Sunday, December 16, 2012

First Win of the 2012-2013 FTC Robotic's Season

Well the first qualifier of the FTC 2012-2013 robotics season was held yesterday (12/15) in Leonardtown, Maryland.  Where is Leonardtown? - far in the south of Maryland's Western shore - it's right next to "nowhere" on the map, you can't miss it.  More importantly it's a 2.5 hours from my house - you try waking up 9 teenagers to leave at 4:30am!  Actually it's a very nice place - just hard to get to when driving tired teenagers.

Anyway, as you might suspect from the first photo and header the day ended very well for my son's team as they were part of the winning alliance and, thus, are now qualified to move on to the Maryland state championship.  Our event didn't start out that well as something happened to the Robot's electrical system and we lost all the servo's and had to perform a re-wire in an hour (it takes 3 to do).  Our bot wasn't fully functional for the event but the drive team played great defense - we used our mass to push other 'bots around.  My son, who is the driver, was very excited and said (with some immodesty) "today we were the Ray Lewis of the robot world!"  It was a very exciting / frustrating / exhausting day.

I was just too busy to take any pictures but will add some picture when I get copies of the ones some of the parents of team members took.

On the way back, the team has decided to scrap the 4 point articulated arm design as the wiring and movement controls are just to complex to fabricate a dependable mechanism in a home based shop.  We'll be adopting either a telescoping platform or a swing arm with a chain drive to lift the ring grabber.  We were very lucky to win yesterday and don't want to rely on that luck in the future.  Our next match is Jan 19th and is a qualifier for the Pennsylvania state championship.  After that we have two more Maryland qualifiers, which we now don't really need to compete in but will do so to get more practice with the bot.

Competitive robotics is a very intensive activity, especially when you're coaching high schoolers.  Below is a list of the "to-do's" we had on the 'bot as of Thursday night.  My only goal for today is to assemble and prime some plastic Perry miniatures for my next miniature project: 28mm ACW.


Tomsche said...

Congratulations! I always liked the 'robowars' thing, but overhere, it has never gotten further then a series we could watch from the BBC

Paul of the Man Cave said...

What a fantastic outcome for the lads. Well done them and have yourself a large celebratory beverage for your enabling contribution!

Anibal Invictus said...

Congratulations, great work indeed. I hope you achieve attrcating the young rascals to this technological world, better than the PS3/Wii/Xbox one