FIRST Team 3081 formed in the fall of 2008 and entered the 2009 competition as the Fritz team. With the help of 2 mentors were able to get Fritz the 1st built prior to the competition. Programming was an issue and the team discovered, at the event, that Labview programming was not designed for Macs. Thanks to a helpful employee from National Instruments and a borrowed computer, they were able to get the robot moving and moved out of last place. Supported with a grant from NASA, the team was challenged to “Lunacy” in which Robots must collect and deposit “orbit balls” (moon rocks, empty cells, super cells) into opposing teams’ payload trailers, all while traversing a slippery, 54 x 27-foot competition field meant to mimic the moon’s low-friction surface. The team finished 48th out of 51.
In 2010, the game dubbed “Breakaway” challenged the small but growing team. Breakaway was a modified version of soccer . Alliances competed to earn points by collecting soccer balls in their goals. Additional points could be scored at the end of the match if your robot could lift itself up off the ground. Sponsored by Pentair, Fritz the 2nd finished 56 out of 63 teams.
In 2011, we started the year with just two returning students, but a large influx from the class of 2014 soon put our number at 17. The game, named “Logo Motion, ” required robots to place tubes on walls forming the FIRST Logo. With sponsorship from Pentair, and two additional mentors, the team actually had one day of practice before lock up day. 2011 Fritz the 3rd improved the team’s position in the Regional, finishing 39th out of 63 teams.
Rebound Rumble, a game requiring robots to shoot baskets, was the challenge for the 2012 year. A hybrid period was added to the tasks, where teams could try to use the Microsoft Kinect to control their robot with their bodies. Crossing and balancing on a ramp introduced other sensors to the teams. 9 returning members and 10 rookies put our ranks at 19. With PTC and ThermoKing as sponsors, four additional mentors joined and we were able to use the woodshop to build Fritz 4. At the 10000 Lakes regional we placed 26th out of 63. Thanks to some great salesmanship by students, we were selected by the second-ranked team to be part of their alliance. Surpassing the other 7 alliances, we won the Regional and attended the World Championship in St Louis. Winning the Regional also took us to the State High School tournament. Our robot and driving team performed well, moving up in the standings in each of the matches and earning us the second seed position, putting us in unfamiliar territory as a leader in the tournament. The result after the elimination rounds was winning second place in State!
2013 brought a new challenge for the team – Ultimate Ascent. In this game, alliances score points two ways – by shooting Frisbees through goals at each end of the field, or by climbing one of two pyramids located on the field. Our team elected to build a robot that picked Frisbees up from the floor and shot them through the goal. Our robot design turned out to be the most complex robot we’d ever created. It was also the first robot we built that had a part designed and built through CAD. Building the robot turned out to be more complicated than expected, and we spent most of our time at the North Star Regional getting the robot working properly, resulting in a 1-9 record in the qualification matches. Our robot improved its performance at the 10,000 Lakes Regional to a 4-4 record. We were invited to attend the State Fair competition, and our robot was awarded the blue ribbon for electronics.