Team 3637’s first competition was an eventful one. We arrived at Mount Olive High School on Friday to set up the pit and worked until they cut power at 10PM. The next day, we all woke up with competition fever. Since we hadn’t had a principally-offensive robot in years, we were eager to see how we would fare against other strong competitors. In addition, we had an autonomous mode that could attempt a shot, which we hoped would make us a valuable addition to any alliance.
At the end of Saturday, we were 5-6. Our catapult certainly had no shortage of power, but at times we had trouble holding onto the ball. This was soon fixed, thanks to some truly massive zip-ties. Our autonomous mode also gave us a little trouble, but we quickly got it to get us the mobility bonus. The next day, it would be fully up and running, and we would be taking shots. At the end of the day, our robot had made an impression as a versatile machine. The roller worked like a charm to pick up balls in seconds, and by running the motor in reverse, we could send a controlled, easy pass down the field to an alliance partner. Our shooter saw some heavy use as well—although we rarely used it for the high goals, letting more consistent partners make those shots when possible. However, pinpoint precision is not required for a truss shot, and when combined with the serious power behind our throw, the result was an impressive Hail Mary pass, which would snag us 10 additional points to boot.
Sunday was the day of our final qualification match (a victory) shortly followed by alliance selections. Ranked 21st, we were near the cutoff for being in an alliance, but we hoped that the other teams had been impressed with what they had seen of our robot. Indeed, we were picked in the second round by the number 5 seed, Team 3340: The UCHS MagneGeeks! With them and our final partner, Roxbotix (Team 4361), we looked forward to an exciting elimination round. Unfortunately, we were eliminated in the quarterfinals, but we weren’t discouraged. Our alliance had played well and we saw that with a little more work, our robot could become even stronger.
Another reason we were pleased is that we are a growing team. For the first time, our new members got to experience the atmosphere of a competition, and they got to experience the relationship between effort and success. As teams grow, they expand in all directions. In our case, that meant more hands on the robot, but it also meant fundraisers, business, and outreach (like our LEGO collection). In fact, it is this that snagged us an award at Mount Olive—we were the proud recipients of the Chrysler Team Spirit Award! Being recognized by the judges made for a great ending to a very fun weekend.
We’ll keep working until our next competition, and by then, The Daleks will be a force to be reckoned with. We are a great team in the making, and we’ve seen very clearly that hard work can get us there.
See you at Bridgewater!
Pictures from the competition can be found here.