FTC Philadelphia Championship

On February 7th, Central High School will be hosting the FTC Philadelphia Championship. The event will be running from 7 AM to 6 PM.  Robotics teams from around the city will be competing for numerous awards and hope to advance to States. Last year Central had hosted the FTC Philadelphia Championship and many people had attended to watch the competition.

This year we are hoping for more people to come and support the teams. We hope that you can come attend this exciting event.

Go Crimson #6676 and Gold #5320!

[Crimson] [Mech/Prgm] FTC Meet at Temple (Viwing’s PoV)

We had our First Tech Competition today and it was extremely nerve-wracking. Firstly, the day before competition, we noticed that the design of the robot did not match up with the programming. The reason being is because when the robot moves during the tele-op phase, the manipulator drags on the floor and impedes the robot from accurately moving. Another reason is because the manipulator moves backwards a little too much and the heaviness of the robot’s back causes it to fall backwards.

In conclusion, our team as a whole decided to take off the manipulator for this competition and focus on defending. Another problem arose when the two female driver, Raina and I, were not comfortable with the controllers because during practice, the battery kept dying. However,  we were too excited in the moment and neglected the fact that our robot’s back was too heavy. And so, we tipped over when we moved backwards on the ramp.

Not only that, we were also penalized for touching the rolling goal’s tube during the autonomous phase. Aside from the exciting and nerve-wracking atmosphere of our First Tech competition, a lot of problems were identified.The things we need to work on includes our autonomous code, balancing the weight of the robot, charging the batteries (which is a silly mistake), and utilizing our practice field so the drivers can get comfortable.

There were many regretful things about the competition, knowing that we can definitely do better, but overall, it was a meaningful experience where we could find our mistakes and work on it.

[Crimson] [Prgm] FTC Meet at Temple (Michael’s PoV)

On December 11th, 2014, the RoboLancers that were going to the competition met in 95, and received their team tshirts. The whole team left, but when they noticed the kid in the wheelchair was missing, everybody stopped and wondered where the kid was at. Furthermore, as the wheelchair kid got on the subway’s elevator, the whole team left without Mr. Johnson and the wheelchair kid as they watched the train doors close before them. That kid was me.

Things got better when we got there, though. As both Crimson and Gold traveled (nervously) to Temple University’s Engineering building to compete in our first FTC meet. The experience of the meet as a whole was amazing. Despite not being fully prepared, that did not discourage nor stop us from doing our best. Our first instinct when we got there was to put the finishing touches on the robot. Crimson went to one table and gold to another and we immediately went to work. Crimson immediately panicked because they have realize that we didn’t have a supply list and the manipulator didn’t turn out as expected.

As the competition went on, Crimson realized that their robot was back heavy, and had to reprogram the robot to make it effectively. As some people worked on the robots, others went to scout the competition From the interviews, we learned a bit about the teams that were there. Based on what we witnessed that day, we saw flaws and strengths within teams. This also made us realize our own flaws and strengths as well.

Our teleoperated code seemed to be defective when testing even though it worked before, when suddenly, Armond, programming Lead, came around and read through and noticed that the controller was defective and our code was actually”A-Ok”. The programmers there, Viwing and I, had a nervous breakdown when we thought our autonomous code did not work, but the answer to the problem was a quick fix. We just needed to activate the code by selecting it in the NXT Brick.

As we went into the matches, our batteries were always scarce and hardly available due to the high demand from Gold needing the batteries for their match when we were practicing it. In the end since there was only one battery, but they relied on us and we pulled through that match with a close win.

Drive It! [Marketing]

This is my first year being a part of the team and I’ve never been to any of the events for Robotics. It was my first time at Drive It! and my first time at any Robotics event so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I got there, our team was carrying in boxes and setting up the field. As a member of Marketing, I didn’t have a clue of what the others were doing. The Marketing team and I set up the food stand along with our sassy security guard.

Once our food stand was completely set up and our fabulous signs were taped up, the first chapter of our business began. Our first customers were our team’s members. All of them bought the same thing and that was the Mountain Dew Throwback. After risking frostbite to look for those Throwback cans that were in such high demand, a few more customers appeared. They were unfamiliar faces which indicated that some of the others teams had arrived. Luckily, they requested donuts and hot chocolate(which we didn’t even have at that moment). Other customers appeared after seeing people eat those delicious donuts that were purchased from our food stand. Our thanks goes to Dunkin Donuts for selling us the donuts. We made a lot of money because of them.

Of course, my attention was not only directed to the food stand but also the teams. Since I didn’t know any faces other than the faces of our team members, I directed most of my attention to our own members. The most notable one was Henry Dang. As I was tending to customers’ needs, I watched as he went from table to table. During that time, I was a bit confused and I was wondering why he was at another team’s table. I started to notice that other teams’ members were at our team’s table. That’s when I realized that the teams were helping each other’s robot. They were helping each other so that the team’s could drive their robots hence, ‘Drive It!” At that moment, I felt like I had just discovered the meaning of life. After a long day of rummaging through trash bins for soda cans that were buried under a ton of ice, my day had finally come to an end. On the bus, I wondered if that whole day was a complete waste of time. I opened my bag and picked up the completely forgotten, complimentary Twix bar I got for running the stand and concluded that Drive It! was totally worth it.

New Members

On September 18 the RoboLancers welcomed the new members of the team at our meeting. Before the meeting, some of our returning team members went around the school and promoted Robotics in hopes we would be able to recruit new members. They went into various classrooms and explained our group, the RoboLancers, to everyone.

The meeting was held in Central’s auditorium. Before the end of school, it was only filled with the returning members of the team, fixing the stage and getting ready for the presentation. But it soon changed as people quickly walked into the room, hoping that they would be able to sign up. There was excitement and eagerness on all of their faces.

The presentation was led by our coach, Mr. Johnson, and other members of the team. They went over what the RoboLancers were all about. They explained what the game for FTC was, the responsibilities of being on the team, and explained what Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Marketing were.

After the meeting everyone broke up into smaller groups and showed them where the RoboLancers worked. To break the ice, the groups played various games. When the new members were asked what subgroup they wanted to join, most had an idea of what they wanted to do. They then went into detail about the game, and brainstormed ideas for what the robot would be like.

The promotion for Robotics was a success for there were 112 new members who showed up at the meeting. There are 52 returning members with one or two returning as well. This brings the team to an all-time high of 164. Everyone has high hopes that the game for FTC will be successful.