Seven Rivers Regional
This year at the brand new Lacrosse Regional the team placed 3rd place overall. After two days of tough competition we were picked to be on an alliance with Fondy Fire and Tool Cats of which we were excited to compete with. Our alliance was ranked number 5, so when we won against alliance number 4 there was a lot of shock and surprise over how well we did. The win landed us in the semi-finals against the number 1 alliance of which was nearly a total upset, but we did end up losing against them. Alliance number 1 broke the world record for the game in scoring in that match and we were right behind them in points the entire time, so the team was not too disappointed. Overall the weekend was a total success making the team even more excited for the upcoming season.
This year at the Milwaukee Regional we finished in 3rd place after we lost the semi-finals round. Throughout the weekend the team competed exceptionally well and made countless partnerships with other teams. One team even wrote us a very nice thank you letter because we gave them the parts they needed to help their robot run which landed them in a top alliance. They were not the only team we helped as the team shared parts and products throughout the whole tournament. The new relationships that were built with teams will carry onto the Lacrosse Regional and through the next few years.
Sussex Mini Regional
This year at the Sussex regional our team was very successful. After a rough start due to programming errors; the team pulled together and managed to dominate the competition. In order to find the best team of people, we rotated our team into different positions for matches which allowed us to find the top two drivers, as well as the top human players. Even with the constant shuffling of players are team still averaged three gears a match as well as climbed the rope in nearly every round. As of bag and tag we had a few changes that needed to be made in order to produce the best robot possible. Our first competition is quickly approaching and we are confident in the robot design and the abilities it has.
January 7th our team traveled to WCTC for FIRST’s robotic kickoff! We arrived around 8:00 and kickoff began at 9:30. After we arrived our team socialized with other teams we recognized from last year as well as teams that were new to us. Anxiously awaiting kickoff, all the teams in the room were buzzing with excitement as the timer counted down. When the timer reached zero and the video started up applause erupted in the room, the announcement of the game finally arrived. After the video we collected our kit of parts and raced down to the field where the game was “set up”. Afterwards when we got back to school we started to brainstorm ideas for the game as well as our plan for the year. The anticipation for the game builds up each year, as kickoff is one of the team’s favorite days.
To begin our long journey to competition, we started with brainstorming, learning rules, prototyping, and deciding our game strategy. Brainstorming started day one with listing as many ideas as possible for solutions. Further narrowing of the list came with deciding our strategy. The team chose the strategy together after everyone thoroughly read through the rules to figure out what the robot can and cannot do for the given tasks. After the list had been narrowed down students started modeling designs for prototyping; which lead to the further narrowing down of ideas as we found ones that worked.
During the process of week two, the team continued the refinement of our prototype. When deciding the strategy everyone’s opinion was taken into account. After figuring out our objective in the game we used this time to build and design the “rough draft”. This process continued throughout the week, with everyone having something to do. The programming team is working on the refinement of CAD design, build team is creating the first through the final products and public relations are working on t-shirts bracelets and banners for the upcoming events. Along with each of the teams doing their own things many of the teams worked together to begin the control platform and to begin the chassis. Each team experienced complications throughout the week, but what is a team without them. Overall week two was an interesting and very busy one for everyone.
In the third week everything had taken off to a running start. The final robot was being built, and it was almost ready to start driving. Between week two and week three, all of the different teams were hard at work. CAD is working on the final designs and refining the current prototype, along with the Build team. While everyone is working on the robot, the PR team is working on the printing of t-shirts and sweatshirts along with the starting of Chairman’s award projects. Between the individual teams, everyone has something to work on. In this week, everyone could see the challenges that were going to come up ahead, but were willing to push through and accomplish what needed to be done. From broken tools, to the figuring out of how to make the robot climb, week three was a very progressive week for everyone.
The fourth week of Robotics was filled with different challenges and progressive workings. We have now figured out exactly how we want the the robot to be able to climb the rope. The software team has been working diligently in order to get the right coding sequences by trial and error. The printing of tshirts and sweatshirts have also been complete and have been dispersed throughout the team. Chairman’s award which, if won gives us an automatic win to go out of state for competition; the award was finished and submitted on February 8th is expected to do well. Week 4 has overall run very smoothly and a lot has been accomplished.
Week six started out strong with our robot driving on its own. The programmers have been working hard all season to make scoring points in autonomous mode a reality this season. All their hard work finally was realized in the 8 seconds of code that allows the robot to place a gear in autonomous mode. This seemingly simple looking task scores the team 60 points. It is the highest scoring single action in the entire game which is a huge accomplishment. Monday and Tuesday were spent putting the finishing touches on our robot and making sure we are fully compliant with the rules one final time prior to bag and tag. We completed the bumpers, finished securing all the wires and components into their final position to make it competition ready. And allowing drive team to practice on our practice field one last time with the competition robot. The team members who were not working on finishing the competition robot were busy making a practice robot so that the programmers can continue to tweak code and finesse the drive system between Bag & Tag and competition. This will hopefully also allow us to give the drive team extra practice with how to maneuver the robot around obstacles on the field and other robots.
Hartford Union High School puts on a showcase every February to grow interests in clubs and activities. This year, the robotics team set up a booth with our robot to attract attention to our team. Flyers were printed out with more information for the new interests in the club. The team mascot even made an appearance at the event which made people flock into our room and many sign up for information about the up and coming season. Overall, showcase was a huge success in gaining new interests by showing everyone who we are as a team and what we can accomplish together.