Season Qualifiers 2017/18

This January, we attended our first two competitions of the year: Who Let The Bots Out in Canton, MA on January 13 and RoboStorm 3.1 in Andover, MA on January 27.

We are really proud of how our first meet went! Although it was originally scheduled for December 9, an inconvenient snow storm pushed it until January. Despite our disappointment, we used the extra time to add even more mechanisms to our robot.

In autonomous, we consistently managed to score 85 points by hitting the jewel and getting the glyph in the correct column. However, we found that we often hit the jewel into the cryptobox, making the placement of glyphs tricky in teleop.

Our glyph mechanism worked nicely and most runs, we managed to score upwards of two rows and a column. We did find that it was slow at scoring, which we hoped to improve after the meet.

One of our favorite parts of the meet was trying out four new drive coaches. It was great for them to gain experience and confidence on the competition field.

After the qualifying matches, we were delighted to learn that we were the first seed alliance. We chose team 11100, We Are Robo, as our alliance partners, and in the end, we were proud to be the winning alliance!

At the end of the meet, we won the Design Award and are excited to have qualified to compete at the Massachusetts State Tournament!

At our second qualifier, we were excited to try our new vacuum pump mechanism to score the relic. We had been working with the idea of using suction, to pick up and deliver the relic since late November, and were excited to actually implement it on our robot, and test it out in competition. We managed to deliver the relic to the 3rd zone, standing up most of the time, and we are currently hard at work making even more improvements.

Thanks to the programmers’ hard work and dedication, we were able to program the robot to place a second glyph in autonomous. Sometimes it managed to get a second glyph block partially into the cryptobox, but during other runs, it missed completely.

We ended up as the second seeded team for alliance selection, and we were thrilled to be picked by the first seeded team, team 9867, Evolution. Through our teamwork, we became the winning alliance. We also won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award!

It was really fun to meet all the other teams and their robots at these two competitions. We can’t wait for the Vermont State Tournament on February 24 and the Massachusetts State Tournament on March 3. See you there!

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East Super Regionals: Disappointment and Triumph

We attended the East Super Regional competition in Scranton, Pennsylvania two weekends ago. The competition, which lasted from Friday the 18th to Sunday the 20th, was lots of fun and a good opportunity for us to connect with other teams. Although we had a great experience, we had to persevere through many challenges in order to get our robot running well.

On Friday, we checked into our hotel, which was a lovely Microtel in Dixon City. The owner was fascinated with FIRST and took a picture with us and our blue wigs. We then headed over to the competition center at the University of Scranton and set up our pit area. We had a ten by ten tent frame which we outlined in LEDs. We passed inspection and went through judging.

Saturday was a lot more trying for us. During our first three matches, we faced static problems and disconnect every match. It was hard to keep our morale, but we kept at it and we finally solved the problem by downgrading from a beta version of the software. Suddenly, our robot started working like normal again! In our last qualification match, we even missed the national record by seven points (we got 527 points)! We also made many friends throughout the day. The ice cream social that night was fun, however we were a little sad that the music was stopped for most of the time because of a magician’s show.

Sunday was our last day, but we still had lots of energy to last us throughout the end of the competition. We ended our qualification matches in ninth place and we were the first pick of the second seeded alliance, which consisted of our captain, Sab-BOT-age (#7314) and the Robotic Doges (#8645). We won the division semi-finals, but unfortunately did not win the division finals. During the awards ceremony, we received three awards, including division finalist alliance, first place Connect Award, and third place Inspire Award! We’re thrilled to be moving onto the World Championship in St. Louis and we can’t wait to see you all there! Good luck to all teams!

Headed to Super Regionals!

We attended the Massachusetts State Championship on February 27 in Natick and we had a blast! We won all five of our morning matches, which brought us to a second place ranking. We asked 2 Bits and a Byte and the Canton Robodogs to join our alliance and our alliance won the final matches. We also won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award and advanced to the East Super Regional!

We loved talking to other teams and learning about everyone’s unique and creative robot designs. We are very thankful for Natick High School for hosting the event and the judges and volunteers for their hard work. We can’t wait to see you a week from today in Scranton!

League Championship: Big Dipper and Red 4

Last Saturday, January 30, we had a lot of fun at our League Championship! Thank you to the Marlborough High School team for hosting a great day of robotics! We all had a blast running, talking to judges, scouting, and cheering.

The morning matches went well and we ended up with 28 total QP, ranking first of the teams in attendance. We formed an alliance with the Brainstormers for the afternoon matches and a 334-73 point run in the finals carried our alliance to first place!

One of the best moments of the day was watching our autonomous program work successfully. We’ve been working on it for a while and we loved watching it trigger the rescue beacon and put the climbers in the shelter. We got it to work during multiple matches and it certainly helped our team!

At the end of the day, we received two awards: Captain of the winning alliance and the Inspire Award. We are very excited for the Massachusetts State tournament on February 27 and we are hard at work preparing for it. We can’t wait to see you there!

Launching Our New Season at the Res-Q Kickoff!

We had a blast attending this season’s kickoff at Needham High School on September 12! We partook in various sessions about key FTC components such as the new drive system and PTC Creo. We also helped lead sessions about judging and the engineering notebook. This year’s challenge was also revealed at the kickoff. It includes a ‘mountain’ with bars across it that the robot must climb and ball and blocks that the robot must deliver into buckets.

After the event finished, we were buzzing with ideas. We stopped for an all team Chipotle lunch before heading home for a meeting, where we brainstormed drive systems to accommodate climbing the mountain, ball and block pickup/delivery designs, and robot lifting designs. Irene drew a great summary of our initial ideas below.

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We’re so excited for the season and can’t wait to get started.

-AS 10/10/2015