Springside Chestnut Hill 2022

This past weekend, March 18-20, the RoboLancers participated in the Springside Chestnut Hill District Event, our first on-season FRC event in three years. The team has changed a lot since our pre-pandemic days, but we came into the event with our usual loud cheer and determined performance.

For Mr. Johnson, finally going to an on-season FRC event after three long years felt, “so good.” He had missed the excitement of full events, but was not ready for the feeling of the Monday after events. That sentiment seems to be reflected in the tired faces of the RoboLancers who came on both Saturday and Sunday.

This post–pandemic return was also very exciting for the seniors of the RoboLancers. Phong, a senior, said it was great to be actually competing this time instead of just watching. Three years ago, he was a member of an FTC team cheering from the stands, but this year, he was in the middle of the action as a part of the drive team.

Our drive team and robot had a great performance at SCH. There were definitely bumps in the road, but overall, we performed better than expected. At least, that’s the opinion of drive team member Daniel. We were the first-pick alliance partner for the 6th alliance during the Playoffs. Similarly, our Chairman’s presentation also went well.

SCH was the first FRC event for a number of RoboLancers. Jason, a first-year RoboLancer and current member of Cobalt, compared this event to the FTC events he had competed in. He said that SCH was a lot more hype, had a lot more people, and was a lot more fun. He enjoyed that each team had their own chants, and that the event on the whole was like FTC events on a bigger and larger scale.

One RoboLancer, Tom, volunteered at the event. He described volunteering as being pretty okay. He appreciated that volunteering gave him an opportunity to step away from the stands for some time to recharge before the next RoboLancers’ match. He was determined to stay lively and energetic while cheering our drive team on.

We did not win any of the team awards, but our Vice-President, Maja, was one of two Dean’s List semi-finalists at the event. Maja said that winning the award felt very good, but it was also overwhelming.

Now, the RoboLancers are gearing up for our next event at Bensalem on April 1-3. Our drive team will be busy practicing to make our performance more consistent.

The entire day was filled with awesome moments, but certain ones stick out. Cheering in the stands, playing outside with other teams after lunch, and the excitement of the first match. These are moments that will turn into cherished memories.

FTC Philadelphia Qualifier 2022 and Future Plans

On February 5, our three RoboLancers FTC teams competed in this season’s Philadelphia Qualifier. RoboLancer participants and volunteers of the event have described the day as, “unexpected” or even “wack.” After the Qualification Matches, Crimson was ranked first, Gold was ranked fifth, and Cobalt was ranked seventh. Crimson chose Gold as their Alliance partner, and Gold accepted. Then, through a series of alliance formations, Cobalt became an alliance captain and chose 8730 RoboGriffins as their alliance partner. The Crimson-Gold alliance were eliminated in the semi-finals while the Cobalt-RoboGriffins alliance did not make it past the finals. 

Crimson and Gold’s robots began to experience technical difficulties near the end of the event while Cobalt’s performance became better at the end. 

Crimson won the Design Award, Cobalt won the Innovate Award, and Gold was the runner up for the Think Award.  

None of the teams are going to States, but that does not mean that their work is over. All three teams will be competing in RoboLancers hosted “RoboRumble/RoboJawn” in May. In the time until then, each of the teams will continue to improve their robots.

Cobalt burning bright with the RoboGriffins
The Crimson Brotherhood
Many shades of yellow working on their Gold-bot

Check out all of our FTC Philly Qualifier 2022 Photos

I asked members of all three FTC teams how they felt about the Qualifier. Lily, Captain of Gold, said that she felt “dis-appointed” because they put a lot of effort this season but did not win any awards. This disappointment was echoed by her teammates, Yona and Fion. They felt like they should have planned better instead of shoving everything back to the last moment. Moving forward, Gold will use better foresight to continue improving their robot. Some of the goals are creating a better game plan for the drivers, making sure the intake meets the size requirements, and writing a better autonomous code. 

Crimson member Austin felt disappointed and a bit mad, but his main takeaway is that losses happen and “it is what it is.” They will focus on improving by working on capping, adding sensors to the intake, and programming their camera to read barcodes. 

Jason, a member of Cobalt, felt frustrated because they were close to making it to States but lost the final match. He’s disappointed, but wants to congratulate the winner, 16800 Trial and Terror. Moving forward, Cobalt will be working on color sensors for their intake box and perfecting the autonomous code. They want to make a magnetic capping feature, an idea that came from watching Fright Frenzy robot reveals and Isriah, one of their coaches. 

Gold, Crimson, and Cobalt still have a lot to learn and a lot to work on before the end of their first year of FTC.