Monday, April 7, 2014

Robotics Season Ends

 My robotics team competed in the FTC East Super-Regional in York, PA.  It's a three day competition during which we had a blast but just fell short of earning a spot in the World Championships.  I'm very proud of the team and am both looking forwarded to a month or two off from robotics and then getting right back into it!

 Here's a shot of our booth,  Our team number if 3113 and name is "Some Disassembly Required".  72 teams were competing from 12 Northeastern States (VA on up the US east coast).  One of my favorite activities is walking through the pits seeing how creative each team can be in it's robot build.

 The East Super Regional was the most competitive robotics event I've ever been too.  I was asked to be one of the referee's, which is a lot of fun, but kept me extremely busy.  This years games involved picking up 2.5 inch cubes and placing them in baskets on a swing arm (extra points if the arm is balanced!).  During the end game robots earned 50 points if they can left themselves off the floor on the central bar and remain hanging.  Several matches features all four robots being lifted - amazing stuff built by high schoolers.

Coaching robotics is time consuming but it's also very rewarding.  For me, this year was very different as it was the first year that my son wasn't on the team as he's gone off to college.  I realized how much I relied on hime to keep things going.  Sean kept texting me from college (Carnegie-Mellon) to see how the team was doing, so I think he misses it too.  He's thinking about mentoring a team in the Pittsburgh area as part of a college project next year.  This year's team will loose one senior to graduation but I've got a great core of young but very committed scouts coming up - some even shaved the team number into their scalps - that's dedication!  I really am looking forward to next year.

If any of you have an engineering or technical bent, you should consider getting involved / mentoring a team.  You can find out more from the FIRST robotics website.  I should warn you, it's a bit addictive!  FIRST has a great phrase to describe the experience - "It's the hardest fun you'll ever have"


Monty said...

Hi Miles,

many congrats for having such a great time with your robotics team. And good luck for the next season. May it be a great time again and maybe a successful one as well.

All the best

Ian said...

Wekk done for you and the team