1-30-2023 RobotPirates Moves on to Semi-Regionals
Our team arrived on campus at 6:30 am Saturday morning, January 28, 2023, ready for a long day of robotics competition. We arrived at the School of Science and Technology in San Antonio at 7:30 and began to set up our work area. Earlier in the week, our robot experienced a catastrophic failure in our lifting mechanism. Once repaired, we had almost no time to test it before our competition. First Tech Challenge is not only about building a robot and competing, it is also about the journal. Each team is required to keep a detailed work journal of each meeting and every detail about their robot. Katelyn, thankfully, took on this arduous task, as well as reaching out to get some sponsors to help pay for the over $500 in competition fees, as well as material costs, in order to compete.
To begin the day, our team is required to present our robot and design journal to a panel of judges. After this was completed, we waited for it. In our first round of the day, we found that our robot had trouble controlling the cones we had to lift and place on poles, so we modified our claw to try and resolve that issue. In the second round, our modification ended up being our downfall. The first thirty seconds of each round it 'autonomous mode', which is the robot performing a pre-programmed task. Our modification in between rounds ended up hitting one of the poles and broke our track system that allows the robot to move around. We ended up limping around the arena and didn't score many points for our team. Thankfully, we had a lunch break and were able to modify and test our robot for the last four rounds of the day. We were able to fix our previous issues and did really well in our final rounds.
At the end of the qualification matches, we were in the middle of the pack in terms of wins to losses, which we all thought meant the end of our season. We packed up our things and put them in the suburban and stuck around for another two hours of elimination matches to participate in the awards ceremony, even though we knew we wouldn't receive any recognition. As the awards were being announced, we sat and applauded the other teams for their accolades. Then, all of a sudden, our team number was called for second place in the 'Control Award'. It was given for teams that best filled out the form that detailed how our robot was programmed for autonomous mode.
We sat through some more awards and medal ceremonies for the teams going straight to regionals. Then came the announcement of teams going to the semi-regionals. We sat as they called team numbers, knowing it would soon be time to head home and rest. To our surprise, they called our number. We were flabbergasted. The team walked up and joined the others that were moving on to the next round, took a few pictures, got into the suburban and headed home at around 7:30 that evening.
If you see any of the following students today, please congratulate them. Robotics is not easy; it deserves some recognition.