FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship 2023


On April 5th the RoboLancers loaded in at Lehigh University for the FMA Championship occurring from April 5th-April 8th. Lucy and our drive team performed well, unfortunately, we were not chosen during alliance selection, but qualifying for the district championship was a fantastic accomplishment for us as no current team members have competed at the DCMP prior to this year. 321 placed thirty-seventh out of the sixty teams that attended. Many RoboLancers could also be seen sporting goooose-themed apparel throughout the event. Our best match was qualification match one hundred, with the blue alliance earning one hundred fifty-six points. Lily Sand, our awards coordinator, received the FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award. Lily’s dedication to FIRST and her superb leadership are absolutely worthy of recognition. The RoboLancers have also procured another blue banner by winning the Regional FIRST Impact Award. We have advanced to compete at the FIRST World Championship in Houston from April 19 – 22 where we will compete with our robot and for the Impact Award.

FMA District Bensalem Event (Qualifying Event)

From March thirty-first to April second the Robolancers, team 321, attended and participated in the FMA District Bensalem Event (Qualifying Event). The Robolancers placed ninth out of the twenty-nine teams that attended the event. Our ranking score was 2.33. At Bensalem, the Robolancers played in twelve qualification matches out of the fifty-eight qualification matches held. Qualification match twenty-one was our best match with the Robolancers being a part of the blue alliance which scored one hundred forty-four points. 321 was selected as the first pick of the 4th alliance captained by FRC 484 with the second pick being FRC 9014. The alliance placed 3rd overall and was eliminated in semifinal 13 by the 2nd alliance. Congratulations to the Robolancers for winning three awards. We won the Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen celebrating “attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.” Additionally, Lilliana Sand and Austin Lin both won the District Championship Dean’s List Semi-Finalist Award. This is a very important accomplishment for them, it shows that Lilliana Sand and Austin Lin have been recognized for their dedication and achievements in FIRST. 

FMA District Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Event (Qualifying Event)

The Robolancers, team number 321, participated in the FMA District Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Event (Qualifying Event) from March 17th to March 19, 2023. The first day was mainly load-in and practice matches. In the qualification matches the Robolancers played twelve out of the sixty-two matches. We won seven out of the twelve matches we played and lost five out of the matches we played. The most notable match the Robolancers played in, match thirty, the alliance we were a part of scored one hundred fifteen points in sum.

All in all, the Robolancers placed thirteenth out of the thirty-one teams that attended the event and captained the seventh alliance. The Robolancers won the District FIRST Impact Award through their hard work. The District FIRST Impact Award shows that the Robolancers have done a lot for the community to further the values of FIRST. This is the seventh blue banner the Robolancers have received. This is very important and IMPACT-ful! Congratulations to the Robolancers for all of their hard work.

Team photo (With Impact Award)!

Pumpkin FTC Championship

RoboLancers’ very own FTC team Pumpkin (team number 22247) has advanced to the FTC state championship and competed on March 4th, at Saucon Valley Middle School in Hellertown, PA. Pumpkin ranked in place twenty-nine out of the thirty-six FTC teams that came. They had two wins and three losses out of their five matches. Pumpkin, along with a different FTC team each match, scored 88 points in their first match (lost), 132 points in their second match (won), 94 points in their third match (lost), 124 points in their fourth match (won), and 119 points in their fifth match (lost). During the matches, Pumpkin faced a looming threat. Unfortunately, Pumpkin did not get to compete during the playoff matches. Additionally, Pumpkin sadly received no awards during this championship. 

In the queue!

Philadelphia Qualifier 2023

Pumpkin planning their strategy by the field.

At the FTC qualifier at Abraham Lincoln High School on Saturday, February 4, 2023 all six of the robotics teams at Central High School attended the previously aforementioned FTC qualifying event. These teams include Gold (5320) who played 7th, Crimson (6676) who ranked 24th, Cobalt (16941) who ranked 33rd, Kale (22245) who ranked 18th, Aubergine (22246) who ranked 10th, and Pumpkin (22247) who ranked 5th. Each of these six teams competed in five placement matches. Only four alliances are able to compete in the semifinals with three teams per alliance. Most notably Pumpkin ranked fifth out of the thirty three teams that came and attended the event. This has allowed Pumpkin to qualify for the state championship. Crimson received the Motivate Award, Gold received the Finalist Alliance Award, Aubergine received the Think Award and Pumpkin received the Design Award and the 3rd Place Award. All of the teams worked hard and will continue to strive for greatness, the future is looking bright! Save the date for the state championship on March 4th (held at Saucon Valley Middle School in Hellertown, PA).

Mr. Johnson sporting his RoboLancers Rainbow polo while speaking at the Award Ceremony

RoboLancers Quarter 2

CAD team working with mentors to design our 2023 robot

The RoboLancers FTC teams have made changes to their robots and some even have a few victories under their belt. These teams will compete hard in POWERPLAY. There have been many events the teams have attended including, but not limited to, Workshops, Scrimmages, and Qualifiers. Most notably, Crimson placed second during its scrimmage with 17 total FTC teams. This was a great display of Crimson’s robot and its capabilities. Additionally, Crimson’s portfolio was considered by the judges potentially for a Connect Award. Kale’s programmers have finished their autonomous parking with custom sleeved cones and the mechanical side has made great progress with their robot. Gold has a camera on their robot, finished the coding along with it, and have made great progress on their robot’s mechanical aspects. The FRC team is working very hard during build season now that Kickoff has passed. They have their robot’s design done, and are continuing onto the building. The programmers are testing different sensors, making the grabber autonomous even during teleop, and the coding for autonomous is working. FRC is working hard and has made great strides. FRC mechanical is suffering from a supply shortage.

FRC Kickoff 2023

An overhead view of 4 students sitting in a circle with open laptops

On Saturday, January 7th 2022 came together for FRC kickoff. On the first day of kickoff FRC was waiting with anticipation for the countdown and were watching the Robolancers youtube channel. When the video of the game started people were already focused, analyzing it, and writing notes on their computers. People on twitch could  ask questions and the composers would answer them. When team 321 received the encryption code to read the game manual they were assigned into groups to read specific sections. At lunch the FRC team participated in fun activities including football and soccer, but there was pineapple pizza unfortunately. There was a robot possessing only wheels and no intake that demonstrated how the charge station worked. The team put key information into a google doc, then discussed game strategy and ideas afterwards. The consensus was to go for ranking points which determine your rank on the leader board. For the second day of kickoff the FRC team continued to discuss and plan their game strategy. Subgroups were made to break down the workload for the arm, claw, chassis, etc. The programmers also had subgroups for the limelight, sensors, etc. Overall, the teams worked hard and have planned their game strategy to hopefully win!

Hard at work studying the manual and talking strategy at Penn Engineering

FTC Scrimmage 2023

On Friday, January 6th 2022 three of the six FTC teams, Crimson, Gold, and Aubergine, came together for a scrimmage. These teams worked together to get to where they are now. Seeing how the teams have changed their robots and worked on their flaws from the workshop last year, shows how they have overcome obstacles as a team to grow and become better. FTC team Gold had a few technological difficulties. According to Gold captain Anne-Louise Bouyer, “We had a lot of challenges. As a team we were doing pretty good from the start. However, when the robot broke towards the end, then, I believe that we lost our shot” (Anne-Louise Bouyer FTC Gold Captain). The main challenge Gold faced was when the brackets connecting the linear slides to the chassis snapped in half, however they have managed to connect everything back together and their robot is functioning better now. Gold placed thirteen out of the seventeen teams that came. Aubergine member Kiva Huxen believes that, “I think Aubergine did pretty well. For the first game we were working as a push bot, and I think the team is working better because overall the communication has improved” (Kiva Huxen Aubergine Member). Aubergine was a push bot at the start because the linear slides and motor were not working, so they needed to take out the bracket and sonic hub. Finally, Crimson placed second out of all seventeen teams and did the best out of three teams. According to Remi Iqbal, “Right before the winning alliance game, Kai tripped on the robot and broke the servos, which made the final game challenging. Crimson became an effective push bot despite these challenges” (Remi Iqbal Crimson Member). Overall, these three teams have grown and changed since the FTC Workshop last year, and are ready to keep doing better!

FTC Drive It! 2022

Two robots poised to start a match of Power Play

 One of the more prevalent issues presented at Drive It was inspection. Some of the teams did not pass inspection the first time around, however, they redeemed themselves by altering their robots and passing inspection. During Drive It most of the teams started by preparing their robot for inspection and giving it some final touches. With Kale, their robot’s claw was sizable and protruding out, so they had to work together to reposition it to still be on the robot, but still within the size requirement of 18 by 18 by 18 inches. For Cobalt, their team did not perform as well as they hoped for. They actually passed inspection the first time through their hard work, however during their practice match they drove well, but their linear slide’s coding was not finished, and the claw could not still grip while it came back. They hope to work on better communication between both mechanical and programming members going forward, though there was not one side to blame as both parties worked hard. In my experience working as a volunteer for Drive It, I believe it to be a very rewarding experience as I can see how the events work behind the scenes, and I can make the event more fun for a lot of the other Robolancers and other robotics teams.