Sunday, December 12, 2010

Robotics: Maryland State Championship Winners!

Not much on the miniature wargaming front as it was crunch time for the my son's Boy Scout troop's robotics team (I'm the coach) as it prepared for the Dec 11th Maryland State Championships.  A very surprising thing happened - they won!

Here's a team picture with their plaque, trophy and individual medals.  Our team is wearing grey "Craftsman Tools" shirts.  My son is the second from the left in the back - curly hair, big muscles and a very large smile.  I'm the dorky looking guy in a green sweat shirt and ball cap in the right rear.

The next picture was taken at the end of the final match and it was a fitting tribute to the day as all four robots performed spectacularly!  The score of the match was 52 to 50 in our favor so it was very close.  You can see that all four 'bots are balancing on the swing bridges, which earns each team extra points.  That's pretty impressive as each bot weighs anywhere from 10 - 50+ pounds.  We specifically designed our 'bot to be very strong, a bit slow (therefore, easier to control) and very heavy.  The mass differential was very important to us as there is a good bit of "contact" on the field.  During one of the qualifying rounds our bot was repeatedly rammed on each side by the two opposing bots, much to their dismay, as one flipped over and the second lost it's moveable arm.  Our 'bot just kept going it's slow and steady pace.

There were 34 teams competing at the tournament, one came from as far away as Italy, so the competition was very fierce.  Our team placed fourth overall in the qualifying period but managed to win the single elimination championship tournament.  This was our third year competing as a team and a marked improvement over our previous performances.

The last picture is a closer view of our robot during one of the matches - it was in the process of balancing itself on the bridge during the autonomous part of the competition.  Each match has 2 parts - an autonomous portion where the robot operates on it's own and a tele-op mode where the robot is driven via remote control by the team.

I'm very proud of the Scouts.



Docsmith said...

I'm sorry but I must disagree that it was a surprising thing - they had a great coach right? Seriously, well done - its a very fine achievement and you must be very proud of them, particularly your son.

Awesome looking robot by the way!


Scullmeister said...

Fantastic! SKYNET lookout!