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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First Competition of the 2016-17 Season

We attended our first qualifier this season on December 4th at Canton High School. There were many cool robots and we can’t wait to see more at later competitions!

We are extremely proud of how we built and programmed our robot! Our autonomous worked really well – we consistently scored two particles in the center vortex, claimed a beacon, and partially parked in the center. During tele-op, we continuously picked up particles and scored them in the center vortex as well as claimed beacons. We ended up as first seed in the qualification matches as well as winning alliance captain. Our alliance partner during the elimination matches was team 3015 Blue Screen. In the end, we won the Think Award, which we are super excited about because we are trying out a new engineering notebook format this year.

 

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!

Had Fun at the 2nd Big Dipper Meet!

All teams 12 12 scrimmage.jpg

The 2nd Big Dipper Meet was a blast! We started the early morning setting up with a bunch of other excited teams. Hosting the meet was hard-work, but it was fun and definitely worth it! The Meadowbrook cafeteria was a great open-space to hold it in, and there were great advantages of the huge screen we could project on. The only issue with the Meadowbrook cafeteria was the well-designed teacher’s room which was part of our pit area. It was designed to be sound proof so we had to improvise by opening all of the doors and announcing everything twice.

Andy, a team parent, was a great MC and brought life to the competition with his great jokes! We also were very thankful for Elise and Beth, who were great referees in the entire tournament.

Overall, all of the teams seemed to enjoy the day of hard-work, and everyone seemed to learn. One of our team-members, Dante had some very positive things to say: “It was a fantastic learning experience about what we need to do to prepare for the next meet.” 12 12 scrimmage.jpg

Thanks to Ruland!

On our visit to Ruland, we had the incredible opportunity to tour the factory, where we saw a variety of machines, including very basic machines dating back to the 1940s as well as newer machines designed just six months ago by Ruland’s engineers. It was awesome to see how some of the parts on our robot are created! We also spoke with the marketing department and learned more about the ways Ruland helps many FIRST teams. At the end of our visit, we showed everyone our robot and we were happy to find out that we’re using the Ruland parts correctly!

This weekend we got a generous donation of parts from Ruland. The shaft connectors will help to correct to our misaligned motor and drive shafts in our drive system. These parts are going to really help us this season, and we are proud to have Ruland as a sponsor!

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First Big Dipper Meet

Last Saturday we went to our first league meet in Manchester, NH. We used our robot from the block party challenge which was already fashioned to pick up blocks and balls. Over all, the meet was a good way to see what really needs to be done for our next competition. We learned the importance of climbing the ramp in scoring in the high goals. Additionally, we learned about the major penalty points that come from blocking the mountain. The meet was fun, and has given us lots of ideas in how to proceed with our season.

-Abby 11/27/15

Visit to Brookhaven

We visited a Brookhaven, a senior living home in Lexington, and set up a robotics expo of sorts- we ran our two robots, displayed our Creo designs to residents, and set up other stations and activities, like a Rubik’s Cube solver and the Lego segways. It was lots of fun! Some of the seniors had worked in engineering before and told us lots about the work they did years back.

The drive team demoing our Block Party robot.
The drive team demoing our Block Party robot.
The Orange Gearticks explaining the Trash Trek challenge.
The Orange Gearticks explaining the Trash Trek challenge.
Talking with seniors at our Rubik's Cube solver station.
Talking with seniors at our Rubik’s Cube solver station.
Explaining our Creo designs and models.
Explaining our Creo designs and models.

Visit to Robai

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Last Tuesday we visited a robotics company in Burlington called Robai. They showed us their office as well as come really cool demos about their robotics arms and what they are working on.  We learned a lot about degrees of freedom, and how adding one degree of freedom can add infinite ways to reach a certain position with an arm. It was a cool experience and really fun!

-AP 10/20/15