2014 Build Season

FIRST Championships

St. Louis, Missouri, April 23-26, 2014

CHAMPIONSHIPS! We piled in the van and drove all night, arriving in St. Louis 26 hours later. We had a long but fun ride and stopped at the entrance of each state to jump out and take a picture with the state sign—even in the middle of the night! We had a blast at Robo Prom and the baseball game, met old friends and made plenty of new ones. Rounding out the robot competition ranked 13th in the Curie Division was just the icing on the cake. Way to go Wilma and our fantastic all rookie drive team! But the adventure didn’t end there. On our way back, we got snowed in at Cheyenne, Wyoming and ended up staying an extra night.

Colorado Regional

Denver, Colorado, March 7-9, 2014

What a fantastic time we had at the Colorado regional! It was two years in the making, but LiveWire was able to meet their rookie team - the Arabian Knights from the United Arab Emirates for the first time in person. So very exciting! We stayed at the same hotel, ate all our meals together, hung out in each other’s pits, and helped each other with every aspect of the competition. Truly the Blue/Green sea! Many lifelong friendships were cemented at the competition. We were so proud of them for winning the Rookie Inspiration Award and we were honored that they were there to celebrate our winning of the Regional Chairman’s Award.

Central Valley Regional

Madera, California, March 7-9, 2014

It was 15 hours to California in the two decked out LiveWire vans.  A long, but very fun trip for sure! Many memories were made—“20 more minutes!  Interesting radio shows. WEEEEEEEE!” We were one of only two non California teams attending. It was such fun to bring a little bit (OK – a LOT) of Idaho craziness to the regional. We were excited to be alliance captains in the 5th place seed (moving up to 4th). Thank you teams 2761(or was that 2716) and 5102 for making up our alliance! We won the Safety Award, NOT! Congratulations to team 3256 for actually winning that award. It was quite the weekend for number mix-ups!

We were very honored to win the Engineering Inspiration Award!  Championships here we come!

Bag and Tag

ISU College of Technology, February 18, 2014

Bag and Tag night was full of energy and fun! So many last minute details to finish: bumpers, stickers, a bit of drive team tweaking. Fred said goodbye to Wilma and we got her in the bag just in the nick of time!

Weekly Build Season Updates:

Week 6 update:

It’s week six already and how quickly the time flies when you are building a robot. We are having a blast! Two identical robots are finished and it is fun to have the driving time. All the build teams are working on getting their duties completed in time for the competition. We decided to postpone our Down to the Wire event as MCRocs was not going to be able to come. It is rescheduled to May and will be a fun celebration of the season.

Week 5 update:

The robots are close to having names—but a theme has been developing since week one. The newest book is being illustrated and is scheduled to be completed by our first competition date. We are continuing our annual Friday night root beer float tradition. The word of the week is bumpers….just bumpers.

Week 4 update:

We are progressing along quite nicely! Essays are being written, video is being shot, and robots are being built. We have had the pleasure of some fun visitors coming to the shop. It is a great 2014 season!

Week 3 update:

As week 3 ends, we are making remarkable progress. The programmers are still diligently working on camera tracking. The build team has made some minor adjustments to the manipulator and the team working on the field build just needs to paint the game pieces.

OneByte has arrived back in Boston and will spend some time with Dirk at MIT before he comes back home to Pocatello.

Week 2 update:

Our newly formed video team was able to film and edit two “Mr. Angle’s Workshop” videos for us to share with the Arabian Knights in the UAE. Check them out on our new YouTube channel, LiveWire Robotics FRC team 3562. The Arabian Knights have requested specific tools for us to make instructional videos. These videos will be coming soon.

We sent Dirk and OneByte to the UAE to help our rookie team FRC 4928. They are both having a blast collaborating and instructing the Arabian Knights team members. Our Facebook page has some great photos of their adventures. Our biweekly tradition of Skype-ing with the UAE continues, even though the time difference makes things tricky.

The robot drives! Our programmers have a special project they are working on with one of our mentors - Warren, an engineer in Las Vegas. He met with the programming team over Christmas break and the team Skypes together several times a week.

Week 1 update:

Week one kicked off with a bang! One of our college mentors, Dirk, was able to arrange his schedule so he was in Pocatello to help us for the first week. The team decided to work during week one like it was week five. Amazing things happened.

We had Skype sessions with the UAE twice this week (once with coaches, once with students). We are super excited to be working with them and helping them navigate the world of FIRST. The robot and field build teams are progressing nicely. We spent considerable time gathering parts and waiting for weather-delayed shipments to arrive for the UAE team. Everything arrived within two hours of heading to the airport and we were only 65 pounds over the luggage weight limit.

FIRST Kickoff:

ISU College of Technology, Building 51, Pocatello, Idaho, January 4, 2014

LiveWire hosted MCRocs, FRC Team 4178, from Minidoka County at our shop for kickoff this year. We watched the live steam of the announcement of the game, Aerial Assist, and then spent time analyzing and discussing the rules.

After a delicious lunch, the two teams mingled and collaborated in their sub-group teams exchanging ideas and strategy. Technical difficulties prevented our Skype session with our rookie team in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but we were in frequent texting contact. Everyone was able to meet OneByte, our Flat Potato Superhero.

Preseason Activities:


LiveWire was fortunate to receive a donation of an armored vehicle from Angle and Associates. We are so excited to have a vehicle to transport our robot and equipment to all of our outreach events. Even though the 6 ½ ton truck was in need of some body work, we quickly had a vision of how spectacular it could look. What a fantastic way to showcase our sponsors! The LiveWire team has never shied away from hard work. As a part of our preseason / team bonding activities, we dug in and started sanding and priming (for weeks, and weeks….) and painting. Overall, it was an excellent team bonding experience! We were almost done with the project when build season began. The goal is to have the truck, affectionately named “PipSqueek,” ready to debut in the Chrome in the Dome Car Show in March.

UPDATE: Mission Accomplished!