Last Saturday, January 9th, the Data Bits and many other FRC teams around the world experienced the 2016 kick off! Early in the morning, we had three of our members, along with three mentors, go to the University of Minnesota to pick up the parts we need for this year's challenge. While they were there, the rest of our team assembled at Park High School. The game animation for the new competition: FRC Stronghold was released to everyone across the globe at the same time, the suspense was killing us. Whether we were in the classroom, U of M, or at home in our pajamas we were all waiting for the clock to turn and the video to start.
In case you missed it, maybe getting a little too sick from eating Doritos and drinking Mountain Dew, here's the link to watch it over, and over again: FRC Stronghold
After the video ended we were cheering with excitement that could not be contained. Once we were all done jumping up and down we broke into our three groups, build, programming, and outreach. Each sub-team had very different tasks, but all were incredibly busy (some of us still secretly full of excitement)! Six weeks to finish our robot, but only days to study the rule book and plan what this year's robot needs to accomplish. The 2016 competition has extremely diverse obstacles so immense planning needs to take place before any building happens. It will be a challenge, but everyone is super excited to conquer each one! Not only was build looking over the rule book, programmers also scoured over it. Autonomous is completely dependent on the programmers, it is essential that they know the rules inside and out. Along with learning the rules, the program team also spent time learning the computer programs they will use this year when putting together the code for the robot. Finally, outreach began to brainstorm what to look for when scouting during competitions. They also discussed fundraising opportunities and different companies to sponsor us! It's a crucial time to fund money or obtain sponsors, relieving stress about limitations that may arise when purchasing parts for the robot. Overall, the entire team is beyond excited for 2016's Stronghold competition and we all look forward to what this year will hold!