Algonac Robotics Michigan State Championship Info

This is it!   

Team was planning to hit the road tomorrow morning, but because of inclement weather in the Flint/Saginaw area, we decided to go ahead and drive there tonight.

If anybody is driving to Saginaw in the next few days, please contact Coach Seb, Coach Jared or Coach Nicole. There are a few students that would love to join and they only need a ride up there. 

We are in the Ford Division. You can watch us live on Twitch and if we played in the playoff on Saturday afternoon, we will be on ESPN3 live. 

Follow us on Facebook all weekend. We will have a thread and post all update on our group page.

Team will be driving “Boomer” in the DTE booth and shoot T-Shirts. It is imperative that at any given time, the operator is well aware of their surroundings and who is by the canon. This is important and we do not want to have any incident. DTE is very excited to use this canon to shoot t-shirt and as far as i know, we are the only team there that will be doing this! 

Remember, we are all representing the swamp and while we are a small town, we are respectful, act with integrity and use gracious professionalism with everything we do. PERIOD. If anyone is not following these simple rules, you will not be allowed to participate in the event.

Qualification rounds will be going until Friday around dinner time. Then the alliance selection will be started. If we are selected or end up being an alliance captain, we will be playing in the elimination round on Saturday. In the event that we are not, we will still attend the elimination rounds and the award ceremonies. 

Good luck to Shelby Woods our Dean List nominee and Coach Nicole, our Woodie Flowers nominee. These are great achievements and no matter what the outcome, we are very proud to have you on our team!

Let’s do this, this is our chance to show what we learned over the last 4 years. Many teams are looking at us and it should be a great event for all involve… Just remember, work hard, be courteous, use gracious professionalism and have fun in the process!

STEM Camp 2018

Shelby Woods, a team member of the Algonac Robotics FRC team, organized the team’s first STEM camp.  Day one was all about team names, getting to know each other, and BRIDGES!  We learned about different types of bridges.  Each camper then got to build a marshmallow bridge and test its strength with pennies.  This was day one of  the three day camp, and we can’t wait to see what our campers will learn next!

FLL Mentor Camp 2018

Algonac Robotics FRC Members attended our first, two day FLL (FIRST LEGO League) Mentor Camp this week to prepare for the upcoming INTO ORBIT challenge.  This will be the FLL Iron Rats third year as a team and we are looking forward to having our FRC team members mentor our team.  During the camp we built a simple robot, learned some coding basics, and discussed FLL in general.  We also talked through what the Mentors roll would be.  FLL teams compete with an autonomous LEGO robot of their own creation, to complete a series of missions for competition.  They are also challenged to come up with an innovative solution to a real world problem and present it not only to the judges during competition but also those who might benefit from their solution before competition.  They are also tasked with learning and using the FIRST Core Values as a team and out in their communities.  Having experienced mentors this season will be a big help for the team to be able to learn and grow so much more!

FTC Marysville Qualifier Important Info 11/19/2016

For general Event Information, click here –> Event Information

For general Event Schedule, click here –> Event Schedule

This qualifier is located at the Marysville Middle School. Look at the event information link above for info on where to park and report.

Here is some specific information for our Algonac RoboRats.

  • If you plan on volunteer throughout the day, report no later than 630am.
  • Coach Seb will be at the pits around 630am to get things started.
  • All students to report to the team pits no later than 730am.
  • Safety glasses are mandatory in the pit and competition area. We will distribute them later today in our lab. If you have your own pair, bring them.
  • Inspection and judging will happen between 8-10am.
  • Drivers meeting will be 1015am
  • Opening ceremony starts at 1030am. If you have family and friends coming to visit and sheer, we recommend they come around 10am. If they want good seat, be there early.
  • Concessions stand will be open all day.
  • We will setup a table in the cafeteria. I would ask that each family bring a healthy snack to share. Fruits, granola bars, etc…    Coach Seb will bring water and juice box.
  • Students should also plan on bringing their own lunch or money for the concessions stand. See event info link above for concession stand info.

Here is our starting lineup:

Drivers Coach – Gabrielle Cournoyer / Eddie Boughner

Driver – Devin Petit

Driver Backup – Katie Emery

Operator – Tabitha Balduck

Operator Backup – Martin Wentzel

Pit Crew Mentor –  Eddie Boughner

Mechanical Pit Crew – Trevor Balduck / Rodney Romain

Programming Pit Crew – Gabrielle Cournoyer, Martin Wentzel, Katie Emery, Ashlee Juengel

Battery Keeper – Nathaniel Almanza

Team Photographer – TBD

Chief Scout – Shelby Wood

All remaining students are on the scout team.

This is subject to change at any time. Expect to see this move around throughout the day.

Scouting Information

Scouting is as important as driving and or coaching the drivers. The driving team rely on the scouting data to properly design each game plan and strategy.

For example, if we know that an alliance cannot trigger the beacon, we can then go around right at the beginning of the match and start changing to our alliance color.

We will be using an application on ios phone/tablet called Velocity Vortex Scorer.

App Manual can be found here:

To download the application, search “Velocity Vortex Scorer” in the app store.

The expectation is that every robot at every match will be scout using this application. Chief Scout will be responsible to track and make sure somebody is assign to each robot at each match.

Data will be collected and analyze throughout the day. Reports should be made to the drivers coach before each match to report on alliance and opposing alliance strenghts and weaknesses. This is critical in developing our match strategy. It is also critical if we make it to the playoff and need to make decision on alliances.

Parents and friends are encourage to assist in scouting.

We are a team representing the swamp, let’s go out there and show them how we improve since last year!!!

Most importantly, let’s have fun and make the most of it!

FLL ThunderQuest info and Schedule 11/19/2016

Click here to open the schedule.



If we fall behind in timing a particular area, everything needs to fall behind equally.

Your teams need to follow the SEQUENCE in the schedule.

Do not skip any event, because it will make you late for the next time event.  Robot runs and judging are all equally important.

For example, if the Robot Tables are running late, and your team’s Core Values / Teamwork Judging time is approaching, DO NOT leave the Robot Tables to go to the judging rooms. You ARE to wait at the Robot Tables for your match, and then proceed to the judging rooms. The judges WILL WAIT for you to arrive and WILL NOT take another team out of order.

The FRC Team, the ThunderChickens will be at the event.  The ThunderChickens will be wearing Bright Green shirts, and will be all over the school. They will helping all teams get on track, and will search for teams that are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  They will be communicating between the judging rooms, and the robot tables.  If you are going to be late for any reason, please notify one of them.  They will even help you find “misplaced” team members, and get you back on track.

If we stick to the schedule sequentially, ThunderQuest will run smooth as butter on hot pancakes. Yes it may add some time to our day, but that is easier to deal with.


What to do when you arrive

  1. Team PIT – Have your team proceed to the Team Pits (in the cafeteria).  Unload, and set up your table for the day.
  2. Registration – Once settled, have one of the coaches (or respective representative) go the registration area and check your team in.  Bring print out of the Team Registration Form, all hard copy Consent and Release Forms (if any), Team Information Sheet, and payment.
  3. Robot inspection – Take one or two of the students, to carry the robot (and any attachments) to registration / robot inspection to have it validated for construction.  Check the Animal Allies Challenge ( – starting on page 16, “Equipment, Software, and People” section for rules.
  4. Registration and Robot Inspection MUST be complete in order for your team to compete.
  5. Coach’s meeting – Attend Coach’s meeting at 7:30.  This meeting is to go over any issues, grievances and answer any questions before the competition begins. Sometimes it is helpful for a coach to have an assistant go to the registration, robot inspection, and get team to the gym during this time period.
  6. Opening ceremonies – Opening ceremonies will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m. in the gym, and all teams are asked to be there in a timely manner. It is important for the teams to be at the opening ceremonies. The competition rounds and judging sessions start right after the opening ceremonies.

Note – if this is your 1st year at ThunderQuest, you may want to be prepared for the opening ceremonies.  It will be LOUD, energetic, a little bit crazy, but most of all fun (did I mention LOUD?).

Team Pit Area

Each team will be assigned a spot in the cafeteria for their team pits.  Look for a sign with your PIT number.  We ask that you do not switch tables, so we can find your team if there is a change to the schedule, or judges may want to ask you more questions.

We ask that each team respect each other’s spaces and to keep your area clean.  At the end of the day, please show your gracious professionalism by making sure your pit area is cleaned up.

Tournament Checklist


  • Excited and enthusiastic team of gracious professionals!
  • Team Roster printout listing every team member, including coaches and mentors. In addition:  A paperConsent & Release  form for anyone who has not registered through STIMS.
  • $75 Tournament fee, paid by check (made out to Utica Community Schools) or cash.
  • Team Profile Sheets (4 copies).
  • Printouts of your robot programs, to show the Robot Design Judges.
  • Materials, props, and equipment needed for Project presentation.
  • Robot, attachments, spare LEGO parts kit.


  • Laptop computer with batteries and/or AC adaptor, extra batteries, extension cords.
  • Container to transport your robot and attachments to/from matches and judging.  Accidents can happen in crowded walkways.
  • Pictures of your robot and attachments.  In case the worse thing happens, your team can rebuild it from the pictures.
  • A backup of your programs on memory stick or CD
  • USB cable or IR tower for program downloads.  Note:  Internet and Bluetooth access could be restricted at some events.
  • Extra batteries or battery re-charger.
  • Lunches/snacks/drinks, or money for concessions.  Concessions is a fundraiser for the FRC ThunderChickens who are hosting the event.  Please support them!
  • Storage box for personal items.
  • Medical permission forms (in case of emergency). Depends on the team’s school policies for field trips, etc.
  • Emergency contact numbers for team members.
  • Coach/ Mentor Award nomination letters (check with the Tournament Event Manager).
  • Note paper and pencil/pen.


  • Camera.
  • Trinkets to share with other teams (pins, hats, buttons, stickers, etc.)
  • Pit decorations
  • Team banner or posters

Do NOT bring

  • Bad Attitudes 😉
  • Items of value (jewelry, video games, etc.). Tournament hosts are not responsible for lost/stolen items


FTC Marysville Qualifier 11/19/2016

Our first FTC qualifier is just around the corner.

We need to supply 2 volunteers to help with the events.

Please use the sign up genius link to volunteer. This can be a parents, coach or high school students.

The more we have to sign up, the better the event will be. Remember that without volunteer this event can’t be done successfully.

Click on link below for event and schedule information.

Event Information

Event Schedule




Solidworks Information

This is our team official Solidworks resource page.

Bookmark or add in your favorites as I will add more info as I find it. If you find something useful that other team members could benefits from, please add in comments below and I will make sure we add the content.


Solidworks Teacher Blog – This blog contains tons of info regarding new content and links. Check it out.

Working Environment

GrabCad – This is our our Team CAD repository and cloud solution. To have access, contact Coach Seb.

Downloads of Interest

Official KoP and Field Elements Drawings – Official 2016 KoP and Field Drawings

3D Content Central – Where you can find parts from 1000’s of manufacturer and vendors


Training Resources

SOLIDWORKS Tutorials – for Getting Started and Robotics tutorials


Other Teams Example

FRC Team 973 Greybots

Solidworks Social – for forums, CAD models and blogs

SOLIDWORKS EDU Facebook page – find us and get connected to your peers

SOLIDWORKS EDU Twitter Feed – get the latest information on SOLIDWORKS Education


Team Newsletter Week of 1/11/2016


Wow !   What a weekend! I just hope that everybody that participate had as much fun as i did.

I am planning on using this blog weekly to communicate and inform everyone on whats going on. It is each and everyone of you responsibility to ensure you read this blog when posted and follow instructions in each section.

Meeting time is expanding to 6-9pm for the FRC build season. Most likely will expand even more as we move forward with our design. Will keep everyone posted.

Parent information meeting will be held on Thursday 1/21/2016 6-7pm. This will be a great opportunities for your parent to meet our coaches and check out our room. More info will be share later this week.

We are also going to start using a meeting minutes form to keep track of our meetings activities. Each sub team should fill this form every meeting to document what we did.

We need to ensure that every parents are ok with the team post that may have the students pictures on social media. Please have your parents review this form and send back to me as soon as possible.

Scholarship opportunity for team seniors here. Servo City is a company we are planning on using for our next FTC season. If you are a senior this year and meet the GPA and other requirements you can apply.


Students TO DO List

  1. So we now know what we need to do. If you did not see the Stronghold game video, watch it over and over again !!!! Click here to open the 2016 kickoff playlist.
  2. Found this video on field description. Click here to watch the field description video.
  3. Read the game manual. Lot of rules and things to know. The more we know as a team, the better we will perform. To view the manual click here.
  4. Print and have your parents sign the media release form.

This week we are continuing on the strategy design portion of the build. We had some great discussion at Kettering, and we will continue tomorrow at our regular meeting time. Team goal is to have a clear vision of what we are going to accomplish and develop a plan to get there.

Immediate Need

We need a volunteer to coordinate building the defense using wood and other material. If someone is willing to take this on, please contact Coach Seb for more information.

Sub Team Notes

Programming / Electrical Controls
  • Develop a plan to download the program as it change to different media and backup as necessary.
  • Review Labview tutorials.
  • Experiment with sensors and how they interact with the controller.
  • Experiment with machine vision systems and how it will interact with the controller.
  • Continue learning Solidworks
  • Setup GrabCad to share files and projects.
  • Start looking at component and download / introduce VexPro line to projects.
  • Finish the sponsorship/partners level guide
  • Make flyer to give out to local business.
  • Develop cover letter for requesting partnership
  • Develop presentation on who we are. This is the presentation that the team will use to present the team to potential partners.
  • Make appointment with Prior Plumbing. Contact Coach Seb for details
  • Make appointment with Lumberjack. Contact Coach Seb for details

Weekly Schedule