at the championships, an additional fee in the $400 to $500 range will be assessed to cover costs for travel to Detroit. Accommodations can be made for families that find the fees difficult to cover.

Application Process

Click here to apply online!  Application will be available on Monday September 18, 2017.  Applications will close at September 29 at 11:59 pm

If you make it to the interview stage, you are encouraged to bring information to demonstrate any experience you have (Photos, writings).

Our Team Structure

Before applying, understand how our team is structured. Our team is divided into two major groups with each group subdivided into departments focused on specific disciplines. The two major areas are Logistics headed by Haley Montgomery (’19) and Fabrication headed by Cameron Anderson (’18).

Logistics

The logistics group is divided into four sub departments; Team Management, Media, Strategy and Awards. Logistics is responsible for keeping the team running smoothly, ensuring the team is funded, promoting the team within the community and creating tactics to win.

Team Management

Team Management, run by Anna Kerola (’19), is responsible for running the business aspect of the team. Tasks include organizing, documenting, trip planning, sponsor communication, and bookkeeping.

Ideal Team management candidates are detail oriented and organized. As a member of Team Management, you will be responsible for many team financial decisions.

Strategy

Part of the strategy department’s , headed by Linnea Frisk (’19), is to study the game rules and ensure that the robot is built in a way that it is competitive but also legal to play the game. During the competition season the strategy department analyzes competitors through detailed match scouting and pit interviews and looks for the best way to defeat or work with other teams.

Strategy members must be coolheaded, react quickly to unexpected situations and be flexible enough to create a new plan on the fly if a problem arises with our robot or a partner robot during a match. Strategy members need to be able to see beyond the obvious to find opponent strengths and weaknesses and should be able to create tactics that exploit that information.

Media

Media manages the team’s social media and news media interactions. In addition to social media, this department is also in charge of branding and design (ex. team uniforms, logo, signs), as well as recording and editing video and photos. During all events, the Media Department is busy updating followers, the community, and news outlets. This is done through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the team website, and press releases as well as webcasting at some competitions.

The media department needs journalists, photographers, videographers, and graphic designers. Working in the Daredevils’ Media department is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking to go into any of these fields. By the end of your tenure on the media department you will have a portfolio of press releases, published articles, posters, videos that demonstrate your talents and skills.

Awards

Awards, headed by Julia Boyd (’19), is a new sub-group for 2018 that reports to Strategy. In addition to winning the competition, the Daredevils strive to win other accolades from FIRST and the community. The Awards group is responsible for examining judged award requirements and must then demonstrate how the Daredevils meet those requirements at competitions. s a member of the awards group you must be able to write powerfully and concisely about our team’s accomplishments. You will also need to be able to persuasively present these arguments in person. Part of your job during competitions will be to act as the public face of our team, to speak with judges and spectators about our team and convince them we are the best team at the event.

Fabrication

Fabrication is responsible for the construction and maintenance of our competition robot. Like the Logistics side of the team, the fabrication side is divided into 4 sub-groups; Mechanical Build, Electronics, Programming, and CAD/CAM.

Mechanical Build

Mechanical Build, led by Kahl Steinmetz (’18), assembles and maintains the robot. Build also maintains past robots. The Mechanical Build Department works closely with the rest of Fabrication and the Strategy group to design a functional and competitive robot that also exhibits “beautility” (a portmanteau of beauty and utility). During the pre-season, members will be learning basic build and wiring techniques while working on our previous robots and our promotional robot.

Build members must be able to work safely, this is our first requirement. Familiarity with tools and metalworking techniques are also helpful. An ability to work within a team and across teams is vital. All physical components must be documented by the CAD department so our virtual robot is identical to our actual robot. Therefore, build members must work closely with CAD members.

Electronics

If Mechanical Build creates and constructs the bones of the robot, the Electronics Department, run by Olivia Nelson (’19), is responsible for the nerves and muscles. The Electronics department is responsible for making the wiring, from the battery out to the motors, physically and electrically strong and sound.

A candidate for Electronics should have some familiarity with wiring and electronics and be the person who wants to do it right the first time.

Programming

Muscles and bones are nothing without the brains. Noah Gaida (’18) leads a team of dedicated programmers who turn the physical components into the functioning robot you see at competition. During pre-season, new programmers will learn C++ and Lab View for FIRST Robotics. Apart from writing code, programmers are responsible for setting up wireless communications with the robot and setting up an intuitive drivers’ station. They also maintain working programs for past robots.

Candidates for programming should have some familiarity with at least one programming language and an ability to work in a fast-paced team environment.

CAD/CAM

The Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing department, headed by Kale Nelson (’19), is responsible for designing the robot and building it virtually before anyone else touches a wrench. The designs created by the CAD department are used to manufacture custom components using our CNC mill.

CAD/CAM members need to be detail oriented and precise, as it’s vital that the CAD model be identical to our robot. After build season ends, we don’t have physical access to our robot until competition, so any additional components must be built based on the CAD models and if the models are wrong our new fabricated components will be wrong. CAD members also need to be able to work quickly on their projects. Some experience with CAD is recommended but not necessary.

Click here to apply online!  Application will be available on Monday September 18, 2017.  Applications will close at September 29 at 11:59 pm

 

 

 

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