What a weekend

What a weekend

We de-crated on Thursday and started reinstalling the electronics and the minibot deployment arm and hoped it would work since we did so much testing on the practice bot.  But to our dismay it all died from wed to Thursday.  So we had to spend most of the day fixing the bot; first the drive train – which we had running by noon, then the arms – which took us till close to 6 pm, then we started working on the arm till we were kicked out of the pits at 8.  The kids were able to get one practice match in during the day but it was not enough time to get acclimated to the competition bot.

Friday started off and caught the team off guard, we barely made it to the first match since we were trying to get the minibot arm working and somehow didn’t get the arms programmed right so  our first match we went armless, Norm did the best he could but we were outscored.  By the second match we had the arms working and duke did a really good job and we walked away with the win.  The third match is when we started to learn about penalties.  Rich shut the team out 33-0 but hit the opposing team’s minibot pole and we walked away with a red card.   By this time in the day we were starting to get into the swing of match preparation thanks to Anthony making sure we completed the checklist before and after each match.  We were still being plagued by a non working minibot arm and between each match we were franticly trying to get that working.  Thanks to some of the folks from Moe for all of their help with the arm and the pneumatics.  The fourth match was a big one, we were playing moe and they used a strategy of using one of their bots to block us from blocking them.  It worked.  So we have an idea next time we play someone who does that next time.  Plus we learned that if we do play defensive again our drive train will need to be improved.

Our fifth match brought us back into the winning column and Cartia was extremely excited she did well since she was so nervous.  We went back to back to norm for the sixth match and had some trouble with the controls putting us at 3 wins and 3 loses.  The last match of the day put us up against our awesome competitors the jesters.  Beating them would have been fun for so many reasons, but alas it was not meant to be. Duke did his best but the red team was able to pull off a win and shut our team out.  Playing the jesters was blast since they were so crucial to the success of our team this year.  It was awesome to see them win the engineering award at the end.  They very much deserved it.  The good news at the end of the match was that we finally got the minibot arm working again.

On Saturday we got to play Miss Daisy and Richard executed the blocking strategy to perfection.  We held the team to a low score and a loss.   When we got back to the pit we made a decision to keep Rich as our driver for the rest of our matches since he did such a great in his first two driving outings.  In the 9 and final qualifying match we did a really good job of blocking and tried to deploy a minibot but had some trouble aligning to the pole.  We would have won the match but one of our allies got a penalty.  We were so close, and it was a lot of fun to be allied with our other mentor team the firebirds.

We ended up with a 3-6 record for the qualifying matches and we had a lot of interest from experienced teams to be selected in the elimination matches.  So our team was really excited to see if we would get picked.  Sure enough we were the 6th overall draft pick for the eliminations, that was unexpected and really got the team fired up.  We were paired with 272 and 834, they both had minibots so we focused on defending.  The first match we played we did ok, and were only outscored by 4 points.   To make the first match more exciting we had a jaguar go bad in the pits and had to swap it out 5 minutes before the match.  Talk about pressure, Oak, Norman and others were all critical in getting us on the field on time.  During the second match one of our allies had an issue and our defense was lacking so we were eliminated in the quarter finals.  The team was a bit disappointed but hey, we are a rookie team and we were drafted so all is good.  Plus all of the students learned a valuable le lesson.  When I asked them about what we need to improve for next year they all answered more time and more driving practice.  So it was an amazing feeling to see that they all were getting it.

To finish off the weekend we were lucky enough to be selected for the rookie all-star award.  That qualified us for nationals and really got the kids excited for doing more robotics in the future.

More to come on the weekend later this week.

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~ by sprambots on April 10, 2011.

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