MRI 2023: Reaching Finals with First Place Alliance

Written By: Audrey T

A Great Day

MRI (or Minnesota Robotics Invitational) is an off-season competition hosted by our friends the FireBears. At this competition, teams are in alliances with two other high school teams and compete against another alliance with last year’s Charged Up Game. Our team had an eventful MRI full of challenges but most of all we had fun and were reminded of what’s so special about robotics.

Andy and Riley going over strategy with alliance members


First Match

The qualifiers started out with us on the Red Alliance with teams 2530 and 2531. Our robot started out great during the autonomous round, but during tele-op (the robot is controlled by the drive team during this stage) we lost control of the upper half of the robot, so we tried our best and made some great plays but ended up losing in a very tight match of 35-32. However, we did not let this get our spirits down as got to work and planned for our next match.

Second Match

the robot holding a FIRST purple cube in the air with its intake

We were partnered with teams 5271 and 3130 on the Blue Alliance for our second qualifier match. We once again performed well in autonomous, scoring and successfully docking and engaging with one second left. However, our intake wasn’t working properly so we had to adjust our game plan. Our strategy shifted to defense and pushing cones into the scoring zone. This game was lost with a final score of 79-122. We had yet another opportunity to fix our robot before our next match.

Third Match

On our third match, we were once again a part of the Blue Alliance with teams 3184 and 2846. There were still issues present with our intake but we were able to play a defensive position again and use the plan we had worked out to play to the best of our abilities. We ended that round docked and engaged and our alliance won with an incredible lead of 130-63. This match gave us high hopes for the rest of the game but we knew we would have to figure out the CAN issue with our intake. Luckily we had the lunch break to work things out. 

Three members of the drive team walking down the line in the pits with the robot cart

A part of the drive team bringing the robot back to the pits after our last match.

Fourth Match

Our first match was fresh out of lunch, we were on the Red Alliance with teams 2472 and 7850. We had successfully repaired our intake and were ready to have our comeback! We had a great game thanks to amazing strategy and execution. Our alliance won with a score of 52-67.

our human player feeding a cone into the robot on the field during the match

Fifth Match 

In our Fifth match, we were on the Red Alliance with teams 2450 and 2823. With our robot hypothetically working after our last match, new members were able to experience the pits in a low-stress environment. When we put on robot on the field we were ready to go. Unfortunately, our drive team aligned the robot’s swerve modules improperly, so our robot was driving somewhat randomly. Because of this, there was a large struggle for Andromeda to move around the Field. At the same time, the match was close for the majority of its duration. We, unfortunately, lost 67-108. 

Sixth Match 

For our final qualifier match, we were partnered with 2177 and 9999 with the Blue Alliance. It was a very close match but in the end, we were able to pull ahead and win. Things were looking good for us leading into alliance selection.

Alliance Selection

Our team was selected as the third pick of the first-place alliance. We were aligned with 5913, 3184, and 8234 (for the final alliances you pick one extra team as a stand-in in the event of one team being unable to compete) in the first-place alliance. Things were looking great for our odds with both the first and second-place teams (5913 and 3184) in our alliance.

Four team members from alliance 1 posing for a picture

Above: The representative from each team in our final alliance (Our representative was Vonnie and she did great at representing the team and our sponsors!)

The Finals

Things weren’t looking great leading up to the big final match. Our robot had some connection issues, rendering it unusable for that round. While we were able to get it sorted out we later had an issue with the battery, once again trapping us in place without power and no way to help our alliance. In the end, we were able to get our robot up and running and we tried our hardest to get a win for our alliance. The final matches were close but in the end, we didn’t win it all. Our alliance won second place, a great accomplishment but we have room for improvement and goals for our upcoming competitions later this month and next month. 

The robot climbing up the balance attempting to engage with the dock

Andromeda at the docking station seconds before the match ended

Overall MRI was a great experience for the team and we learned a lot of valuable lessons. Getting into the finals was incredible and winning second was even better. Win or lose we always have a great time as Talons focuses on learning, growing, and having fun, not just taking home trophies. 

Robots and Rotini 

On November 5th Talon is hosting its annual spaghetti dinner in the south commons. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We invite all family and friends of the district’s robot programs to attend. This year we will have lots of fun activities such as driving the FRC robot, demoing the FTC team’s robots, and face paint. We will also have another silent auction with some STEM-related items and gift cards. This all takes place in the High Schools South Commons from 5-7 tickets can be purchased before the event from a respective team member, otherwise tickets can be bought at the door for full price.

A flyer with the print: Save the Date! Robots and Rotini November 5th 2023 5-7pm Eden Prairie High School South Commons

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